Making a Bottomless Portafilter




Introduction: Making a Bottomless Portafilter

Inspired by asc2 asking on my homemade tamper instructable if my bottomless portafilter was a DIY project I grabbed a spare portafilter and headed to techshop to see if I could successfully lop the bottom off.  This is a pretty simple project if you've got access to a metal lathe.  I don't have one at home so I made it at techshop.

Step 1: Disassemble the Portafilter

Start by clamping the portafilter in a vise and unscrewing the handle.  The factory was nice enough to use loctite or something similar so it was a pain to disassemble it.  I was worried that I would ruin the handle so I brought along a rosewood handle that I made a few months ago.  I think if the plan was to keep the same handle I would clamp the body of the portafilter in the vise with a scrap of wood on each side to prevent it from getting all banged up.

Step 2: Start Cutting

Mount the portafilter on a lathe with a three jaw chuck, be sure everything is square and securely in place before turning the thing on.  Presumably a better machinist would measure where they need to cut but being a big fan of just winging it I eyeballed it and started cutting a groove with a carbide cutting tool.  After a little while the bottom of the portafilter will fall in, stop the lathe, pull the center out, and see how much more cutting you need to do to finish the job.  I ended up off by about 1/16" so I did one more pass cutting away the last of the bottom then cleaned up the cut edge so it wouldn't be sharp.

Step 3: Reassemble and Go Make Yourself Some Coffee

Take the portafilter off the chuck, put the spring back in, drop the basket in, screw the handle on, and call the project done. 

The only difference between my purchased bottomless portafilter and this DIY one is that I ended up with a nicer curve on the bottom of the DIY one.  Aside from having yet another thing I use every day that I made myself.

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Job well done, but I did not understand what good is a filter holder without the bottom.

    Translated from Italian by Google

    Super Doug
    Super Doug

    9 years ago on Step 2

    Cool project Foodgeek! A couple of questions.
    ~ did the lathe chuck mare the finish on the PF?
    ~ what speed did you use to turn the bottom out?
    ~ is cutting fluid (coolant) required for making a cut like this?

    Again, great stuff!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks :)

    I ended up more like gorilla tight than monkey tight with the chuck but didn't really scratch up the finish. I used something like 460rpm. I sprayed some coolant on the piece but I suspect you could get away without it. This portafilter is a big chunk of brass so it's easy to machine and it's a good heat sink.