Portafilter Handle Repair




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The portafilter handle for my ROK Espresso maker cracked from me being a bit overzealous with the knock box so I thought I'd just make a new one, a bit more fancy though : )

I used my lathe to shape the handle because it was quick and easy but you can use anything you like to carve out the handle. A jigsaw, bandsaw, carving knife or any type of sander will work just as well.

Using these methods or similar you can repair the handle on almost everything!

Step 1: Preparing the Stock

I have a bunch of scraps laying around the workshop so for this job I picked out some leftover ply that was cutout from the inside of a bandsaw box drawer I had made recently.

Basically the first step was to square up the timber close to size so that it fit in my lathe chuck. My table-saw and drop-saw made short work of this.

Step 2: Shaping the Handle

Shaping the handle on the lathe is pretty easy, I just made sure I took light cuts to reduce any tear out. I didn't really have a plan for the shape so kinda worked it out as I went along.

As mentioned earlier you can use anything you like to shape the handle. As long as it cuts wood it will work!

I then sanded the handle through grits of 80/120/180/240/320/500/1200. Finally I used some cut and polish to really give it a shine.

Step 3: Drilling Filter Basket Hole

Because I used the lathe chuck to hold the wood I still had a square part on the bottom of the handle that was inside the chuck jaws. (see step 4 for pic) This was perfect to use as a level base to hold the handle straight when drilling a hole for the filter holder. I firstly drilled a pilot hole then then the bigger hole, very carefully of course!

Step 4: Test Fit

My portafilter had a key on the filter basket that fit into the original handle and because I didn't need it I simply ground it off using my big grinder. I used my small rotary tool grinder to clean it up.

After test fitting the handle everything looked good so I then sanded off the square base using my disc sander.

Step 5: Handle Base

For the base of the handle I found a neat looking drawer pull at my local hardware store that matched perfectly. I just drilled a hole in the base of the handle so that the top off the pull sits flush against the handle.

Step 6: Finish & Glue Up

Once I was happy with the fit I gave the handle a few coats of poly then glued it all together. For this one the glue I used CA glue but I usually use epoxy.

Step 7: Photographs

And here it is, much cooler than the original i think!



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    18 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I've also split my rok espresso handle, but don't have the equipment or skill you have. Any chance you'd sell a replacement handle? Seems crazy not to re-use the metal part.

    I guess technically it should be. Espresso is just hot water forced through the beans under pressure, right? I guess a food-safe and heat resistant pump plus a temperature-controlled water tank with some kind of interface with the handle thingy ought to do it. Then again, I have no idea how much water it takes, what temperature is good, and all that jazz.

    It never ceases to amaze me how pretty something like glued-together bits of plywood can be once they're sanded and polished properly. Beautiful work, and a beautiful handle for your portafilter!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    I hate being that guy but... Espresso not expresso

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Lovely, I am sure it adds to the aesthetics of making your coffee. a bit of caffeine and pride to start your day with.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is beautiful work, my friend.

    I agree with tomatoskins, the drawer pull is a brilliant idea! Your projects are very inspiring.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    I love how your handle turned out! I also like the drawer pull addition. Nothing makes me happier than using something not for its intended purpose!

    1 reply