I’ve been using an ek43 for a few years now and have dismantled it, tweaked it and generally abused it. There are some things I’ve learned along the way, some more important than others, they are all certainly overly obsessive, but maybe worth sharing just on the off chance that someone finds them useful.
Anyway let’s get going…..
Dismantling & Alignment Tips
1. Before you take it to bits Mark all sections with a Sharpie or similar so that you can put it back in exactly the same alignment.
2. If you have removed your burr carrier and put it back in the grinder and noticed a significant change in zero point, taste, ability to choke the machine then try this. Take the front back off the grinder, remove the shear plate, and whilst holding the burr carrier still turn the drive shaft 180 degrees with a large screwdriver, refit the shear plate and front and retest. Chances are everything is back to normal, don’t ask me how, why this happens just follow the instructions and be glad it worked.
3. When refitting the front of the grinder, push firmly on the adjustment dial until the front meets the grinder body. Whilst maintaining pressure, wiggle the front around until it’s fully in place and centred. Again, whilst maintaining pressure on the adjustment knob with one hand, hand tighten the screws. Once they get finger tight then use a screwdriver (still holding it in place tightly) to tighten the screws a but at a time alternating between each side until full tightened. If you do not follow this then you can end up with a wonky front which could kick out your alignment.
4. Do not remove the 4 bolts that run from front to back of the grinder unless you know really know what you’re doing. They can alter the alignment of the grind chamber in relation to the drive shaft. They are calibrated before they leave the factory to be within tolerance so they shouldn’t need to be touched.
5. A trick to help improve your aligment with minimal fuss. Remove the burr carrier, clean the drive shaft and inside of the burr carrier where it fits over the shaft. Now add a thin layer of lube on the shaft and inner wall of the carrier. Attach the front ensuring that your carrier and drive shaft are aligned as they were (see 2) and using the method described in point 3.
Once the front is on, unplug your grinder and loosen the adjustment knob. Using a flathead screwdriver, tighten up the grind adjustment so that the burrs are tightly forced together. Do not switch on your grinder! Leave it like this for a few minutes. Now loosen the grind adjustment so that the burrs don’t touch and use the regular zeroing procedure for the ek. The theory of this one is that there is usually a very small amount of movement of the carrier on the shaft. By forcing the burrs flat together then the lube would distribute itself in a way that would help keep the carrier in place. I don’t know if it works but it takes a couple of minutes and my coffee tastes great so I’ll keep on doing it 🙂
I will continue to add to this as things come to mind.