Adjusting and re-adjusting the M4

Discussion of coffee grinder hardware. How to get the most out of specific grinders. Cleaning and maintenance issues with grinders. Comparison of different grinders.
Post Reply
User avatar
Mizspresso
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Adjusting and re-adjusting the M4

Post by Mizspresso » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:07 pm

This is a little off topic, but since I run the end product through the Spaz, I guess it's close enough.

I love my new M4 grinder but am wasting a lot of coffee whenever I change beans. Since different beans require different settings, I am having to change the settings.

Trouble is the adjustment ring is all black and impossible to see, and there is no marker on the machine to reference against anyway.

Does anyone else have trouble with this and if so, what have you done to mitigate this?

I am considering picking up some paint to lightly mark some of the teeth. I would also like something to attach to the body that I could use as a visual marker for the teeth. Any ideas?

Dang, wrong category. Meant for the *upper* general category.

Niko

Re: Adjusting and re-adjusting the M4

Post by Niko » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:16 pm

I mark my MACAP with a black sharpie, seems to work really well for me and yes - I agree with you that it's hard to see with the lack of markings.
I wish MACAP would read these forums and if they are...
"your grinders are STUPID without a center mark". There, I said it - I wanted to get that off my chest for a while. :D
Mizspresso wrote: Dang, wrong category. Meant for the *upper* general category.
And don't worry about the wrong category, Chas will move it when he gets a chance.

User avatar
JohnB
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post by JohnB » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:13 pm

I use the black Sharpie method also. I find everything pretty much falls in the 2.7-3.4 range on my M4 stepless. The decafs sub 3 & most others in the 3-3.4 range so the changes are small. I make a note on the bag for each blend & then tweak it as it ages.
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

User avatar
Mizspresso
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Post by Mizspresso » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:02 pm

Ah! Hard data. Thanks, I will note.

The sharpie is simple enough. Still, I may look for something a little more elegant. Somebody suggested I look for little stick-on markers that DJs use to mark places on records for their mixes.

caf4brains
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Chicago 'burbs

Post by caf4brains » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:27 pm

I had the same problem with my M4. I fashoned a little pointer out of a piece of sheet metal (from some heating duct material - but a piece of a soda can would work). It is about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. One end is trimmed to form a pointer, the other end is slotted. The slot fits under a screw on the black, toothed ring that has the numbers on it. Finally, the pointer gets bent into a "Z" shape so that the tip hovers over the numbered ring.

I can actually read the numbered ring, so I haven't felt the need to enhance the printing yet. I think that using an awl or similar sharp tool would let you put an impression in the raised numbers on the ring. Then you could use some enamel paint to fill in the impression before wiping off any paint that strayed outside the scribe marks.

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:12 pm

I wonder what it would cost to have the MACAP adjustment collar chromed :D

woodchuck

Post by woodchuck » Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:53 pm

I just cut a thin strip from a stickly label and pasted it on. Has stayed put for the last year ... Cheers Ian

User avatar
Mizspresso
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Post by Mizspresso » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:31 pm

caf4brains wrote:I had the same problem with my M4. I fashoned a little pointer out of a piece of sheet metal (from some heating duct material - but a piece of a soda can would work). It is about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. One end is trimmed to form a pointer, the other end is slotted. The slot fits under a screw on the black, toothed ring that has the numbers on it. Finally, the pointer gets bent into a "Z" shape so that the tip hovers over the numbered ring.

I can actually read the numbered ring, so I haven't felt the need to enhance the printing yet. I think that using an awl or similar sharp tool would let you put an impression in the raised numbers on the ring. Then you could use some enamel paint to fill in the impression before wiping off any paint that strayed outside the scribe marks.
I like this solution. Need to dig through the tool box and see if I have any tin snips.

I did pick up a white opaque paint pen at a craft store yesterday. I tried highlighting the numbers (one number) but made a mess of it. Now I have to clean it off and start over. I also marked some of the steps with the white paint, but am not so happy with that either. Too black and white and it looks kind of cheesy. But I do like the idea of that Z shaped metal.

User avatar
Mizspresso
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Post by Mizspresso » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:33 pm

Niko wrote:I wonder what it would cost to have the MACAP adjustment collar chromed :D
Nah, same problem. I want contrast! That and a Relative-To marker.

I put down some white tape for now, but I'm really attracted to something that is right up there with the teeth.

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:15 am

The Mazzer is chromed and easy to see :D
...actually, it looks more like a stainless.

User avatar
JohnB
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:27 am

I really don't see what the problem is. Do you guys have the stepped or stepless model? The numbers are clearly marked on the stepless although you are never going to venture far from 3 if grinding for espresso. There are 10 teeth between each number so 3.1-3.2, ect. I have nothing more then a black sharpie line in the center of the worm drive & have no problem figuring out where its set. The worm drive is hinged so I can easily flip it back to see the teeth if there is any question. Today I'm going to attempt to add return springs to the worm drive so it locks back into the teeth automatically once released.
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:12 pm

I don't have a problem with the MACAP ring, it's the lack of a center marker that bothered me and some other people.
In the dark early morning hours, the black ring could be hard to see compared to the bright shiny Mazzer.

User avatar
JohnB
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:24 pm

Niko wrote:I don't have a problem with the MACAP ring, it's the lack of a center marker that bothered me and some other people.
In the dark early morning hours, the black ring could be hard to see compared to the bright shiny Mazzer.
Here's my solution; an inexpensive, flush mount, under the cupboard light fixture. Comes complete with cord so you just need a near by outlet & a screwdriver to install it.Image
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:43 pm

You turn on lights in the early AM?! :shock:

...that would for sure wake me up :lol:

User avatar
JohnB
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:47 pm

Niko wrote:You turn on lights in the early AM?! :shock:

...that would for sure wake me up :lol:
Define early AM?? I'm not usually up at the crack of dawn. Besides the coffee will wake you up anyways.
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

Niko

Post by Niko » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:52 pm

I'd say....anything before 8AM is the crack of dawn to me :D
When I used to make Cappas, the steam arm would wake me up - and I'm not talking about the sound.

User avatar
JohnB
Vivaldi Dreamer
Posts: 2249
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:01 pm
Location: Northeastern Ct.

Post by JohnB » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:02 pm

Niko wrote:I'd say....anything before 8AM is the crack of dawn to me :D
When I used to make Cappas, the steam arm would wake me up - and I'm not talking about the sound.
Sounds about right. I still enjoy a Cappuccino in the morning but my desire for straight shots is increasing as my skill improves. I know what you mean about the steam wand but I'm getting better at avoiding it.
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
KvdW/Pullman/RB Tampers
Hario NCA 3 & 5s/Wooden Neck Dripper/Buono
Zassenhaus Knee Mill
Modded Hottop B

Weska
Barista
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Moscow

Post by Weska » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:42 pm

My Macap is the stepless, and I do find that some sort of reference mark is useful. I probably will mark more than one area of the numbered ring (for press, for certain espresso beans, for a nominal starting point).

My solution is quick and dirty, and not bad to look at if you don't look to close. Silver duct tape trimmed to a triangle, small equilateral to sit on the rim of the doser (I run it topless.) and a longer sliver of a triangle to mark a desireable point on the black numbered ring. Makes it quite easy to judge where you are.

Weska
Barista
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:33 pm
Location: Moscow

Post by Weska » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:21 pm

My Macap is the stepless, and I do find that some sort of reference mark is useful. I probably will mark more than one area of the numbered ring (for press, for certain espresso beans, for a nominal starting point).

My solution is quick and dirty, and not bad to look at if you don't look to close. Silver duct tape trimmed to a triangle, small equilateral to sit on the rim of the doser (I run it topless.) and a longer sliver of a triangle to mark a desireable point on the black numbered ring. Makes it quite easy to judge where you are.

User avatar
bbqnut
Barista
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:28 pm

Post by bbqnut » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:27 pm

I have used something like these wire markers in the past.

They are small, durable, and professional. I think you may even be able to get them at Home Depot.

http://cableorganizer.com/wire-marker/

I think I used "1" for French Press, "2" for drip, and "4", "5", "6" for espresso, or something like that.

User avatar
Mizspresso
Espresso
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re:

Post by Mizspresso » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:44 am

Weska wrote:My Macap is the stepless, and I do find that some sort of reference mark is useful. I probably will mark more than one area of the numbered ring (for press, for certain espresso beans, for a nominal starting point).

My solution is quick and dirty, and not bad to look at if you don't look to close. Silver duct tape trimmed to a triangle, small equilateral to sit on the rim of the doser (I run it topless.) and a longer sliver of a triangle to mark a desireable point on the black numbered ring. Makes it quite easy to judge where you are.
This is along the lines I was thinking. I went to a crafts store and got some Letraset tape. It comes in colors and is on a thin roll. The approach was good but the adhesive barely hung onto the chrome. I had to give up on that as a long term solution. It really does help me, though. Before markers I kept forgetting what I used for what and was wasting all kinds of shots.

I think I will upgrade my Letraset temporary solution with stickier duct tape. Thanks, Weska :mrgreen:

Post Reply

Return to “Coffee Grinders”