West German Coffee Grinder


Part 1: The decision making process

I love coffee. No, it’s true.
I also found a “not working” coffee grinder on kijiji for $20, and there is no way I could pass it up.

Part 2: Some actual work

Here is the grinder, its pretty cool, and it even has a “made in West Germany” stamp on the bottom. It didn’t turn at all, which was not that great, but it didn’t seem impossible to fix.

Coffee Grinder, before fixing

The brass was covered in a layer of dust, the wood was greasy, and the grinder didn’t turn. So, to start I had to take the top off and get a better look at the mechanics inside. Below is what that looked like. (At this point I figured it would either be completely unusable or fixed in the next hour)

Coffee grinder internals

Next I had to take apart the actual grinder mechanics, this was a bit of a process. I had to loosen the bottom screws until the top was able to slide up an inch, and then I had to use a jewellers screwdriver to undo five set screws under the holder. (This took me a while to figure out, and I found one screw well after putting it back together, which meant I had to go back in and put it back)
Underneath is a photo of all the moving parts in the coffee grinder. I found some rocks lodged in the two grinder pieces which is what was keeping the crank from turning.


Before taking the grinder apart I planned on sanding down the wood and refinishing it, but after wiping off the dust and grease, I changed my mind. I lightly sanded the finish and rubbed it down with mineral oil to make it look nice and shiny. Then I cleaned the internal mechanism, oiled it with vegetable oil, and put it all back together.


Part 3: The overview

This project cost me $20 for the coffee grinder, and I only spent two hours fixing it. (That includes making my first coffee with it)

Fixing up little things like this gives you a look into how things are made, and you realize just how much goes into something so small.
Also any coffee grinder is better than a magic bullet or blender. It will also give you more control over grind size, which is nice when you use different brewing methods. I hope you enjoyed.

8 thoughts on “West German Coffee Grinder

  1. Pradnya says:

    Great post! I love coffee and can’t imaging my day starting without it. It’s good to know you just don’t toss out stuff when it breaks.


  2. Jessie Reed says:

    This is awesome! I could not live without coffee, and it’s really neat to see how you did this – that is dedication! great post


  3. brianne says:

    Wow! Being a coffee lover myself, this is really neat! Although i’m sure id be inpatient to put in all that hard work just for one cup lol Especially on a morning running late!
    This is a really cool project though, great job!


  4. Benjamin Morrissey says:

    That’s pretty cool. The consumer in me says “throw out the broken one and buy a replacement”, but I feel like I’m missing out on a part of life. I’ll have to start fixing my own broken appliances. Great post Alex.


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