Saturday, 18 June 2011

Refurbishing an ugly duckling into a swan

I have been looking for a coffee grinder to use as a herb grinder - for ages.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this:
I wasn't particularly impressed, because it didn't look in such great condition, but, beggars can't be choosers :-)  It had this weird pattern on it...
And it looked pretty rusty...
But the grinding receptacle / drawer looked OK...
... and my on-line bid won it on the auction...

So, when it arrived I set to work - well, with the help of RMan.

The painted pattern came off quite easily, but they had put a chalky white layer below the pattern - that took forever to remove (and that's where RMan's help came in.)  60 grit sandpaper - and it still took about an hour to clean off. RMan said it was a bit of a grind... LOL

The grinding mechanism was stripped out and wire brushed - there was even old dried ground coffee in the grinding cogs.

Then we sanded with a finer sandpaper, and gave it a coat of food-friendly wood preservative.

What am I left with...

... an absolute beauty :-)
The collection bowl is polished bright and sparkling on the outside - I didn't want to contaminate the inside of the bowl with wood ash, so I gave that a good wipe and just a whisper of olive oil...
... the grinder works perfectly, thanks to a grinding adjuster (it's visible on the first photo - it's the nifty little lever thingy below the grinding handle which slots into a tooth on the tensioner according to how fine / coarse you want to grind things ...
Here is a view of how finely it ground coriander seeds...
Don't you just love it :-)

The ugly duckling became a swan - and all it took was about 2 hours of TLC.  It just shows you - if one can see the potential in an ugly duckling, then the results are limitless...

One for coffee and one for herbs - now I'm all set!

And best of all it's re-using something which is in perfect working order.  In place of buying the latest electrical appliance which will needlessly drain our (currently) limited power I have something which will allow me hours and hours of quiet contemplation whilst I work...

I can't wait to try it on my dried home grown herbs.


  1. I love it! It came out so nice.

  2. Jane - LOL - thanks - I think so too :-)

  3. African Bliss - Thanks :-)

  4. It is beautiful, what a transformation....good job.:)

  5. Mr H - Thanks - I am totally happy with it :-)

  6. Nice job!! That looks very much like a Zassenhaus. The only thing that would harm the burrs is a small stone. I carry one of these grinders when I travel so that I can make perfect coffee.

  7. Fallerya - Welcome :-)

    Ah now, a Zassenhaus is the creme de la creme of grinders - maybe I'll own one in my next life... LOL

    I will always check the spices for small stones - thanks for the tip.

  8. Wow- That looks great!! I have an old second hand cabinet in my bathroom that needs some love- you have reminded me and provided me with some much needed motivation!!

  9. That's lovely. I bought a plastic one from the op-shop that works but would love one like that. Not sure I would have seen the potential though...


  10. The transformation is amazing! I would never have thought it was the same grinder. Good Job!

  11. Gillie - Thanks - and very glad to have been of inspiration LOL

    Barb - Keep you eye out on the site I gave you - you may find another one on offer...

    Tami - Thanks - promise you, it is :-)

  12. effing stunning You should send pic to seller!!! hahahahaha

  13. wickets - LOL reckon you should be called wicked.

  14. Lovely! That is a great transformation. Job well done! Emily

  15. You and Rman did a brilliant job on 'restoring' this! Wishing you many hours of contemplative grinding as a reward for your labours :).

  16. Emilysincerely - Thanks and thanks LOL

    Stitchin' Time - Welcome. You're right - RMan was a g-r-e-a-t help! :-)


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