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Lathe, Baby, Lathe: The Making of a Transparent Portafilter (Part 1)

Admittedly, we’ve lately been going a little crazy for transparent portafilters. But like their makers, we’re obsessed.

Here, Amsterdam-based Tije, the maker of the latest known transparent portafilter, takes us through the first part of his production process. Inspired by Stephen Sweeney’s portafilter, Tije’s method is arduous, especially since no known acrylic-based transparent portafilters have proven to withstand repeated use in commercial applications.

Frans Goddijn, the man behind the camera documenting Tije’s work for his Kostverlorenvaart blog, with permission gives us step-by-step photos of this labor of love:

The double spout Rocket portafilter.

The double spout Rocket portafilter.

The double spout is removed

The double spout is removed

Turning the loctite-sealed handle to remove

Turning the loctite-sealed handle to remove

Fitting the tool to cut out the bottom

Fitting the tool to cut out the bottom

Fitting the portafilter into the lathe

Fitting the portafilter into the lathe

The cutting commences. Lathe, baby, lathe.

The cutting commences. Lathe, baby, lathe.

Tije working the lathe

Tije working the lathe

The hole is cut

The hole is cut

Sharpening the tool used to adjust the ring size

Sharpening the tool used to adjust the ring size

Filing down the sharp edge of the bottomless portafilter

Filing down the sharp edge of the bottomless portafilter

More smoothing of the portafilter's sharp edge

More smoothing of the portafilter’s sharp edge

A dremel with sharp discs cutting out the portafilter basket

A dremel with sharp discs cutting out the portafilter basket

The bottomless basket

The bottomless basket

Filing the edge of the bottomless basket

Filing the edge of the bottomless basket

Finishing the edges of the basket

Finishing the edges of the basket

Cutting out a slice of acrylic

Cutting out a slice of acrylic

Extracting the acrylic

Extracting the acrylic

Cutting a thread through the center

Cutting a thread through the center

At this point, the acrylic is transparent from top to bottom, but still cloudy on the sides and too big for the basket

At this point, the acrylic is transparent from top to bottom, but still cloudy on the sides and too big for the basket

A long bolt inserted and fastened through the thread

A long bolt inserted and fastened through the thread

Cutting the diameter to size

Cutting the diameter to size

Polishing to maximize transparency

Polishing to maximize transparency

Part 1 complete

Part 1 complete

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