[Homeroast] Broken part on Gene Cafe

sallsup sallsup at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 14:11:35 CST 2014

My Gene Cafe roaster had a parts failure, with a piece of plastic warping
and preventing the drum from rotating during the roast.  This unit has
given us hundreds of great roasts since September 2010, and I'd like to
keep it going.

My question is - will there be any major issue if I simply remove this bent
piece, but keep using the roaster until I can get a replacement part?  Is
the piece important from the standpoint of keeping heat out of the exit

Details are:
The damaged part is one of the two skinny U-shaped strips of rigid black
plastic that lines the join between the sides of the roaster and the silver
reflective pan of the bottom.  These plug the gap between sides and bottom,
protecting the gearing from getting gunked up by dust and chaff.  It
probably provides some thermal protection as well, keeping some of the heat
coming off that drum away from the internals.

The one that's damaged is on the air-exit side of the unit (left side when
you are looking at the roaster from the front). About half of it is bent
out of the track.  It is rigid plastic and not letting me warp it back into
position.  I might be able to cut it in half but would be concerned about a
broken piece being jarred enough to poke into path of the drum (there's not
much clearance).

I'm not sure how it happened, but it looks as if that piece got jarred out
of alignment at the top of the "back".  When the next roast started, the
drum started rotating, hit the unaligned top of the piece after about a
quarter-turn, and pulled it out even further until after an inch or so, the
drum couldn't move and the unit went into error mode.  This was only
seconds into the roast so I was still there and immediately shut it down.
The temperature hadn't yet risen enough to require a cooling cycle.

It took a bit of jiggling the ends of the roaster, but I was able to get
the stuck bit out from under the drum (no easy feat with the heat shield
still on!).  I plugged in the unit again long enough to let it rotate the
drum back to the normal "done" position so it could be removed normally.
The frightening clack-clack noises didn't reappear as it rotated the drum
the remaining 3/4ths turn, so I'm figuring the gearing wasn't actually
damaged and the unit is fine.

Where it stands now is, the unit doesn't appear to have any damage other
than the warped piece.  I should be able to remove or cut off that piece.

Have any of you had this kind of problem before?  Any gotchas to removing
this piece (I have bookmarked Eddie's slideshow on taking apart the GC)

Who did you buy a replacement part from?  (Somewhere in my emails here I
have info for a place that has parts for FreshRoast and Gene Cafes ... used
them once before for a chaff wiper door problem and had great customer
service - I'll check into that tonight)



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