Repair of the day, French Press Plunger Bushing

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I’ve had every type of coffee machine from the single cup Melitta to a huge Saeco automatic coffee/cappuccino monster with a robot grinder and everything in between. I’ve even made “cowboy coffee” more than a few times when no machine at all was available. That’s why I sort of standardized on the French press, it’s simple, it’s easy to clean and does not take up much space.

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Not elegant design.

I like my designs elegant which to me means pleasingly ingenious and simple and last week when my French press failed my world was shattered, sort of.I knew the bushing was failing but by being careful I was stretching out the inevitable day by day until my lovely wife woke early and busted the damn thing. It still worked but now the heat trap that covers the top was now floating in the coffee and that’s what I awoke to.

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Broken Fitting

The failure was due to a crack in the small plastic bushing that aligned the coffee plunger. My new bushing replaces the stock snap in part with a threaded two part design that not only provides more support to the plunger making it more stable to use but the nut/bolt design allows the inner plastic cap to be held tightly against the outer chrome housing preventing it from turning during use and blocking the coffee which caused spills.

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3D printer to the rescue! Hey I’m able to redesign that part in only a few minutes in Fusion 360 and for such a small part printing time will be less than a coffee break. Let’s get to it! The above pic is a screen capture Fusion 360.

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Here’s my final version if you need it. Prints in only a couple minutes so you can get your coffee quickly. You can see how the bolt is hollowed out to allow the plunger shaft. This shaft is threaded at one end making the threads a slightly larger diameter than the smooth shaft. To accommodate this and not make the hole any larger than needed the shaft was held in a vise and the assembled nut/bold was turned with a wrench until the threads had cleared the bushing. Make sure you don’t drill out the bushing thinking it’s too small!

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All the files to make this tiny bushing are here at Thingiverse. If you make one make sure you post your version and make a comment!

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