restoring an atomic

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Finding Parts

There are, for practical purposes, three possible sources for any parts you may be missing from your vintage Atomic.

First, the vintage parts market, which works primarily through eBay, although occasionally you might luck out and find parts elsewhere. According to legend, the Atomic moulds were destroyed when the factory closed around 1986, so the supply of genuine vintage parts is very limited.

Second, Bon Trading Co in Sydney Australia. Bon Trading sell coffee clamps, jugs, filter baskets, knobs and seals. As far as I know, these are modern reproduction parts, although since Bon Trading has an unbroken tradition of supplying Atomic parts, they are probably entitled to use the term "genuine".

Third, other manufacturers of components. At the moment, third-party sources are hard to find..

Repolishing Atomic coffeemaker
If you don't feel confident about making your own repairs, JavaCationS Vintage Espresso machine workshop offers a restoration service. They are based in Brisbane, Australia. I haven't tried the service out, but if you are interested, contact David on (mobile) 0435876408 or check them out at their website. You can find them at 60 Kingsbury Street, Norman Park.Qld 4170, Australia

Repolishing Aluminium

The aluminium alloy finish on the Atomic can be readily repolished with 0000-grade steel wool and aluminium metal polish. A coasting of carnauba wax over the parts that do not come into contact with the coffee will help prevent oxidation of the aluminium and preserve the glossy shine.

Avoid using steel wool or polish on the painted badge and any coated components like the steamer wand.

 

Buffing Up the Bakelite

Dull Bakelite can be repolished with Paste Polishing #5 (which dries clear - most polishes dry white, and any pits in the Bakelite surface will therefore be more noticeable after they have been polished). Cracks or splits can be repaired with Araldite or resin-based fillers, and the scars on black knobs hidden with ordinary Kiwi shoe polish.

Atomic coffee clamp Handle

 

Atomic steamer Valve

Replacing Steam Valve Seals

Complete instructions for this are provided in our book "Enduring Design".

You can obtain a set of replacement seals from Bon Trading. This kit does not include the brass seals at each end of the valve, so these must be retained and re-used.

The wand itself is not threaded. It is locked in placed against the body by the valve assembly, which is screwed through the wand's end flange directly into the neck of the Atomic.

No special tools are needed for this task, although some care is required. A screwdriver, a grip-wrench, emery paper and steel wool are the only tools needed.