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OE Pharos User Guide


Your Pharos grinder will arrive fully assembled but for the installation of the handle.   The handle is tucked into one corner of the box.  Pull out the handle from the box and remove the grinder body as well.    

Before installing the handle, please review these parts of the grinder images so we are all talking the same language.

To install the handle, remove the axle cap (note 2 thread sizes on the top of the axle...fine thread for the adjustment nut and coarse thread for the handle and cap).

Thread the handle onto the axle thread and turn down until it stops.   Install the axle cap.

TECH TIP:  When installing or removing the handle, TIGHTEN THE ADJUSTMENT NUT ALL THE WAY DOWN AS TO LOCK THE BURRS.  The locking of the burrs is the only thing that keeps the axle from rotating when servicing the handle.

BUT, can locking the burrs damage them?  The short answer is no but look at the burrs to see why....

This is the 68mm conic burr set used in the Pharos.  We call the outer burr the ring burr and the inner burr the cone burr.  Note that both the ring and cone burrs have a beveled machined edge which is independent of the cutting part of the burrs.  These cutting faces are called blades (not to be confused with the blades of a whirly blade grinder, ugh) and when the burrs are locked together the beveled zones mesh, but not the blades.

Here are two more views of the grinding burrs just in case you want to see what they look like....if you are curious to see the burrs please view these images rather than take the grinder all apart...it is assembled in such a way that the burrs are permanently aligned  and complete teardown to simply explore is not recommended.

The next thing to master is setting the adjustment nut, which determines the particle size of your grind.   The technical name for the adjustment nut is a threaded split collar shaft nut, and it is loosened and tightened on the thread of the axle by use a hex headed bolt.   The size of the hex wrench is 3mm.  We supply a standard L hex key with the Pharos.

There are a multitude of different hex wrenches that one can use, some common ones are shown below.

And these wrenches can have different tips.

Second from left is a ball driver which enables the tool to used at a slight angle to the bolt head.

TECH TIP:  No matter which tool you use, MAKE SURE THE WRENCH IS FULLY INSERTED INTO THE BOLT HEAD AND IS SQUARE IN RELATION TO THE HEAD.   Both the bolt head and the tool are made of hardened steel and sloppy tool use can result on one or the other to have the corners rounded off  (think of a phillips head screw after using the wrong bit on it).  Take your time and use the tool properly.  Also, USE ONLY A 3MM HEX KEY FROM A METRIC SET, close enough on an imperial wrench does not work.

The first thing to learn on setting up the adjustment is to find and understand ZERO.   If you are playing with the handle and grinder a bit you will observe that there is no marked zero on the body of the grinder.  This is because zero is determined on the axle of the grinder  and not the body.   To find ZERO, place the grinder on its side with the adjustment nut backed out about halfway to the handle and pull the handle (and axle) back and forth a few times.  The beveled edges of the burrs will clack together.  Hold the handle outward (and therefore the burrs in a locked position).  This locked position is logically ZERO.  Now, spin the adjustment nut down until in stops against the brass bearing surface.   Let it stop naturally and DO NOT FORCE OR OVERTIGHTEN.  Just turn it down until it stops and there is no play in the burr system.   Practice a few times as this is a repeatable ZERO on the grinder.

The same process can be done with the grinder in a vertical position.

The movement, or lack of it can be monitored by holding a finger against the axle in the bottom bearing.

Once you have mastered finding zero on the grinder it is time to set the adjustment.   Take note that the top of the Pharos approximates a clock face or compass.  It is simplest to tighten the adjustment nut and move the split in the collar to one of the small burr bolts on the top plate, but the clock face can be read free hand without doing this.  The following videos show setting the adjustment nut in different orientations.   Espresso range begins at about .5 revolutions of the nut counter clockwise from zero.  On our commercial lever we use a setting of about 3/4 turn out from zero.

General movement 1/2 and 3/4.
Setting 1/2.
Setting to 1.

After you have moved the adjustment nut to the desired spot, tighten the adjustment bolt until the collar holds on the axle.   When dialing in the grind for espresso you will need to make whatever small changes coarser or finer that you require for your beans and machine,   You do not need to return to zero each time you do this but only make the needed small change in relation to the current setting.   This is usually done with the wrench in the bolt head, using the wrench as a turning tool as well as an alignment guide.

In each of these cases, one grasps the handle to hold the axle still, loosens the adjustment bolt/nut, and moves the nut (observing the split in the collar) in the desired direction.  While still holding the handle, tighten the bolt/nut.

We can not emphasize enough that one does not have to constantly run the nut down to zero, but simply bump the nut in whichever direction is appropriate for your desired result.  In many cases, with the same beans and the same espresso machine, no adjustments need be made, but flow rate can be modified by increasing or decreasing the dose...this depends on your feel for this process.  We personally know one early Pharos user who is proud to have NEVER changed the adjustment setting...that is part of the forgiving nature of the big conical burr set.  More adjusting will be made when the grinder/burr is new for there is a break in period with these new burrs.  Once the burr is broken in fewer and fewer changes need to be made to the adjustment.

TECH TIP:  If you find that the adjustment bolt head is under the handle or hard for you to see or reach, remove the handle and flip the nut over so the bolt is in the opposite orientation.  If it is still a problem, installation of a shim washer under the nut will move it into a more amenable position.  As of 9/16/15 we are shipping all Pharos with a nylon thrust washer included, which may be used under the adjustment nut for this purpose.  

Just a couple more notes....the bean ring acts as a top funnel/hopper.  To add beans simply pour them on the top plate and jiggle the grinder around a bit.

When grinding on a countertop, grasp the Pharos through the middle plate with the fingers wrapped against the ring burr.   Press down with the holding hand and hold it tight.  Turn the handle with the other hand without pressing down on the handle.   Try to separate tasks into holding and turning.   

After grinding, your coffee powder will be very light and fluffy.   Sometimes there may be a bit of static holding the powder to the inner funnel sides.   Rolling the grinder on its side or spinning the body, while holding the handle, generally gathers all of the coffee loosely for removal through the lower funnel opening.  This action speeds the dissipation of static if it is present.

There are many methods of collecting the grounds, we use a plastic LIDO 3 jar held against the bottom over the funnel opening while shaking the Pharos up and down a few times.   There are many ideas about removing the grounds and part of the Pharos project involves you, the new user, to develop your best use method for doing this.

Last and certainly not least, HAPPY GRINDING!

Barb and Doug
Orphan Espresso