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Disassembling a floor corker

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Chuck E

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So the blue ones have the brass jaws and the red ones have the plastic jaws? I never knew the difference between the Italian and the Portuguese models.
 

Boatboy24

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So the blue ones have the brass jaws and the red ones have the plastic jaws? I never knew the difference between the Italian and the Portuguese models.
The Italian corkers are also taller and have a longer handle.
 

Rocky

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Thanks Rocky. Fortunately, I took a 'before picture'. I did manage to get everything back together, but now the pin is just slightly coming into contact with the jaw on the southeast corner in your pic. I'm going to take it back apart and swap the NW and SE pieces. I thought they were identical, but maybe there's a slight difference.
That photo was from Fred, but you are welcome anyway!

The iris is made up of 4 pieces, 2 we will call A and 2 we will call B. The A's have a flat surface against which the springs apply pressure and they are shown at 10 and 4 o'clock in the picture. The other two parts of the iris, parts B are at 8 and 2 o'clock.

When you say the pin is hitting off-center of the iris opening, that is symptomatic of the slop in the arm that is corrected by the fix that NorCal developed and he and I applied to our corkers. Your unit has a soft metal shaft that wears the opening in the side of the corker that supports the arm. Adding the bearings corrects this.
 

Rocky

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@Rocky: Is this similar to what you bought? Looks like you got a new bolt to go through it as well.

Yes, Jim, that looks like what I bought on line for the two bearings. If you PM me an address, I will sent you the bolt, lock washer and nut that are what I used in my installation. For some reason, known only to my failing brain, I bought two sets of the hardware and I have an extra set.

100_1563.JPG
 

KCCam

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So the blue ones have the brass jaws and the red ones have the plastic jaws? I never knew the difference between the Italian and the Portuguese models.
My Portuguese is yellow, with plastic jaws. I haven’t taken it apart, but do they suffer the same fate after years of use?
 

Rocky

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If aint broke don't fix it.
I completely agree with this sentiment.

However, in my case, although my corker was not actually "broke," it was getting a little slop in the arm and the push pin was not hitting the center of the hole. The problem was that the hardened metal shaft holding the arm was wearing the hole in the frame through which it was mounted. Adding bearings made all the difference. I have no exact number of how many bottles I have corked with this corker but I have had it for about 10 years and I bottle about 1000 bottles a year.
 

mainshipfred

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I completely agree with this sentiment.

However, in my case, although my corker was not actually "broke," it was getting a little slop in the arm and the push pin was not hitting the center of the hole. The problem was that the hardened metal shaft holding the arm was wearing the hole in the frame through which it was mounted. Adding bearings made all the difference. I have no exact number of how many bottles I have corked with this corker but I have had it for about 10 years and I bottle about 1000 bottles a year.
If it wasn't working properly I might have called that broke. LOL!
 

Rocky

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If it wasn't working properly I might have called that broke. LOL!
I know what you are saying. In my case, I could make it work satisfactorily by manually centering the pin in the iris but that was a PITA. I guess when I think "broke," I think it cannot be made to work. With the bearing, there is no other positioning required.

It occurs to me that the Portuguese corkers will probably wear the same way in the same area of the frame. This fix could surely be made to work with them. It would also be nice if the manufacturer included bearings in the design (and bump the price accordingly).
 

Boatboy24

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I finally got the bearings and attempted to get everything put back together today. After fiddling with it for over an hour, taking out the jaws and reinstalling a few times, I'm still having the same issue with the pin striking off center. There's still some left-right play in the arm that I can correct the issue with, but that's not the way this thing is supposed to work. Part of the problem (pictured below) is the jaw in the 4 o'clock position isn't sitting quite right, causing a smaller than designed opening. But the bulk of the issue is stemming from the play in the arm. Any further thoughts?

1598209025487.jpeg

1598209047268.jpeg
 

winemaker81

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I'm comparing the original picture and the new one -- the part in the lower right corner is not lined up squarely. It is moved inward and should be flush against the outer wall. That may be causing the alignment problem. Compare the press to your original picture.

Comparing back and forth between the two pictures, it appears all 4 parts are at least slightly out of alignment.

In the first picture, it appears the upper right piece is bolted to the part that presses the pieces, but in the second picture I cannot see the bolt. If that is missing, it might skew the alignment.
 

KCCam

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The first picture is from @mainshipfred, but agreed, if that bolt is missing, would cause problems. My Portuguese corker also has a bolt through the frame to the lower left jaw. Anchoring those two jaws would help keep things square, I would imagine.
 

Rocky

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Jim, a suggestion that I would have would be to loosen (do not remove) all the mounting screws for the bearings and the center bolt, position the push pin in the center of the iris hole and then retighten the center shaft nut first and then the bearing screws and nuts and then give it a try. If that does not work, you may have to ream out the mounting holes for the bearings to give you a LITTLE more play and then repeat the above. When I mounted my bearings and center shaft, I did it this way and it works fine.

EDIT: Jim, I just went down to my wine area and took the cover off my iris assembly and there is indeed a screw holding the part of the iris at 2 o'clock. You may have missed this in reassembly. It would seem that screw secures one portion of the iris and it works in concert with the other three parts through the surfaces and springs. Before trying what I suggested above, find that screw and secure that part of the iris to the Y-shaped part that pushes on the top two parts of the iris and the upper spring.
 

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Hokapsig

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we found that by adding lock washers to the bottom wing nuts will keep the unit tight and in plumb.
 

Boatboy24

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Thanks all!

Both the 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock pieces are bolted in. I've tried a couple different ways of getting the 4 o'clock piece to sit properly and can't. I'll keep playing with it.
 

KCCam

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Thanks all!

Both the 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock pieces are bolted in. I've tried a couple different ways of getting the 4 o'clock piece to sit properly and can't. I'll keep playing with it.
I’m going to number the jaws 2, 4, 8, and 10 so I don’t have to keep typing “o’clock.”

Is there any adjustment available for where the bolts hold jaws 2 & 8? Note that the position of #2 determines the width of the space that #10 has to slide in and the position of #8 determines the width of the space that #4 has to slide in. Those widths should be as small as possible while still allowing the jaws to slide. It appears that the space for #4 is larger than it should be. If #8 could be moved to the right a bit it would narrow the space. Also, the bottom spring should be as close as possible to jaw #8 so it is pushing more toward the 2 o’clock than the 1 o’clock position. Can you loosen the 2 bolts, remove the springs and put all the jaws in as straight and square as possible? Then tighten the bolts. Check for side to side play for jaws 4 & 10. Then swap jaws 4 & 10 and repeat. Then, if possible, swap jaws 2 & 8 (as the tapped holes might be in slightly different positions) and repeat. Then swap 4 & 10 again. Take note of how much play there is for each combination and pick the best one. Then reassemble with the springs. It might make a difference which spring goes where too.
 

stickman

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I'm just posting another example of the corker internals. I don't recall exactly, but this unit is about 6 or 7 years old. In general these units work well, there's a good history of that, but there is a fair amount of slop in the construction. Mine has spots where you can see steel on steel rubbing creating groves in the right side of the housing and the top plate. @KCCam has a good point about trying all of the possibilities of assembly.

IMG_0723.JPG
 
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