Izzo Alex Mk1 More Ventilation

Adding a little more ventilation to the MK I Alex

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Izzo had noted some of my previous projects with my Alex, specifically the insulation of the boiler and relocation of the Gicar box. Interestingly my thoughts on keeping this piece of electronics cool had also been shared by the designers, who incoporated some changes in the MK II Vivi and Alex. But during my review of the Vivi MK II and Alex MK II I spotted these changes:

Plenty of ventilation holes here on the steel plate, under the cup warmer tray


The Vivi MK II also sporting the same extra ventilation as the Alex MK II


So at this point I am thinking hard about my own Alex MK I and it's lack of holes. Sure I had insulated the boiler and moved the Gicar box down nearly 4 inches, why had I not thought about holes. So out came the drill and I made a start into the Virgin steel of my Alex Top Plate. Now a few tips here as the Izzos use a very hard stainless steel and it is tough to drill and can chip (which is why they punch the holes in a press!).

Start will a small HSS drillbit, say 3 or 4 mm, then work up to a larger bit say 6 mm, then finish off the holes with an 8-9mm bit. The last bit is to just radius the inside of the holes a little (similar to the function of a countersink and neaten the appearance. You are not trying to go all the way through with the larger bit, so a light pressure and a few seconds is all thats needed (each side!). If you work carefully and patiently….voila, the result below.


Now I have wondered about adding a few more holes, and may do so in an idle moment, but at least now I feel happy that I have done a little more to help Alex "keep his cool"….remember the sirai autofil solenoid is up there (just above the boiler)