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I found it at a yard sale. It's cheap. Does it look worth purchasing? I usually brew my coffee in a percolator (or is it called a mocha brewer?), so I'd like to use it for that.

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It looks like a burr grinder, as opposed to a blade grinder. Burr grinders give a more consistent grind size, which is why they're preferred over blade grinders.

My guess is it's made of steel, but it does look tarnished. You might take it apart and polish it to create a smoother grinding surface.

The wood on the inside might be difficult to clean of coffee oils and impart an odor to your freshly ground coffee.

I can't tell if the mechanism has a means of changing the grind size. If not, it may in fact be an old spice mill. Otherwise, it won't allow you much variety when grinding your coffee.

If it's given a little TLC I think it would make a nice vintage manual grinder. Compared to blade grinders, even this older grinder ought to do a better job than they ever could. However, if you can't change the grind size than you'll be limited in the type and quality of the coffee you can brew using it.

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    I ended up buying it, I'm not sure if it isn't iron, not steel. It does have a mechanism to adjust the grind size. Some defects here and there, but seems to work. It grinds rice quite well, but I wouldn't say it goes quite fine enough. I'll try to report back on how the coffee comes out later.
    – Ludwik
    May 21 '16 at 13:31
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    @Ludwik Odds are you're not going to get a fine enough grind for espresso, but either way it's a cute grinder at a cheap price. Have fun!
    – N. York
    May 21 '16 at 14:02
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    Update: it works really well, coffee comes out perfect for mocha which is my primary method, and the grinding becomes a nice kind of ritual. Would buy again. The size changing mechanism was a little torn, but I got it working with an old rubber gum.
    – Ludwik
    Jun 6 '16 at 16:52

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