Underwood Noiseless 77
My gorgeous shiny and expensive Underwood Noiseless 77 which I've spoken about in a previous post here had been in need of new feed-rollers for months. Not having found anything suitable in the meantime and after a good boiling didn't do the trick with the existing rollers, I decided to try simply shaving the edges of the squared rollers off with a pocket knife, leaving them slightly rounder.
Believe it or not this actually did the job. I was expecting to need to roll a bit of duct-tape around one or two to fatten them up to size, but no. I now have a fully functional sparkly new looking Underwood Noiseless. If I happen to find suitable replacement rear feed-rollers at a later date I can always fit them in. Accessing and removing the rear feed-rollers on these machines (Remington Noiseless 7 / Underwood Noiseless 77) is a relatively simple matter of adjusting the margin stops to their outer-most limit, activating the paper release to move the rollers away from the platen and lifting the whole assembly (4 rollers attached to a single rod) out of their holder. Moving the carriage to one extremity helps ease of access.
Remington Portable 5
Another satisfying repair was finishing off my shiny Remington Portable 5, for which I had previously borrowed John's tool to straighten the keytops on (mentioned here). After the keytops and the feed rollers had been done, the only thing left was the carriage return lever. I had assumed I would be able to use the carriage return lever off the parts-machine Remington 4 that John had loaned me, however this was not to be the case.
Remington Portable 4 parts machine
Remington Portable 4 carriage return lever
Remington Portable 5 carriage return lever (terrible photo, but you can see it's got an almost 90 degree curve in it, as opposed to the Rem Portable 4 one which is almost straight). While the line-spacing mechanism is almost identical on the Portable 4 and 5 models, the difference is the Portable 4 doesn't have platen knobs on both sides, thus the carriage lever doesn't need to bend around anything and thus is designed to sit straight up. So I borrowed this Portable 5 curved carriage return lever off (yet) another Remington Portable 5 that I had bought off eBay a while back.
A very minor issue remains when typing, with the bottom of the letters being fainter than the tops, but it's still very legible and I'll get around to that addressing that another day.
Remington Standard 10A week or two before, I had found what looked to be a Remington Standard 10 on Gumtree going for a half-reasonable amount. A drive over to a leafy outer-south eastern suburb secured me this old beast and it was only on this typewriter-filled weekend that got around to even inspecting it. The seller informed me his father had collected a few old typewriters from businesses around Western Queensland years before. Coming from hot, dry Western Queensland accounts for the layer of dust around most parts and the relative lack of rust considering it's age. All in all it's in passable nick and although the mainspring is slipping when tensioned, I'm sure I'll be able to fix this. The carriage is a little crunchy and it does like to remind you that it's older than the hills, but I wouldn't be surprised that in time I might have myself a working machine. The Standard 10's are rather skeletal looking things, little covering and prone to dust. On the flip-side however, the lack of side-plating (if that's the word) provides you with near-effortless access to much of its innards. My aim for this one is to get it fully functional in time for it's 100th birthday. It's serial number (351496) dates it to early 1914 and so I have around 3 or 4 or so months to get it dressed up and ready to party. Me being famously impatient, I forgot to take a "before" shot when it was covered in dust which I'm rather annoyed about, as it looks much better than it used to. All I've done is give it a once over with a damp, then dry cloth and there's plenty more to do yet......
An unexpected visit
Finally, to top off a rather typewriters kind of weekend, Scott K of The Filthy Platen, rocked up and dumped 12 typewriters on my lawn. These were acquired with a little bit of once-in-a-blue-moon eBay magic that only a deceased estate and truly awful presentation skills can create. Scott tells the full story on his blog here, but to cut a long story short, I scored two of these dusty beauties, one of which was gleaming and typing away like new the very same afternoon. More on this another day.