Tales from the Shop

This is a page where I will post specific tips and tricks that have worked well for me.

As always, your mileage may vary - and if you touch your machine, what happens is your responsibility, not mine!

  • Machine Cleaning Tips
    • Wrinkle Paint : Scrubbing Bubbles (bathroom) w/ light toothbrush. Avoid decals / white register paint on recesses like numbers on dials, indicators for ribbon selector, etc. Those decals and paints will be dissolved by harsh cleansers.
    • Meguires #7 cleaning glaze for gloss machine paint.
    • Picked up a syringe at Tractor Supply in the Animal/Vet center. Works wonderfully for reaching into segment slots and hard-to-reach areas with solvent.
    • Spot-application of steam on old grease. Wagner steamer. Followed immediately by a long session with a hair dryer and immediate re-lubrication.
  • Tuning Tips
    • If you cannot explain what will happen as a result of your tweaking something ... you probably should not make that change. Typewriters employ delicate force-on-force balance mechanisms, latches and springs. Arbitrary "tweaking" of screws and adjustments may throw the machine or at least that subsystem out of balance and cause you more headache than you signed up for.
    • Never force a typewriter to do something.
    • Never pull UP on a key.
    • Avoid introducing water into the workings of a typewriter.
    • You probably never want to remove a machine's carriage. Portables in general are tough to reassemble correctly. There are some notable exceptions, like the Hermes 3000 - but most Royals, Smith-Coronas and the like, use ball bearings and rotating pinions suspended between two opposing 45-degree offset rails that are a bear*10 to reassemble *correctly.*
  • Lubrication Tips
    • Grease gun made for bicycles is fantastic for reaching into machines and applying grease. I use a synthetic that was designed for Shimano quick-release bike pedals. It is light and long-lived. I apply sparingly where needed. These grease guns from Finish Line are excellent, one-handed guns. Highly recommended.

  • Packing for Shipment Tips
    • NEVER USE LOOSE PACKING PEANUTS! Place packing peanuts in plastic shopping bags or small trash bags, place and fill as needed.
    • Zip-tie (wire tie) carriage release levers in the open position to fully disengage the carriage from the escapement. Tie on both sides if possible - LEAVE THE WIRE TIE PLASTIC TAIL - this helps the person unpacking the machine see what they need to remove!
    • Zip-tie the carriage on the carriage rail, once the escapement is disengaged, it helps hold things in place. Utilize a carriage lock if available.
    • IF a "floating shift" or basket shift, engage the shift-lock, and wire-tie securely.
    • Pack the basket firmly with packing material (a small shopping bag with packing peanuts works well).
    • Cover the platen knobs. Cut pieces of egg crate, or fit styrofoam padding around the platen knobs. Even if shipping a portable within a case, the carriage might pop free. Protect those delicate plastic pieces!
    • Pad the carriage return lever. Wrap it in foam or bubble wrap, and then secure it. Plastic wrap works well to secure the padded lever to the machine.
    • Use judicious "plastic wrap" to encase the machine and provide a "seal" and as an added benefit, also helps to keep the carriage in check!
    This machine, a 35 pound electric was shipped from the East Coast of the USA to Brisbane, Australia. It arrived without a scratch.
    • Use the smallest box that leaves enough room for 1-2" of stiff styrofoam padding on the sides, bottom and top of the machine. If you don't have styrofoam, well packed plastic bags full of peanuts work too. Fit the bags to the space - meaning, meter the amount of packing materials to stabilize the machine in the box. Your postal carrier should be able to toss, flip, even drop the box - and the machine should not come in contact with the box itself.
    • Label the box FRAGILE! Label the Top "THIS SIDE UP" and put arrows and "UP" labels on the sides. Don't be subtle - postal carriers are anything but subtle.
Styrofoam blocks pad the periphery, and tied bags of peanuts fill the gaps. Heavy duty cardboard "L"s make great edge reinforcements - if the box takes a hit from an oblique angle, they help the sides and corners maintain their integrity. All cheap insurance!
  • How To's

No comments:

Post a Comment