Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Underwod No. 3 with a Serial Number Not to be Found

Styling like the later models, and my No. 5 and similar to my No. 6


Check it out. A number not of file that I can determine.
 I used some lumber chalk to fill in the numerals to be sure I did not miss anything. This number is not found until the Underwood No. 4 and No.5, and the number states 1916 a full 11 years before the 11 inch No. 3 was released.  This No. 3 also has the newer mainspring with the thumb knob tension adjustment like my No. 6 rather than the crank like my No. 5.

I'll be posting more on this when I get to cleaning and repairing it.   My first task is to read on how to remove the carriage to get the vibrator working and free the stuck ribbon selector.  Then I may take the front and margin bar apart to fix the bell.  The margin release works on this typewriter, but the bell does not.

Seems a bit of PB Blaster and a cleaning with carb cleaner has gotten all the keys working, and a bit of Liquid Wrench on the margin rail and some lube on the carriage rail has all of that working ok.

For now though I'm more curious when this was made since the number is 115894 higher than the last number made.  Looks like 14000 were made in the final year of production if the chart shows the final year of production.

It could be made in 1929, but that would then be a wide carriage.

Will Davis has a nice review of the differences in the No. 4 and 5 with one picture showing a No3 variant of the No. 5 but only with a 12 inch to 18 inch carriage, but with Underwood Standard Typewriter on the carriage which is different than my carriage and the Underwood Standard Typewriter below the space bar.

Does anyone know the URL for the mirror of Wills site that used to be on Alan Seaver's site because Will's link does not work and there is nothing on Alan's site.  I searched the Wayback Machine, but nothing was found there either.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Michigan Typochondriacs Grand Rapids Type-In -- Part 2







What's under the hood of this Underwood QuietTab
A bit closer look

The addition of some extra sound deadening.

some of the patrons looking over and test typing the machines.




Sunday, May 20, 2018

Michigan Typochondriacs Grand Rapids Type-In -- Part 1


Typewriters all ready to go.

Not quite as full as I could pack the car.

I found another keyboard chart in the garage so I got a frame and took it along with the Underwood typing tripod desk/case.

Our very fine host.  Good food, and plenty of choices on tap.

Some of the group, and our typewriters.  Many thanks to Elise, lady on the right speaking with Andrea (lady on the left)) for arranging our Type-In

A booth dedicated to a few European typewriters.  An SM7 that was smooth as silk, a round body H3k with Techo, and a square H3k.



This beautiful red QDL got a lot of attention.





P.S.  I did not take the Underwood No. 5 due to the weather prediction of rain.  There was ample parking about one to two minutes away so moving typewriters was not a big problem, but a full size typewriter in the rain could have been.

I did take the Underwood case/desk or desk/case with one of my Universals, but it saw little use due to my lack to take the folding chair that fits it.  Most of the seating was a bit tall, and I set it off to the side so it would not get knocked over.

There was something odd happened this time. I took 7 typewriters.  One belonged to Andy, and 6 belonged to me.  I only came home with 4.  As Paul Harvey used to say, "stay tuned for the rest of the story."

Out of many, many, many digital images I recorded on the Stylus 1, I chose about
30 from the event to post.  I'll be doing 3 parts as to not have a post that is too long and boring.

Friday, May 4, 2018

New Shoes for an Underwood No. 5


One of the original feet and one missing.

Both feet on the right side were very squashed.

Parts from McMaster-Carr

The one on the right matched the foot shown in the first image.

Better view of the bar that connects the back space key and the back space mechanism.

Not sure if this was original.  I was able to get exact replacements.

Comparing the new with the old. The old is just a bit shorter and thicker by .065" It may have been the same as what I installed and over years of holding the typewriter it squashed a bit.

Four new shoes (feet)

I wanted to check for level because I did try 1 long bumpers on the left and 2 short on the right, but the typewriter sat visibly tilted to the right.

Close enough for a match. Difference between left and right may be about 1/32"
My goal was to get new feet on this typewriter before the Type-In. Mission Accomplished.  I thought about the expensive ones on Ebay, but they'd be more than I paid for the typewriter and not add anything to it like a recovered platen.
When I get to the Royal 10 I will be ordering from Steve Dade for those and may add some Underwood feet as well as another set for my other Corona 3.

Here is the link to the rubber bumpers part number 9540K781

I did a bit of searching on line to see if I could find an original photo of an Underwood No. 5.  No luck.  I did find several advertisements though and they all show the taller feet like the one original tall one and the ones I just installed.
My thinking was I could put a small spacer between the shorter ones I got and the typewriter and create just enough space for the back space bar to not touch the table surface.  Since it looks like these typewriters sat a bit high and used the taller feet, I'll leave this No. 5 as it is.

After the Type-In this typewriter will be getting a recovered platen from J.J. Short and it should be good for another 100 years.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Finally, an Olivetti Lettera 32 Added to the Collection

Warning there are a lot of boring images after the typecast...

After cleaning the type slugs the typeface is now clean and clear.  Also, I got so used to using acetone it seemed like it took forever to dissolve decades of accumulated hardened ink and dirt with denatured alcohol, even using a dental pick.
First things first. On a warm sunny spring day, set up the Harbor Freight work table, place typewriter on top, open ribbon cover, remove ribbon.

Next remove the 4 screws that hold on the cover.  Remove the cover. Notice it must be removed left to right because the carriage lock lever prevents removing it right to left.

Washers are squashed so I measured for new ones.
More accurate measurement, measure the O.D. of the washer.  Convert to mm later.
Example of the dirt.

More dirt.

Remove the cover by placing a screw driver under the washer between the frame and washer.  Twist the screw driver and pry the cover up off of the T-shaped post.

One corner loose.

I had a better idea. Use my bent-nose pliers.  These are 90-deg. 60-deg. may have worked better.

Work the pliers between the grommet and frame. Rock the pliers back. (in the image this would be rock them handles to the right) to pry the bottom plate free.

Now the bottom plate will lift free.
Front of the plate is held by tabs placed into slots on the next image.

Pointing to one of the slots.

More dirt.  Note the loose spring that can be seen in the hole in the center of the image.

Looking for where it fastened, I found this tab under the adjustment screw.  Looks like this is where the spring is anchored.


The bar on the right in the image is the margin release. The M.R. key would not return after it was pressed. Notice the brown blotch? It was rubbing against the felt on the bottom plate. I checked the plate for flatness. It was fine. The bar was bowed. I straightened it.  Fixed.


This crack was not on the ad for the typewriter.  The image on the ad clearly shows no crack.  I'll be getting some JB Weld to reinforce the housing behind the crack.


I did not and do not want one made in Spain.
The way Starrett oil is packaged. My can is several years old. Oil lasts much longer in a sealed can than in sealed plastic.

Portable workbench is from Harbor Freight when they have them.  Normally they are about $50 and often they have them on special for $20 or so. I got this one for around $10 before the price increased.  The air compressor (from Harbor Freight) is great for those who do not have room for a full size compressor. Runs about $100 when not on special. I think I paid about $50 for this one last year on one of their summer holiday 3-day special sales. The green Flexilla hose is extra.

A few tools of my electronics trade that work great for quick typewriter adjustments and repairs in the house.
If the images were not too boring and you made it this far, The last thing I did was clean the type slugs and test the typewriter.

I'll be making a trip to the hardware store for some acetone too.

The Flexilla hose shown on my compressor is a piece I made from a bulk spool of Flexilla air hose. It is some of the best, most flexible, and wear resistant hose I've found. When I worked in FL my boss bought a spool to try.  Everyone who used the hose loved it. After some was in service for about a year or more it was still in good shape.

Needless to say that all the rubber hose went to the dump.

Flexilla is made in Taiwan.  The company also makes excellent cold weather electric extension cords and garden hose.  I hate to admit, their products are better than equal U.S.A. made as I have had and used both.

Until we moved to Michigan I always used (like for 40 or so years) Gates Soft & Subtle garden hose because it was flexible year-round (even in PA and VA winters). I had several USA made extension cords that were to be good in winter. but none stayed as flexible in the snow as Flexilla. Now I use Flexilla.

Now for what I do not like about Flexilla.  The plastic fittings on their pre-made air hose.  I cut them off and install good brass ones.  I do not like the aluminum couplings on the garden hose, but so far they are as good or better than the brass coated steel ones on all other brands of consumer grade hoses.

When my pressure washer needs a new high pressure hose I plan to give a Flexilla high pressure hose a try, after all all the other ones come from China.