Typewriters are “so pro man”, and “like really cool”, and everyone really wants one. Everyone being fellow 13/14 year olds that I go to school with. There are some cynical ones though: “Why don’t you just use a computer?” etc. etc., but most see the joys of a mechanical writing apparatus. When a friend of mine emailed me to say that he picked up a yellow Adler Tippa for $6 but lamented that some of the keys didn’t work and it was all a bit stiff, I automatically offered to help him out with a clean and an oil.
So brought about my day of so called typewriter maintenance.
Above you can see a Nakijima ALL, the ribbon cover and bottom off a Lettera 32, and the case of my friend’s Tippa.
I had typewriter casing all over the place. Screws were housed in all manner of containers, trying not to get them mixed up between machines. At the end of the day though, there was a washer that didn’t go back into anything. I stand by the story that it was in a machine when I took the bottom off, and wasn’t actually needed.
To be honest, most of my typewriter repair and servicing is based on a bit of knowledge, with additional advice from my father, and common sense. I haven’t seen the typewriter mechanic in his own environment, so I don’t really know “the ways”, but I have a bit of a crack, trying not to create any irreparable damage. The only really solid, in writing, thing I know is this: don’t try and fix the problem first, but figure out what caused it and fix that.
A fair bit of Singer sewing machine oil was used, and there was a bit of the old WD-40-on-the-ribbon-trick being done. Some Turtle Wax was used to rejuvenate, and inject some shine into plastic. My friend then left with this very fine typewriter, without sticking keys, and polished enough so you could see yourself in it.
Although I only typed on it to make sure it was working – the usual “quick brown fox” and “all good men” – I enjoyed this machine. For six dollars it was sure a bargain. It was made in Holland, and sports the dreaded Litton industries badge, but as it must have been before the Japanese days it was actually quite a nice machine, I’m glad it has gone to a good home.