Friday, December 30, 2016

Rusty Royal

It pays to blog about typewriters.  A woman from a few towns over found this Royal P in her attic.  She found my blog after browsing the web and asked me if I was interested in buying it.  Seeing that it was a Royal P from the thirties,  I got my hopes up that it might have Vogue type.  I also wanted to keep it out of the hands of key choppers.  It turned out not to have Vogue type and is really rusty.  There is rust on the panels and the carriage return lever is rusted tight.  I am guessing it's from around 1931 as the case is square.  I will know for sure once I remove the rust from the serial number!  On the plus side, lots of its green paint is still in tact, it types, and the keys are in great shape.  It should make a nice restoration project.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Make Your Own Candy Pink Royal QDL

I have grown to like the pastel colored portables of the late 1950's.  I have my own blue and green Smith-Coronas and have given similar machines to my daughters.  I had yet to find my own pink 50's portable so I set out to make my own.

I decided to go with a Royal QDL and set out to find a reasonably priced machine with white keys and platen knobs that would be suitable for the transformation.  This tan crinkle paint 1957 model fit the bill perfectly. As you can see, it's finish was already damaged so I didn't have to worry about spoiling a pristine machine. 

I really enjoyed the process of taking the panels off of this QDL.  I took pictures all along the way in order to see where all those screws belonged.  I have owned post war QDLs from 1950 up to this 1957 and I have to say the features and build on this machine really hit the sweet spot.  I can really see how these machines have evolved. 

With the panels off, I sanded down their crinkle paint and applied a couple of coats of Rustoleum Candy Pink.  A big plus to the finished product, in my opinion, was the ability to take the "Royal" and "Quiet De Luxe" badges off while repainting the panels.  

I have to say I was really impressed with the build of this Royal.  It looked solid and majestic even with the panels off.

I have not actually had my eyes on an original pink Royal but I think this one comes pretty close!

This was a really enjoyable project that I would recommend to anyone with just a bit of patience.  As you can see, my appreciation of the Royal portable has increased!


I was really pleased to see what Ted Munk has done to part of his Typewriter Database.  When looking up my Royal, I noticed that he has added photos to the serial number timeline for Royals.  What a neat way to look up your machine and see it's place in history!

Sample from The Typewriter Database

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Paying the Bills

I have been collecting a lot of typewriters lately and a few of them are for sale like this lovely pre-war Corona
I enjoy both collecting and selling machines.  The buyer is always so happy to have a typewriter in their life.  And I enjoy using the profits to add that special machine to my collection.  You can see what I have available at THIS LINK.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fall Type-In and the Boston Typewriter Orchestra

I am excited to be partnering with the Burlington Book Festival to hold my fall Type-In.  We will be at the Fletcher Free Library in beautiful Burlington, Vermont from noon until 3pm on September 18th.  There will be lots of typewriters to explore and you are encouraged to bring your own to show as well.

I am doubly excited to have connected the festival with the Boston Typewriter Orchestra who will be performing on the evening of September 17th along with a guest appearance of public radio's Martha Barnette co-host of  "A Way With Words."  Follow this link for tickets and more information.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Typing in NYC

This post comes from my dorm room at Columbia University Teacher's College where six of my principal colleagues and I are taking an exciting and exhausting seminar on teaching reading.  I brought my Skyriter along to type on the road and have been using it for reading reflections.  We have a chance to get out each evening and tonight we went on the Highline in NYC.  I left the Skyriter back at the dorm.  As portable as it is, I was not about to carry it around the city on a muggy summer evening!  As luck would have it we ran into Bill Keys, The Poem Guy who typed a poem for us on the importance of reading.  Thanks to my friend Mike Berry for making this video and the rest of my colleagues for their time and encouragement!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

1942 Remington Mill

This machine is really in pretty good shape with just a few sticky keys.  The ribbon reverse mechanism must be dirty because the ribbon will not advance unless I hold the directional level by hand (They stick out on the side of these Model 5 machines).  I plan to take the shell off of this typewriter at some future date so I can address the grime and surface rust on some of the mechanisms.  I am wondering what to do about the rust that shows through the paint.  I will certainly not be re-painting the machine as I would never want to spoil the Navy decals.  Any suggestions would be welcome in the comments.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Little Typers

I am falling a bit behind on my typewriter news so I thought I'd share a fun mini type-in I had earlier this month.  The library next to my school invited me to be a guest reader for story hour.  I picked Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin of course!  The kids and I had a great time.  I learned that three year-olds talk and walk around while listening to a story.  The typewriters held their attention more than the story!