Friday, February 26, 2016

As one Royal Leaves, Another Royal Comes

I have had a very serendipitous experience with  Royal typewriters this week.  I decided to sell my 1941 Royal Arrow to a man who was looking for a gift for his wife.  I had another machine in mind for this sale but it was experiencing a drag midway through the run of the carriage and I did not want to send someone off with my troubles.  My disappointment got me thinking about the Arrow which was a really fine machine with a basket shift and nice glass keys.  This Arrow even came with the original owner's manual which is a real plus.  The problem is, this machine just didn't speak to me.  I love my 1938 Royal Quiet and my 1959 Royal Futura 800, but this Arrow didn't have the tug that my other machines have on me so I am glad to have it go to a home where it will be appreciated.  

Now comes the serendipity.  My Craigslist alert (A typospherian's Bat Signal) lead me to a KMM with a stuck carriage for sale.  A nice gentleman had gotten this machine at an auction out of curiosity but he did not want to attempt a fix to the stuck carriage.  I couldn't blame him because this carriage was seriously stuck and I could see how it was out of alignment with the carriage rail.  I negotiated a D.I.Y. price and bought my second KMM just to make sure a key chopper did not come by after me to snap off those lovely keys.  Besides, after cleaning off the serial number (KMM12 2692496) I found that I have another 1941 Royal in my house just like the Arrow that is leaving!

I have had a bit of fun trying to bring this KMM back to life.  I was pretty sure I would have to take that stuck carriage off and turned to the Ames Manual found on Richard Polt's site.  "Remove right hand Cover Plate screws and Cover Plate as indicated in the drawing" it says...hmm....that will be hard with the stuck carriage covering the cover plate.  So, cover your eyes if you must, I applied a little force with a block of wood and a hammer and viola, I got the carriage back on its rail.  The carriage was a little loose, but it travels fully from right to left along the rail.  I did take that cover plate off to expose all of the dust and grime in the mechanism.  This machine will take some more work as the keys move but do not fully strike the platen.  The Back Space works though, so this gives me some hope about the escapement!  There will be more to come on this machine to be sure.

Don't try this at home kids!

Hmm, that crud might have something to do with the jammed keys!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentines Day

When I'm not restoring typewriters, I am the principal of an elementary school.  Valentines day is always loads of fun with children exchanging cards.  My typewriter collecting student gave his classmates typewritten cards and gave this one to me:

So be sure to wish your loved ones and your typewriter a Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Corona 3

I've had a great deal of fun with my latest typewriter, a Corona 3 from 1922.  I had been watching this little typer on a Craigslist post from my neighboring state of New Hampshire for almost a year.  When the ad was re-listed as Antique Going Out of Business Sale, I made a deal and this beauty was shipped to me.  I say beauty now, but it came with some rust and the ribbon vibrator and universal bar were seized.  It was also missing a ribbon spool.  But this was where the fun began.

I needed help with my Corona 3 and turned to the Yahoo Typewriter Group.  After posting a few questions, I was immediately contacted by John Schellenger who sold me the correct ribbon spools for my machine.  As I cleaned and cleaned this little typer I could tell I was making progress.  The rust was gone and almost everything was moving freely.  I had some more questions and heard back from Steve Dade in California who encouraged me to call him.  Steve is a wealth of information on the Corona 3 and Corona 4.  He let me know that my model is known as an "automatic" due to the ribbon reversal mechanism.  Steve also let me know that the Corona 3 feeds ribbon from the front of the left spool and the back of the right spool - who knew!  All in all, I learned a lot from this little machine.  At 94 years of age, it still types great!

Another plus to my Corona 3 were the artifacts found in the case.

My Corona 3 must have stated its life in New York City and somehow traveled to New Hampshire.  

One previous owner must have been worried about worn out ribbons!

Perhaps this is why my type slugs were pretty clean after 94 years!