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!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that your gentle hammering did the trick. That is one dirty typewriter! I bet that it's going to be great after cleaning and lubrication.