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25-1-2017 19:45:39  #1


Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Hello all, I'm new to this typewriter world and just got my first typewriter the Olympia SKM. 

Are there any common typewriter mods or tune ups? I was thinking for example adding extra soundproofing or weighing/clamping the typewriter down to the desk.
The acoustics absolutely changes for each different desk I use.

What's your favourite typewriting mat?
For now I'm using a piece of marble and felt pad that's commonly used for leatherworking.
I'm wondering if anyone has gone deep in this aspect like the vinyl heads that are obsessed with stable platforms 
  

 

25-1-2017 20:00:09  #2


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Could you clarify which model an Olympia "SKM" is? I wonder if that was a regional model name, because I'm not familiar with it and I'm a big fan of Olympia machines.  

I understand what you're talking about in terms of mods. It's something that is popular in a few other hobbies I used to have, but I can't think of anything that would be considered a mod in the typewriter world. Other than simply repainting the machine (and there are some positively garish examples of that), there aren't really any performance tweaks that I've heard of that are commonly performed. 

In terms of sound deadening, I don't do anything at all. Most of the machines I use are reasonable in their noise levels, and those that clack too loudly usually have really hard platens and shouldn't be used. I use an anti-slip mat to keep the machine in place (something that really only applies to portables), and although I have a number of felt typewriter pads, I rarely use them. If it's important to keep the noise down I pull a noiseless/silent/quiet model off the shelf to work with. We've had discussions here in the past about noise, and dampening techniques, so the search function might provide some interesting reading for you.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

25-1-2017 20:04:27  #3


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

I did a quick search online and the references I found to the SKM model indicated a later, made-in-Japan model. Olympia had a number of these private label models back in the '70s and '80s. I have a few, and they aren't too bad (no surprise given the manufacturer of the typewriters produced some decent machines), but they don't compare to the earlier, Olympia-made, models.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

25-1-2017 20:09:34  #4


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

You can read more about the skm here: 
http://xoverit.blogspot.jp/2015/04/olympia-sm-series-part-2-1964-1980s.html

"The Olympia SKM is another design based off of the SM9, it appears to essentially be a wide-carriage SM9 with some modifications to make it look more imposing on a desk."

http://www.ogawa-shokai.com/typewriter-shop_used/usedtypewriter-243.htm
 

     Thread Starter
 

25-1-2017 20:10:44  #5


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

The version I have is "made in Western Germany" Wilhelshaven version. 

     Thread Starter
 

25-1-2017 20:36:14  #6


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Mockingbird wrote:

Hello all, I'm new to this typewriter world and just got my first typewriter the Olympia SKM. 

Are there any common typewriter mods or tune ups? I was thinking for example adding extra soundproofing or weighing/clamping the typewriter down to the desk.
The acoustics absolutely changes for each different desk I use.

What's your favourite typewriting mat?
For now I'm using a piece of marble and felt pad that's commonly used for leatherworking.
I'm wondering if anyone has gone deep in this aspect like the vinyl heads that are obsessed with stable platforms 
  

First of all, the base question:  Are there any common typewriter mods or tune-ups?  I am not sure just how common, but there are ways of tuning up and/or modifying a typewriter, as can be done with just about any machine.  Setting a typewriter down on a soft rubber,  bnmji k6[k]u9p'jexdcqwvdcaxcsvgnml.
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Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

25-1-2017 21:01:14  #7


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Mockingbird wrote:

Hello all, I'm new to this typewriter world and just got my first typewriter the Olympia SKM. 

Are there any common typewriter mods or tune ups? I was thinking for example adding extra soundproofing or weighing/clamping the typewriter down to the desk.
The acoustics absolutely changes for each different desk I use.

What's your favourite typewriting mat?
For now I'm using a piece of marble and felt pad that's commonly used for leatherworking.
I'm wondering if anyone has gone deep in this aspect like the vinyl heads that are obsessed with stable platforms 
  

Sorry about that--encountering a slight difficulty with the keyboard hereabouts.  Got it though.  Anyway, modifying and/or tunups on typewriters.  Yes--possible, as on any machine, but setting a typewriter down on a pad (in your case felt on marble)--is this for noise-deadening purposes, or is this to eliminate or reduce typewriter skitter whenever the carriage is thrown?  I myself, no offense intended, would not call this a direct modification of the typewriter itself--unless you did indeed bolt it to the desk, which would involve the outer structure of the machine.  Typewriters used to be bolted to desks all the time on those with fold-away tables where the machine could be tucked away.  Now, that would most certainly eliminate skitter (unless the whole desk skittered everytime the carriage was thrown (har har har!!).  But as for noise-deadening, I am not sure if the method you described, or bolting the typewriter down securely, or both put together would do anything for noise deadening. 

In this area, I am currently experimenting with several Underwood SX-150 manual typewriters.  The old felt padding in these for some reason, or the glue that was used to hold in the padding, rusted the daylights out of the metal underneath.  After heavy sanding, I sprayed these panels with the same material they used for truck bed sprayliners (for those of you who are unaware, there should be something about sprayliners on the internet someplace.  Pickup trucks are the state vehicle if you're ever down Texas way.  But as for its noise-deadening, I'm going to have to get back with you when I have found any conclusive evidence that this works.

And, now to some other modifications and tune-ups.  Tuning up means to improve the performance through regular maintenance and upkeep of the machine--such as careful oiling, cleaning, and a careful, judicious adjustment here and there to compensate for wear.  Sometimes sanding a carriage rail a little bit to smooth out the pits (Underwood uprights and most portables with tin railings are bad about pitting).  Modifications are a whole other animal.  Here, you take out a part, or parts that are used in normal operation, and add other parts that would specialize and improve the machine in some way.  Some machines, like IBMs and Smith-Coronas, I have added a third set of feet to reduce carriage skitter.  Very often have I changed out regular-roman-style print and added a special print set of type bars as one would change out a type ball to a Selectric.  The tricky part here is to make sure, if you're doing a simple type bar changeout, that the type size going in is identical to the one you're removing.  You can use a smaller, say, an elite size going into a pica typewriter, and you'll come out with something known as "continental elite."  I have several machines so equipped.  Now, if you're turning an elite typewriter into one that has pica type, you not only have to change the type bars, you have to change the margin mechanism, the tabulator mechanism, the escapement mechanism, and all the associated scales.  I wouldn't recommend this unless you had a few junkers, and that it was to be the only way of putting one together, and you need one desperately.  Or, if you simply just have to tinker with something to see if you can do it. 

Another thing I have commonly done was to change out smaller electric motors for larger ones--Underwood electrics and IBMs have been my machines to do this with.  First, I start out with removing the old motors, which usually have blown, or seem underpowered.  Then, I take the only thing good ever to come out of a Remington electric--its motor--and install it in the machine.  In the case of the Underwood, I have to take off the end bells of the motor, and flop the middle so I can get a motor that spins in the opposite direction, and then I can install it.  IBMs, the motor just bolts right in.  I have gotten better performance out of the machines I have modified more often than not.

One thing I have worked out in my mind (theorized over, but not actually done), was to change the carriage length of a given typewriter.  Olympia machines--easy-peasy--just put one on and you're done, right?  American typewriters, not so easy.  I have never attempted it, but I would imagine that taking the longer carriage off of one Underwood and placing it onto another--provided you have all the associated parts, and both machines were equipped with the same type size, would probably be the easiest, with Remington being--well, there may be a tie.  Royal and IBM would probably be the most difficult, especially Royal, because the rail is a major part of the structure of the typewriter, and it would be quite a difficult job, I would think, to adjust, say, a longer rail in.  Royals are among the greats in the world of typewriters--they just are not the sort of typewriter one would want to do major tinkering with.
 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

25-1-2017 22:46:23  #8


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Mockingbird wrote:

You can read more about the skm here...  

Ugh... that blogger is using  some of my photos. Anyway, I can see that I'll have to brush up on the later models such as the SKM.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

26-1-2017 00:01:59  #9


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Uwe wrote:

Ugh... that blogger is using some of my photos.

Your photos are excellent. I like that you have a style to them. The one in your other post earlier (I think it was a Gromina) was an amazing visual.

When I read your quote, I went to the blog link to see if I could spot a Uwe photo, just from the camera work, and I picked one on the first shot.

 

26-1-2017 00:07:07  #10


Re: Typewriter Tune Ups & Modifications

Regarding pads and sound absorption and acoustics, I wonder are you doing this because you are disturbing someone else or because the noise is disturbing to you?

If it's the latter then I would give yourself some more time with the machine.  I've grown to love the sound of some fairly noisy machines - fortunately I am not disturbing anybody else and it just sounds like work being done! The only style of sound I dislike is one that is both high pitched and loud - all slap and no chunk.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

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