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22-4-2017 15:12:48  #1


Green portable halda needs some love

I brought home a new typewriter today. A lovely little green portable (in a lovely little case) made in Sweden by Halda.  Serial number is P. 79876

I'm just starting research on it, but the poor little thing needs some serious love.  Lucky for it, I love fixing fiddly things.

Some of the challenges I found on first examination:
- some of the keys stick
- Sometimes the keys don't advance the carriage (in the same place each time, but the space bar works all the way across)
- it's dusty inside
- needs a new ribbon (any thoughts on somewhere in Canada where I can buy ribbons as I want a spare for my other typewriter as this is getting loads of use.

On the plus side, the carriage locks and unlocks just fine, the platen looks beautiful, round and springy, the ribbon advances properly (when installed properly which it wasn't when I got it), the case is in good shape but missing it's key, it's portable, and it looks generally well maintained before it fell into disuse.  

Any thoughts on this machine?  Could you point me where I could find the age and perhaps even a manual?  

I'm thinking of starting with a good clean.  Get the dust out and get a good look at what's going on.  

 

22-4-2017 18:25:15  #2


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

Clean thoroughly, then reassess. A lot of problems are caused by a combination of dirt, metal oxidation, and congealed oil. Use mineral spirits (Varsol) and cotton swabs to properly clean the moving metal parts. Some parts will need to be oiled once you're done (search this forum for "dunk clean" for a list of parts that need oil). NEVER oil the segment. I recommend sewing machine oil (available practically everywhere - check sewing machine stores).

​Serial number makes it a 1956 model. Here's a manual for it.

​The machine uses standard 13 mm ribbon. If you want to order online there are many places you can get it. I have no idea where in Canada you are, but if you're near or in a large urban center then your local Staples might have it in stock, and if they don't then you can order it online for pickup from the nearest store. Should cost around $9.50. If you live in a rural area then you will have to rely on buying it online and having it shipped.
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

22-4-2017 21:30:14  #3


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

Excellent info, thank you.  Good to know it's 13mm ribbon.  I wonder if this is the same as my Remington.  

I gave it a bit of clean today and adjusted the mechanism that advances the carriage when a key is typed to make it more sensitive.  The paper support was crammed in the wrong way so I had to open the back door where the margin control is.  The spring that locks it closed came off and I'm not sure how to reattach it without disassembling one side of the carriage.  Not something I'm keen on trying just yet.  A couple of the keys still stick, so I might try the tiniest touch of oil.  I have sewing machine oil, but I think I'll use spinning wheel oil as it's a bit lighter and the applicator is very fine and put less oil into tight spots.

On the whole, it's a lovely little machine.  I'm eager to get typing on it and start researching it's history.

Thanks again for the info and the link to the manual.

     Thread Starter
 

23-4-2017 08:15:54  #4


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

Hi Trampled, you have bought a really wonderful typewriter. I have the same model, a year earlier, and it's a truly great little machine. Light and nimble. And I love the pegboard base! 

trampled wrote:

Good to know it's 13mm ribbon.  I wonder if this is the same as my Remington. 

Typewriter ribbon comes in a standard width, which is half an inch; the spool size is the bit that varies. With luck your little Halda will have come with its own metal spools, which you can wind the new ribbon onto. Ditto your Remington.

trampled wrote:

I gave it a bit of clean today and adjusted the mechanism that advances the carriage when a key is typed to make it more sensitive.

 

I'm a little confused here... What did you 'adjust'? The mechanism that advances the carriage when a key is typed is the escapement; it's a complex part, made of many little parts, and I can't think what bit of it could have been 'adjusted'. If your typewriter's been sitting somewhere for decades, the main and first thing every millimetre of it is going to need is cleaning - in particular, every joint along the type bars, and every part that moves. Use Q tips and white spirits and just go over everything thoroughly. In this ay you can get a real feel for how the whole machine works, and all its functions. (You can identify the bits that work each function by pressing the key while observing underneath, and watching what moves. You know about taking the bottom off, right? In this way you can get to the inside of the machine. 

There's a daisy wheel in the escapement that can get gunked-up teeth, and a toothed rail under the carriage that interacts with that, which can also get gunked up; these were the first two things that came to my mind when you said the carriage was stopping in the same place. Just make sure they're clean (you can tell when they're clean when the Q tip comes away not dirty). Also, clean the rails the carriage runs on - you'll see a massive improvement to how it moves along.

Bear in mind when you start cleaning that dissolving and displacing some of the dirt might make some things stick a little more before they get better. It's a tiered process! But you will be on the right track, and once it's really clean (with tiny amounts of oil only in the places where it will help) it will be amazing. Even cleaning old ink off the type heads can make a surprising improvement in typing action.

trampled wrote:

The paper support was crammed in the wrong way so I had to open the back door where the margin control is. The spring that locks it closed came off and I'm not sure how to reattach it without disassembling one side of the carriage.  Not something I'm keen on trying just yet.

I'd leave the spring till last, just put it somewhere safe. The key tools I use for reattaching springs are small straight tweezers, a very thin crochet hook of my grandmother's (she used it for making lace), and the torch on my phone. If you can find instructions or work out how to remove the body of the machine, I'm sure there will be another way  you can get to wherever it attached, without disassembling the carriage - which no one in their right mind would recommend... 

trampled wrote:

A couple of the keys still stick, so I might try the tiniest touch of oil. I have sewing machine oil, but I think I'll use spinning wheel oil as it's a bit lighter and the applicator is very fine and put less oil into tight spots.

Clean it first!! It's probably old oil that's making it stick. (Spinning wheel oil, though, sounds interesting... )

Anyway, congratulations on your Halda. One of my seriously favourite machines, and somehow different form all the others. 


 

 

24-4-2017 09:27:26  #5


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

Okay, I get it.  More cleaning before the oil.  Typewriters are so different than I'm used to.  Most of the machines I repair are the opposite: oil then clean, then oil some more with a top dressing of oil.  I'm not doing this with the typewriter.

I'll keep cleaning and come back with more questions.  Thanks for the words of wisdom.  

I really hope this machine will work.  It's so sweet and I need a portable I can write on.  My giant Remington is lovely, but I had to build a special table for it as it bent the one it was on.  Not at all travel-friendly.  

     Thread Starter
 

24-4-2017 22:01:19  #6


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

Hi Trampled

​Now you have my curiosity going. What sort of machinery are you used to working on that requires oiling, then cleaning? My next question is your location in Canada? and finally, if you need some blue ½" (13mm) ribbon, PM me your address and I'll send you 10 metres. I bought a 1 km bulk roll of it a couple of years ago and still have lots left. Take care and all the best,

William

 

24-4-2017 22:39:31  #7


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

I work mostly with sewing and textile tools.  These are often stored in outbuildings or someplace exposed to moisture and weather.  They come to me seized up and the easiest and gentlest way I've found to get them moving again is to give them a light machine oil (like sewing machine oil) and some time in the warmest part of the house.  Leave them overnight and they are easy to get moving again. They just drink in the oil when in use; the old wartime sock machines especially.    

It's really hard to fight against my instinct to use loads of oil.  But there's no point in coming to you for advice if I ignore it.  You know typewriters better than I.

Still haven't had a chance to clean it properly.  Mostly I'm just observing how everything moves.  Some of my first impressions are wrong.  
The keys to the right and the left are the ones that get stuck, and it almost feels like they are getting stuck on the... not sure the word, the guide just before they hit the ribbon.  I'll get photos later.  But this might not be right either, I need to do more observing.
The carriage advance works fine with space, and I think I was wrong about it being stuck in one place.  Some keys won't advance it unless I really hammer them - which I don't want to do.

Next step, cleaning, observation and photos.  lots of photos to come.  

I want to do this all properly because if I can't get it working, someone else can... of course, they can't if I mess it up, so I won't mess it up.  

 

     Thread Starter
 

25-4-2017 06:12:10  #8


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

You're making me want to get my Halda out! And I'm interested in your sewing and textile tools... do you mean sewing machines? A close friend of mine is a textile conservator...

 

25-4-2017 13:01:30  #9


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

trampled wrote:

The keys to the right and the left are the ones that get stuck, and it almost feels like they are getting stuck on the... not sure the word, the guide just before they hit the ribbon.  I'll get photos later.  But this might not be right either, I need to do more observing.
The carriage advance works fine with space, and I think I was wrong about it being stuck in one place.  Some keys won't advance it unless I really hammer them - which I don't want to do.

Next step, cleaning, observation and photos.  lots of photos to come.  

I want to do this all properly because if I can't get it working, someone else can... of course, they can't if I mess it up, so I won't mess it up.  

 

I think you're describing the fact that, as is often the case, the keys on the extreme left and right of the keyboard are the ones that seem most reluctant to get unstuck. That's because they swing more horizontally and can't rely as much as the keys in the center of the keyboard on good old gravity to bring them back down to the resting position.

I should explain that when I say "keys," what I really mean are what are called the "typebars" -- those are the levers that have the actual type (called "slugs") on the end, and which swing up to strike the ribbon. Your hitting the keys activates the typebars, via several linkages, and if the typebar linkages are gummed up from grime or dried lubricant, chances are they'll stick. So clean all those linkages to the extent you can reach them, and in particular where the bottom of the typebars engage those slots as they swing up toward the ribbon. Those slots are part of what's called the "segment," and if those slots have crud in them, the typebars may well stick. Be sure to also clean both sides of the typebars where they engage the slots; it's a very tight tolerance (to make sure the printing is aligned on the paper). You may need to use a toothpick to help with cleaning those slots.

 

27-4-2017 11:19:54  #10


Re: Green portable halda needs some love

And no oil in the segment!

 

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