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30-4-2017 21:37:39  #1

How to remove carriage from 1940 Royal KMM

I'm here to inform you that it is possible to remove a carriage without throwing the typewriter out a window in a fit of rage. Here's what I did:

First off, I know this is a long post and a daunting task for the novices, but it'll be easier if you examine your machine closely before diving in. If you're new to this type of thing, studying your typewriter will provide extra knowledge and a grasp of what you're doing. Take the time to move parts and fiddle with knobs, read this and other posts to familiarize yourself with typewriter mechanics and it'll go smoother. 

Secondly, my KMM was insanely dirty and I simply had to remove the carriage to free the typewriter's bowels of dust, grime and dead bugs. And depending on how you see things, I'm either very foolish for attempting this feat after only two other (successful) carriage removals, or brave enough to not care looking foolish and possibly ruining my machine. And what I ended up doing was in some cases unnecessary. I'm also making this very simple with less technical speech in case you're not yet familiar with type talk and typewriters. Be sure to read to the end to get a handle on what you're doing and make changes as needed. I haven't tried to remove it again, so there are  things I'd probably do differently. IMPORTANT: if the typewriter works before you take the screwdriver to it, TAKE PICTURES. I can't stress how important it is to document your work. Several times I've thought, "Oh, I'll remember where this goes," only to come back a day later and stare blankly at the pieces. Trial and error work for some things, but cut the doubt and snap a picture. Let's get dissecting. 

For ease of weight and because it needed a good clean, I took off the platen (the rubber roll the paper wraps around). Not necessary, but who cares. There are six tiny screws (two on left, four on right) to remove and then using a pliers or hammer you pull out the metal rod from the right and then wiggle the platen free.
Push the carriage to the left and unscrew the plate/cover there, returning the funny looking screw to its place. The hole in the plate shows the serial number you can use to date the machine. Firmly grab the drawband (the canvas type strap under the carriage) and secure it to the funny screw. 
There's a metal rod at the back secured with four screws to be removed. You can see the back of the screws here and the aforementioned plate. The rod needs some coercing to free, but just turn and twist and lift the carriage until it can slide out.

Now comes the tricky part. I found a manual here https://maritime.org/doc/typewriter/index.htm that gives fairly good instructions, except it's not the right model. It says to remove the two far right "carriage clamps" and loosen the middle one. I took off all five. Here are the left ones and my new homemade drawband:

The manual says to slide the carriage (looking at it from the back) to the left, tilt up left end and maneuver the backspace arm through the gap at the right and lift free. But since their arm is hook-shaped and mine is a pancake, extreme measures were required. Move the paper rest thingy and you'll see this: 

Unscrew the round thing and move carriage almost all the way to the left. A friend is needed for the next bit. The backspace arm (seen above) hits a screw that prevents it from simply sliding out. Get the friend to unscrew it and keep an eye and hand on the pieces the screw holds in place while you lift and wiggle the carriage free. You'll be glad to not have the extra weight of the platen if this takes several minutes. Here's the offending screw:

And that's it. If you can't get the screw out, even with WD-40, you're in trouble. I might suggest using a file on the right side of the arm until it fits through the gap, cause it only needs a hair extra space to fit. Don't have a file? Try the screw again.

Now to replace it. Put the metal rod back where it was. There are two balls encased by gears that move along a track. (You can see the track in the second picture; it's what the "carriage clamps" slide under.) These have to be positioned in the correct spot--assuming you moved them after the carriage came off and didn't mark their places--otherwise they'll fall out when the carriage is moved. Looking at the typewriter from the back, put one ball and gear about an inch from the left and the other at least four inches farther along. Adjusting might be necessary. From here you can repeat the screw process with your friend. Don't have a friend? All is not lost. Try the screw yourself, making sure to remember/take a picture of the correct position of things at that end so as to return everything correctly. If you don't feel up to that, I have another suggestion.
This might have been a fluke for my benefit only, but lifting the tabulator rack (seen opposite the screw above) its 1/8 inch allowed me to simply tilt the carriage and wiggle the arm through the gap. I hope it is that simple and not dumb luck.
Move carriage back and forth to ensure the balls and gears don't make noises or fall out. Screw in the round thing and "carriage clamps" and slide and adjust until everything moves smoothly with no grinding or slowing. Reattach drawband and plate, and platen if needed. Test again and enjoy.

If anyone has a better way, let me know. Removing a carriage shouldn't be something to dread. I haven't had any training in typewriter construction and found the manual after, which only corroborated my initial instincts. I'm not an expert but this process did work for me. Envisioning how they did it back then helps me figure it out today. 
If you have any questions for me, go ahead and ask.
I hope this helps someone. 


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