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25-5-2017 12:42:01  #1


Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Hello all,

I'm a new typewriter enthusiast and forum member! Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong spot, but I checked the Resources section and wasn't sure where to post my question.

I'm meeting with someone this weekend to see a Corona No. 3 typewriter they want to sell for $75 and I was curious if there are any general things to look out for when reviewing a vintage typewriter for purchase? I'm sure it varies depending on the typewriter, but I wasn't sure if there are any general red flags to be aware of?

They are supposed to send me the serial number tonight. I have photos they've sent but because I'm so new to the forum I can't post links

They also sent a video and it's clear the carriage isn't moving when they press the keys, so I'm assuming that means the string is broken but I heard it can be restrung? Even still, it seems the $75 is a good deal - or maybe not?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

 

25-5-2017 15:46:10  #2


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Yes, very likely the drawcord has broken.  They used to be made of cat-gut, an organic material that does rot eventually.  The modern replacement is nylon fishing line.  The mainspring might have broken, but you can check that by trying to wind up the spring drum and see if it appears to be keeping tension.  If you can hear something slipping inside when you wind it, the spring could be broken.  It is more than possible that the platen will have gone hard with age, causing the characters to cut through the paper when you type.  If this has happened, it may cost you more than you paid for the machine to get it re-rubbered by a specialist firm.  Other than that, try all the functions by applying pressure to the right of the carriage (or pulling on the left) to simulate the pull of the drawcord.  Good Luck with your typewriter hunting !

 

25-5-2017 16:37:08  #3


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Thank you, thetypewriterman! This is wonderful information!

I wouldn't mind doing some mild "restoration" work to it as I imagine that would be enjoyable but let's hope the platen hasn't gone hard!

     Thread Starter
 

26-5-2017 02:43:41  #4


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

If the machine is in otherwise good condition (not bent and rusty) and you want to keep it for a long time, it might still be worth paying the extra to get the platen re-rubbered.  It is the same as buying a classic car that has sat in a barn for decades.  The expense only begins when you buy it unrestored.  The total cost is a lot more once you have paid out for what needs to be done to make it perform as it should.

 

26-5-2017 08:40:57  #5


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

That makes sense, thetypewriterman!

Yeah, even if the platen has gone hard, I've found a few DIY options online that looked the be promising and some semi-local repair shops - if worse comes to worse. I'm looking forward to investing in the piece and getting it functional again. I'm reading up everything I can about it :D

     Thread Starter
 

26-5-2017 08:42:09  #6


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Now that I've posted three times, I can add links!

Here are the pics they sent me, what do you think?
http://imgur.com/a/3yhUx

     Thread Starter
 

26-5-2017 15:38:47  #7


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Not too bad at all. It doesn't look rusty.  Here in the UK, old typewriters are put into damp lofts and outbuildings, which can ruin them.  Did you notice that the linespace lever is bent ?  If you are careful, you should be able to bend it back into shape, but if you are unlucky and it breaks you could be in big trouble.  I wouldn't believe the DIY platen 'options' that you find on the internet.  Honestly, the only 'cure' in the long run is a professionally re-rubbered platen.  If you are really, really lucky, this might have already been done at some time in the past, meaning that the platen is effectively decades younger than the machine.  Don't bank on it though !

 

26-5-2017 21:23:40  #8


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

The UK? Small world, I just got back from London on Wednesday. Was keeping an eye out for old typewriters or antiques but didn't find the right places/shops.

Great eye! No, I didn't notice the linespace lever until you pointed it out. Hmm, that'll be something else to take a look at when I finally see it in person tomorrow. Yes, I think the platen will end up taking a trip to JJ Short. The platen turn knob on the right side (that you use to turn or feed in paper) did seem to look different than other videos I've seen - but it might just be the photos.

Here's a video of it that they sent me and I was finally able to upload to my GoogleDrive:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByrpkqjtaLMrdnZ5ZGFsSUFQUVE/view?usp=sharing

I'll most likely buy it anyway tomorrow as I'm just a new typewriter enthusiast who's lovestruck and I'll be sure to post an update when I have it!

Thank you again for being a fountain of knowledge!

     Thread Starter
 

28-5-2017 08:48:35  #9


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

Alright! I have the typewriter and she's in surprisingly good condition (I think...). The drawstring seems to be new or replaced in the last decade or so - made of what appears to be woven black nylon. Still works fine. The platen will need to be rubbered eventually but it still feeds paper easily and there are no flat spots on the pinch role. Here's the one problem: it seems the carriage isn't making contact with the track teeth (excuse my lack of correct terminology, I'm still learning!) Here's a video I made explaining it, any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByrpkqjtaLMrd2FCTUgtclBGaW8/view?usp=sharing

     Thread Starter
 

29-5-2017 15:51:15  #10


Re: Purchasing a typewriter (Corona No.3 Folding) - things to look for?

I think you are going along the right lines.  Difficult to know exactly without handling the machine, but your theory looks to be correct.  Bend that tab very carefully, a little at a time.  You will be in real trouble if it breaks off !  Also, try lubricating the escapement with a small quantity of sewing machine oil.  I believe that gun oil would work too, if you have any.

 

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