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05-1-2018 15:55:20  #1

1954 Underwood SX backspace slack adjustment

I have a 1954 Underwood SX with a faulty backspace -- the backspace key bottoms out before it pulls the carriage back far enough to fully click back one space.

I have popped the side panel off to adjust the two-screwed arm adjustment recommended in the repair manual (http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/tw-manuals.html), but at the maximum tight adjustment it still has too much slack to draw the carriage back enough.

Is there another point of adjustment that is uncommon but that would effectively shorten the slack of the backspace on this machine?



05-1-2018 16:12:16  #2

Re: 1954 Underwood SX backspace slack adjustment

Just wondering whether the spring for the backspace key itself might play a role. I have a 1955 SX-150, so not exactly the same machine, but on mine, each key has its own spring-mounted adjustment screw on a bar on the underside of the machine, toward the back. By following the key lever back I can figure out which is the correct adjustment spring. My SX-150's margin release key did not spring back up (so the margin release did not reset when I moved the carriage back). Tightening the correct screw fixed it.

I'm going on the assumption your '54 has this setup also -- obviously, if not, then never mind! But tilt the typewriter front up and you'll hopefully see an entire row of adjustment screws. It could be that the spring for the backspace key needs more tension on it.

Good luck -- these mid-50s Underwoods are really nice machines.


05-1-2018 16:36:49  #3

Re: 1954 Underwood SX backspace slack adjustment

Thanks for the pointer on individual key tension, but after trying both extreme tight and extreme loose settings it turns out that's not the issue.

The key returns to the correct height; the slack seems to be in the horizontal bar across the back of the machine just under the carriage. It has a lot of travel before it begins to pull on the the gear that rolls the carriage back. If I could get maybe one to two millimeters of play out of the thing it would work perfectly. 

     Thread Starter

05-1-2018 17:07:40  #4

Re: 1954 Underwood SX backspace slack adjustment

Maybe the 1968 Ames service manual for standards (including segment shift Underwoods) will help: http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/tw-manuals.html


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