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07-1-2018 08:23:03  #1

Underwood 5 vibrator adjustment

Hi there everyone,

I'm working on an Underwood 5 from 1927, which is having some issues with its vibrator.
The vibrator rises just a little bit too high to allow for completely black print (on the black setting) as is visible on almost all letters, but especially on the q, j, p, g and y. 
I've tried to look up how to adjust the vibrator, but I'm a bit stumped.
Anyone have any tips?

In addition, the red setting works just fine, but once I try to do shifted letters on the red setting, it gets out of whack.
Most likely the two issues are connected. But what confuses me is that the caps on the black setting shows that there is some red in there (suggesting the vibrator raises too high), whereas when I do caps on the red setting it isn't rising high enough.

To give an example, I've typed in the following order:

[black setting - no caps]

[black setting - all caps]

[red setting - no caps]

[red setting - all caps]


Thanks in advance for any help!


07-1-2018 18:10:58  #2

Re: Underwood 5 vibrator adjustment

The following is not a crass answer, but is based on experience.  Just fit an All-Black ribbon.  The chances are that the ribbon lift mechanism is hopelessly worn.  To adjust it, you need to remove the carriage, make a trial adjustment, re-fit the carriage, then test the machine.  You could easily go round in circles for days doing this, and still not get a totally satisfactory result.  Trust me, I have been there !


08-1-2018 14:17:00  #3

Re: Underwood 5 vibrator adjustment

Hey there, thanks for your advice.
Fitting an all-black ribbon was my next plan, but I figured I'd try asking here one last time, see if anyone knew how to adjust it.

Getting the carriage off and on again isn't a big deal (I've taken it off this machine many times already, to clean everything, and check the vibrator for dirt or loose screws), but if you say it's probably not going to give me a completely satisfactory result after days or fiddling, I guess I'll take your advice and just go for all-black.

Thanks again!

     Thread Starter

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