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25-4-2018 10:38:13  #1


"New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

I was in an antique store last Saturday, and saw a Smith Corona Electra 110 with case, all the original paperwork, the cord tightly wrapped in plastic, the original Styrofoam, and even the original wire and its tag in place for shipping. The dealer told me he bought it from a closing office supply store, where it was sitting in the back. Intrigued, because it's the same model of my first typewriter when I was sixteen, I took a chance and bought it. It looks pristine; all the keys work--everything about it looks brand new. However there is a definite "thump" in the motor. I'm assuming this machine is from the late sixties, and am wondering if anyone could tell me what kind of service should be done on it--assuming it has really been sitting around unused for 50 years. Does one change the oil, or what? : ) found a typewriter repair guy here in Lubbock, Tx, but thought I'd get the thoughts of you aficionados before taking it to him..

Thanks!

 

25-4-2018 12:28:22  #2


Re: "New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

Hi SW

​My first guess would be the V-belt between the motor and the drive roll. With having sat for 50 years, the belt probably has a 'set' in it. I'll try to explain. If you leave a car sitting for a couple of years or so, the tires develop flat spots that sometimes take a little while to limber up, so it feels like you're driving on square tires for the first mile or so. A drive belt will do the same thing, it develops a set in the section of belt that wraps around the pulleys.

Lift or remove the cover so you can see the drive belt, then manually turn the belt and examine it. If you see a bump in the belt, this is the set, park the machine so the bump is between the pulleys and let it sit for a few days then try it again. If the bump in the motor has lessened, that's the issue. It may just take letting the unit run for ½ hour or so to let the belt warm up and soften up. Take a look and let us know what you find. All the best,

​Sky

 

25-4-2018 13:18:08  #3


Re: "New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

Thanks! I'll give that a try and definitely let you know. But I was also a bit serious about the oil--not in changing it--but as I've been touching the machine, I've picked up a bit of oil on my hands.Not much. It isn't dried or black or anything--seems okay as far as I can tell, and it doesn't get on the paper when I run a sheet through the platen. Does one oil various parts of the typewriter? If I can solve the belt problem, should I have someone go through it anyway for those reasons?

I appreciate your help. I didn't mean to become an electric typewriter owner, but I'm a writer, and I've never forgotten the feel, the sound--and especially the smell--of those old machines.

 

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25-4-2018 21:56:51  #4


Re: "New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

I did check the belts as you suggested and found a slight bend in the larger of the two belts. The whole belt mechanism--the shaft and capstan that the belt turns-- moves up and down as it travels, but that seems to be the way it is designed. I ran the machine for about an hour today, again as you suggested, and the "thump" noise has diminished to a dull ticking sound. I no longer remember what they used to sound like, so I don't know if that's as good as it can get or not, but it seems like it should be capable of being adjusted so there's only the quiet hum of the motor.   

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26-4-2018 01:27:06  #5


Re: "New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

Hi Again SW

​Sounds like you're on the right track with this unit. My guess is that if you just use the machine, it will gradually get smoother and quieter as the different parts settle into each other and the machine literally breaks in. Today, we're used to the hard drive and the cooling fan of our computers, and that's about all the noise they make. The Electra and Coronet typewriters have several belt driven moving parts that all make noise before a key is even struck. The other thing you have to remember is this is 50 year old technology we're dealing with here.

Try setting the machine on a pad of foam rubber carpet underlay or something like that so sound doesn't resonate through the desk or table the machine is sitting on. My Coronet Cartridge 12 S/N 6ELW-120968H is well worn in but still makes quite a hum from the 60 Hz and a whirring sound from the motor bearings, intermediate idler pulley and drive roll. The hum is definitely reduced when the unit sits on a pad and the whirring is softened. The thwack of the type bars striking the platen gets a bit much for me after 3 pages of typing, so I try to limit my typing to 2 page letters when I'm using this unit.

If you're getting some oil on your hands, I'd say the machine is adequately lubricated and probably doesn't require any further oiling. Take some time to read through the operator's manual that came with the unit and get to know the machine as a co-worker. type 20 to 40 pages and see how the unit operates after that. Happy typing,

Sky

 

28-4-2018 16:04:52  #6


Re: "New" Old Stock Smith Corona Electra 110

Sky,
Thanks for all the good advice. I'll put a foam pad on it, and type with it awhile. You're right, of course. These machines were louder than I recall. I have to admit that even the clack of the keys is louder than I remember it--but of course back then we just accepted it for what it was. One has to accept the limitations of the technology in order to get the benefits.

Best Wishes,

SW

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