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02-6-2018 14:56:17  #1


Changing Smith Coronas keytops

Hello, Folks.

     Can anyone tell me how easy (or hard) is to change Smith Corona  keytops and how to do it?

     I recently wasted $50 buying a Smith Corona Silent (5 series) just to discovery that it has so many flaws that it is beyond repair. It seems to have been dismantled and reassembled at one point, with no care: many of the screw threads were damaged, some screws were lost, and the carriage metals seems to be somehow torn in ways that I couldn't make the margins stops work -- believe me, I tried. However, the external shell is in ok condition and the original keytops are in great shape and shinning.
      There is a SC Sterling (see photo) that is in good working condition but the originals keytops have been replaced by Remingtons(?). So, I'm considering to buy it (for around $35) and just make a drastic and expensive transplant.https://http2.mlstatic.com/maquina-de-escrever-smith-corona-sterling-D_NQ_NP_914957-MLB25532628912_042017-F.webp


     What do you guys think about that? Seems like a stupid idea?

     It is so hard to find Smith Coronas here in São Paulo, Brazil, and I just love their typing action and the way they sing. Although I have an Olympia SM3 and a Lettera 32 in perfect working order, for some reason I can get over 4-5 Series Smith Coronas (thank God I never tried a pre-war SC standard...).
 
Victor

P.S. I forgot to say I bought the wicked one in person. No post office to be blame this time.

 

03-6-2018 03:39:07  #2


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

Unfortunately I cannot see your pictures on my computer, but if I understand correctly, there shouldn't be any problem with changing the keytops.  They should simply pull straight up and off.  Make sure that all the minor characters like fractions are the same between the two machines though, or you will have an annoying mis-match when you use it.

 

03-6-2018 11:28:32  #3


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

     Thanks, Typewriterman.
     After reading your reply I successfully extracted the keytops of my SC. I'm worry though that the Remingtons(?) keytops of the SC Sterling (the one I'm considering to buy) would not come out just as easily.
     

     Thread Starter
 

03-6-2018 16:47:24  #4


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

The Remington keytops may well be pressed onto the keylevers like the SCM ones, in which case they should pull of in the same way..  Possibly they have been stuck on with something like epoxy resin, but I am sure that they would come off.

 

03-6-2018 20:55:42  #5


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

     Yes, this possibility crossed my mind. But I just asked the current owner and he can't tell if the keytops are glued or not.
     I noticed that some of the keylevers of my Silent-Wicked SC almost twisted after I pulled the keytops off (and I was as gentle as I could). So, I'm afraid to damage the good machine in trying to pull its keytops off, if they were somehow glued. Do you have any advice to minimize that risk?

     Thread Starter
 

04-6-2018 03:24:04  #6


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

Try using the open jaws of a pair of long-nose pliers as a lever to prise the keytop upwards from below. If you lever carefully against thetop of the keylever, you shouldn't damage it.  Even if epoxy has been used, I don't think that it will grip the plastic keytop very well, so it should come off.

 

07-6-2018 12:20:23  #7


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

I really appreciate your help, Typewriterman. It gave me confidence to try.
Unfortunately, I had some setbacks and I'm afraid will have to delay the ressurrection of my Typenstein. But I'd be glad to present the monster here, when alive.

     Thread Starter
 

19-6-2018 23:17:16  #8


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

     IT'S ALIVE!https://imgur.com/a/qJJvQs5
https://imgur.com/gallery/POQpN4L
https://i.imgur.com/POQpN4L.jpg

     https://imgur.com/POQpN4L

     It's not a looker, but it's a typer.
     The machine is basically a 1960 Sterling with the shell from a 1950s Silent. I changed some parts, however, such as the mainspring (got the plastic-cased one replaced for the Silent's metal-cased), the ribbon spool bases, and the bell (for some reason Silent's sounds much better).
     The former owner decided to reduce the price by 33%. So, maybe worth it.

     Thanks for the advices, thetypewriterman, I really appreciated.

     Thread Starter
 

20-6-2018 03:49:25  #9


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

Pleased to have been of help !  Now all you have to do is fit the ribbon the right way up

 

20-6-2018 14:15:18  #10


Re: Changing Smith Coronas keytops

thetypewriterman wrote:

Pleased to have been of help !  Now all you have to do is fit the ribbon the right way up

 Actually it had a recurrent problem with the ribbon vibrator when seted to the lower part of the ribbon, so I was testing as I was doing some serious typing (i.e., typing some recipes for my grandma).
 

     Thread Starter
 

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