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14-4-2016 10:46:17  #1


Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

I have an Oliver No 9 typewriter which I recently acquired and some of the keys are a bit faded, although its fully functional.

Although I'm not ready yet to launch a restoration project, I'd like to use it and am in a bit of a conundrum as to what to do maintenance wise.  I assume using the typewriter will fade the keys more, although I have no idea how fast that happens (surely not that fast, as its about 100 years old).
Is there some kind of clear lacquer you can put on old typewriter keys to help keep them from fading, and then of course if you do so, I assume you would make it harder to ever touch the lettering up again, if that is even possible.
Thoughts???

 

 

19-4-2016 02:33:32  #2


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

A belated welcome, jeffpas!

I don't know the answer but I'm equally curious as I have a couple of typewriters that have a faded key or two.

Perhaps one of our more experienced members could comment.

 

19-4-2016 07:01:25  #3


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

It depends if there is an indent left to the letter or not.

If there is, I can explain a method, if there isn't, then you would have to work a little more...


Currently looking for a Hammond, or Underwood 3 Banks to purchase.

Selling off most of my collection to start fresh.

PM me!
 

19-4-2016 10:29:43  #4


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

I think the OP needs to be more specific about what he means by 'fading'. The Oliver 9 has solid, off-white/cream coloured keys, so is it the keys themselves that are discoloured? Or is he referring to the key legends, the black coloured section that lets you know which character the key is for. If it's the legend, then engravers lacquer is all that's needed. 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

29-4-2016 18:36:39  #5


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

I've had old typewriters with a few faded keys. If you're talking about the general color of the keys, then things like weather and how the machine was stored can be factored in.  Regular use shouldn't fade the keys too fast.  If you're talking about the key legend, careful carving, or engraving, and then engraver's laquer should take care of the problem.  I will have to wonder, though, about the materials they used for the keys.  I am tempted to say ivory, since it is a very old machine and the color suggests bone.  Now, the black keys, I am mystified.  About the only kind of plastic I've heard of anyone using about that time (pre-World War I) would be bakelite.  Anyone have any ideas?


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

01-5-2016 17:13:19  #6


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

The pre-World War One black 'plastic' could very well be hard rubber.  Hard rubber was often used for components like spacebars and platen knobs before modern plastic was invented.  The 'filler' to make it hard was usually coal dust !

 

11-5-2016 12:45:24  #7


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

I'm also a bit curious about this. I just picked up an Oliver 3 for $30, and man, is it beat to hell. I'm intent on restoring it, though, as best I can. When it comes to getting the grime off of the keys, I found that gently scrubbing them with one of those so-called "magic erasers" in the cleaning aisle seems to work really well, without scrubbing out the key legend. Now, my problem is going to be in trying to fashion a replacement key, as this one is missing an "F," and I don't imagine that there are a whole lot of those floating around the internets. I could probably make something comparable out of wood, but part of me is wondering whether someone could design replacement parts through 3-D printer technology. Just thinking aloud. 

 

21-5-2016 10:50:16  #8


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

Actually there are people out there (probably on this very board in fact) that print up replacement typewriter parts regularly.  Feet, platen knobs, etc.  Never seen Oliver keys done that way, but it would definitely be possible - they aren't a very complicated piece.  Take some measurements and photos and ask around.

 

13-6-2016 16:42:37  #9


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

Mark, I have a 3D printer and could print one if you'd like and are interested...


Currently looking for a Hammond, or Underwood 3 Banks to purchase.

Selling off most of my collection to start fresh.

PM me!
 

26-6-2016 11:32:18  #10


Re: Oliver No 9- faded keys - what to do?

I might take you up on it--however Spazmelda apparently has an Oliver 3 parts machine, so that might be an option as well. In either case, it'll probably still be many weeks before I even get to that point. But thank you to all! 

 

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