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05-8-2013 10:30:09  #1


Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

Working with an Underwood No. 5 typewriter which is functioning almost perfectly, aside from one thing: the ribbon does not advance consistently as keys are pressed.

Here's the address to the diagram I've been using to try and figure this out:
http://www.hnsa.org/doc/typewriter/img/pg105.jpg


Details of the problem:
-The ribbon ratchet wheel moves a few steps, maybe a line of type's worth, before it seems that something becomes jammed up.
-The ribbon feed pawl seems to be trying to push it still, but the ribbon ratchet wheel seems to become jammed up after a point.
-This can be temporarily fixed by reversing the ribbon feed direction, but this only works for a line or two of type.
-Does not appear to be a result of incorrect loading or type of ribbon/ribbon cartridge,
 since I have observed essentially the same behaviors in the machanism with no ribbon loaded.

Does this problem sound familiar to anyone? 
I'd love to get this thing working perfectly if it is possible.  
Any help is most greatly appreciated.


 

Last edited by Uwe (05-8-2013 11:25:41)

 

05-8-2013 11:38:41  #2


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

 My first reaction was a binding ribbon, but you've eliminated that by removing the ribbon altogether. Have you worked through the rest of the ribbon mechanism to make sure that all the other components are: a)there; b)working properly? I have a couple of typers right now with non-working ribbon mechanisms, both display similar symptoms to what you're experiencing, and both I've traced to a faulty spring that keeps tension on the driving shaft. Without that tension the driving shaft gears eventually disengage and the ribbon stops moving. I don't think the Underwood 5 works the same way exactly, but my point is that I'd check all the components in the system.

One another thought, have you tried to adjust the ribbon feed pawl binding screw? If you haven't and you do fiddle with it, be sure to remember where it was exactly before you started.

Good luck and keep us posted. I have an Underwood 5 too, but it's in far worse mechanical condition than your machine seems to be.

 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

05-8-2013 11:43:52  #3


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

Thanks for your quick reply!
I'm going to try tweaking the binding screw a bit, and if that doesn't fix it then I'll dive back in with a flashlight to see if anything further in seems to be off.
Will update as new info is gleaned.
Many thanks again.

     Thread Starter
 

05-8-2013 16:30:50  #4


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

It could be worth removing the ribbon feed pawl and ribbon holding pawl and sharpening them up with an oilstone.  It could be that the tips are worn and are losing their 'bite'. on the ribbon ratchet wheel.

 

05-8-2013 21:35:47  #5


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

thetypewriterman wrote:

It could be worth removing the ribbon feed pawl and ribbon holding pawl and sharpening them up with an oilstone.  It could be that the tips are worn and are losing their 'bite'. on the ribbon ratchet wheel.

I haven't come across it yet in any of the machines I own, but have you ever seen worn down teeth on any typewriter gears or ratchet wheels? I've wondered about their durability since unlike gears that you would find in say an engine, those in a typewriter aren't subjected to the same stresses.
 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

29-12-2013 00:27:19  #6


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

I have a pair of Underwoods with the same problem, the ribbon does not advance. One is a Touch Master and the other is a Touch Master 5. Has anyone made further progress on the cure for this problem since May??? Inquiring minds want to know....

Last edited by Iron Man (29-12-2013 00:44:01)

 

08-12-2014 22:03:23  #7


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

Same problem I have.  I think I know the issue, but I don't know how to fix it.

My Underwood 5 (1924) ribbon is on plastic spools.  The plastic spools sit pretty loosely in the spool holders, so when they try to advance, they "lean" to a side, and create so much tension they get stuck within 2-5 character advances.  If I reach in and jostle the spools, or reverse direction, they're good for another 2-5 hits.

So how to fix it?  I don't know :-(

Maybe metal spools would fit on the spool holder rotator mechanism better?
Maybe only original spools for an Underwood 5 would do the trick?
Maybe the spool holders are bent?
Maybe the little peg that goes into the spool and actually turns the spool -- maybe that's worn?

I'd love suggestions on how to fix this.

 

09-12-2014 17:29:24  #8


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

The list of potential problem areas based on the issue you're experiencing is not a short one, but needless to say I would work my way through the entire ribbon transport system. It sounds like an issue with the reversing mechanism and something not properly engaging (or disengaging) which is not infrequent a problem on machines that haven't been used in a long time.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

14-6-2017 12:46:34  #9


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

panthroman wrote:

Same problem I have.  I think I know the issue, but I don't know how to fix it.

My Underwood 5 (1924) ribbon is on plastic spools.  The plastic spools sit pretty loosely in the spool holders, so when they try to advance, they "lean" to a side, and create so much tension they get stuck within 2-5 character advances.  If I reach in and jostle the spools, or reverse direction, they're good for another 2-5 hits.

So how to fix it?  I don't know :-(

Maybe metal spools would fit on the spool holder rotator mechanism better?
Maybe only original spools for an Underwood 5 would do the trick?
Maybe the spool holders are bent?
Maybe the little peg that goes into the spool and actually turns the spool -- maybe that's worn?

I'd love suggestions on how to fix this.

This plastic vs metal issue was also a problem with mid-century sewing machines. Singer introduced transparent plastic bobbins for tilt-needle machines, and the bobbins hit the store shelves. People had problems until they realized that the bobbins were too light and would rotate too far with each stitch.
 
 

 

17-6-2017 14:22:53  #10


Re: Underwood No. 5 ribbon advance issue

I have a similar issueI just bought an Erica model 8, and I've been working through it. I had to reconnect the drawband,  adjust the ribbon spools, etc.What's happening now is the vibrating mechanism gets stuck in the up position but types fine. If I force it down to type in black as opposed to red, the carriage will not advance with each keystroke unless I slam the key down really hard; about half the time I'll type three or four keys before the carriage advances. It feels very sluggish in down position. Again that is only when typing in black on the low setting — I can set it to type in red and it is a flawless experience, safe for the fact that the Vibrating mechanism is stuck in the up position . 

​Thoughts?

 

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