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09-8-2017 19:34:25  #31

Re: Groma kolibri misaligned printing


I repeat my disclaimer of being no expert in typewriter repair, but I think my intuition of the way metal bends and the forces necessary to deform it various ways is decent, SO, without further disclaimer that this is all opinion in no particular order...

1) the deformation in that bar cannot have been achieved with needlenose pliers or by other type hitting it, it must have been done with specialized tools in the wrong hands
2) without specialized tools it would be virtually impossible to produce deformation about an axis perpendicular to the flat side of the typebar and with them difficult
3) the marks in that and other typebars were produced by said specialized tools
4) the more you malform metal parts the harder it is to put them back in shape because of something called work-hardening - the bent sections become harder so when you try to unbend them you wind up bending other sections

OK.... the type is obviously bent to the right and down relative to other type as seen from behind.  But I wonder if some of the lowering results in it being twisted to the side and away from the paper, which allows it to travel through a greater arc before striking the paper, which possibly according to the detailed geometry moves the head lower before the strike. In other words I don't think the full lowering is a direct result of the bending.

Don't even attempt it without specialized tools because you will not be able to bring the right forces to bear to undo this but instead will introduce still more deformation elsewhere and make the problem worse. But what the heck -- I would consider it unusable as it is so as long as you do not spread the damage to adjacent typebars you can't do much worse, and I would take a risk. Heck I recently unscrewed part of a non-slotted segment and moved a typebar around and lived! 

"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".

10-8-2017 09:11:16  #32

Re: Groma kolibri misaligned printing

Well, I can't say I consider it unusable lol. After so many days and repeated rinsings with spirits and alcohol and what other chemicals, I almost feel obliged to use the little guy.

But You do bring up a number of good points. I did notice very recently that the "n" imprint is also tilted to the right, as you say, in addition to it hitting lower on the page.

So far most of the advice on this forum has been dead on, so I hate to see experienced users so adamantly against attempting a DIY fix of this problem. But I suppose I will defer to your better judgment after all....

Although I am curious to hear more about the type bar removal experience regarding that non-slotted  segment....

     Thread Starter

12-8-2017 10:29:17  #33

Re: Groma kolibri misaligned printing

The dissuasion from DIY repairs is a well-known technological meme and often quite sound, but i would not take it as some kind of blanket morale imperative (sorry, i seem to have a pent up supply of $10 words this morning).  You just have to look at the big picture -- Mad Max had no choice but to make DIY repairs and in some ways we are like Mad Max sifting through the debris field of post apocalyptic typewriters.... Sheez!  Can't stop myself!

We are not always the kid trying to fix his grandfather's gold watch and destroying it: we have to form our own opinion of risks and rewards -- and sometimes break stuff. I just try to break less valuable stuff. 

As for the segment, that was part of a herculean effort to get a 1947 Smith Corona standard working, because I could not give up on it without trying.  One issue was the "q" was typing below the other letters, much like your case. I tried manipulating the end of the typebar and did move around the imprint, but I eventually decided that geometry forbid the repair -- unless I could straighten out the very hard elbow put in the bar at the factory the bar was simply too short.  How could this be?  It had one of those segments held together by screws and the q bar is all the way on the left end, so I did what would shock the angels - I loosened the last screw!!! I was able to move the base of the bar and after several tries was able to get it back on line, and just had to undo the damage I had caused by bending the other end. I got lucky.

As for typewriter I did get it basically working but uncovered other problems -- in my opinion it was just a poor typewriter from the day it left the factory (blasphemy), so I retired it.  I did save the platen which was in very good shape -- user interchangeable -- and may help some other Smith Corona -- I think under the hood it may be the same as earlier LC Smith standards.

Thanks for asking.

"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".

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