Typewriter Talk

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30-7-2018 11:07:05  #1


New Typewriter Day: SM3

My first typewriter arrived twenty minutes ago, and I'm utterly delighted with it! Everything seems to work perfectly, once I'd figured out what could be done, and how to do it. And I was inspired to write a rubbish, but heartfelt poem. I don't think I could be happier with my first typewriter purchase. Now to see if I can figure out how to add photos...

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/936/43693019282_1d39d6858a_c.jpg
sm3a by Rob MacKillop, on Flickr[/img]

[img]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1815/43693018792_9ee8121970_c.jpg
sm3b by Rob MacKillop, on Flickr[/img]

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/929/43024786964_c55a1784c6_c.jpg
sm3c by Rob MacKillop, on Flickr[/img]

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/929/43024786494_5b93670cd1_c.jpg
sm3d by Rob MacKillop, on Flickr[/img]

[img]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/942/43693017132_9fe07e375a_c.jpg
sm3e by Rob MacKillop, on Flickr[/img]
 

 

30-7-2018 12:08:51  #2


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

After half an hour of dabbling with it, the delight hasn't diminished, but there are one of two questions.

I've spent the last week starting to learn how to touch type, but using the pinkie on the SM3 is a problem. I'm a pro guitarist, so have finger independence, and the left-hand pinkie is strong, but I find using it on the SM3 keyboard just isn't happening, or with the right hand. I have the lever set for light touch, so either I'm a wimp, or need to develop a different set of muscles, or the keyboard is a tough one. I can type relatively fast with two fingers, after twenty years of computer work, so may it's best if I stick to that. Any comments from experience?

The back space works perfectly once the type has moved on an inch of so from the margin. Close to the margin, it just doesn't work at all. Any advice about that?

I'm using two sheets of paper to soften the blow on the platen. I've no idea what a platen should feel like in good condition, softish, I think, but this one seems hard. With two sheets of paper, it does not seem to be a problem. Is it something I should worry about, and if so, is it an expensive fix?

Above all that, right now I'm in the throes of a new romance...

     Thread Starter
 

30-7-2018 13:30:51  #3


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

The Olympia SM3 is a fantastic machine and a solid performer. Assuming that it's in good condition and maintenance, it shouldn't be difficult to type with your pinkies. I've touch typed my entire life and have never had any issues - with any make/model - as that is what they were designed for. If you use your two finger technique on the pinkie keys and don't notice a difference in their action, you probably have wimpy pinkies. The only way to remedy that is to practice. It takes lots of practice to touch type proficiently with a mechanical typewriter and if you're not willing to put in the time it's probably best that you keep using your hunt-and-peck method.

The issue with the backspace would be best resolved by creating a new thread (topic) within the Repairs sub-forum.

The only way to properly test a platen's hardness is with a durometer. The vast majority of platens that I've tested (hundreds of them) are hard to extremely hard. It can be resurfaced, but it's quite expensive, and I'd only suggest going that route if you plan to use the SM3 a LOT. If it's only going to be an occasional use typewriter with limited typing, you'll be fine with just using a backing page - something that you should always do anyways.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

30-7-2018 15:25:06  #4


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

Congratulations on your acquisition -- you've chosen a fine machine! Regarding the hardness of the platen: is the paper being dented -- do you see some of the letters almost pushing through the paper? The period and comma are typically where you'll see that most obviously. A sheet of backing paper (or two) is always a good idea, and that may be enough to cushion the typeslugs sufficiently.

As for typing technique, I find I'm more of a three-finger typist, and I'm OK with that. If I typed for a living, that might be a problem! But if your technique works for you, don't worry about it. (And I'd hate to have typing hurt your pinkies and affect your guitar playing.)

 

30-7-2018 18:08:08  #5


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

Thanks for the comments. 

Uwe - "hunt and peck method" - that made me smile! 

Fleetwing - I can see very slight markings on the second sheet, hardly noticeable. As for the 3-finger approach, I imagine I'll end up with a similar hybrid technique. 

There is a guy in Edinburgh who sells and repairs typewriters, so I'll take it to him at the weekend, just to give it a checkover, and clue me in as to what's what. Hopefully he can solve the backspace issue. If not I'll start a thread, as Uwe suggests, on the Repairs sub forum. 

     Thread Starter
 

31-7-2018 08:50:33  #6


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

Nice. I have an SM3 in my collection and it's one of my favorites. My platen is also rock hard. I just got mine out yesterday to prompt me to think about starting to clean it today. If I can figure out how to get thePlaten off, I may send it in to get a fresh runner. I read there is a company in the US that does that.
 

 

01-8-2018 09:22:18  #7


Re: New Typewriter Day: SM3

Do let us know if it is worth the expense to re-rubber a platen.

     Thread Starter
 

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