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Maintenance & Repairs » Olivetti Lettera 22 » 01-9-2019 02:55:30

The loose dog in the escapement is sticking, which is why the carriage is flying off to the left every so often.  Turn the machine over and put it on a soft surface, like a carpet for instance.    Remove the four screws/rubber feet that hold the base plate.  You should then be able to see the offending loose dog.  Clean as far as you can (it is a bit inaccessible) and lubricate with sewing machine oil.  That should solve your problem !

Maintenance & Repairs » What is the best break-in method for a new typewriter. » 01-9-2019 02:47:34

Back in the day when new typewriters were available, there was no specific 'running in' procedure.  Certain machines, particularly Olympias, just got better and better as they began to bed in.  When I started in the typewriter trade as a young lad in 1975, we had a batch of Olympia SG1s traded in against new SG3s.  After we had serviced them all, they sold like hot cakes within days.  They were as smooth as silk to use.  Coming back to the present day, on the rare occasions that I have found a new-old-stock typewriter, it usually needs servicing before it can be used for the first time.  Oil and grease applied at the factory will often have dried out and gone sticky, and therefore needs replacing - along with the ribbon of course, which will have dried out decades ago.

Maintenance & Repairs » Cracked paint restoration- Oliver No. 5 » 19-8-2019 03:14:42

I cannot see the image that you posted on my computer, but from experience I can guess what the area looks like.  I have seen this before and I think it is caused by the machine having been painted with clear varnish a long time in the past to 'gloss it up' for resale as a second hand typewriter.  Of course, 90 years later, that varnish has deteriorated.  Problem is, if you try to remove it, you will probably destroy the transfers underneath.  So short of a complete re-paint and new transfers, I think you might unfortunately be stuck with it.

Maintenance & Repairs » Underwood Nº4 Ribbon Wind » 15-8-2019 02:31:59

Have you checked the drive pawls on the large ratchet wheel on the right hand side of the machine ?  After more than 100 years, the pawls can become blunt and allow the wheel to slip backwards.  You can take them off and re-shapen the tips with a small grindstone.


Parts » FS: New Hermes 3000 Platen Knobs » 06-8-2019 16:24:29

That is so true unfortunately - and this is why craftsmen of all disciplines are slowly dying out.  In the words of the song - 'You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone'  Then it's too late !

Typewriter Paraphernalia » Typewriter cases » 05-8-2019 03:25:51

I completely agree about the state of the average carry case.  In many instances the typewriter has been put in a damp loft and although it has largely protected the machine, it has suffered badly in the process.  Quite apart from the white spots of paint - which I understand is usually found over the pond in America too !   Although I haven't tried it myself yet, after a lot of reseach, I found that most old-style cases were covered in 'book cloth', sometimes also called 'Buckram'. This is the stuff that is used to cover the card covers of traditionally bound books.  It is pretty expensive.  I am not sure what adhesive was used back in the day, but I could guess that wallpaper paste or woodworkers PVA glue would do the job nowadays.  

Parts » FS: New Hermes 3000 Platen Knobs » 02-8-2019 16:02:14

This is always a problem.  I liken it to the cost of a 'barn find' classic car and then having to pay ten times that figure for a professional restoration.  Potential customers e-mail me all the time asking for a 'ball park' figure for servicing and repairing an (often rusty) standard typewriter and then think that I must be ripping them off when I quote a fair price for two working days worth of labour.  Getting things specially made is usually an expensive proposition - even before any profit or postage is taken into account.  There have been a few occasions when I have approached a supplier and they wanted three times what I know I could sell the item for.  My hope is that with the high prices that Hermes 3000s fetch (at least in the UK), it would be worth buying a pair of platen knobs to give an otherwise unsaleable machine some value - or even some use !  I know that Hermes used a brittle plastic, and it was a problem even when these machines were only a few years old.  Back in the late 1970's all Hermes could supply were the white knobs from the final model - which probably irked owners even then !  Sorry if I came over a bit annoyed, the truth is I was disappointed with the lack of response to what I thought would be a really good idea.  You can take a horse to the water, but you can't always make it drink

Parts » FS: New Hermes 3000 Platen Knobs » 02-8-2019 02:40:51

I am rather surprised that no-one has replied to this post - does the demand for these knobs no longer exist ?  Here is an opportunity to get some properly made and no-one seems remotely interested
  If I don't hear anything soon, I will probably not bother to progress this.

Parts » FS: New Hermes 3000 Platen Knobs » 28-7-2019 03:12:47

That got your attention, didn't it !
  I am currently looking into having a batch of these knobs manufactured and would like to gauge interest.  The idea is to produce a 'universal' knob without the metal insert (which you could take from your broken knob and glue into the new one) that would be sold in pairs and could be used for either the left or right of the machine.  For technical reasons that I won't go into here, these knobs would only be available in white and would closely resemble the shape of the Mark Two and Mark Three machines.  Even in the late 1970's there was a problem with these knobs breaking and at that stage the only knobs that Hermes would supply were the white ones from the later models, so no change there !  It is early days yet, but it looks as if the selling price would be around $50 US per pair.  Now, before I go any further, could you please respond via this forum and let me know if you would be interested in a pair of these knobs, think that the selling price is what you would like to pay, and if you violently object to having white replacement knobs on your Mark One or Mark Two 3000 when they should really be in Seafoam Green.  Here's hoping to hear from you all

Resources » Olympia Traveller selling prices » 21-7-2019 02:08:32

I can't help with the selling price, but can explain the differences. The 'Traveller' was the replacement for the Splendid 33, so single colour ribbon, fold up paper rest and no keyboard touch control.  Only made for a few years in the early 1970's.  The 'Traveller DeLuxe' had two colour ribbon, pop-up paper rest and keyboard touch control.  The 'Traveller DeLuxe S' was developed in the 1980's by Olympia's sub-contactor in Yugoslavia, TBM, and has all the above features plus a pre-set tabulator.  After around 1971, all Travellers were made in Yugoslavia.  Most have the metal plate at the back with the country of origin omitted so as not to give the game away.  For a while, the plastic snap-over carry cases carried a mould mark with the year of manufacture.  This was later dropped.  Yugoslavian frame castings marked TBM Unis have a year of manufacture cast into them - BUT - that is just when the casting was made.  I suspect that the factory had about three years worth made at a time, and therefore the casting year can be earlier than the typewriter year.  The very last Travellers had a single piece bail bar with no bail rolls in an attempt to cheapen manufacture as far as possible to remain competitive.  The Traveller was still head and shoulders above other makes right until they finished production.  I wish they were still making them.  I wonder where the tooling went ?  Hopefully not in the skip/dumpster !

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