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Resources » Techinial Manuals » 25-8-2015 16:42:43

I found this manual manual from the U.S. Navy, 1944:  Focuses on Royal, Woodstock, Remington & Underwood.  The section on armed forces-specific keyboards is partricularly interesting.

Maintenance & Repairs » Repainting old typewriter keys » 11-12-2013 13:10:05

After beak's comment on engraver's wax, I looked around also and found references to filler sticks used to fill scratches/dings in wood cabinets & furniture:,190,42997

Both of these products seem to come in white, which would work with my black keys.  However, I'm concerned as to how long they would actually stay on the keys.  

I'm thinking I will try one of my children's white wax crayons first--maybe I can heat the crayon slightly before application, rather than the key?  Or put the whole machine in the oven at 200 degrees F (as I did before to dry it out), then apply the crayon?  If I have any success with this, then I might be tempted to spend the $$ for one of these products.



Maintenance & Repairs » Don't be afraid to save a rusted out machine! » 10-12-2013 14:18:41

Thanks Uwe!  Yes, I did remove the platen, forgot to mention that...but I did dunk the rollers separately once removed due to the gunk/buildup, hoping that the acidic water was less damaging than petroleum would be. Appreciated the helpful notes elsewhere on rejuvinating old platens rubber as well...

Maintenance & Repairs » Repainting old typewriter keys » 10-12-2013 14:16:20

I've been working on my Underwood SX-100, and I'm wondering if there is a simple way to repaint the characters into the keys.  This particular model has molded plastic keys with each character imprinted into them (less than 1 mm deep), then the impression filled with what I assume is white paint.  For most of them, the white paint is faded or completely gone.  The image below, while not my machine, is typical; note the E,S,R,C and T keys:

Since my machine is in pretty rough condition, I'm more interested in the practical aspect than the asthetic...but it would be nice to have it done.  Any thoughts out there?

Maintenance & Repairs » Don't be afraid to save a rusted out machine! » 05-12-2013 16:12:33

I recently bought a Underwood SX100...probably the newest machine I'd ever purchased, but probably also the worst condition, as it had been left outside to rust so much that the grey metal work was now brown.  Worst of all, the water had pooled over the bottom 1/3 of the key arch (!), rendering them a mass of rusted mess, and none of the keys would budge.

Since I only paid $10 USD for the machine, after some web research I decided to risk an experiment.  It (fortunately!) paid off, and I thought I'd share it here.

We live in an area with a high calcium & lime concentration in the water, so we regularly use food-grade citric acid powder as a pre-rinse in the dishwasher to negate its effects.

So....I found a tub large enough to accomodate the whole machine, filled it with enough hot (read: boiling) water to submerge the machine, and added a cup or so of the citric acid powder.  I then started submersing the parts until the rust was visibly removed.  I started with the carriage & tinwork to be safe & test my process, then moved on to the whole machine.  With the stuck keys, I was able to leave the machine in for about an hour or so until the keys would actually begin to move!  I kept it in, adding more boiling water a liter/quart or so at a time, until I was able to get every key to move, then removed it from the bath.

Three important final steps...each part received a very thorough hot water rinse (using the kitchen sink sprayer), then went in the oven at 200 degrees F until absolutely dry (the rubber parts seemed to tolerate this just fine).  Finally, I sprayed all moving parts with a lubricant to keep rust from re-occuring since the metal was now so fully exposed.  

(FYI, I am in love with Tri-Flow lubricant that my bicycling buddy loaned me.  I used the aerosol, but it also comes in a squirt bottle.  This product is amazing!  It can both loosen stuck parts like WD-40, but it has the staying power of a spray lithium grease, without all the mess.)


Type Talk » New Member Thread » 05-12-2013 12:32:38

Greetings all!

My name is Clinton & I currently live in the Kansas City area, although I've lived in Asia, Africa & Europe during the past 15 years.  While in high school, on a lark I purchased my first typewriter--a 1940s Underwood desktop model--at a church rummage sale.  It served me well through college, when I became an accidental collector of sorts.  While I'm still fond of Underwoods, my collection now includes Royals, Remingtons, a Harris Visiable and my grandmother's Olympia.  My most recent addition is a Underwood SX100 that I salvaged from having been left to rust outside in a junk heap.  Unfortunately most of my collection is with a journalist friend in Dallas who was storing them while I was abroad, but I hope to move them to Kansas City with me sometime next year.

I look forward to learning more from each of you about these wonderful old machines!


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