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28-3-2014 04:50:36  #1

Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32


I'm new around here.  I recently aquired an Olivetti Lettera 32, I've never had or used a typewriter before, and after (a lot of research) cleaning it up a bit with methylated spirits and sewing machine oil, I started testing it out.

The margin stopper, I think that's what it's called..  It does work, but I find that as I type, the vibration of typing makes it go down slowly, so every time I start a new line it doesn't stop at the set margins, so every line I have to press the margin key again and put it back up.

I can see where the margin stopper is slipping in the mechanism, just under the carriage where the metal bar that goes under teh bottom of the typewriter connects with the one that goes up to the margin stopper [I can take photos if this is confusing].  I was considering putting a little bit of wire on it, to stop it from slipping so that the only movement that occurs would be from using the key, but I figured it must have been made to allow this movement for a reason so I'll come on here and ask you guys.

Any suggestiong / thoughts?

Thanks!  - Nyx

Last edited by Nyxaelia (28-3-2014 04:51:20)


28-3-2014 11:11:35  #2

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

Hi and welcome to TT!

I'm assuming from your description that it's just the left margin you're having an issue with? The margin stops on the Lettera 32 use a solid metal spring to keep them in place. It sounds like the spring for the left margin might not be sitting in the slider right or is broken. Did you examine it closely with respect to the right margin stop? 



28-3-2014 20:02:20  #3

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

The adjustable metal pieves on the rail used to set the margin,  margin stops?  They both work perfectly fine.  The part underneath the rail that has the margin stops, the part that physically stops the margin stops, that it the part that is moving.  

It's pulled down to disengage, and put back up to engage margins using the blank key next to the 2 key.   If I pull the carriage to the right, I can see where all the bars (don't know what these are called) that work the margin mechanism from the key.
You can see behind the carriage there the margin mechanism and how it pivots on that bracket.
 The bar that goes directly down (vertical) and is attached to the bar that goes across beneath the typewriter (horizontal),  where they join there is a little room to slip and move.  It is this slipping as I type that is causing the margin mechanism to go down slightly, just enough to catch the right margin but not the left.


     Thread Starter

29-3-2014 11:47:20  #4

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

Okay, I now understand what problem you're experiencing. In your second photo, if you look directly below the end of that pink/red straw do you see a spring? There should be a spring there that pulls the slotted lever back until it hits the shoulder of the linkage attached to the margin release key. I can see a gap in your photo between those two parts that I don't think should be there, and my first guess is that the spring isn't fully pulling the margin bar back.

If the spring is there, check for obstructions/grime/dirt that might be preventing that bar from freely travelling through its full range of movement. 


30-3-2014 04:45:54  #5

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

Well... I can't see any sort of spring anywhere on the margin mechanism, and the bars are all moving freely/loosely, so I am assuming that the spring must be missing.  I have no idea where the spring is supposed to go though, having never examined another typewriter, or what sort I would need to replace it...

Do you know of any way I can find out this information?

     Thread Starter

30-3-2014 04:52:42  #6

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

OK!!!  So by examing the Hutchison Typewriter Repair Manual which someone gratiously scanned a portion of, and by looking at the mechanism from the bottom of the typewriter, I am fairly certain I know where the spring is supposed to go, and yes... It is completely gone.  

Where should I look to find a replacement? Is any old spring that sorta fits ok?

Thanks again for all your help!

     Thread Starter

30-3-2014 11:06:02  #7

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

I was about to post a photo of the spring but since you know what I'm talking about it isn't necessary. Springs are readily available online, but I would try local hardware stores first and see if you can find an assortment box of replacement springs. What you're after is a standard EXTENSION spring. This webpage will give you some idea of what it is. Of course finding the right size is important, which is why assortment boxes are very handy to buy. The good news is that it's a very cheap part to replace - good luck.


31-3-2014 00:29:21  #8

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

Thankyou so much!  I have substituted a spring for an elastic band for the time being and will hopefully get one soon.  Until then, at least I am still ablet to happily type away.  

     Thread Starter

31-3-2014 09:15:41  #9

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

An elastic band? That's ingenious - I never would have thought of it! Pictures would have been great as I'm having a hard time imagining how you fixed the band to the spring openings. If it works there certainly isn't any rush to get a spring. Good job! 


04-4-2014 20:56:46  #10

Re: Margin Issues ; Olivetti Lettera 32

Here we go!

It was too big so I had to tie it up a little.

     Thread Starter

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