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10-3-2022 19:08:27  #1

Selectric repair

Bought a Selectric (I) from a retired guy two months ago, and I guess true to form it had not been turned on for a LONG time because it was his wife's to do invoices for their business, and so last week I kicked it on for maybe the fifth time and I get nothing. I understand that it is probably just old grease and gunk; the motor still hums, I can hear it. So I popped it open because how hard can it be and wow it is hard. I knew it was complicated but I was / am really empowered by my recent forays into manual refurbish and of course this is Vulcan chess comparatively. And apparently I don't even have the right tools to actually get in there and break it down and clean it up and lube it and put it back together even if I tried.

I don't have a question -- I know where the nearest real repair person is and will probably work on it with YouTube videos until I bollox it up real good and then take it to them. I guess just people think I am a little nuts for caring so much about old technology, and being sad about the expertise to keep them running dying without having been handed on to apprentices as much because there is no market, and it is really sad to see expertise die. Maybe I'd feel the same way about, say, scrimshaw making. But typewriters are different because they were such an important central part of the whole literary and business culture for so long and now they are just gone except for weirdos like us.


22-3-2022 18:54:27  #2

Re: Selectric repair

I don't know anyone in your area that can take care of it.  Have you tried giving it a solid clean first?  I have two in line to repair this summer with a third likely on the way...

I wouldn't let the motor on yours run without the rest of the machine working.  You may run the risk of burning it out.

Typewriter Service Tech (and avid nerd)

03-5-2022 21:52:41  #3

Re: Selectric repair

That's the thing with selectrics. There's simply too much to learn, and then there's the practice you need to even begin attempting certain things. But I agree with Lucas, try some deep cleaning first. Duane Jensen's videos are always a good starting point, check him out on YouTube - phoenix typewriters. After watching a few of his videos, and a lot of trial and error, I was able to get mine moving.


04-5-2022 11:13:44  #4

Re: Selectric repair


You are a brave sort.  I have worked on and serviced all of my 38 machines (both manual and 5-6 electrics) but have stayed away from an IBM purchase just knowing I would be way out of my league on those.


04-5-2022 13:26:50  #5

Re: Selectric repair

Brave or foolish? Stands to be seen!

     Thread Starter

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