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01-11-2019 13:13:21  #811


Re: New Member Thread

Hi Laurenz,

It's a 1969 SM8, white metal ribbon cover, dark grey base and keytops. I haven't gotten round to cleaning and re-oiling the SM8, and it's got a bit of dust and other sticky stuff in its innards (though surprisingly none of its keys stick upon typing), so the following is to be taken with a grain of salt.

When I first typed on the SM8 (today actually, as it was still unpacked from my recent purchase), it made me jump! It's typing action is very precise and responsive, and the carriage movement is so deliberate. The keys of the SM8 are very light, fast to respond and fast to whip up and strike the platen. The SM8 just feels like it wants to fly, the keys offer little resistance to your fingers in comparison to the Lettera 32. Even the lightest touch control setting on the 32 is heavier than the SM8, though not massively (note, the SM8 has no touch control). There is an interesting juxtaposition between the SM8's light key touch and the solidness of its body and carriage. The carriage return is a solid, smooth glide; the 32's carriage is a bit louder and though pretty smooth not one that I can describe as a glide. Another impressive thing about the SM8 is the clarity of its print - even without a clean to the type slugs or a change to an old ribbon the type is very clear.

The rows of keytops on the SM8 feel like they might be set at a slightly steeper incline than the 32. Surprisingly, the shift key feels a bit heavier on the SM8 (of course, both machines have basket shifts). The SM8 typing action also sounds louder than my Lettera - it sounds tinier, maybe a bit more metallic. This video gives a pretty good replication I think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdp_X5NMlk

Hopefully this helps. I won't comment on aesthetics, because they are quite a subjective thing...

 

02-11-2019 10:27:35  #812


Re: New Member Thread

typeitup wrote:

Hi Laurenz,

It's a 1969 SM8, white metal ribbon cover, dark grey base and keytops. I haven't gotten round to cleaning and re-oiling the SM8, and it's got a bit of dust and other sticky stuff in its innards (though surprisingly none of its keys stick upon typing), so the following is to be taken with a grain of salt.

When I first typed on the SM8 (today actually, as it was still unpacked from my recent purchase), it made me jump! It's typing action is very precise and responsive, and the carriage movement is so deliberate. The keys of the SM8 are very light, fast to respond and fast to whip up and strike the platen. The SM8 just feels like it wants to fly, the keys offer little resistance to your fingers in comparison to the Lettera 32. Even the lightest touch control setting on the 32 is heavier than the SM8, though not massively (note, the SM8 has no touch control). There is an interesting juxtaposition between the SM8's light key touch and the solidness of its body and carriage. The carriage return is a solid, smooth glide; the 32's carriage is a bit louder and though pretty smooth not one that I can describe as a glide. Another impressive thing about the SM8 is the clarity of its print - even without a clean to the type slugs or a change to an old ribbon the type is very clear.

The rows of keytops on the SM8 feel like they might be set at a slightly steeper incline than the 32. Surprisingly, the shift key feels a bit heavier on the SM8 (of course, both machines have basket shifts). The SM8 typing action also sounds louder than my Lettera - it sounds tinier, maybe a bit more metallic. This video gives a pretty good replication I think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHdp_X5NMlk

Hopefully this helps. I won't comment on aesthetics, because they are quite a subjective thing...

The thing has dust and sticky stuff in its innards because somebody oiled it in the past. Don't oil it.

The steepness of the incline of the keys is something that is very easy to measure and compare, so we do not really have to rely o n the "feel" impression. This is true also for the size of the keytops and the space between them, some things that people often complain about without measuring. Even the force required to get a slug to the paper is measurable, although it is more dependent on condition than the other concerns here. I wish that someone with more interest and time than I have would lay these questions to rest once and for all.

Not only aesthetics, but I point out that feel and sound are also quite a subjective thing, unless you measure them. Have Fun!

 

02-11-2019 14:00:26  #813


Re: New Member Thread

There's definitely some dust and grime due to over oiling, but most of it is fury dust (even unoiled places). It didn't have a dust cover and was not covered for a while, and I've found covering makes quite a difference. I've also cleaned up an over-oiled Hermes 3000 that was covered and it was no where near as furry inside... ew, I'm grossing myself out.

I didn't mention keytop size nor width between keytops while comparing these two typewriters, but you raise an interesting point. Having measured now, for the SM8, the width of its teardrop shape key tops is 14mm at the top of the key, 13mm at middle, and 9.5mm at bottom. Space between keys is 5mm. Lettera 32 - 13mm x 13mm square keytops and 5mm space between key tops. I agree - it would be nice to see a table of such measurements, including force to type a slug though the latter, as you say, would be quite condition reliant.

 

02-11-2019 15:12:27  #814


Re: New Member Thread

typeitup wrote:

There's definitely some dust and grime due to over oiling, but most of it is fury dust (even unoiled places). It didn't have a dust cover and was not covered for a while, and I've found covering makes quite a difference. I've also cleaned up an over-oiled Hermes 3000 that was covered and it was no where near as furry inside... ew, I'm grossing myself out.

I didn't mention keytop size nor width between keytops while comparing these two typewriters, but you raise an interesting point. Having measured now, for the SM8, the width of its teardrop shape key tops is 14mm at the top of the key, 13mm at middle, and 9.5mm at bottom. Space between keys is 5mm. Lettera 32 - 13mm x 13mm square keytops and 5mm space between key tops. I agree - it would be nice to see a table of such measurements, including force to type a slug though the latter, as you say, would be quite condition reliant.

I don't believe oil attracts dust, as so many say, but rather that it holds dust that falls on it from wherever. Covering definitely helps. I do not draw that conclusion from your two examples, though, because the two typewriters were stored by different people in different conditions for different periods of time, etc. Different--not comparable; different--not comparable; different--not comparable; etc.

Easier than measuring keytop spacing by trying to eyeball the center of two keytops is measuring from left edge to left edge or right-to-right. Bigger keytops will look like they are on smaller centers, though they may not be at all.

 

02-11-2019 16:23:49  #815


Re: New Member Thread

Thanks for your extensive feedback typeitup.

 

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