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20-2-2014 10:09:48  #1

Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

I have a question for all which are loving old typewriters : 
I have an old typewriter that I bought quite recently (I think we have the same, Uwe, the OIympia of the beginning 1930's with a golden "P" - an aesthetical work of art), and the thing is that the condition was quite ok, rust here and there. 

The platten (I think that's how it's called. Let's say the "roll" to be clear, the big one around which the paper is "wrapped") has however some difficulties, some metal pieces haven't run for a long time (and a basement smell too), and... actually, the button on the right permitting the roll to... roll is blocked (probably by rust). 
I tried to make something about it, but unfortunately it does not succeded (and I have not necessarily the time, the possibilities - I mean, not where I live - nor the will, since I don't want to damage this "old lady" more than she already is). 

So, do you already experienced "profesisonnal" typewriter reparators ? 
I saw that there were several on the internet saying that they still do it, and I am in the mood to repairing my typewriter to have it working. 
Second question : not living in the US, do you already have feedbacks about Europeans reparators ? (by European, according to my location, I can get in touch with German, Benelux or French reparators if needed). 

Thanks a lot for your wise advices :-) ! 

Last edited by iMe (20-2-2014 11:12:00)


20-2-2014 10:25:19  #2

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Where are you located exactly? We have a member here who repairs machines, but he's located in England.

Keep in mind this is an international forum, so the members here are from all over the world; someone here might live close to you and might know of a repair shop in your area, but you have to start by telling us where you are. 

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

20-2-2014 11:09:58  #3

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Surprise ! 
I am in Germany, but I have the possibility to go to France, and potentially Benelux countries as well (and a part for Dutch, languages won't be a problem). 

     Thread Starter

20-2-2014 17:25:43  #4

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

To start, you might want to check out this webpage that lists several repair shops in German-speaking countries,

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

21-2-2014 13:45:45  #5

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Thnaks for the link ! 

Actually, that were the links I already found (even if the 3rd one mentioned in Germany does not sounds as a 100 % reparator. He might more "reshape" the writer"). 
One of them is a quite close from where I am... I can give a try (or at least, a call, since students don't have cars ). 

I know it's a touchy question, but... any experiences in the German repartors ?  :-) 
Second question : I know that not knowing the shape of my typewriter is definitevely making this question barely answerable ; howerver, for a "medium" (between really light and really heavy) restauration, how much might I be expecting to pay ? (Just to have an idea. A number between 1 and 1000 :-) ?. 

Last edited by iMe (21-2-2014 13:47:28)

     Thread Starter

21-2-2014 17:44:19  #6

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

I've never paid for a restoration, but there are some members here who have, and we have typewriterman who services machines, so hopefully someone will be able to give you a rough estimate. Ultimately, it will depend on the rates of the service shop you take it to.

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

07-3-2014 11:28:20  #7

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Just to let you know : I contacted two shops and described the "problems" I was able to detect to have an idea if 1. it's possible to do it, and 2. how much it might (really) approximately cost. 

I am still waiting for the replies :-) 

Last edited by iMe (07-3-2014 11:28:51)

     Thread Starter

12-3-2014 11:34:48  #8

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Well, I got one reply today.

Ew. That hurt. For the problems I have described to the person, she wants to charge me approximately (between) 150 and 350 euros for her best guess. 
So, ca. 250-500 US dollars.


Last edited by iMe (12-3-2014 11:35:11)

     Thread Starter

12-3-2014 12:45:34  #9

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

It's very difficult to give an exact quote based on an emailed description, so the range of the cost they sent you isn't surprising. Neither is the cost. It's an unfortunate reality of collecting typewriters; they are very inexpensive to buy, but very expensive to have professionally repaired. You don't mind paying $200 to repair something that cost you $20,000 to buy, but paying $200 to repair a $20 item is a tough pill to swallow.

And you can't blame the repair shop. They have overhead to pay, a profit to make, and they need to be paid for their time and materials.

So how do we weigh such things? Well, if you have a very rare typewriter or it has a strong sentimental importance to you, then it is very easy to justify paying $200+ to restore it to full functionality. However, if it's a common typewriter that you just 'like', then you're better off either trying to repair it yourself - or find another one that is in better condition.

When I look over my collection I have duplicates of several models. Partly this is because I like to compare their performance, but also because I like the idea of having a spare machine that could be used for parts (in a real emergency). 

I'm curious as to what you're going to do.I think you mentioned that you have an Olympia Progress like the one I have? If so, it's not a rare machine and it shouldn't be too hard to find another one in good condition. I didn't pay very much for mine, AND it was shipped to me from Germany.

The pronoun has always been capitalized in the English language for more than 700 years.

25-8-2014 00:37:40  #10

Re: Repairing old machines : "professional" repairs ?

Do you guys know of anyone in Canada that does repairs? Preferably on the west coast? 
I know a fellow that does it in Newfoundland (east coast), but not where I live now on the west coast (BC).



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