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18-1-2020 18:41:00  #1


Smith Corona Silent (1949) Type Keys Stuck

I just picked up a Silent from a thrift store for $30, and it’s extremely dirty. I have yet to start cleaning, and I am unsure if I should try getting out the dirt manually with rubbing alcohol or with the dunking method....
Other than the dirt, though, is the problem that three or four of the keys are not coming down to rest on the segment like the rest of the keys. They are raised about half a centimetre higher than the others, and when struck they get stuck in the middle of ascension. Is this caused by dirt build up in between the hinges of the keys, or is this a mechanical problem?
 

 

18-1-2020 21:38:42  #2


Re: Smith Corona Silent (1949) Type Keys Stuck

First vacuum it, then blow out crap with compressed air, and only then try to dissolve stuff; if you get the original mass of dust wet, then the resulting mud is just harder to get out. Start with alcohol if that's what you have and be aware that other solvents will often act quicker or more completely, because different solvents dissolve different things. Good solvents are naptha (lighter fluid), paint thinner, mineral spirits, and commercial solvents (of which WD-40 is not one). Swab up the dirty liquids or the stuff will just dry back in place.

Dunking is way more hassle than it's worth unless you have the set-up to deal with it and some knowledge. Dunking sounds like you just immerse ti and it comes out clean but there's more to it. It was a commercial process where they were servicing many typewriters a day. For most of us, though, it is a glamorous buzzword rather than a go-to technique.

The problem with the keys not resting in place may not be "other than the dirt"---it may be exactly the dirt. it usually is. Clean first and then analyze the situation after dirt is eliminated.

 

19-1-2020 11:25:14  #3


Re: Smith Corona Silent (1949) Type Keys Stuck

M. Höhne wrote:

First vacuum it, then blow out crap with compressed air, and only then try to dissolve stuff; if you get the original mass of dust wet, then the resulting mud is just harder to get out. Start with alcohol if that's what you have and be aware that other solvents will often act quicker or more completely, because different solvents dissolve different things. Good solvents are naptha (lighter fluid), paint thinner, mineral spirits, and commercial solvents (of which WD-40 is not one). Swab up the dirty liquids or the stuff will just dry back in place.

Dunking is way more hassle than it's worth unless you have the set-up to deal with it and some knowledge. Dunking sounds like you just immerse ti and it comes out clean but there's more to it. It was a commercial process where they were servicing many typewriters a day. For most of us, though, it is a glamorous buzzword rather than a go-to technique.

The problem with the keys not resting in place may not be "other than the dirt"---it may be exactly the dirt. it usually is. Clean first and then analyze the situation after dirt is eliminated.

Thanks so much for the reply! I’m definitely going to clean it manually then. This is my first typewriter that isn’t functional yet, so it’s nice to be able to get advice from people with more experience!

     Thread Starter
 

19-1-2020 17:58:30  #4


Re: Smith Corona Silent (1949) Type Keys Stuck

Hi Silver

Welcome to the forum and the fascinating world of mechanical typewriters. Once you get a properly working typewriter and get to know the machine, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to type up a page, or two, or three, as the thoughts flow from your mind, down your arms and onto the paper through your fingers. Do you mind me asking where about you are located? This sort of information can often help us to know what cleaning products to recommend by your geographical area and if there is a reliable typewriter repair shop near to you should the need arise. All the best,

Sky

 

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