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04-8-2020 09:49:03  #1


Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

13mm Carbon Plastic Ribbons on standard typewriter spools for use in your manual or electric typewriters.
 
You can’t buy these anymore, so when you come across some new old stock on eBay or elsewhere, I highly suggest you grab as many as you can!
 
The typed text looks just like it was produced on a daisy wheel printer, but with the added advantage that you can type on your favorite manual!
 
It works very well. You can find these ribbons occasionally from various manufacturers. I’ve gotten mine from Pelican and Kores. I like to use them in machines which can use the middle of the ribbon, like the Olympia SG Series or a Hermes 3000. Just don’t make the mistake and waste them in a machine without a color selector. 
 
What you can also do, is to find a daisy-wheel correctable ribbon-cassette which has 13mm carbon-film in it, and spool it onto your typewriter spool. But be careful not to crinkle the film or scratch the carbon coating, they are sensitive! Don’t try a Selectric ribbon, those are 17mm. 

https://www.picclickimg.com/d/l400/pict/381966835710_/1x-PELIKAN-PLASTIC-CARBON-2060-Farbband-Gr-5.jpg


Learned watchmaker and office machine enthusiast from Germany.

 
 

04-8-2020 12:03:50  #2


Re: Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

I don't think that I've ever come across 13mm carbon spools in my area, which makes me wonder how popular this option was in its day, particularly since it was a one-and-done proposition.

Although there isn't as much a risk of a manual machine being mistaken for anything else (because of alignment and weighting variances), there's is a quality tipping point for me personally when it comes to ribbons. It might be very satisfying on one hand to achieve near laser-quality type on an electric typewriter, but when that happens I inevitably feel that I might as well have just created the document on my computer instead.

When the letters on a page lose the idiosyncratic appearance that screams it was created by a typewriter, it loses all of its charm too. If I wanted to be as efficient as possible, I would stick to my computer. Typing on a manual (or electric) machine is more about the experience and how that experience changes the way I work; and type imperfections from using material ribbons is a constant, and desirable reminder of that.
 


Stay Safe! 
 

04-8-2020 12:09:36  #3


Re: Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

Greetings

Just to make a few comments on the polythene carbon film ribbons. Most North American typewriters do not work very well with carbon film ribbons as the ribbon advance between letters is not enough to ensure each letter gets a fresh section of carbon. Therefore, you get letters overlapping on the ribbon and pieces of letter missing on the paper.

When using the carbon ribbons, when you get to the end of the ribbon, lift the spools off, swap them side to side and type again. That way, you don't have to run the entire length of the ribbon on the alternate colour setting which can jam the ribbon as it's so thin.

The Hermes 3000's and Olympia B12's advance the ribbon almost perfectly per letter strike. The letters are a little close together on the ribbon when the ribbon is started and end up being quite widely spaced towards the end due to the increasing effective diameter of the take-up spool due to the accumulation of ribbon on the spool. Machines designed for use with carbon ribbons actually meter the ribbon through with a capstan and roller like a tape recorder or cassette player to ensure that every letter strike gets the exact same amount of ribbon advance no matter how empty or full the take-up spool.

Carbon film ribbons come up now and then as Olivetti Editor ribbons on the 425 foot (130 metre) twin plastic spools and have to be rewound onto spools that will fit your typewriter. I can usually fill three 2" spools from one 130 metre spool. Just be sure to wind the ribbon on with the dull side out so the carbon can transfer from the ribbon onto the paper. Filling a 2" spool with this carbon film ribbon can take a while which is why I've set up a jig for an electric drill.

My digital camera is actin up at the moment, so I can't post pictures of the Olivetti ribbons or winding jig. However I found two boxes of a dozen ribbons each for about $6.00 plus shipping. That's just over 3 km of ribbon which should last me a while. All the best,

Sky

 

04-8-2020 12:20:58  #4


Re: Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

Uwe wrote:

I don't think that I've ever come across 13mm carbon spools in my area, which makes me wonder how popular this option was in its day, particularly since it was a one-and-done proposition.

Although there isn't as much a risk of a manual machine being mistaken for anything else (because of alignment and weighting variances), there's is a quality tipping point for me personally when it comes to ribbons. It might be very satisfying on one hand to achieve near laser-quality type on an electric typewriter, but when that happens I inevitably feel that I might as well have just created the document on my computer instead.

When the letters on a page lose the idiosyncratic appearance that screams it was created by a typewriter, it loses all of its charm too. If I wanted to be as efficient as possible, I would stick to my computer. Typing on a manual (or electric) machine is more about the experience and how that experience changes the way I work; and type imperfections from using material ribbons is a constant, and desirable reminder of that.
 

I type official correspondence on my Report De Luxe and SG1. When it comes to those, I like using the Carbon ribbons as it produces a more neat, modern document. For personal letters or typing otherwise I agree with your philosophy. Just thought I should mention the option as I believe most are ignorant of the possibility altogether.  

P.s. I might have accidentally reported you comment. Miss-click, sorry. 
 


Learned watchmaker and office machine enthusiast from Germany.

 
     Thread Starter
 

04-8-2020 12:22:30  #5


Re: Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

skywatcher wrote:

Greetings

Just to make a few comments on the polythene carbon film ribbons. Most North American typewriters do not work very well with carbon film ribbons as the ribbon advance between letters is not enough to ensure each letter gets a fresh section of carbon. Therefore, you get letters overlapping on the ribbon and pieces of letter missing on the paper.

When using the carbon ribbons, when you get to the end of the ribbon, lift the spools off, swap them side to side and type again. That way, you don't have to run the entire length of the ribbon on the alternate colour setting which can jam the ribbon as it's so thin.

The Hermes 3000's and Olympia B12's advance the ribbon almost perfectly per letter strike. The letters are a little close together on the ribbon when the ribbon is started and end up being quite widely spaced towards the end due to the increasing effective diameter of the take-up spool due to the accumulation of ribbon on the spool. Machines designed for use with carbon ribbons actually meter the ribbon through with a capstan and roller like a tape recorder or cassette player to ensure that every letter strike gets the exact same amount of ribbon advance no matter how empty or full the take-up spool.

Carbon film ribbons come up now and then as Olivetti Editor ribbons on the 425 foot (130 metre) twin plastic spools and have to be rewound onto spools that will fit your typewriter. I can usually fill three 2" spools from one 130 metre spool. Just be sure to wind the ribbon on with the dull side out so the carbon can transfer from the ribbon onto the paper. Filling a 2" spool with this carbon film ribbon can take a while which is why I've set up a jig for an electric drill.

My digital camera is actin up at the moment, so I can't post pictures of the Olivetti ribbons or winding jig. However I found two boxes of a dozen ribbons each for about $6.00 plus shipping. That's just over 3 km of ribbon which should last me a while. All the best,

Sky

Yes, be very warry of the ribbon advance, especially on older machines. It’s good that you mention that. 


Learned watchmaker and office machine enthusiast from Germany.

 
     Thread Starter
 

17-8-2020 04:27:54  #6


Re: Carbon Ribbons for Manuals!

Uwe wrote:

When the letters on a page lose the idiosyncratic appearance that screams it was created by a typewriter, it loses all of its charm too. If I wanted to be as efficient as possible, I would stick to my computer. Typing on a manual (or electric) machine is more about the experience and how that experience changes the way I work; and type imperfections from using material ribbons is a constant, and desirable reminder of that.
 

So if the print "doesn´t scream typewriter" is a bad experience? I find this quite simplistic, but to each its own. I find the experience with both materials pleasant, regardless the material that the ribbon is made of. The quality of the print is a bonus when you use carbon ribbons, I don´t understand why on earth would someone rather type on a computer instead of using carbon ribbons on a typewriter. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/blink.png
 I personally buy all sorts of new typewriter ribbons when I find then on the wild, you never know when you will need them, they are cheap and usually dry.  But when it comes to carbon are not damaged at all and it is not necessary to reink it or anything, just put it on and ready to go! 

 

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