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26-3-2013 21:12:12  #1

Platen Products

I've read a lot about platens, especially articles that deal with the the options you have when restoring them. Fortunately, none of my typewriters have a platen that is so bad that it needs to be replaced or recovered, but I do have a few that are pretty hard. As you know, a hardened platen is not good news for the machine's other components. They're hell on ribbons and slugs, and will even make a mess of the paper you're typing on. 

There are a few techniques for softening up a rock hard platen. A cheap fix is just to load a few sheets of paper in to soften the slug's blow, but I find that to be a cumbersome exercise, especially if you use the machine often.

Other techniques include sanding it down to freshen its surface, or even using various chemicals to soften the rubber. It may come down to something like that, but I love purpose-made solutions that come in a can.

Has anyone tried using of the platen rejuvination sprays that are available? I'm thinking of ordering a few cans - the products claim to clean and rejuvinate platen surfaces - but I want to know if it actually works first. With twenty platens that use a cleaning it would be a worthwhile investment.


30-3-2013 23:28:25  #2

Re: Platen Products

Hi Uwe

After an evening of research on the net, Varn Super Rubber Rejuvenator seems to be an industry favorite for print shops etc. I've seen this product available on eBay (item # 260962395054) but I don't need a gallon of the stuff and getting it shipped up here to Canada would be a real kicker.

That being said though, my wife does have friends in Montana who are happy to receive items and hold them till she goes down for a visit. If I knew that enough other typists were interested in this product, I might look at getting a gallon and divvying it up into say 4 oz or 8 oz containers for redistribution. Any thoughts and ideas are more than welcome. All the best,


We humans go through many computers in our lives, but in their lives, typewriters go through many of us.
In that way, they’re like violins, like ancestral swords. So I use mine with honor and treat them with respect.
I try to leave them in better condition than I met them. I am not their first user, nor will I be their last.
Frederic S. Durbin. (Typewriter mania and the modern writer)

31-3-2013 12:04:35  #3

Re: Platen Products

Thanks for the lead Sky. I looked into that particular product, and as you mentioned, it's not cheap and only seems to be available in bulk quantities, which isn't really surprising considering it's meant for professional print shops.

I've found a product that is available locally that I might try first, which I also think might be more along the lines of what I was looking for, but if it doesn't work out maybe we can work on your plan to split a jug of the Varn.


     Thread Starter

31-3-2013 13:11:33  #4

Re: Platen Products

Does 'blow off' mean the same in Canda as it does in the UK?


31-3-2013 14:06:06  #5

Re: Platen Products

Stevetype33 wrote:

Does 'blow off' mean the same in Canda as it does in the UK?

Obviously not! It's a U.S. company, one that clearly didn't concern itself with international sales when it decided on its name...

     Thread Starter

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