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21-12-2022 22:29:01  #1

Hermes 10 Working Again

My Hermes 10 came to me from a friend. She was letting me try it out the last day of spring 2022. We ended up doing a trade and I now had another Hermes having acquired a 3000 that winter.  

The 10 seemed to have a bit of drag and stickiness to some of the keys. When I emailed Pete he said changing the belts made his run quieter mine needed a deep clean. The spacebar and a few of the keys didn’t always register. Pete sent some photos to help in removing the cowling and bottom so the first good day I took it outside to do some spraying, wiping and air blowing for the cleanup. A few hours later I brought it back in the house, powered it up and…, one of the keys didn’t work at all. Back outside I go and discovered that one of the very tiny springs was loose at one end. Attaching it was much harder than I thought it would be. Thinking this was the only problem I put it all back together, took it back inside and after I got to the end of the first line found that the linefeed didn’t work and after a successful carriage return the carriage was no longer advancing with each key stroke. Well, by this time I was afraid to do much more as there was no service guides or even parts schematics available that I or Pete could find. So deciding to stop before getting further in trouble I moth-balled the machine and it sat covered on a table for about four months. 

Pete and I wrote back and forth and I planned to give it to him when he came to Oregon in 2023. It seemed that with him having a working machine to make comparisons with he might get it working again. Then one day in November after again trying to find some service manuals and failing I decided to get back inside and see if my sub conscience had done anymore silent processing. The first thing I saw was the draw cord was wrapped around the inside of the mainspring housing. In trying to get this off and having no luck I finally discovered the fastener had reverse threads! Who knew. Now, how to wind the cord without it continually falling off the plastic and wrapping around the hub again. Plus, where did it even hook once it was successfully wound correctly? Pete sent some photos of his machines hook location and once again I had a machine that was advancing with each key stroke. The tab function didn’t move much or at all and Pete suggested more turns of the mainspring. 

I still had no linefeed. Removing the LH platen knob and cover I tried to puzzle out how this should work. Sending photos back and forth Pete and I discovered the build differences between our two machines. Pete posted on both this forum and FaceBook asking for someone willing to take some photos of this area of their machines but no one ever did. The next day I tried moving pieces around but it never helped and I could only roll it back two lines before it would go no further. After a lot of heavy puzzling I put it away. The next day while looking inside as far possible I thought that one of the springs looked wrong. When I got a probe on it I found it was not hooked at one end. But what did it hook to? Barely visible was a tiny hole in one of the metal pieces. Reaching in with a spring hook I thankfully found that the spring was not broken and had only come unhooked. I manipulated the spring and wonder of wonders, I got it re-hooked. Now when I powered it on the linefeed worked. I put the bottom back on, carefully aligned the key cover with the cowling. With the cover and platen knob back on I powered it up, typed a line and…, no linefeed. Back off comes the knob and the cover so I can watch what happens under the cover and the linefeed works every time. I put the cover back on. No linefeed. Carefully looking the screws over I noticed that one of them was one thread shorter that the other. I swapped them and finally the linefeed is working as it should. In a phone call to Matt at Ace Typewriter about a machine I wanted to buy he said that I may even need another turn on the mainspring. I did that and now I’d say the Hermes 10 is close to 90% working. The margin release doesn’t work every time and sometimes the spacebar doesn’t register the push. Also when set to use the red half of the ribbon sometimes the vibrator doesn’t come back down. That will be something for later work. 

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of long distance help I got from Pete and I know I would have never got as far as I did without his help. When I was talking with Matt he said he thought the Hermes 10 was a good machine and that the last time he worked on one was over 30 years ago. Perhaps there just aren’t all that many left working in the online world.



22-12-2022 10:09:10  #2

Re: Hermes 10 Working Again

Hi George,

Glad I was of some help and its great you stuck with it.  Now there is just that last 10%... 

Just think...a couple of decades back we would have done that with snail mail, phone calls, and even sharing polaroid photos going back and forth in the mail.

I did not get any offers of help over on Face Book when I posted up on your behalf.  I think not too many folks have a Hermes 10 and some that do, may just not want to remove covers and take a photo or two. 


22-12-2022 12:25:50  #3

Re: Hermes 10 Working Again

Congratulations to you! An excellent collaboration. Hopefully a bit of cleaning and debugging can sort out those last few issues.


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