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22-8-2023 02:03:27  #1

Royal KMM carriage askew and immobile.

I bought a Royal KMM with a wide carriage (26" platen).  It was packaged horribly by the seller and was damaged in shipping.  The bail was bent, the right platen knob is broken, the cover is bent, the left spool cup is bent.  It clearly was in an outbuilding of some sort for quite some time.

Then there was damage done by some previous owner.  The additional support rail for the carriage was mis-installed, so that the rollers were external to it, keeping the carriage from moving at all.  The tab set button doesn't seem to have a working return spring.  It obviously spent years in some kind of out building, so everything is pretty gunked up.  I'm sure there are other problems I haven't unearthed yet. 

The first problem I want to attack is the immobile carriage.

i managed to remove the support rail.  Unfortunately, this only enabled the carriage to move about an inch either way.  It's not gunk, its a hard blockage. Upon closer looking I noticed it's askew.  I'm using John Muir of the VW idiots manual's orientation terminology, "front is front", meaning that from where the operator sits forward is away from him and left is his left, etc.  It seems the carriage has had the left end jammed back or the right end jammed forward.  Or when looking from above, counter clockwise.  It doesn't seem to be by a whole lot.  There seems to be about .25" difference in carriage edge to chassis on either side.

I want to remove it.  I'm not ready to use a hammer to pound it into place.  I don't think it's time for percussive maintenance yet.

The problem is the only maintenance manual I can find is a DOD one from I'm guessing the '50s and it's instructions on removing the carriage involving moving it from side to side. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how i might do it?

TL;DR  Royall KMM carriage is stuck, instructions say to remove it in needs to move freely.  How do I do it when it won't?


22-8-2023 12:24:55  #2

Re: Royal KMM carriage askew and immobile.

So frustrating. I can sympathize. It's really aggravating to have a machine damaged in transit. I've also had machines arrive that clearly were disassembled by someone, who then got over their head, and then put most of the bits back on, without too much concern for correctness.

For manuals, I recommend Ted Munk's The Manual Typewriter Repair Bible, which is a reprint of several repair manuals put together. The Royal standard section covers the KMM. I found it useful while working on my KMM. He's got a paper version (The Manual Typewriter Repair Bible ( and a PDF version (The Manual Typewriter Repair Bible - TWDB Operation: OOPRAP). The section on standards is the OAMI training manual written by the same person who did the DOD manual during WWII, so you may notice some similarities.

Could you post pictures? (Note the FAQ on posting photos to the forum as you have to host your photos somewhere else online, first - Typewriter Talk » Typewriter Talk FAQ - PLEASE READ THIS FIRST! ( 

It will be difficult to remove the carriage if it can't move since there are 4 clamps underneath it, each with 2 screws, holding it to the rail. Your best bet may be to work very slowly and patiently and see if you can find what's blocking it, or remove enough of everything else to get it to come loose enough to make progress. Forcing things never turns out well with typewriters, so I'd leave the hammer in the drawer.

One thing that is critical for anything to work is that the rails and frame must be dead-on straight and true for things to work. There is a chance, with the big lever arm of the 26" platen, that it's no longer true, and that carriage will always bind possibly to the point of being immovable. I passed up an otherwise immaculate very wide platen Underwood Master because it clearly had fallen off a desk and the carriage rails had a slight bend (thus the carriage wouldn't move). 


22-8-2023 15:53:04  #3

Re: Royal KMM carriage askew and immobile.

Well, it seems I made some progress before seeing your post.  On this model there are actually five carriage clamps.  Four of them were getatable with the limited range of carriage motion I had.  The screws on the fifth one were un-screwable but the would fall inside. Anyway as i loosened the screws on the second the carriage fell into place.

I now have a lot more movement.  I can move the carriage to the left most edge.  It still jams on the right side about half way across.  I now know that the drawband and main spring are good.  I noticed the the stud for the right bail spring is missing.  I learned that the carriage release isn't spring loaded, the spring(s) is/are broken or missing, or is severely gunked up too. 

I don't know what is causing the jam on the right.  Again it feels pretty solid so I doubt it's gunk.  I can go about 1.5" short of half way before it stops so i might still have to remove the carriage.

The condition of the drawband is amazing.  it looks like it could last another 70ish years.  i was prepared to replace it with Kevlar wicking, which probably wouldn't have worked due to the dimensions.

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