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07-6-2013 17:42:33  #1

How to fix a skipping carriage?

We've had questions about non-moving carriages and growling carriages, now one about skipping carriages. I've now accumulated three typewriters that have skipping problems, each slightly different. One slides uncontrollably at the beginning and end of its lateral progression, one skips a space from time to time at random, and one skips after the "a" is typed.
     Does anyone have a semi-general bit of advice regarding carriage movement that might point me in the right direction for fixing all of these machines? I'm a rank amateur when it comes to internal workings, so no danger of talking down to me. Assume (correctly) that I know nothing.


07-6-2013 22:27:08  #2

Re: How to fix a skipping carriage?

My reading tells me that carriage-skipping is due to worn out teeth and spokes on the escapement mechanism, or possibly, the mechanism not functioning properly (due to friction, gunk, lack of lubrication etc). 

If the former is at fault, I'm not sure that you can do anything about it. If the latter is the issue, then the typewriter requires cleaning and/or lubrication, which is much easier to do. But should still be done with care. 

"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley

08-6-2013 16:48:44  #3

Re: How to fix a skipping carriage?

I have a Commodore Speedwriter that I hesitated to buy when I first tried it out in the shop where I bought it... it tended to skip spaces at random and frequently (and most frequently after an 'a' stroke). But I liked the look and feel of it so I negotiated a lower price and brought it home. I gave it a mild cleaning with denatured alcohol and then ran a few sheets of typing through it. The space skipping gradually disappeared til I was able to count just 'one' on a full sheet. When I brought it out a couple of weeks later and typed a few paragraphs I found the 'a' skip had reappeared. I persevered into a couple of full pages and found I was back to a about a single 'skip' per page... so I think -- that just like cars -- typewriters like to be used, and perform best when they are used regularly and often. Most typewriters can't hope for such treatment these days.

"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the typewriter."

08-9-2013 01:03:12  #4

Re: How to fix a skipping carriage?

I have an Underwood standard, 1941.  I cleaned it and it works nicely, but....the caps and lowercase are not on feet together, caps are a half letter higher.  How to fix?   Anyone familiar with this?


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