Saturday, February 18, 2012

More Ribbon Restoration, This time using mineral oil

Another Pelikan silk ribbon

Should be moistened both sides.....

This is the finished ribbon
The cloth looks like it is full of ink.  It is not it is a cloth I used to wipe the dirt off of the door channels of one of my vehicles and even though it was washed and clean when I started it was still stained from the dirt.  Very little ink comes off of the ribbon when dabbed or wiped.  I do not use much pressure at all.

The mineral oil did wet the ribbon more than the WD-40.  I think the dilution could have been more.  The ribbon works and I did not want too much mineral spirits since it is a solvent and I did not want it to wash away any ink left in the ribbon.

I see no reason why the WD-40 or my mineral oil solution must be sprayed.  It seems that it could be dabbed onto the ribbon just as well as sprayed.  Dabbing may be less messy also.

Gathering all the things to do this as well as mixing the solution and treating the ribbon took about an hour while I was out in the sun being entertained by the screaming of the neighborhood hawks.   One of the nice things about our city is the abundant wild life.  Our city has hundreds of acres of woods and plenty of deer, turkey, rabbits, squirrels, armadillo, hawks, cranes and many many other birds, even a bobcat or 2.  Oh, plenty of snakes also.  And alligators.

The Hermes noted at the end are all part of my collection.  I designate them with a .n to identify them.  Hermes 3000.2 is an on line purchase that was the cost of postage.  It is a rounded case machine made the same year as my 3000.1 machine.  From my on line inquiries it seems I have one of each of the machine styles from the year the change to the square body machine was made.  It is an elite typeface.  The machine was posted quite a while as a parts machine.  It was dropped and except for a scratch and small dent looks & smells new.  I have not straightened its frame yet.  When I get to it I'll post using it.

3000.3 is the Techno Pica machine I used for this post.


  1. Thanks for the how-to! It seems like Mr. Clemens isnn't the only mad scientist kicking around the typosphere.

  2. Excellent! I had picked up mineral oil and foam makeup daubers to play with and was concerned that the mineral oil was too thick. Cutting it with mineral spirits is a nice trick. I'll try this combo on dried out purple ribbon.

  3. Another great idea! I think I'll give this a try soon, as it sounds like something that could easilybe done indoors if you use the dabbing method you suggested.

    Love your enthusiasm for Hermes 3000s, too! Hope it won't be too difficult to fix the one with the bent frame.

    1. Adwoa,
      All I need to do is steal some time as Patrick explains in Scription.
      Get the J4 off of the bench so I can finally repair some RF amplifiers and then it's the Hermes turn.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Cameron and James originally did Cameron's WD-40 ribbon by dabbing the ribbon while it was still in the typewriter. They have more patients than I have.
    See the second part of the typecast.

    I thought mineral oil may be more readily available in countries where WD-40 or CRC or LPS products may be restricted.

    I used technical grade oil that is used in machine shops. Drug Stores here in the States probably all sell mineral oil. This I am guessing would be chemically pure or USP grade since it would be meant for human use.

    I use chemically pure mineral oil in dummy loads and transformers for coolant. Tech grade costs much less.

    1. I am going to try incorporating your technique of spreading the ribbon onto a newspaper, with my process of dabbing the WD-40 onto a piece of washcloth, and apply it to the ribbon.

      I believe that not only will this be a tidier process (not involving the typewriter) but a faster one; dabbing larger sections of dry ribbon at a time.

      By the way, I coat only one side of the ribbon (the one facing me, not the one coming into direct contact with the paper), which seems to work fine.

    2. Cameron,
      I forgot to specifically mention I only spray one side of the ribbon also, the side facing up. It just so happens that as the work surface gets wet the other side of the ribbon gets some solution also.

  5. Thanks for inspiration! The result looks great.

  6. The result does look really nice, and I am a huge proponent of fixing something instead of throwing it out and getting a new one - not always an option with vintage technology, of course!