Sunday, May 13, 2012

Shipping an Olympia B12 Typewriter

Fill the basket with crumpled paper

Lock the basket to prevent it from shifting

Secure the shift lock so it cannot disengage

Wrap the machine with Sara-Wrap (cling film, plastic wrap, etc.  Using no tape to fasten it to the machine.

Fill the voids in the case with crumpled paper

Tape the loose ends and secure the latches
This may be over kill for this typewriter.  I bought it on Ebay and it was shipped to me from California in a box.  Yes, box.  Cardboard and nothing else.  It convinced me the Japanese blow molded cases do their job.  Since then I bought a Brother on line and it was shipped the same way.  Blow molded case in a cardboard box with a bit of cardboard to keep it from shaking.

Both machines arrived in excellent working and cosmetic condition.  I like the molded cases.  They work.  Good transport and protection.


  1. Yeah, those molded cases may not be pretty but they are very functional.

  2. Thanks for posting these packing instructions, Bill!

    As far as shipping typewriters is concerned, "overkill" is GOOD. I'd much rather do too much than too little.

    I recently had a Selectric II shipped to me, from Wisconsin to California, and made sure they double-boxed it with lots of packing material filling the voids. It cost a fortune but the big, heavy typewriter arrived in perfect condition.

  3. Bill, I wish ebay sellers packaged typewriters like you do.
    Awesome Hermes 3000 typeface, by the way.

  4. Great tutorial! I had to pack a couple of typewriters over the weekend and it had been a while since I had done it, so I was wondering whether I'd gotten it correct - fortunately I seem to have done everything you did here, except for securing the shift lock with zip tie. Clever! I'll have to remember that for next time.

    By the way, what does one do for carriage-shifted typewriters? Does the shift lock need to be engaged for those as well?

    1. I ensure the carriage stays locked down since shift puts the carriage up. Generally wrapping with plastic wrap will hold the carriage down and centered.

  5. The worst cases for shipping are Smith-Corona 60s style portable cases like the kind used on late model Super 5s and the Galaxie series. They are light, functional, and look good, but they dent and warp so easily in shipping. If a machine is shipped in such a case without padding, it will warp/dent the case which will cause the typewriter to become disengaged from the case. Almost all of my cases of this kind have dents in them. I had one which did not.

    For those types of cases, immobilization and packing inside the case are crucial.