Friday, August 9, 2013

When an Olympia SM4 Gets Stubborn It Becomes a Parts Machine

Remember my SM4 from my last post?

This is how the space bar will allow the machine to type

From this position to about half way down all carriage functions work fine.

This is the linkage to activate the escapement.  Types fine.

The space bar linkage when properly fitted and the machine will not funcito.

This is what should be normal space bar alignment. The machine will not type.  Even the carriage lock will not align.
I did not put the cover fully on the machine.  I did not find any bent levers or linkages.  I cannot bend the tabs on the front of the case (shown in the above photo) or on the space bar enough to allow the typewriter to work when the cover is on.

Adding good washers exaggerates the situation and really locks the machine.

I cannot find any place that slipped or that can be adjusted.  It does not appear a former owner bent anything.  I have found and magnified many of the photos I found on line that show the bottom workings of the machine. They all look normal to me, but when I make my SM4 normal it will not work

Any suggestions?

I'll move on to the Underwood Universal problems if I ever decide to return to working on it,

Maybe that is why I only paid $5.00!

Sorry for my typos.  From the workbench again.


  1. All best in this task of yours, Bill. Hope someone would offer suggestions.

  2. Hmmmm ... hard to diagnose remotely. Since it was working fine earlier, I don't think anything is bent or out of adjustment. Probably some piece got in the way of other pieces when you reassembled it. This kind of thing can be really hard to find, but once you find it, it's easy to fix. I hope this will be the case!

  3. Rendered to the scrap heap.

    This machine as well as my Underwood now join a Skyriter on the scrap heap.

    I now have available for parts a Corona 3, 1954 Skyriter, 1949 Underwood Universal and an Olympia SM4. These were all very in expensive machines that I wanted to try my hand at repairs. I thought the SM4 worked. It turned out to be garbage. I messed with this over 2 weeks and all day today. When I get pissed off it is time to rid myself of the agravation. This is the reason the skippy Skyriter went on the parts pile. The Corona 3 was scrap when I bought it just to ensure key chopper did not get it. I do not have much room for storage so I will only hold onto these machines for a few weeks until I take them apart and put the parts on Epay. If they do not sell they go to the trash. Anyone interested please email me while they are available. I may have a scrap Studio 44 too. I only have so much time to work on junkers and if they turn out to be garbage I must get rid of them.

  4. There are so many typewriters that could be put into service but for a missing or broken part or two. I've got a couple of those, and also a couple of hopeless wrecks that nevertheless have many usable parts. Parts from one of them are as I write on their way to Australia where they will be put to good use, thanks to a happenstance online encounter. An online database of parts machines would be a fine resource. We all have them - certainly it would be a loss to scrap them.

    1. That is what has been happening to my first 2 parts machines, and old Royal and a Corona 3. I have been sending parts to fellow typoshperians all over the world. Come to think of it I have been doing it with a non-functioning rusted Hermes 3000 too.

  5. Could you send me a shot of the underside of this machine? I think it can be recovered. I did adjust this on my Monica.

    1. Thanks Scott

      Actually I think I may have the SM4 working. I decided to start taking the whole think apart and organize the parts so I could send them to others, sell them or use them if I ever get a non working SM4. I took a Scotch break and a few hours later -- like after mid-night and a few beakers of Scotch I decided I can put this thing back together and store it easier than trying to find space to store an inventory of parts.

      I will see what happens later today when I put the covers back on. At least now the space bar is quite normal even after being out of the covers. Funny thing about this whole thing is that I never took the machine apart. I only removed it from the covers. One thing I did notice is the platen is beginning to crack so I do not know how much effort I am going to put into this machine due to the plentiful supply of SM3 & SM4 (as well as other Olympias) that is out there.

  6. What are the 2 clear plastic guards that the paper flows under called? I have an SM9 typewritere and that plastic guard piece on the right side is broken off and missing.. Can I replace that guard or does it even need to be on the typewriter. Maybe I could must remove the one on the left? I see in some pictures those plastic guards are not on the machines. If I were to try to replace the shileld on the right side, where in the world would I get one and is it difficult to replace?

    1. The plastic pieces are called card guides. If you need one or both there are some Yahoo! groups that may have members with an SM9 parts machine where you might get a replacement. Go to Yahoo Groups and look for Type Swap which is a group for buying, selling, trading typewriter parts and machines, The Portable Typewriter Forum which is focused on portable machines, TYPEWRITERS which is the oldest and largest which is for all typewriter subjects.

      Depending on where you live there could be a repair shop close by: Typewriter Repair Shops.

    2. The link to the repair shops did not work. I'll try it againTypewriter Repair Shops