Sunday, November 4, 2012

Olympia SM 7


  1. WD-40 -- pernicious stuff! It feels slippery at first, and it's marketed as a lubricant. Everyone assumes that it's great for machinery. But no ....

    I'd never even heard of KEP, thanks for the tip.

    These are fine typewriters, probably about as good as you can get in a carriage-shifted portable. I think the shift assist springs may be adjustable if it feels too heavy.

  2. A lovely machine! Coincidentally, I have been using my SM7 all day today! It was the first portable typewriter I purchased, and had been neglected until today. I did not discover my absolute love of Olympias until I purchased my SM9, so this one kind of fell by the wayside. Feels nearly the same, but the carriage shift is (obviously) far heavier than the basket shift of the 9.

    Glad to see you got it working, and thanks for the read!

  3. Great repair work! I like our SM-7. It is comfortable and has a nice snap. I will have to remember the magic solvent for removing old WD-40.

    By the way, you convinced me to try cheep Chinese pens. We have two somewhere out on the Pacific.

  4. You put in great work restoring that SM7, glad to hear it was a success!
    I do use WD-40 sparingly as a wipe-on cleaner for rust spots but never as a lubricant.

  5. Nice work.... I avoid WD40 like the plague now days - and I groan whenever I hear a seller tell me 'it'll work fine again with a bit of WD sprayed in'.

    I also discovered - painfully, the capacity for a typewriter to hold nicotine recently. So it could be that the brown cancer stuff is thick in the WD - making a concoction of stickiness.

  6. I'm always impressed when someone takes on the detailed work of thoroughly cleaning an old typewriter. Am still feeling rather intimidated by the process. This winter, though, I am determined to learn how to do this. (My motivation is having a bunch of newer machines I would like to sell - would prefer they were in decent condition for the next user.)

  7. Very ambitious! I'd like to have seen you fix the link.

  8. @ Richard, Thanks for the tip. I did not even think of the springs.

    @ Ken, I've had an SM-9 on my wish list for a long time.

    @ Dwayne F, Hope you find the pens as nice as I found them. I have 3 or 4 more to review.

    @ Ton S, I do the same. Here in FL if bare steel or iron is not oiled it rusts in a very short time. I have my drill press column and table coated with WD-40 and it protects if fine, but if it is on very heavy at all the stickiness can be felt.

    @ Scott, I agree. This typewriter did not smell of smoke stink, maybe that was why there was no felt.

    @ Ledeaux, I look at a broken typewriter with the attitude that if it is broken it does not work so I have nothing to loose.

    @ notagain, I took some photos of the linkages and they were not very good. I had plenty of examples to look at so I just went to work. One thing I found while holding onto one of the bars with a blunt pliers. They are made of soft, very soft, steel so I had to be very careful not to bend anything. The serrations on the pliers jaws marked the bar sides.

    To all. I will need to post the Kep product I used. Kep makes quite a few different solvents. I forgot to look on the barrel before I left work today to get the product number. I may try kerosene the next time since it may be more readily available to most of the typosphereians.

  9. Bill, you did a great job at bringing your SM7 back to life.

    I recently acquired one just like this at a local Salvation Army thrift store, I was totally shocked & pleased to find it. Unlike yours, mine is in extremely clean condition. A good thing since I'm apparently terrible at any kind of repair work.

    My SM7 has an unusual typeface -- for me, anyway. I think one of the names is Imperial? Congressional?

    Good luck in your search for an SM9! I'd like to have one, as well. After typing on this marvelous SM7, I am now a confirmed Olympia fan.

  10. Regarding my mention of KEP. When I typed it I did not think it was correct. I then mentioned KEP again. So, there are times I can be really senile! ZEP.
    The solvent I used was ZEP. We use 2 kinds. ZEP Dyna 143 in the machine shop. This solvent is great for typewriters if you want a very very light coating of machine oil left after the solvent is blown off or wiped off. The oil does not attract dust like normal oil and I have never felt anything being oily that was washed in Dyna 143. We also use a Mil-Spec. aviation approved ZEP solvent. That one is Dyna 680. This one does not leave any residue when blown off or dried.

    As I often state in this blog I am not a writer. I am usually in too much of a hurry and do not pay attention to what I write. If I could only apply my engineering or fire fighting practices and attitude to writing.

    @Cameron, Ted Munk has Olympia typefaces on his blog I'm glad you like your SM7. Either name of the type face makes it sound like you have one of the really nice ones.

  11. Hi Bil. What is the Leica do you have? You found some old camera great for my collection? Teuvo Finland

    1. Teuvo, I use an old Leica 3C and a newer R5. I do not have a full set of lenses. I do not have any cameras that I want to get rid of at this time. I will keep you in mind if you are interested in medium format. My daughter expressed and interest in some of my old press cameras. She has not made up her mind yet if she really wants to give them a try.

  12. Hi Bill, fall allergies are the worst and I'm here at the opposite end of the land! Recently a friend came to visit from California. When he went home he found an SM7 in mint condition and he is now the proud owner. Only the brochure indicated the model, as there are no models marked on the Olympias to my knowledge. I have a 1965 SM? something, which is more or less identical to the SM9. Does your SM7 have a carriage shift or basket? Olympia models are confusing! I'll be looking for some of that ZEP stuff now that you have mentioned it.

    1. DonN, The SM7 is a carriage shift. The SM8 is the Monica? I am not sure, but I believe it is a basket shift like the SM9 and does not have a tabulator. The SM9 is a basket shift and has a tabulator with the tab keys beside the space bar like the SM7.

  13. I've just acquired a musty-smelling SM7 that I am in love with. It's a Deluxe and needs a new ribbon; wondering if someone can point me in the right direction to purchase one? Thanks so much.

  14. Amy, I'm sorry for the long delay. If you are in Detroit I'm really late because the Michigan typewriter bunch met in Ann Arbor yesterday and they always have spare ribbons for those in need.

    Typewriterstuff on Ebay is Tony Casillo's ebay store. He has original metal spool ribbons for almost every known brand.

    After all that if you are not in the USA, Ebay or Amazon, but you need to watch the sellers because not all ribbons are created equal and those on universal spools are generally trouble as the spools do not always work like an original DIN plastic (like for the SM7) or the metal for most every machine.

    Jay Respler sells all kind of ribbons. He was in the process of moving the last I knew so I do not know if he will respond to emails.

    Bayco ribbons