Monday, December 2, 2019

Michigan Typochondriacs Last Gathering for 2019

If you are in the area, please join us 14 December at 11:00 a.m. until noon or maybe later.

Don"t have a typewriter? No problem.  We'll have plenty.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Michigan Typochondriacs at Kazoo Books in November

1922 Corona 3 that spent its life in the NYPD

Brother Charger 11 from 1973 that recently became part of my collection

Adler J4 from 1966. This is one of the best typers in my collection.  Typing action is super nice and the carriage return quite light and very silky smooth. 

Recently restored Hermes 3000 from 1967.  Like all the square body Hermes 3000 neat looking, but nothing to brag about for typing.  It was also missing both platen knobs.

Olympia SM8 from 1966.  This one is quite nice to use. It is not as stiff as most of the Olympia typewriters I've used.

This SM9 was made in 1969.  It is nice to use, but not as fast as an H3k.  Typing action is much like the rest of the Olympia SM9 models.  This one has Professional Elite typeface.
Neat thing about typewriters is that each of them have their little quirks.  Each typist has their favorite, even among similar models of the same brand.

The little Corona 3 is fun to use, but not a typewriter I'd like to use if I had several pages to type.

The Brother line of typewriters always seems to be satisfactory for almost any typing. I like the small machines like this Charger 11 (along with Smith-Corona Skyriters, Hermes Rockets (Baby), and a few other small portables) for travel.  The snap-on cover or case makes these typewriters nicely suited for travel.  The typing action of the Charger 11 is not quite as nice as a Skyriter, but overall not a typewriter to be left behind for a trip or a bit of bicycle typing or typing in the park.  I prefer the integral case/cover to the luggage style zipper case of the Valiant or the Olivetti Letter 22 or Lettera 32 although I like that the Lettera models have tabulators.

The Adler J4 seems to be one of the models that does not get much mention on line.  I really like this one.  I should use it more often.  Touch is really nice, and carriage return is almost effortless.  The carriage is also very easy to remove and reinstall.

Hermes 3000 typewriters are what they are, mostly over rated.  Seems people either love them or dislike them.  I've never been impressed by the square body models even though I have 7 of them with various typefaces. 

The round body ones seem to be the nicest typers with a nicer action than the square body ones.  Both styles seem to be quieter than other typewriters.

There are references on line that the mechanics are the same between the round and square body ones.  Well, if that were true shouldn't all the parts (but the covers) should be interchangeable? They're not.  The basic design may be very similar, but not fully parts interchageable.

I do like the sleek style of the square ones and the close tolerances of everything from how the ribbon cover fits to the just enough clearance for the carriage return arm to travel above it to the quietness of its action, and it also has an integral lid/cover which makes it a nice full featured portable that is quite near an office machine.

The SM8 is one of my favorite Olympia typewriters.  This one has a very nice action.  It is noisier than either the J4 or H3k, and about the same as the SM9.

The SM9 is a nice typewriter also, but not as fast as an H3k or the many other typewriters.  I like the typeface on this one, but not the zipper case.  Zipper cases are one of my pet peves of poor excuses for a typewriter case.

Both, like most Olympia typewriters I've used, are nice to use, but easily out typed.  I prefer the SM3 and SM4.

We meet again in December.  If you are local stop by and try the machines. You may be surprised as which ones you prefer over others. They are all nice, and all have similarities and differences. Each gathering also has a gathering of different makes and models of typewriters.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

R.C.Allen Gets A New Ribbon

Empty spool showing uniqueness of the design.

I don't know what R.C. Allen calls the tabs so I used my own names.  When the ribbon runs out on the feed spool the reverse tab extends toward the circumference to activate the automatic ribbon reverse.

Spindle showing the drive and reverse tabs.  The drive tab on the right does not extend.  When the ribbon spool is installed onto the spindle the smaller cut out the spool goes over the drive tab and the larger one over the ribbon reverse tab.  The spool must be aligned to fit over both tabs.  Takes a little wiggling to properly align the ribbon reverse side. REVISION:  From the R.C.Allen repair manual the spring on the left (above) Drive Tab is called the Ribbon Spool Catch Spring, and the tab on the right Ribbon Reverse Tab is called the Reverse Trigger.

another view showing how the tab extends.  This is a completely empty spool before I attached the new ribbon.

Left spool showing the ribbon path.  Ribbon spools around the arc of the spool facing the key board. Ribbon winds CW on this spindle.

Ribbon threaded through the ribbon vibrator or lifter.

Right spool showing the ribbon path.  Ribbon feeds around the spool facing the key board.  Ribbon winds CCW on this spindle.

I could not find a manual on line.  In order to maybe help someone who may not know about the spools I wanted to show the ribbon spools, and the ribbon path.

First of all do not throw out the original metal spools. Out of curiosity I looked on line and could not find any R.C. Allen pre-spooled ribbons. Nothing unusual as metal spools are not made any longer.  Well, they may  be because Tony Casillo sells new ribbons on new metal spools, but he had none listed for this typewriter or I missed them.

I respool ribbons out of habit. I respooled one of my spare silk ribbons onto the R.C. Allen spools.  I removed the old ribbon from the original spools.  This typewriter does not use eyelets in the ribbon.  I cut the eyelet end off of the ribbon.  I respooled the new ribbon onto the original spool.  I cut the other eyelet end off.  Then I attached the ribbon to the spool.

With the new ribbon on the typewriter I decided to record the ribbon path for reference.

My arsenal of snow moving tools minus my #10 scoop shovel.


As of 1645 E.D.T. today.  There is just enough laying to cover the wood on the ramp as well as the house roofs.

Speaking of the time for those in the USA who are on Daylight Saving Time:
It ends Saturday night. Set your clocks back one hour to Standard Time.  Or stay awake until 0200 and change your clocks.....


Sunday, October 27, 2019

A New Garage Typewriter From R.C. Allen

Things did not look good when I opened  the damaged box.

Things got even worse with the smashed knob and bent bail and other levers.

And even worse when the carriage would not move.

Why such a convoluted stand off is beyond reason. 12-28 stud to a .090" rod to a normal hex standoff threaded for a 5-40 screw.  I've seen tons of these used in radio and not this over complicated. 

I machined an old Bakelite knob to fit the original collar.

This is without any cleaning.  Before use I did blow out the dust with compressed air. No other cleaning was done. 

Finished.  Notice the line in the middle of the paper bail?  It marks the center of the carriage. I can just hear my high school typing teacher at the end of each class: "All right now class, don't for get to center your carriage and cover your typewriter."

Had to straighten the back, and I used regular hardware store 12-24 machine screws.

I really like the index scale. Absolutely no parallax error.

Garage typer ready to use.  I'll eventually have it on a better table, rack, or a work bench.  Iv'e always had a typewriter in my garage. In Florida it was one of my Royal HH typewriters. After moving to Michigan it was my spare Classic 12 until it found a new home.   Not having any room in the house for another full size typewriter this one will be my garage typewriter.

Looking on the Typewriter Serial Number Database I found this is a Model 600 made in 1953.
As usual I find things I don't like after I edit.  I did not see the shadow line on the left of the typecasts on the scan preview or file.  I also intended to proof and correct my typos.

I finished the typewriter and typed the typecast on Friday.  I'm a bit late posting.

The way this typewriter typed was a complete surprise.  I did not even need to clean it.  Even the majority of the slugs were not clogged with old dirt and ink.  The feet are also in great shape and quite grippy.  The black half of the ribbon had seen better days.

If there is one disadvantage to this typewriter it is an elite machine instead of pica.

Were these really made in Grand Rapids, Michigan? I cannot seem to find any history of it. There is mention of the company, and the building at 678 Front Ave., but nothing else.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October Typewriter Gathering at Kazoo Books

Typewriters and supplies Loaded and ready to go across town.

Everything is set and ready to go.

Sent from my 1967 Facit TP-2 Cubic Pica

Hayden's Olympia SM4
Hayden and I spent some time exploring his SM4 and working on a few minor issues with it.  I gave him a quick tour of its mechanics without removing the covers.  This is one of the nicest typing SM4s that I've used.

Hayden's Olympia SF
This SF had a wonderful touch to it. I may need to get one. I'm generally not a big Olympia fan, but this one typed as nice as my SM8. I could not out type it even though I did make several silly mistakes typing about how I miss being able to go to Herman Price's gathering.  One year I will make it.

Andy's Underwood 4 Bank
typical excellent Underwood typing action.  I very seldom find an Underwood I do not like.

Andy's Olivetti Lettera 33
This was the first Lettera 33 I typed on. It has a bit stiffer touch than my Lettera 32, but good enough that I'm going to look for one.

Andy's Olympia Splendid
This Splendid (or is it a Socialite?) was really fun to use also. Typed like a breeze.

One of my trusty Smith_Corona Skyriters
What can be said about the lowly Skyriter?  They just work.  I've yet to find one without a nice touch and typing experience. I guess that is why I have about 6 or 7 of them.  I like the stripes best.

I also took my Olivetti Lettera 22
This one recently came out of my shop after a good cleaning and a few repairs and carriage alignment.  Types nicer than my Taupe one that is from the 50s I think (round keys).  That one is a bit stiff.  So is my Italian keyboard red one of the same age as the taupe one.

My Facit TP-2
A Facit will put a Hermes 3000 to shame any day with the ease at which it types.  If not for the funky margin sets on these I would rate them better than the Hermes all around.  Hard to beat Hermes and Royals Magic Margin set system.

I was lamenting not being able to go to Herman's this year.

Hayden test typing my H3k Techno Pica.

Autumn is finally settled in.  First tree I've seen that dropped its leaves already.

A little farther down the path all the wild flowers are gone, and the scrubs are turning Colorado Aspen gold.

The milkweed pods have finally popped open.
I I visited one of my favorite places near my house, Wolf Tree Nature Preserve, and did a bit of digital imaging before going to the type in. All images were taken with my Olympus Stylus 1.  I was only there an hour or two enjoying the crisp fresh morning air relaxing. I seldom go out without the OMD or Stylus 1. Seems no matter where I go I find things to image.

As Autumn falls upon us we see signs of death all around. Plant death. In a way beautiful death.  Plants seem to have that unusualness of being beautiful as they spring from the earth in Spring and later show even more beauty as they mature and blossom. Finally at the end of their life they repopulate as their flowers and pods release the seeds for the next generation to bloom in 2020.

I have quite a few images over the past year from places around Kzoo. I thought to put more on this post, especially the nest or leaves hanging by a thread.  Maybe a digital image post or a blog for my photographic and digital imaging.
I've go to keep them separate as I still do a lot of film, especially when doing wildlife and birds. Digital is just way toooooo blasted slooooooooooooow.