Friday, June 3, 2016

The National No. 5: Back up to snuff

This machine is, by far, the most cheaply made typewriter I have thus far rebuilt. Thats not to say its a bad machine, however. It's simply just not of the higher quality that is found in typewriters like the Fox or Royal. 

And its hilarious how I always miss those few small things when I'm cleaning the machine, and only realize whats missing until I try to type. Case in point: Where the heck are the paper fingers? Why  would they skimp on something so simple, yet helpful? I have to imagine this thing cost an absurdly small amount of money to produce, and at a $40 or $50 price point, youre talking some serious profit. But we cant be spending 2 cents on paper fingers or a paper bail, nosiree.

Regardless, here is the great nickely beast, all shiny and cleaned up. And does it type? Why yes, it does. But not nearly as well as one would hope. The type is misaligned, the impression is poor, and the line spacing is wonky due to a weak spring. In other words, perfect for ransom notes.

And because I could, I made a video. If you want to waste 5 minutes of your life, by all means check it out. I just blabber on about random things regarding the machine.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Its always nice when effort pays off.

  2. I really enjoyed your video. I also watched Typewriter Justice's video about this National No. 5. I didn't realize that it needed escapement re-attachment surgery. Superb job getting this machine back into beautiful working condition.

    BTW - lack of paper fingers or a paper bail would drive me bananas.

    1. When I took a look at where the escapement went, I was beyond confused as to how it fell out. The crazy things that randomly happen to machines, I suppose. And the lack of paper fingers/bail on the machine hampers its ability to perform. I guess it was designed for the thinner, older paper that wouldnt push on the central guide so much?