Sunday, December 10, 2017

Antique Store Contestants

I was able to go on a typewriter safari today, though it turned out that 2 of the stores I generally frequent (and find machines at) were closed early, so I will never know what treasures I possibly missed out on. Schrodingers antique store, if you will.

I found a whopping 4 machines in the other stores I traveled to. Did I take one home with me? If so, which?

A Royal Mercury, or a model near it.  In working condition, relatively clean. Backspace caused a bit of a skip however, acting like a tabulator almost. 

Price: $68.95

A Remington Noiseless, in decently clean shape. Margin release was broken, and the bell did not work. Otherwise, in respectable working condition.

Price: $68.95

A green Royal Quiet Deluxe, with the line-spacing button stuck in the platen so that said platen was not catching on the line spacing gear. Otherwise, in good working order.

Price: $50

A Remington Rand desktop, with wide carriage. Dusty, but fully functional upon inspection. 

Price: $74.99

The Safari led to fewer typewriters found than one may have on the East Coast, but I was just glad to find some regardless, and all considerably more affordable than antique stores tend to price them.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I've gone Postal

No, not THAT kind of "going postal". Rather, the kind involving our beloved mechanical devices.

They say good things come in two's, right? Or is it fours?... Maybe 3/8ths?

The Postal has been on my "Wanted" list for quite some time, but when they turn up for sale they are usually 1) in good condition and thus 2) far beyond my price range. These two rust buckets were closer to my range of affordability, so I jumped at them.

I believe the one on the right is a 3, and the one on the left is a 5.

First things first, I had to do what I had to do; I tore the Postal 3 to pieces, learning much about its function along the way.

The prognosis is thus far good. Once I get a few stuck screws out, I can work on cleaning the whole thing up, with a new layer of shiny black paint (hurrah, no decals to worry about). 

The Postal is, in base terms, like someone literally took a Blickensderfer and a Hammond, blew them up, mixed the debris together, superglued the parts back together willy-nilly to make a functioning machine, and baked at 425 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

Here's hoping that I can get it functioning decently. I really, really want to see if its a better machine than a Blick in terms of usage.

Despite the gap in blogposts, my workshop has not been sitting idle. I was able to get a rust bucket American No. 8 back up and running, and despite the simplicity behind the mechanics, these things do not type very well. I'm sure brand new they were decent, or if kept in good condition all this time still do ok, but this rust bucket in particular really shows the damage it took sitting in a Maine barn for 50 years.

I also was able to finally get a Molle from a fellow collector. These things are really cool, and seem to be very decent typers when in a maintained condition. The keyboard spacing, due to the design, renders it hard for me to accurately type much on it though. The top rows are ok, but the bottom row is so far off I type one character off almost all the time.

That's it for the typewriters for now. I've recently been trying my hand at other odds and ends, and one of those odds is an art-deco themed wooden notebook. The three rings can be opened, so new paper can always be put in.

A letterholder was crafted as well.

A clock, too. I'm working on making a mechanical clock out of wood, but making wooden gears by hand takes quite a bit of time. Probably need some better tools.

And a friend requested a clipboard. 

That's it for the non-typewriter stuff. 

By the way, shout out to anyone from Maine for your Senator Angus King. I have CSPAN on in the background today, and he gave a very good speech in regards to the deficit today as the Senate works on that new tax reform bill.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blogpost Extravaganza

 It's been awhile since I posted anything interested, so here's a random post with random stuff!

A Fox family portrait

Here I have three Fox portables being worked on at one time. The one on the far left, looking like a spidery nightmare, is my parts No. 1 machine. The one sitting on the tub is a No. 1 which was the recipient of the segment donated by the parts machine. The machine on the far right, fully disassembled, is a No. 2.

I have a side table set up to handle the overflow of parts bins and machines. 

 The Victor sits patiently, awaiting its new frame piece which is being designed and manufactured by a top secret typospherian.

 And I finally got around to my Emerson! The main thing keeping me from bothering with it was the annoyance of cleaning its keylevers. Their design tripled the time it normally takes me to clean a keylever.

The carriage finally yeiled to my efforts in dismantaling it. Two screws, anchored in place by nuts, had rusted in place and nearly bested me. I used just about the whole PB Blaster can you see here during my time trying to dislodge them.

The Emerson looks as pretty as it can, for having once been the rust bucket it was.

I found this pictures of a 1920s toaster on the internet, and am now on a quest to find one to buy.

Back to the Fox portables! It can get tedious cleaning the sets of 28. 28 keylevers, 28 typebars, 28 linkages, 28 activator linkages, etc.

A small break from typewriter work yeilded me a new copy holder stand.

Fox 1, Fox 2. Can you spot the differences? 

And today, I finally got the Fox 2 finished up. It has a Polish keyboard, which is neat. And the machine types better than the sample shown below now that I tweaked a few small things and got a fresher ribbon in it.

It works like a champ, and I'm thinking of using it for NaNoWriMo. Just got to clean its case up.


Also new to the collection, via another Typospherian, is this Remington 3B. I've been after one for quite some time, so I'm thrilled to have one.