Thursday, October 19, 2017

Adjusting carriage looseness on Fox portables

I fielded a request to help with a loose Fox portable carriage, an issue which seems to be rather common. For this purpose, I've created the following set of instructions (not that many others will likely need to use them).

Stay tuned later this week for a look at my newly restored Emerson typewriter!

Fox Portable Instructions: Adjusting carriage looseness

Note {1}: The work may be conducted on the carriage while it is still attached to the body of the machine, but may be easier if taken off.
Note {2}: before beginning, please take care to remember the following;
               1) Please note the position of the paper release lever in relation to its large washer.
               2) When dealing with the screws for the three carriage “anchors”, take extreme care that all pieces are level when tightening the screws; the threads in the holes will strip easily.

1.      To remove the platen:
a.      On left hand side, note cap on platen rod. Loosen the screw in the cap, and unscrew the cap off of the rods end.
b.      On right hand side, loosen screw on platen cap.
c.      Pull platen knob right, careful to collect washers and the paper release lever as they fall off rod.
d.      Lift platen out.
2.      To remove the paper bail:
a.      Flip machine onto its left side, or if carriage is removed turn onto its back.
b.      Slide carriage to the right. The following operations will be done on the right hand side of the carriage.
c.      Note escapement release lever. Loosen and remove screw.
d.      Note position of the nickeled carriage side, and the two screws holding it in. Loosen and remove the rear screw.
e.      Slightly loosen front screw.
f.       Pivot rear end of side away from carriage with the escapement release lever out of the way.
g.      The paper bail should now pull straight out.
h.      Rotate carriage side back into place, but do not add or tighten screws.
3.      To make carriage adjustment:
a.      Perform operation to loosen, but not remove, the two screws on the left carriage side.
b.      Once complete, return carriage to normal position and orientation so that you can see the three “anchors” which help hold the front and back of the carriage together.
c.      Gently loosen the 12 screws (4 per anchor).
d.      Note that each anchors screws are in angled slots, so that moving the anchor left or right will push and pull the carriage front and back towards or away from each other.
e.      Move anchors accordingly until desired tightness is achieved, while ensuring the edges of the front and back carriage frame are still in line.
f.       Gently retighten central anchor, being careful not to strip the holes.
g.      Test that the carriage runs smoothly from left to right by throwing the escapement release by hand (small arm at the rear that angles to capture release lever.)
h.      If not at desired tightness or too tight, loosen central anchor screws and readjust. Repeat process until carriage runs smooth and at desired tightness.
i.       Double check that front and back carriage parts line up well enough.
j.       Tighten screws on the left carriage side.
4.      Replacing carriage components
a.      Replace paper bail, and tighten right carriage side once back in place.
b.      Place escapement release lever back and screw in.
c.      If possible, remove platen knob. If you are able to;
                                                                        i.     Slide in the left side of carriage, replacing return lever and washers sequence as noted previously.
                                                                       ii.     Slide platen in, and push to the left. Ensure platen gear is situated properly with lever catch, and that lever spring is properly hooked for tension.
                                                                      iii.     Slide rod through, and replace paper release lever and large washer in proper order as note previously.
                                                                      iv.     Tighten platen to rod in proper position, reattach knob and left side end cap.
d.      If unable to remove platen knob from rod, slide in right side, replacing washers and levers in sequence noted previously.
5.      Test carriage functions to ensure proper reassembly.

Your carriage should now have little to no play, but should still run smoothly from side to side. When done correctly, you will find that the Fox portable carriage requires very little tension on the motor when compared to many other makes and models. This allows for a very smooth and easy carriage return, and a confident assurance that the Light Running Fox Typewriter lives up to its slogan. 

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