|Davis Typewriter Works 2007, continued|
|May 16, 2007: FIELD TRIP! Today we took a trip to our favorite typewriter repair / restoration place, Your Typwriter & Computer, which is located in North Olmsted, Ohio. Craig Burhnam, owner (pictured at left) and his technician Dan Supek have done a great deal of work for us over a few years, and their work is nothing short of phenomenal.
I went there today to check on the progress of the complete restoration of a Royal Standard we had taken in, and also to look over two Harris / Rex machines Craig bought for himself as a part of his collection.
At left, we see Craig with his Harris Visible No. 4, serial number 100794. This is the lowest "100,000 block" machine yet discovered, and thus by our assumption the oldest Sears-Roebuck Harris as well. This machine is quite interesting to us because it is the only one in that Sears serial block which doesn't have the sound deadening material inside. It does, though, have the notch in the front panel decorative bead and also does have the boss for the ribbon selector lever cast into the frame.
|Craig also has a Rex Visible No. 4, serial number 10,572 which has the side-mounted button type ribbon selector and a front panel which is unlike any other we've seen in that it's held on by four screws instead of just two. Also, its frame does NOT have the cast-in boss, nor does the front panel have a break in the decorative bead.|
|Here is the ROYAL STANDARD in the shop; last time we saw it there it was in as many pieces as it would come apart into. Every single key stem has been restored, and the whole machine cleaned. We're trying to get some decals for it, but that's proving a protracted affair. Still, you cannot believe how factory-fresh the machine looks unless you see it in person.
We'll keep you updated on the Royal's progress (this one, by the way, is Dan's project) and other things we take in to YT&C over time. THANKS to Craig Burnham for letting me get these shots!
|May 31, 2007. The Harris Visible No. 4 is fully and totally reassembled and appears quite operable. We'll be taking this to Craig & Dan for a drawband / mainspring and perhaps a look at some replacement platen knobs, but I'm not sure about that last one. These "ersatz" knobs appear to have been on a long time, and maybe I should leave them.|
|All of the type bars appeared to strike fully when degunked but the "R" was badly bent to the left. Note - this machine has NO type alignment fork. Dave took two pairs of pliers and got it right back in line, making sure only to form the type-bar above the point at which the type-bar spring attaches.
We then attacked a wholly stuck solid escapement. I filled it with oil, and then Dave hit it with WD-40 when the oil failed to loosen it up. That got it unstuck, but further work revealed that while the back-spacer had enough torque to overcome the jamming, almost nothing else did. Since the machine has no drawband attached, we did all the work by hand-powering the carriage. Here's Dave using the escapement trip extension rod and hand-power following another application of lubricant.
|We finally got the decades of gunk out of the escapement and got all the moving parts working as designed, but the carriage still held up occasionally and seemingly unpredictably.
Repeated operation of the carriage revealed that the hangups occurred when the left-most screw on the star-wheel shaft was pointing at about the one o'clock position -- so there was a bind in the escapement, somehow. Dave quickly deduced that the shaft was bent, and proved it by rapidly moving the carriage and watching the shaft end wobble.
On the left, our solution. Note the 6-ounce hammer blurred in motion as I hit the screwdriver. Several "adjustments" like this got the carriage moving so smoothly we can't believe it.
|We had previously noted some bent connections under the machine, but decided to get after the top end first to get everything nearly running. Now, we noted that while the key levers tripped the escapement, the space bar did not. Dave re-formed one arm of the space-bar lever, but we noted another problem.
Here, Dave is using a yellow magnet to point right at one end of the space-bar lever, in which is mounted an adjusting screw that must contact an extension of the escapement bail. The red magnet is pointing at the actual escapement bail that the key levers all hit when struck, to trip it. Both extensions, and adjusting screws, were bent - the right one not even contacting the escapement bail extension. We quickly rectified this with pliers.
|All of the "auxiliary controls" seem to be working well - the back space works perfectly and easily, and so does the margin release. The bell rings properly, margin set and tab stops all move freely and work right. However, the tabulator is stuck. We took a look at this next.
On the left we're looking into the back of the machine. Both the margin release and tabulator keys stick straight out the front of the machine, but yet their actions must be translated into motion at the carriage level. We see here how this is done; two sets of bell cranks, one outboard the other, are mounted into the right side of the machine (on the left here of course since we're seeing the back.) You can see the two rods coming in from the front of the machine; they rock the bell cranks backwards and pull down on the vertical rods more to the rear of the machine. The bind in the tab mechanism isn't at the carriage level - we checked that - so probably this bell crank is sticking. It sure looks like it needs lubricating, anyway... but that's where we called it a day today. We'll go after that, and much more, very soon.
|We then brought down the MONARCH No. 3 we showed you last year but didn't get to due to our winter break. We noted again the cracked frame (we're not scared by that) but found the machine solidly stuck in every way. We thus put it in the driveway and blew, scraped and brushed all the gunk out of it that we could. That got most everything moving, at least a bit. Also (of course) the drawband is off, and broken.|
|MONARCH No. 3 from last year|