|The 2008 season begins with a re-visit of our perennial favorite Monarch No. 3.|
|Last season was quite brief in the Works; we're hoping that this year, too many "other things" don't get in the way!
Here's our old friend, the Monarch No. 3. Last year we got the machine working mechanically again, except for the replacement of the drawband. Now we're going to go after some of the other things it needs.
Note in this shot taken before we ever did anything to the machine back in 2006 that the platen appears rough. It's in kind of a distressed condition, being a bit hard and having some sort of paper welded into it. The first thing we did on June 4, 2008 was reapply the body panels that had been off of it all winter as it sat and made a go at the carriage.
|At right we see the machine on the main bench. The platen is removed, and is on the right; the platen shaft is the rod lying on the bench to the left of the machine, closer to us than the screwdrivers. The left platen knob is apparent by the screwdrivers, while the right knob is at the 1 o'clock position compared to the blue allen wrench set. The shaft holding the paper fingers and erasure table is the object behind the screwdrivers on the left of the machine. Revealed inside the carriage are a formerly-chromed tray and six rollers we'll see in a minute.|
|The paper finger shaft must come off first; this is held on by one screw on each end. The left end screw also locates a part of the actuating linkage for the paper release, but this is no matter as the rest stays put when this one screw is removed. The ends of the shaft for this assembly are slotted and must be slid out either slightly up and forward or else slightly down and back. This ensures proper alignment. Next, to get the platen out remove the two platen knobs (one screw each) and one screw in the right platen core end. This reveals the bare platen shaft, which must be driven out to remove the platen - there is no quick removal feature on this machine. Drive the shaft out to the left, using whatever is available that will fit. We had to drive the shaft through from the right to a point where the right end was inside the platen core about an inch before it slid freely out the left end. Carefully remove the platen watching the line space ratchet. This is essentially the set of operations performed just before the photo above was snapped.|
|Here we see the feed rollers inside the paper tray section of the carriage. This was chromed, about ninety-plus years ago and it will take some work. We were quite happy to note that the rollers were all round. The small rollers on the paper fingers are another matter, though.|
|We always like to place fasteners back where they should go when parts are removed; this saves bagging and tagging, as we say. Since these machines contain many small and hard to replace parts, this practice is a good one to get into. Here I am doing just this on the Monarch No. 3. As an aside, it's an oddity that we did not start the season with a Harris or Rex, but don't you worry - we have another one to show you soon!|
|Although we didn't show it in progress, on the left is the first "official" machine of the season -- a Smith-Corona Silent-Super (occupying the auxiliary bench). This machine had been dropped; in fact, it was dropped inside of its Holiday case so that the case front and the typewriter were both bashed in. I fixed the case with a dead-blow hammer and can tell you that if you're careful with application of brute force these cases will get back in shape if dented. The machine took less force; note that there's a small screw attaching the outer mask or facade to the frame below the front and you have to loosen this if it's just the mask that's bent in. I re-bent it back straight and then adjusted the space bar. Note that the space bar has two important travel limits - upward or 'released' and downward or 'spaced' - and that while the upper is essentially cosmetic and comfort related the lower stop is a critical adjustment. Allow the space bar to go TOO low and it releases the escapement like the tabulator had been operated but of course no stop occurs. That's fine and the machine's in great shape and alignment now.|
|Back at the main bench again (and the sun is getting low in the sky!) Dave has some chrome polish and is addressing the rusty sections of the paper tray in the carriage of the Monarch No. 3.
This year prior to any typewriter operations, the Works already has torn down a mower engine and scrapped out a leaf blower (which yielded a number of rubber spacers and grommets that should come in handy on a later project.) There is also a large pile of finished restaurant furniture you cannot see in these pictures; more of that furniture was also already repaired and sent off. It's already been kind of busy out there but until now, none of the work was typewriter related! We're glad to get back to the typewriters.
|At left you see the platen of the Monarch No. 3 after Dave worked on it. Last year (or was it in 2006?) we rejuvenated the platen in one of the Harris/Rex machines by what essentially amounted to very gentle wet sanding, and this platen here is the result of attack with a 'magic eraser.' This simple household item is proving a great deal of worth; we used the heck out of it on the outside of the formerly-filthy Silent-Super you saw earlier. Also, not shown, and final event of the day was my attack on the Monarch's keytops with a blue shop paper towel soaked in spray Endust, with great results.|
|June 5, 2008 finds it to be around 90 degrees outside and the remote weather station indicator in the workshop is showing 95 degrees - so it's hard to get too enthusiastic about working hard out there! However, true to our promise we forge ahead.
Here's our next machine. This one's a real toss-up. This is a Royal KHM Standard machine, which was Royal's first overall new version following the interim segment-shifted No. 10 machines. This machine is interesting for its tab set / tab clear arrangement and for other features. It's really simple, but kind of accurate to think of the KHM (sometimes described as "Model H") as a short-lived intermediate between the legendary No. 10 and the common, familiar and highly successful KMM which latter is well known for its Magic Margin and key-set tab operations. This KHM doesn't have Magic Margins, but it has a key-set tabulator -- if you consider setting stops only! A small, spade-shaped lever on the top rear of the machine is used to clear one tab stop (with carriage stopped) or all stops (holding the lever and moving the carriage end to end.)
|We bought this machine inexpensively from a neighbor. It works - the drawband is on, it types and spaces and the ribbon advances and it acts like a typewriter - but it has two significant problems. First, and less significant, it's filthy everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It may have to come apart to be cleaned well enough. Second, and much worse, is the fact that at some point in its life it was exposed to white paint overspray. Look closely at the picture -- see the hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of tiny white dots all over the machine? Those are dots of white paint. WHAT to do??!!|
|After about a half hour's worth of attack on the all-encasing crud on this machine with various substances (Goop, Alcohol, hot water with mild dish soap) and various devices (rough blue shop towels, non-lint white towels, small brushes) the machine appears as you see it here. I used a LOT of towels to get the crud off, and it sure looks as if it were exposed to some kind of gas for a long time. The residue resembles cigarette tar in some ways, but doesn't smell like it - it may be a combination of this and something else like engine exhaust! In any case, the crud did eventually come off of the major surfaces so we're sure that will extend to all crevices. However, none of the paint budged. A further attack on a rear area with the magic eraser did nothing to the paint spots either. This is a shame, really, because this machine is not like our usual machines here at DTW; it's not broken seriously AND ugly, but rather just ugly in a way we may not be able to fix. I've decided that we'll fix it up even if the paint won't come off. I see that there's crud under the platen, too, so in line with the Monarch we'll rip the platen out of this one too even though it's in good shape and we just want to clean under and around it.|
|Much more work ahead, and new machines too!|