Friday, May 6, 2011

Oil Can

In the DVD player: Charmed, Season 1
Currently Reading: Dracula

It seems to be Theme Week here at chez KnotMagick. Maybe the Oz theme is coming from the fact that I heard "If I only had a brain" on the radio the other day (did I mention the new car came with satellite radio? Awesome! I love the 1940s station).

I think that for the moment, I've gotten as far with Oliver as I can. The rest requires knowledge and tools that I don't yet possess, like how to nickel plate/chrome something, or how to remove the platen from the carriage. I'm not even sure if this one can be saved. I've heard that there's a way to rejuvenate the rubber that is reasonably simple, but I'm not sure this one is even worth saving. The rubber is so dry it's starting to flake.

The more I work on it, the more I wonder if it's even possible to get it in working order. Well, everything can be fixed, I'm just wondering if it's within my ability and my budget. I'd be happy with a display machine, but I'd be happier with a working one, since my space limitations dictate that nothing that isn't useful can come in.

I did finish with the rust converter today (I think; there will probably be touch ups in the future). I've got some before and after shots so you can see how bad this was. All of the black areas were once rust.

I also took a few little pieces off of the back of the machine, and lo and behold, you could see the original paint color! It's amazing how dark it's gotten, but then again, it is eighty or so years old.

It took me a while, but last night I discovered the wonder that is Yahoo Groups, namely the Typewriters forum. I'd tried groups years ago, and was frustrated by the number emails and the disjointed way the conversations were presented. My first group was extremely active and it was impossible for me to keep track of what was going on. This one is a little more reasonable. It helps that I figured out that there's a page for the group, where you can read things forum style rather than in a bulk email. (See, this is why I like typewriters. They're fairly straightforward most of the time, unless you have to take them apart. Which isn't strictly necessary most of the time.)

Anyway, the people over there directed me to some awesome video tutorials and websites, and that helped a lot--I can't believe how easy it was to remove the carriage! It looks really really complicated when you're looking at the Oliver but nope, just pull it to the left, hit the right tab key, and it slides right off. Once the converter was dry, I just put a couple drops of oil on the little rollers and slid it back on, no problems. Now if only I could get the carriage return to work. I think there's a hook missing, but I'm not sure. That will be my next question for the group at large.

Although, can I just say, this typewriter is probably the dirtiest thing I've ever worked with. I've cleaned 3,000 year old ceramics, and let me tell you, this machine had more dirt and grime on it than an Etruscan tomb. I wiped down some areas seven or eight times and still had streaks of dirt left behind. It's kind of funny though; I'm thinking it was kept in an attic for many years, with the right hand side near a window, since that's where the worst of the rust is.

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