Thursday, May 3, 2012


I brought the Remington 3 portable back from my parent's today with the intention of fixing it up. I've been searching youtube hoping to find some videos to help out, but so far nothing of use has popped up. I did, however, find this, which is quite interesting:

Judging by the close up at the very end, I would guess that the language is Czech, but honestly I have no idea. The animation of the assembly at the end is particularly interesting, though it doesn't help me with my current plight of figuring out how to remove the platen so I can clear out all of the debris stuck in it.

There are several problems with this machine, though I haven't let any of them stop me from using it:

1. The carriage return does not advance the platen, so I have to go to the next line by turning the knob every time.

2. The tension of the ribbon is off and the spools don't advance properly or consistently. Sometimes they feel like it, but most of the time not so much.

3. There are no margins to speak of and I can't figure out how to set them.

4. The capital letters leave ghostly images on the page when I type. If I type really, really slowly (trying to figure out WHY they're printing) they they don't do it. But when I'm going along at speed I end up with everything printed twice.

5. There is a mystery button on the upper left. It is silver, and unmarked. It is connected to some mechanism on the back of the machine that goes in and out, but doesn't actually seem to actually do anything useful. Perhaps this is the mystery margin button? If so, it doesn't appear to work.

6. The machine itself no longer fits comfortably inside the case. I'm not sure if this is because something is out of alignment and sticking out at the wrong angle, or if it's just age and changes to the wood/metal.

Once again, it strikes me that it would be most useful if I actually saw a working version of this machine before I tried to fix it, but alas, none are at hand.

Aside from that, I did pick up some stationary while I was at Walmart this morning. Eventually it will work it's way into the typecasts, and for $1 each for 3 packs of 25 sheets, I couldn't really say no. Perhaps I'll type out a sample tomorrow so that you can see the ghosting on the page, though if you travel back far enough I'm sure I have a few typecasts here on the blog that exemplify it.


  1. Thanks for the interesting video.

    I wish I had a No. 3, but I do not. If I recall these are top strike and I wonder if they act anything like a front strike with a hard carriage. I have had hard platens cause letter ghosting due to the hardness of the rubber.

    Some old machines set the margins behind the carriage below the platen.

    Sometimes ribbon feeds and typing quality improve with a good cleaning.

    I have some old Remingtons that I removed the platens pretty much like any other machine of the era. After careful examination it may be quite similar. Worst I found is sometimes I remove both knobs and only needed to remove one or I popped a spring I had to search all over for.

    A hint on the line feed. Maybe it is only a sticky dog or pawl -- the little ratchet hook like lever that falls into the sprocket on the platen.

    Now if someone with more experience than me leaves you a comment you can ignore my rambling.

    Best of luck with the project.

  2. As for problem #6, on many Remington portables you need to push the right platen knob inwards (left) to lock the carriage and fit the typewriter into its case. In order to make it possible for the knob to move inward, you need to pull a lever forward. It may be an inconspicuous lever on the right or left end of the carriage somewhere. Try some and see what happens.