Friday, November 1, 2013

Skyriter: Not as Planned

So on Tuesday night, I was given marching orders via Twitter:

How could I refuse?

Yesterday, I sat down to attempt working on it. I opened up Twitter so that the notes from the last repair attempt were displayed. I had my tools. I had halfway decent lighting, and a movie in the background.

And it all went bad fast.

One problem that I've been having is that I can't figure out how the draw band is threaded through the carriage. No matter how I did it, it got caught. I tried three different methods, no dice. Finally, after the third attempt, I admitted that I'd have to try a different material since clearly my crochet thread wasn't working.

But then I noticed that something wasn't right. The draw band had jumped off of the drum, wrapping around the top. Not a big deal. I unwound it a couple of times with the aide of a dental pick. of those wraps went over the drum, but under the gear that turns it, effectively jamming it in place. The drum was going nowhere.

I tugged. I wiggled. I did everything I could, but I couldn't make it budge. I could still turn the drum, but it didn't do anything to turn the gear or move it so that I could see where it was actually caught. So I tugged and wiggled some more.

And then my hand slipped.

And so did the Skyriter.

It only fell about 18", and seems to mostly be okay, but the ribbon cover will not close at all now, it just kind of rests on top with about a 1/4" gap all the way around.

In the process, the cord I was using snapped. The good news is that it detached itself from the drum gear. The bad news is that the original knot is still jammed inside the slot in the drum, and I can't get it out. I'll try again when I'm less prone to breaking things, but there's not enough of the thread sticking out for me to get a grip on it, even with tweasers, and the spring inside won't budge to loosen it.

I'm starting to think that I need to stop kidding myself about this whole typewriter repair thing. I love using them, but from now on maybe I should just stick to ones that work instead of trying to fix them myself.


  1. :(! 1. See if you can get a hold of some surgical pickups--the long nosed skinny tweezers/forceps--forceps, that's the word i'm thinking of. That might help get that knot. 2. I'm sorry for precipitating damage.

  2. Sorry to hear about all your Skyriter problems. I use a long thin stiff wire to thread the draw strings. There is a trick to releasing the knot and putting a new one in its place. If you can turn the drum as if it were being turned by the carriage and draw string this will wind the spring away from the outer edge of the drum. Then the old draw string can be remove with a bit of tugging in the direction opposite to the way it would normally pull to wind the drum. Sometimes a tool must be used to get it out. Then I put the knotted end of the new string in and press it down in the slot or hole with a tiny screwdriver or the end of a small crochet hook. I have Skyriter parts machine I will dig out tomorrow and see if there is anything on it that will help.

    The ribbon cover can easily be bent back into fitting condition. It will just take some time. Looking and bending and twisting or what ever would be needed for it to align.

    Don't give up. You will succeed.