Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Notes on Lap-Typing



Typecast273

Post-Script: As you can see from above, I did end up making another video, on lap-typing. I happen to love portable and semi-portable typewriters, and what I find most distinctive about them is their relatively compact size and weight makes them ideal for moving out from the traditional office/desk setting, into more creativity-spurring environments. After all, this is why they are called "portables" in the first place.

I was hoping to try my hand at making a medium-size portable like the beloved Smith-Coronas Silent into a more take-anywhere machine, by removing the top of the hard case and, keeping the machine secured to its base, enclose it in a soft material like an old pillow case, then slip into a backpack, for carry-anywhere portability. But alas, my little day pack is a bit too narrow for that idea to see fruition. Perhaps a slightly wider back pack. Of course, a person could lug the case by its handle, but who wants to do that for more than just a few minutes at a time. I was also brainstorming some idea for attaching straps to the hard case, so it could be portered on one's back, but no winning ideas have yet to see the light of day.

Speaking of Smith-Corona Silents, yesterday I brought out the Silent-Super for a bit of test-typing, and noted that, after it's been sitting for several months unused in the cold garage, the troublesome escapement issue returned. I spent several hours yesterday afternoon with it and its stablemate non-Super Silent next to each other on the bench, as I used the less problematic machine for a comparison, and found a few mechanical adjustments needing to be made, and some hardened pivot linkages needing to be freed up. Afterwords I spent an extended period of time with the machine and it hasn't skipped once. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's fixed, no sir, because one has to remember where it came from: a Craigslist ad from a fellow who I'd generously describe as a "hippie," living in the filthiest house I'd ever stepped foot into (and I used to do TV repair service calls, years ago, and have seen a few grungy dwellings in my time). I spent several days initially cleaning and degreasing this machine. Even now there's a bit of funky odor emanating from the hard case, just a subtle reminder of its colorful pedigree.

This typecast was via the recently acquired Brother Charger 11, a humble but willing writing companion, and truly fit for lap-typing.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Bill M said...

Another one of your fine video! I also like lap typing. It is about all I can do when I go bicycle typing. I like my Skyriters or Montana or Baby. I have used larger ones when lap typing outside at home. I never tried a pillow thinking it would make the typewriter to bouncy. Now, I need to try it.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Richard Wood said...

I fine those fibre car scents (when they are a bit older and lost the majority of the smell) are great for popping in drawers, I put one in my writing desk and get a delightful smell overtime I open it. Maybe it would help with the funk removal in your case. I don't think I could bare knowing or guessing what those smells might have originated from. Or maybe a tumble dryer sheet (although the oil in them happens to mark the clothes, let alone the inside of a case)

1:28 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Nice job. Wow, that Corona is a stunner.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I have the same problem with my legs sloping down. My solution is to find a lower chair, or some brick to put under my feet.Just enough so my upper legs are level, and the machine will stay put. I did buy an old Stenotype, just to get the tripod stand. I then mounted a platform on it instead of the Stenotype, and that works well, is adjustable, and folds up to a compact size.

11:04 PM  

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