Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Impromptu Type-Out and Adobe Rose

“Adobe Rose” the Royal Quiet De Luxe

Impromptu Type-Out and Adobe Rose

Post-Script: What a fun time we had! As you get older, by the time you're my age (I'm 60), you often don't have as many friends as you once had. So these social gatherings become even more meaningful.

It was David who initiated this event, to whom I'm indebted. And it serves as a kick in the pants for me, because I'd made some noises, after the April 22 Type-Out, of wanting to have more frequent typewriter gathers, of a more spontaneous nature. I do want to continue these kinds of meet-ups, but also have to balance the fact that if you show up at some venue with, say, 25 people, all with at least one typewriter, you might not find they have sufficient room. All that to say that I have a small email list of people who attended the April 22 event, whom I'll be inviting to the next spontaneous (or as close as we can get) typewriter gathering, and just hope all works out well enough without some restaurant manager saying "it'd be better if you didn't come back."

Of course, your wallet is your passport, so the cardinal rule is to buy plenty of food and drink, and tip your waitress well.

It was fun working on this Royal QDL. The adobe-like color scheme immediately reminded me of our southwest-styled home and its adobe-like stucco finish, hence the christening of the machine as Adobe Rose. But I don't think it'll be complete without a little magnetic trinket to sit atop the ribbon cover, like a little howling coyote with bandana, or perhaps a colorful cactus. Perhaps a visit to the tourist shops in Old Town is warranted.

As for the repair itself, I was very pleased to find the missing screw was secured inside the case by David himself. But there was one other screw I found lodged precariously in the left side of the carriage bearing rail, and I haven't yet found where it goes; but nothing seems amiss regarding the machine's operation, so I'll hang onto the screw in case its needed at some future date.

The elite-size type face reminded me immediately of my Smith-Corona Silent-Super. It might be a fun comparing the two. I think the Royal weighs a bit lighter, and doesn't have the Smith's patented feature whereby the key caps remain horizontal throughout the full key stroke. And while the Royal doesn't have the Smith's action and feel, it's still very nice, just a bit different. There might be a slight difference in the spacing of the keys, which I've yet to measure, but I suspect the Royal's are slightly further apart, less crowded, which makes typing more comfortable for me. It's a very easy machine to type fast upon, and the alignment of the type slugs is pretty good, better than the Smith's, but not perfect. Still, it makes a dark imprint and works virtually flawlessly.

I've found in my experience there's always a breaking-in period after servicing a very neglected machine like this one. Often you have to type on it for a period of time to discover those lurking intermittent problems, often related to the escapement, such as letters piling atop one another (especially when using a fast, staccato-like action), or alternatively skipping spaces. More pointed degreasing and cleaning of the escapement is often needed, along with the segment slots of certain individual keys that might be apt to hang up on their return stroke and prevent the machine's reliable operation at full speed.

The hard case has a nice fabric outer finish, but the inner aluminum rails show a bit of white oxidation, along with a few rusting rivets. There's also been an addition set of rubber feet added to the bottom of the case by some previous owner, who might have been using it in its case and didn't want it sliding around the desktop.

I didn't spend a lot of time trying to get the textured paint finish pristine-looking, as it's too easy to begin taking off color in the process of removing grime and residue. Perfect is the enemy of good enough, in this case. Its patina reflects its history, like an elder's wrinkles and blemishes are clues to some personal archeology.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Bill M said...

The QDL was a very nice gift. You did a fine job getting it back into shape and looking great. Impromptu typewriter gatherings are a lot of fun.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Neat. I love that Royal typeface, it's one of the best.

2:12 PM  

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