Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Thermal Typing at Rust is Gold

Rust is Gold
Thermal Typing

Post-Script: Ted Munk's thermal paper roll holder was much more pragmatic than mine. As is usual for these kinds of projects, I rummage through a bin in my work shop for just the right bits. Usually they aren't ideal, but I figure a way to make them work. In the case of this project, it took several iterations to get a simple, workable holder system that easily breaks down flat enough to fit inside the front pouch of the Brother EP-20 carrying case, along with a roll of thermal fax paper.

When it comes time to cut or sand wood, I like to open the garage door and air out all that sawdust. But cold weather kept me from doing so, and now I have a cleanup job to do when (or if) it does warm up sufficiently.

Here are the components to my paper roll holder, disassembled:


To assemble, first one end of the brass rod is inserted into one of the side brackets:


Then the paper roll is slipped onto the rod:


Then the other bracket is installed:


There's enough clearance for the bottom of a full roll not to drag on the table:


The bracket has a low profile and sits conveniently just behind the machine. In practice it helps to pull out a "service loop" of paper and drape it behind the bracket, so the paper has enough slack to easily feed into the machine.


I thought the experience of writing using this system was actually rather good; better I think than using a manual typewriter in public, which for me is fraught with constant worry about what other people think about the noise. Definitely a usable writing system, and easy to tote around.

Here's a video about today's venture:

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Blogger Mike A. said...

You are a creative should Joe. Love the things you come up with. I could easily imagine this on sale in one of our local curio shops. Heck, it would be great with a conventional typewriter as well.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Good to see that little Brother getting a work out. The roll holder is a great match.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

I actually don't consider the typeface of the EP-20 (and also EP-22) to be a problem - it's very unique among "typewriters", and considering how rare working 9-pin dot matrix printers are these days, rather quite evocative of the era without the baggage of needing a computer, a centronics cable and obsolete drivers and unintuitive configurations to get that typeface look. I especially like it when I can display it at a resolution where you can easily see the individual pixels that comprise each letter. Part of why I love the quirky little thing so much is that unique 9-pixel typeface. :D

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Toon said...

Hi Joe,

I bought a canon typestar 5 after reading your blog and scored 1000 meters of faxing paper on rolls... It's nothing like my manual typewriters but the paper on a roll does make me write more. Great for first drafts! I am trying to figure out how long it can work on battery power. Any ballpark guess what these wedges average?

4:56 AM  

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