Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Studio 45

Olivetti Underwood Studio 45
Another Thrift Store Find

After I left my grandson's barber shop I stopped in at Downtown Java Joe's, a nice coffee shop that's been around for a few decades. The building gained notoriety in one of the early seasons of Breaking Bad by serving as the hideaway for Tuco, which you may remember was blown up by Walter White with his home-cooked batch of motion-sensitive explosives. I think for the filming they blew out the windows with some special charges, along with smoke grenades and other special effects to look much more violent than it was - the building itself is fine.

Downtown Java Joe’s, ABQ

After I got home and started in on servicing the Olivetti, I wanted to carefully blow out any debris with compressed air. I placed a thickly folded towel atop my workbench stool, then placed the typewriter upsidedown, with the panels removed. Gently compressed air, along with a stiff-bristled brush, served well to clean out residual debris. There was some thin foam padding in the bottom of the body that was crumbling to dust, I removed it and blew out the residue. Later, I replaced it with adhesive craft foam.

Cleaning the Studio 45
Our old southwestern-themed living room rug has served as garage workshop flooring for a few years now.

So, how do I compare this Barcelona-made Olivetti Underwood Studio 45 with other Olivettis I've owned? It's a bit more tinny and metallic/clattery sounding than the Lettera 22s or Olivetti Underwood 21. Kind of like the difference between a later Smith-Corona Corsair compared to an earlier Skyriter. In the case of the Studio 45, it has those same Olivetti design features, but the build quality is a bit lighter and thinner. Right now it's my only Olivetti. I do like the smaller, lighter design compared to the larger, heavier model 21. And the Senatorial-like typeface is nifty. But it exudes the clatter of a later-era manual portable; this ain't no German-made instrument.

In terms of finding a place to store it, for now I'll put the Sears/Nakajima daisywheel away in its case and keep the Olivetti on my desk. It does deserve to be put through its paces, if for no other reason than to test for those nagging intermittent issues.

It's funny, today as I was driving over to the thrift store I wondered if there'd be any machines waiting for me, since it'd been so long since I've gone thrifting. The thrifting gods were shining on me today.



Blogger Bill M said...

Congratulations on the fine looking typewriter. It's got a nice typeface.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

Nice! I haven't yet restarted regular thrifting, and probably won't anytime soon, but it's great to see that machines are still out there waiting to be picked up (:

Note: mechanically, the Studio 45 is just a Lettera 32 in a bigger shell. Well, basically any Olivetti or Underwood portable made past 1963 (studio 44/ Underwood 21 excepted) is a Lettera 32 in a different shell.

12:49 PM  

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