Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Smith-Corona Sterling

1959 SC Sterling 2
Sterling: It Lives!
1959 SC Sterling

Thanks to the work required for my recent marathon Typewriter Data Base update session (white backdrop portraits of all the machines, neat type samples, plenty of files afloatin' cross the interwebz), I was able to get this new member of "my" collection documented, in both my paper "look book" and the TWDB itself, with little effort.

The platen is hard and could use recovering by JJ Short; the larger feed rollers also have flat spots. But it works, and the imprint ain't too shabby, with that fresh Baco red/black ribbon installed.

These machines are the ideal beginner-repair-person's machine to learn on. The body panels remove fairly easily, the chassis is modest in size, all the critical adjustments are within easy reach, including the escapement (which, by the way, this machine didn't need any adjustment of, it spaces perfectly). I did have to adjust the on-feet to get the type properly aligned. Also, one of the margin adjustment brackets was missing its shoulder screw, so I fashioned a makeshift replacement from spare hardware. And, as mentioned in the typecast, the ribbon cover hinge pins were missing, so I fashioned replacements from stiff wire. Additionally, the carriage return lever was bent and hence scraping on the ribbon cover, so some careful reforming was required.

As for the "rubber ducky treatment," I used tap water as hot as I could get it, with Dawn dishwashing liquid soap, stiff brushes for scrubbing, a hot fresh tap water rinse, then a combination of compressed air hose and hair dryer on high setting for quick drying, followed by spot degreasing and lubrication.

The holiday case was a bit warped and dented, requiring some adjustments before the lid would securely and reliably latch. Oh -- the case also got the rubber ducky treatment, it was stinky!

Midday was sunny and warm and, with sun hat donned, a perfect time to set up my folding work table in the driveway adjacent to the garage and do my cleaning and servicing on this little grungy beauty. Lacquer thinner was liberally applied during the degreasing process in the fresh open air with little concern for odors.


  1. Congratulations on the cleaning.
    Typewriters are like books; they can't be judged by their covers. Some of my grungiest looking typewriters happen to be some of my best typers.
    The runt of the litter usually turns out to be the best dog. Perhaps the same applies to the grungiest typewriter.

  2. Nice pickup for the Society, and a fine afternoon gett'n 'er shipshape! :D

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