Sunday, September 17, 2023

Looking a Gift Typewriter in the Mouth

I now have a handful of 5-series Smith-Coronae, they're solid, reliable machines that're straight forward to work on and also work well as threshing machines for the uninitiated public to use during Type-Ins. I'd say they're my favorite brand for just that use. I also like how if you have one with a JJ Short-resurfaced platen you can easily swap it to another 5-series machine, which I've done here, including swapping the righthand platen knobs, just to keep the colors consistent; I anticipate using this machine more in the near future than the Silent-Super ex-hippie typer that I otherwise love (just because of the letter-writing potential of vertical script).

This month I've added five (!) machines to my collection. Surprisingly, my ever-patient wife isn't even upset, as she's taken more of an active interest in our fledgling typewriter group and sees these extra machines as ones that can be used for public Type-In events, saving the wear and tear on my more rare or fragile pieces. Having an understanding partner makes being a typewriter nerd so much better. In fact, it's worth swapping one, maybe two, Hermes 3000s for a good spouse, you won't regret it! (JK). I'll be making blog articles about the other machines soon (I've already covered the Singer Graduate here).

One final thought about this vertical script Silent is I don't think it got much use during its life, considering a script machine might only get used for personal letters, it's not the kind of type face you'd use to turn in an essay, for example.

Also, here's much more detailed info about the backstory to this type face, thanks to our friend Ted Munk.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Here's to You Mrs. Robinson

Here's the Samsonite suitcase, retrieved from my storage shed and once again repurposed as a typewriter case. I like this better than what would have been its original case, I have plenty of foam rubber inside to keep the machine from knocking about, and there's plenty of room for paper and accessories.

You might notice the "M" and "R" monograms, I don't know what these were originally for (perhaps the original owners?) but they appear very permanently attached.

Here's the unboxing video:

And here's the full review video:

Friday, September 01, 2023

Consul 232

There were more problems not mentioned above, like the margin rack and adjustment sliders were so corroded that they'd hardly move. I had to remove the rack and sliders, then cleaned and polished some pieces with metal polish to get them to move smoothly. It went on and on like this. I'd think it was fixed, then something else would crop up.

I remember times like these when, years ago, I repaired consumer electronics for a living. Some problems were dealt with easily, while others were a real struggle; but in the process of doing so it was also a learning period, gaining new skills and technical insights, or merely how to deal patiently with stressful situations.

As I alluded to in the typewritten piece, if a person had to do this for a living, today, in 2023 and going forward, the challenge would be these small portables that were never intended to work as well as a better-built, larger machine, yet are the kinds of machines that attract newcomers to the hobby. They want their small portable to be like their iPad or laptop computer: go anywhere and expect it to perform flawlessly. These machines often take more time to service properly than a bigger, better-built design.

Still, it was a fun experience, and the little typer works. It's been restored to service. One more obsolete typewriter is now back in business. Type on!