Friday, December 08, 2023

Wrangling Some Hermes's

This older-style H3K I got from a local collector, while the most recent find that I worked on earlier this week, the middle-era H3K, I got from my friend Bill. They're very similar mechanically. The curvy, first generation version has metal carriage end-cap plates, while the 2nd and 3rd generation versions are plastic. The 2nd and 3rd generation also don't have the sliding feet brackets like the first one does, so they're a bit less intricate to disassemble. I think if you're comfortable working on any of the three versions, the others shouldn't be a problem.

Besides working on these two Hermes's, I did a repair job on the Olivetti Praxis 48, also acquired from Bill. Besides needing a good clean, the main problem was the clutch mechanism for the powered carriage return was slipping and making a horrendous noise. It turned out the ring-shaped cork surface on the inside face of the plastic pulley was slipping. I made a corresponding ring of fine sandpaper and double-sided-taped it to the corresponding face of the metal clutch disc, rendering it functional once again.

I really like the Praxis 48, not only for its style but functionality. The owners manual states it's capable of 160 words per minute. I can't type that fast but I appreciate that it can keep up with whatever I throw at it. The machine sports some interlocks that prevents two type bars from overtyping the same space. It has a nifty paper centering scale that many machines from this era lacked, and the margins are set electrically. Here's a glamour shot of the Praxis 48:

Olivetti Praxis 48

Here's a video about the Praxis 48:


Blogger Ted said...

Heh, are you past 50 machines yet? :D

8:44 AM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Ah, Those H3k machines are fun to work on. The screws are different lengths also. Put the incorrect one in back and the carriage will drag no matter what.

Beautiful Praxis 48. I had one back in the 80s, my first typewriter of my own.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Joe V said...

Ted, I’m at 43. Trying to give some away as I get more keepers.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Aha ... great tip on the H3K setscrews.

I had a Praxis 48 for a while, enjoyed it quite a bit, but it's been downsized. Sigh.

4:42 PM  

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