Portable typewriters are a conundrum. Folks like them because they are portable (ha, ha), light, have an easy touch on the fingers and many have interesting designs. Folks hate them as the keys get stuck, ribbon feeds are finicky and are prone to skipping if the escapement gets out of alignment.
This Royal portable is a real workhorse for the customer and when brought in you could tell it is used often. There was a lot of ribbon debris on the type bar faces, in the segment and in the ribbon vibrator. The ribbon vibrator was sticking, and the mechanism was just not feeding the ribbon right. A quick look at the ribbon and it was clear it was getting stuck as the type was chewing it up. Ribbon reverse was not working. Once the machine was on the bench there were a few other things that needed attention; segment needed cleaning of all the ribbon debris, margins were sticking and needed cleaning and the margin release was not working and needed adjusting.
Getting to the internals on portables almost always means removing the pretty metal covers. It is a little disconcerting to the owner of the typewriter to see all the guts laid bare!
The real problem for this little guy was the ribbon feed mechanisms. The ribbon vibrator on Royal portables are a soft metal and easily bent and this was no exception. Once that little prince was taken care of it was getting the ribbon reverse to operate.
The reverse springs, I have no idea where these pair came from, were over sized and I think the previous repair person used them to try to cure the problem. Replacing the springs with the correct size helped tremendously, and then it became quite clear that after 50 years of use the ratchet pall on the ribbon feed gear was heavily worn. No fix for that without a replacement. So… when the ratchet is in its sweet spot, ribbon reverses just fine. Out of that spot, not so much. Other than having to pay attention at the end of the ribbon spool, the typewriter is a dream to use. I LOVE that green paint!