This maroon and gray Olympia came to the shop partially dismantled. The owner presented a bag of parts; springs, screws. . . and a story of an adventurous young person. I actually like young folks who are brave and curious enough to take things apart then put them together again. Often, when I was a kid, I did the same with mostly disastrous results. It led to a passion to explore and to question. All good things.
I grossly underestimated what it would take to get this Olympia SM 3 back together and working again. Partly because if I told the customer what it would ACTUALLY take to do it, they would abandon the project and we would be left with a very pretty parts machine. So, with a low estimate in hand, here is the list:
- miss adjusted items – type bar lock , margin release, tab actuator, space bar return spring stuck in the “W” slot, spring drum disconnected and draw cord off the carriage, upper/lower case alignment.
- broken items – left plastic card holder, foot to frame washers (actually, those washers almost always need replacing).
- missing items – margin lock return spring, tab return spring, missing links to the =/+ and @ keys, oh and a few screws.
I start with the simple things, then move onto the real gnarly stuff. The spring end stuck in the “W” slot was a weird one and I still don’t know how that happened. It was really stuck and took a trio of tools to pry it loose without damaging the slot or type bar. The spring drum and draw cord is a simple task that just takes a little time to restring and then tension properly. The springs the customer sent along with the machine were quickly put back to order. I had to hunt down the replacement springs that were missing, and then discovered missing screws. Odd how they were all 3-56 screws. Damn small stuff.
Re adjusting the key lever release bar took some time to get it to swing freely, and I actually enjoy making links. With plenty of piano wire of various diameters it is fun to match them up then duplicate. The margin release was bent, hanging up on the left side caps select lever. It took a bit of finesse to get it realigned. I epoxied the plastic card holder together as I couldn’t find one in the parts bins to fit.
The last task was getting the tabs to work. Tabs worked fine when all caps were selected, yet not in lower case. Hmmm, I can see the clearance at the escapement wheel is fine when the carriage is shifted, yet it just barely hangs up with the carriage down. The eccentric screw that controls the escapement dog was f r o z e n solid. I did not want to get this far and totally break a machine with the last task at hand. It took me two weeks of on again, off again fiddling before that screw would come loose enough to adjust. When it did, I was calling the customer within the hour that this nice Olympia SM 3 was ready to come home.