I like taking in a typewriter where a machine has some problems. This one came in and the nice person said the space bar wasn’t working quite right. Well… it was pretty apparent the typewriter had been dropped and the front of the aluminum frame was impinging on the space bar. This is not a fun one to contemplate as aluminum has a tendency to crack if stressed more than a couple of times. Mr. Montgomery and I came up with a game plan to slowly straighten the front using c-clamps and heavy straight bars to slowly bend the front back in place. This took several days of gradual tension. Once the front was as straight as we felt it could be adjusted without cracking the aluminum, I tackled the bent space bar. I am so fortunate that we have tools to bend linkage. The dropped machine had jammed the right side of the space bar so there was only action if you touched the left side. With a few deft bends, the space bar had adequate action across all of its travel.
Once the space bar was done, I could test the rest of the typewriter action. Here is a short list; both margin stops were sticking, the ribbon reverse was stuck, tab set caused the carriage to stall, tab action was frighteningly fast slamming the carriage each time. “P” key was sticking. The key sticking was easy as the linkage was bent rubbing against the adjacent link. A slight adjustment worked. The margin stops, tab set and ribbon reverse were taken care of by oiling key segments. The tab action was an over adjustment of the main spring. It is typical that as the typewriter gets gummed up, the easy thing to do is just wind up the spring tension to make thing happen fast as you want. I also slightly adjusted the tab brake to better control the tab action so the carriage returned nicely.
It’s funny how a typewriter comes in with one symptom, yet there may be many underlying causes to what a typist actually experiences. Oh, desktop typewriters are heavy. When moving them grasp them firmly holding it close to your body. This may save you real dollars in repair. As another typewriter repair person recently said to me “like airplanes – these things aren’t really designed to “crash” are they?”.