We get quite a number of typewriters in the shop that are family heirlooms. Many have spent decades on a shelf, in the garage, basement, closet, attic, you name it, you’ve stored it there.
This fine specimen was no different; used voraciously by their grandfather, then less and less. It was rediscovered in the basement and by then the damage had mostly been done. Moisture split the platen, water dripping rusted some key locations. As happens frequently when someone rediscovers one of these heavy wonders it was dropped, breaking the frame and bending the carriage. They felt sad and wanted it restored back to its original glory. That folks, is what we do.
First thing, the split platen was sent to J.J. Short for recovery. When returned the new platen smelled so goooood! I love the smell of that brand new rubber. I know, kind of weird. Then Don picked up the typewriter to weld the frame.
It came back ready to prep for paint. We use automotive filler to fill in any defects resulting from the weld job and it works very well.
Layer after layer, then layers of paint to build up to the original finish. Sanding, rubbing compound and more, just like an automotive project in small scale.
Straightening a bent tab rack is alway a joy. It takes time and a bit of finesse as you want it straight, yet bending that old metal is always iffy. After that it is off to the solvent cleaning station for a good bath and re-oil.
There were a few missing screws, a type bar not seating correctly and a broken spring. All taken care of in the end.
After all the mechanical work, these Royals have a paint that comes back to life even with immense oxidation.
I love polishing the old paint finishes and this job is no different. Love that gloss! I can hardly wait to present this beauty from the year 1926 to its owner.