This nice customer is on a tight budget, yet the typewriter really needed some major work. The draw string was broken and the platen was REALLY well used.
Just look at the imprints from years of constant use. This customer knew that if the typewriter was repaired back to near new, she would get a life time’s worth of work from this finely engineered hunk of metal. Of course, the first thing is to ship the platen off to J.J. Short for recovery. I love the smell and feel of a new platen! The next thing on the list was servicing a sluggish spring drum then installing a new drawstring. From there it is off to the solvent cleaning station to rid the typewriter of shellacked oils and refresh it with newly oiled joints.
Once it was re-oiled the typing action really got better. A few type bars needed adjusting and that is typical of this class of machine. I returned it to the customer, then a few days later received a nice type written letter describing how the typewriter really just wasn’t working very well. Several keys on each side were sluggish and the “a” key appeared to rest above all the others. Boy was I embarrassed. I have a 90 day service warranty, yet I strive to return a typewriter back in tip top shape. When I got the typewriter back to the shop I re-cleaned the segment, this time with a white paper towel to catch the solvent. No wonder the typing action was not up to par, it took three more cleanings before the fluid ran clean. Lesson learned.
After looking at the letter describing the symptoms, the “a” key really was setting well above the other letters. I had already adjusted the caps and lower case alignment and since it was only that letter, out come the magnifiers for a closer look. Well, well, well . . . The “a” type bar slug was soldered slightly higher than any of the other type bars. A factory defect never caught before it was sold. This letter “a” will become the charm of each missive written on the machine.