This Underwood Champion came to us with a broken escapement dog spring preventing the backspace mechanism from working. On desktop models there is usually plenty of room to maneuver to get to the tiny stuff. Not so on this little Champion. To access that pesky thing you have to take the carriage off then remove the back support bracket, all to access the nuts to get to the escapement assembly. To remove the escapement to replace the dog spring means taking all the essentials and moving them out of the way, then oops, there go the 1/16″ bearings on to the floor!
I bought a parts machine and it showed me (very quietly with barely audible giggling sounds) that it too had the same broken spring! What to do, what to do… Rummage through that wonderful old stock of springs hiding in every drawer to find a spring I can bend to fit the need. This little truism about springs is very real; bend it once – just dandy, bend it twice – stop while you can, bend it a third time – broken spring! After fooling around with that for way too long, I decided to make a spring out of piano wire. I have a fairly decent set of various diameter piano wire and found one the right weight. After consulting with Mr. Montgomery, we both agreed the shape of the created spring was pressing against the dog just right to create the tension needed. Putting that wonderful machine back together is another story. This Champion now types great!
Oh, this portable came in a case with an interesting latch. You pull the stud out to open it!