Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Underwood Lives!

That darn left feed roller was the only thing we couldn't replace.

Go here for a comparison.

New feet! Courtesy of an IBM model C electric.

Amazing how PB Blaster and compressed air will get rust off.

Amazing how a power drill, drywall grit, and some lacquer remover will clean a platen.
It may not look like much of an improvement, but trust me, it is. The margin stops now move freely.

There was an Underwood No. 5 in the shop while I was there. I was surprised to note that there is very little difference between the two: different stencil work and black keys instead of white.

This was a great way to spend my day off, and I'll have to do it again in the future. Learned a lot and got to know the pleasure of actually fixing a machine!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure the Royal 470 can be saved. After seeing the facility and lifetime of equipment Vern and company use to make their way, I don't know if I can use my apartment for the same purpose. Might end up scrapping that one for spare parts on eBay.

Power to the pen!


  1. Great job you and Vern did on the Underwood- looks like it is typing great. That platen looks really smooth.

    Don't give up hope yet on the 470! It may seem like junk now, but once you have it up and running again you won't regret the time put in it.

    1. Thanks! The problem with the 470 isn't so much the typewriter itself (although I think some of the linkage springs are snapped in two) as it is our apartment being appropriate for such a massive job. We do not have a room that we can make safe for using so many industrial chemicals. I'd have to remove the frame and then soak it in PB Blaster or Evaporust. Believe me, I want to try, just not sure our home is the place for it.

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  3. Yeah, them old vertical iron Underwoods will come back from near anything. Got one myself that will never win a beauty contest, but sure types like a dream. (: