Thursday, 28 July 2011

Five's a handful

Pretty clean. Skinny rubber. Early Model 5: twdb says 5A 756 is 1957-ish.

You might expect a 99p Imperial Good Companion Model 5 to be too good to be true. I can't complain, but the immaculate all-round cleanliness belies a problem or three. Here's the running order:
  1. The platen won't engage the internal clutch so it is just spinning - no line returns. Yes, I undid all the screws but still having trouble removing the platen.
  2. The tabs won't set and the linkage is buried deep!
  3. The space bar linkage was hanging off and was quite inscrutable to reassemble. This connects to the whole escapement so is pretty critical to get right. Working well now though!
  4. There's an annoying snag just as you depress the shift - problem isolated but I need a 3mm right-angle cranked spanner to adjust - or a file.
On lots of machines the cover comes off to reveal the workings - having little practical use except to hang luxuries like feet and paper rests off. This one, though, is an incredibly intricate alloy molding with various bits bolted to it and assembled around it. Maybe because it is a basket shift, but I'm blowed if I can see how to remove the carriage. Could be just a matter of time. I'll leave it a week and have another look then.

The Imperial came from a lady who rescued it from the dump. It belonged to the daughter (who now lives in the States) of a recently late friend. It has suffered some traumas and there are enough gnarled screw-heads to suggest it has been regularly repaired. Out of the case it is a very low-slung machine and the space bar linkage barely clears the desk top. The soft case has no retaining clips and offers very little protection.

Full decals and no skid marks on the lid. Spot the minor crack between the tab keys.

Don't let this put anyone off getting one!

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