Well, I have dusted, polished and oiled this old Royal and in the process found out a few things:
- Why's it so heavy? That's a cast iron body!
- Typewriter covers are sort of OK, but not as effective at keeping the dust out as a proper box. Good reason to stick with portables?
- Adwoa: the cover is one-piece alloy with hinged ribbon tops (re-coined 'bongos' from now on). Not hinged but bolted on. And I honestly don't have space for this typewriter either...
- Mike: thanks for the pointers. The ribbon advance is actually driven by the clockwork motor. Incredible, ingenious! Disconnecting the carriage strap and pulling and releasing it you can watch the ribbon inch its way along.
- Richard: soft lighting hides a multitude of defects. The paintwork isn't up to usual Royal standards. The front plate especially has a slight 'orange peel' look about it - not dead flat.
- Matt: the top left lever is to enable free-spooling from left to right - it disengages the ribbon drive. This will help when re-spooling fresh ribbon.
- MLG told me about the cunning key tension control knob and indicator - nice touch.
- The Royal KHM is an amazingly well-designed and built bit of pre-WW2 machinery.
Most things started to work once the dust was cleared out of the segment and the carriage tracks were hosed down. But there's stuff that still needs attention, like the strap tension. Can't figure out how to adjust it - any advice welcome - or I could just wrap the strap around the drum twice? It is good enough to advance the carriage during normal typing but not strong enough for tabulating. The fiddly bell-ringing trigger is only sort of half-working - a solution'll come to me though. And one side panel's been backed into by something - needs careful bending so it lies flush.
The bigger picture