|The humble, almost toy-like Bar-Let Model 2. S/N30158, Nottingham, England. 1936.|
|Line return ratchet forms an adjustable 1 or 2 line 'pinch and push' carriage return like the Corona 3. The hunt is on for a replacement for the missing spring which returns the lever to its un-pinched position while (hopefully) engaging the ratchet.|
|Missing screw and nut from one end of the margin rack. It actually sort of works without it but I'd like to find a replacement.|
|Behold! The flip-top carriage reveals the strapless, direct drive motor. Note the gaps where the feed rollers have been removed. There's a third hidden (with the carriage in this position) behind the central motor.|
|L-R: intact brass wire feed roller pin, atrophied roller with flat spots, broken pin, blade-scraped roller, even more broken pin and finally, a cleaned up roller awaiting new rubber.|
Robert Messenger's recent post on Bar-Lock portables moved me to climb into the loft and drag out my much neglected Bar-Let Model 2. Many moons ago, I bought this from someone in Loughborough for either £6 or £16, I can't remember. A friend picked it up and held onto it for 6 months or so before I managed to collect it. Then I discovered that although it was a very interesting machine in lots of respects, it didn't work very well. But what value. All these years later it is still providing entertainment, but it is maybe time to address some issues.
I did manage to force-feed a sheet of A4 onto the platen and type a few words - not a pretty sight. Though the ribbon is OK, the alignment needs adjusting a pain, as it is a 3 bank with cap and figure shifts) but I think I have found the correct adjusters. But first, it needs to take paper and perform a reasonably efficient carriage return. The brass wire pins should be easy enough to replace. For new rubber for the feed rollers, I'll look for some tubing with more or less identical inner and outer diameters. I'm not sure how heavy duty the return lever spring needs to be, or what length, or what it attaches to... and I have no idea where to find a small screw and nut set for the margin rack - I wonder if a defunct electrical appliance might have the right scale hardware?
The excellent news is that the case is sheet steel and in good condition. The base-board is thick cork, through which the rubber feet of the machine are threaded. It generally stays fixed to the base board.
For ingenuity and innovation, the Bar-Let Model 2 scores highly and when it is up and running, I can find out if it truly is the rubbish typer it is reputed to be.
Alan Seaver's useful background to this typewriter.