Friday, 15 July 2011

Remington Rand Mod. 1 - progress

Nothing much worked at removing the hardened key cushion material, and I had some paint stripper left and... well, you know how it is. The Nitromors softened the brown stuff enough to scrub off, mostly with a toothbrush, but I had to resort to a green pan scrubbing pad to get the more stubborn bits off. The steel's plated with copper and then a black finish. Some of that's intact. Some of the copper is visible (see pic) and some of the bare metal is showing through. Who cares? It works! I lined the (now cleaned) cushion groves with strips I cut from bouyancy block material which is used as a transport block for car-topping a my kayak. Replacing the key comb was pretty straightforward, it being clean. I didn't have to resort to my diagram showing what key goes in which slot - it sort of just fell into place. Shame to waste the effort of my reading it out and Robin writing it down, so I'll share it at the foot of this post. For now, it works a treat - interested to see how long it lasts. Compared with my Remington Noiseless Portable, a harder rubber was used originally - but then the NP's cushions aren't brown...

I'm going to leave the comb as it is for now. If I could find a way of cleaning the keys themselves (they are crud-contaminated but not  in places which prevents them functioning), then I might have repainted it.

One similarity (with the NP) is where the carriage release lever spring goes at the left end of the carriage. To begin, the platen needed to come out so I could clean it and the rusty paper tray. I'd run out of 0000 wire wool, so I used 400 grit emery paper for both.  I thought it would help to remove the left-hand carriage cover plate - it didn't - just two screws, not a big deal. Until you find that the two screws also retain vital bits of the carriage release lever, and a spring, which sprung right off the machine. So, out comes the NP and off comes the end plate. Different set up, but similar enough to find which boss the spring had to sit on and where both ends should be tensioned. So, spring back on, keeping everything lined uptakes two hands but you have to pick up the end plate... and then a screwdriver. My mum would describe it, wrongly, as "frabbing". It was a struggle to the point of exasperation. The air was blue

Of course, in retrospect, I should have let gravity lend a hand by tipping the machine on its side. Then I'd only have been one hand short. Needless to say, there are no photos of this part of the process.

And finally, for now, replacing the platen. If you ask me now, I'd say it was the easiest thing in the world. Thirty minutes ago I would have just snarled. It might have been the beer (London Pride), but I spent nearly an hour trying to get the platen back on. The detent roller (which makes the clicking sound when you wind in a clean sheet of paper) needs to be moved out of the way before the platen will go snugly home. It is so easy, just approach the job from behind the carriage and lever it down against its spring. The platen practically self-installs.

Next time: Feet, bell and tab-securing-rubber-roller-thingy.
Which keys go in which slot in the comb?


  1. Sounds like one of my own exploratory repair sessions: full of frustration and despair, followed by hard-won enlightenment.

  2. wow that's a project and a half. It's time for a cable tv show about these restoration projects.

  3. great project & documentation! thanks & good luck!

  4. Enlightenment: just as well. After putting the machine away, I discovered a platen washer on the table!

  5. Rob, sorry the petrol suggestion didn't work, but well done on what looks like a pretty good clean-up. A well earned bottle of Pride.

    Could I ask you (and any of the other cognoscenti commenting here) a question about the mechanism? On your 13 July post, I held forth about the adjustment of the keystops on the assumption - now, I realise, completely mistaken - that the RR Model 1 had the same mechanism as the Remington Noiseless Portable. On Classic Typewriter Richard P says "it doesn't have the small weights that press the typebars against the platen". But the pics on your 11 July post show a row of components under the cover (behind the top bank of keys in the second pic) that my RNP manual suggests are those weights. Do they move when you hit a key?

  6. @bikethru: yes, they move - as far as I can tell, they do have enough mass to them to add some momerntum to the strike action, and bring them back to rest again. I'll post a comparison as I have both the machines out at the minute.

  7. PS: love the logo on that Macy's Model 1.

  8. Thanks Rob. As for the logo, who'd have had Macy's down as a hotbed of the revolution? McCarthy missed that one.