1956 Royal Quiet Deluxe
It has been quite a while since I last wrote an article here. To be honest, I was mostly being lazy. My workshop has been flooded with repairs up the wazoo and I haven't had the time I'd like to document them. A lot of them were videotaped and edited for social media use, but for some reason, the easier aspect of taking simple photos eluded me. But this typewriter in particular, this beautiful red royal, had to be written about.
It came from a client downtown, his Uncle painted it a wonderful deep red with silver flecks visible in the right light. Truly stunning, though it's trip down to the suburbs in a duffel bag on a motorcycle damaged some of the paint and broke the paper release leaver off. Not terribly hard to fix for the leaver, but the paint couldn't be fixed.
For the most part, it was in well working condition, but the bane of most of my work was also handed over: the bag of parts. Indeed after the machine was repainted, a plethora of miscellaneous parts were thrown into a bag. Among them the magic margin system. It takes a while to work out where everything goes, and invariably as per usual, parts were missing...the main one being the ribbon fork spring which holds the royal clean finger tines shut.
Of course, my first order of business was to send the platen off to JJ Short for recovering, then removing the body panels from the machine and giving it a thorough chemical clean. The panels themselves come off quite easily, you just need to watch for one mechanism in the back that juts out a little. This can cause some grief. Everything else is straightforward if you go slow and cautiously. For most of this work, I used a soft white rag to place everything on, as this paint job was ridiculously delicate.
Once the machine was clean, and the body was polished, I was able to figure out how to install the missing pieces of the Magic Margin system. I have no idea why they were removed in the first place, but once it was together and cleaned up, they sprang to life and worked marvelously.
It was around this time that the Chapman MFG tool company released their new set of typewriter repair tools. A few months ago, the late Garrett Lai and Jonathan Posey got in contact with Joel from Chapman. Their goal was to create a set of screwdriver bits specifically for repairing antique typewriters. I was contacted by them shortly after to do a small drawing for the info card. Just this week, Chapman released their set, and I must say it is a must have for repair work.
It played an important roll in getting this machine back together without further damage to the screw heads or the paintjob.
Once the machine was for the most part together, I set about fabricating a ribbon lift spring since I couldn't get a hold of a replacement. It took some trial and error, but I was able to modify the spring from an Oliver key leaver to fit this part, and it worked great.
With all the parts in place, including the new platen, I began to work in putting it all back together. The end result was a beautiful machine with a rich character. It types smoothly, without the deceleration of most quiet machines, and it prints dark and neat.