1947 Remington Rand De Luxe Model 5

Check out what I picked up for a song yesterday! This is a beautiful piece of machinery and in remarkably great condition. I barely had to put any lubrication on it. With a new ribbon it’s typing like new. Someone must’ve really cared for this machine. With the exception of the pencil shavings inside that seem indicative of most typewriters of this era, it’s a wonderful machine.

According to Professor Polt, this little beauty cost $54.50 new, which is around $589 today. I really love the streamlined look of this era. It reminds me of work by the great industrial designer Raymond Loewy. I’m a fan of the Art Deco and I see hints of this in the design of machines of the 30s and 40s..


Platen Diameters

Curious thought: Is there a central database or list of platen diameters? If not, why not? Surely there must be something out there. It would really help the DIY community to know these numbers.

Platen Repair

While sitting in a self-help sales brainwashing pitch a friend invited me to, I zoned out (for about 3 hours) and thought over the flattened roller issue on my 1930 Royal Portable. I did not snap photos when I took everything apart so I’m borrowing Teeritz’s photo of his Corona Four to illustrate:

As you can see, that rubber roller has a depressed flat side. This makes paper feeding very difficult. TONS have been written on the internet about softening rubber, replacing platens, etc. There are some companies out there that will do it, and knife141 at Instructables has a wonderful bit about doing it yourself. I cannot speak to the success of either as I’ve not gotten this far, but their work looks really great.

So there I was, trying to be polite, and not say something I would regret about the expensive forum for leadership drink the Kool Aid and be happy whatever, when it occurred to me: Why not fill in the flat? Bear with me for just a moment.. Imagine a cylinder, like a soup can, and cut a vertical slice of the cylinder off. If you wrapped paper around that cylinder you would see an arc where that slice was. Why can’t we imagine the arc as a space to be filled?

Here’s a drawing to illustrate where I’m at in this thinking…


So that area at the top, which I’ve kept the outline of the circle to illustrate the arc, that’s how I’m looking at the flattened platen issue. I’m thinking it’s possible – maybe – to fill in that arc. Perhaps with another piece of rubber, although cutting might be an issue. A good thought that came to me was a glue stick, as I have this in mind for the smaller rollers. What about 3D printing this arc to fill in the flattened part?

Granted you’ve still got (probably) a hardened roller that is very old. Never the less, maybe it’s possible. Heck maybe it’s possible to 3D print the whole roller using some soft compound that mimics the rubber from an original platen.


1930 Royal Portable – Adjusting the Key Alignment



This is my first post on my typewriters. I am writing it in response to a comment from The Right Reverend Theodore Munk in response to my pleas for help in alignment of the Royal. Initially things looked like this: (all photos, click to enlarge)

problem2 problem1

After reading Reverend Munk’s posts on the subject of alignment I set to work figuring this out. Initially I tried using a socket set to loosen the locking nuts. No go. None of my sockets would fit. Then I resorted to a pair of needle-nose pliers. That did the trick on one, but was to abrasive on the other. So off to Walmart I go on an unrelated trip, only to discover the magical 5.5 mm socket. This fit perfectly.

In another post, Teeritz mentioned his Basket-shifted Royal QDL, and how (when viewed from the rear) there are two screws on the left AND right to be adjusted; left screw operates the lowercase, and the right screw operates the uppercase alignment. On the Royal there is only one per side and that, when viewed from the rear, the left screw is for uppercase, and the right screw is for lowercase.


The right side (uppercase) adjustment screw. Note the gnarly job my pliers did 🙁


And the left side (lowercase) came off a little easier.



After TWO HOURS of adjusting back and forth, I was beginning to suspect something else may be the problem. Indeed there may be other problems, as Reverend Munk noted to me in his comment:

“…something is missing from one of the stops (some manufacturers use a cork or plastic pad on the stopper that can wear off or break) or something is bent and blocking the basket from actually hitting the stoppers. ”

That is most plausible. After two hours, however, I noticed something interesting. It was less than these two screws were adjusting independently of each other and really just balancing the carriage as a single unit. So two screws to align a platform if you will. As crazy thinking as that may sound, when it dawned on me, that the two were not independent, I began thinking in terms of leveling the carriage.

Long story short, here’s the result:




And yes, I’m afraid I did not replace the ribbon until AFTER I reached this point. I’m still getting the upper portion of the key striking the paper. Those are the little marks you see above each line. Gotta figure that out someday…

Until then I’d love to hear opinions on what the issue could be. Half the fun is discovery on these old machines.