Monday, April 8, 2013

Oops - learnt something new about bakelite ^D^D^D lacquer.

And with the new ribbon; it types again! (Skips though. A lot.)

The old ribbon was completely out-of-ink. I won't say 'dry' or 'empty', because I do suspect the ribbon to be responsible for some of that mouldy-smell. It had been folding double length-wise, winding onto the spool folded in half. This of course meant it wound to a larger diameter; so it had become firmly stuck inside the spool-cup. And when it was well and truly wedged stuck, my guess is that the ribbon-reverse also didn't work anymore. It then probably spent a decade or more developing that green/black layer that glued everything even tighter. Yuck.

But all that is now cleaned. And disinfected with a good helping of IPA alcohol on the bare metal parts (taking better care now to steer clear of the bakelite).


  1. I'll have to try IPA on felt for odor reduction. Thanks for the warning about bakelite. My early Royals with custom fake wood and duo color paint schemes have case stickers warning against use of alcohol on the paint.

  2. When I read "IPA" I thought India Pale Ale!

    This typewriter contains no bakelite that I know of; it's a painted steel and aluminum body.

    1. Wow really? (eyebrows arched in astonished surprise) Then it must have been the lacquer indeed. The front/sides is mild-steel, the back is aluminium casting but from touch (thermal) and sound (tapping it) and it's shape I made the curved cover part bakelite (or at least a thermo-hardening plastic). Also it is the only part fixed with rubber washers under the screws (as you'd need for bakelite).
      Hmm, now to think of non-destructive material test... :)

      (IPA: well, it does all contain some part alcohol ;-)

    2. Wow again - impressive casting, that!

  3. As a collector of telephones, I can with absolute certainty say that IPA won't harm Bakelite. But, as you have observed - lacquer dissolves in the stuff. Anyone that has attempted to clean a Royal P with the stuff can attest to its destroying nature.

    Wet the surface it is on as soon as you get it on it. Don't rub.

  4. These noiseless portables have a tendency to skip. The first solution to try is changing your typing technique, to use a more staccato touch.

  5. Many thanks for all your comments! This tw-thing is a journey of learning and discovery. Am more and more impressed with this machine, expensively built. Had a narrow escape with this i think, a next time I'll probably want to use a syringe to apply in the felt (if any).