Friday, March 8, 2019

Continuing Remington Portable refurbishment

Now that it's 'underhand' again, keep going with some next steps in the refurbishment.

A jarring defect of the machine were the replacement keys for the shift and the 'z'. Purely cosmetic of course, but it did detract from the overall impression. Mainly as a proof of principle, gave the machine quickly printed replacement key-labels. One of the benefits of having multiple typewriters of the same type (excessive, I know), is having a reference. So we had samples of the correct key labels. (Even then only 1 of my 4 machines actually had the original English 'shift key' label.)

From a photograph of these keys, a set of little labels was quickly printed and fitted to the keyboard.

Not 'perfect', but it compares well with the machine as it was, especially the 'z' key:

When properly editing the pictures for the actual repair, i.e. cleaning-up and paying attention to colour matching, then this method should work very well to make the keys blend in.

Another step taken was to tone down the blueish-bright key-rings for the shift keys and shift-lock. These are not nickel, but replacement clip-on rings. They could be chromed, or even aluminium - either way quite hard to get any nickel to adhere to them even with thorough surface scouring. (Better would be to get some original Remington rings, but to purchase yet another machine purely for the shift key rings is a bit too much even for me :-)

With the nickel-plating kit out, also the carriage-lever was given a treatment. This had lost most of its plating. Also thoroughly scoured and polished; clean yet it does show the plate-loss.

So in the plating bath;  ...bubbles...

Result is indeed a shinier carriage handle. The plating seems to accentuate the uneven surface of the part. Perhaps because of differences in growth speed on the old nickel and the underlying casting, but scars and marks are more noticeable now than before. Nevertheless, it is nickel again all over.

And the coin clearly shows where that nickel came from...

Remounted on the machine, together with a better specimen of the line-release lever and some polishing, the typewriter it is starting to look like a machine that could be worked with again.

We may complete the machine yet :)


  1. Looking wonderful! That is some excellent color-matching. (: