Sunday, May 23, 2021

Case lid of the Underwood 5 - structural repair, closing a broken corner-seam

This case lid of the recently arrived Underwood 5 typewriter is still in reasonably good condition. From browsing several online-ads for machines with a case, it can be seen that these lids often suffer severe blows and often look 'beaten-up'. Several must have had something heavy stacked on top and then succumbed to the weight (the load then probably resting on the typewriter inside...).

On this one there are the normal scuffs and scratches, some minor 'dings' and the lacquer has dulled to a matte finish; but overall it is very good. (The inside still has the original gloss finish.)

Even so, this specimen did get a nasty knock to the side, busting open the rear-right corner-seam. The side-panel was a bit crumpled, but straightened out nicely with some gentle bending. The seam can still be seen to be open, but it should all fit together again.

To allow the case to continue to protect its typewriter, this was fixed-up. (The Underwood Champion is waiting for its new feet to be manufactured, so is temporarily 'paused'.)

The edges of the seam were sanded down to bare metal, to allow re-soldering of the joint. With some wooden blocks, the rear-corner seam was clamped in position. (Found out later that the top-edge was not quite as nicely aligned, but it will have to do.)

First applied some flux into the seam (not very runny, might have been better to apply before clamping everything in place). Then the seam was filled with tin, using an electric soldering iron. The few spots of excess solder were filed away - then the corner was firm again and closed - a bright, shiny corner-line.

As the final step in the case-lid structural repair, the soldered seam was touched up with some matte black enamel paint. As an experiment, also the scuffs and scratches on this side-panel were filled-in with the black enamel.

Not perfect, but it will probably hold for a while and it is not too noticeable - a good fix to do :-)


  1. congratulations on getting the case lid! These are quite rare.

  2. Nice spruce-up on a magnificent rarity (: