Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Remington Portable bodywork

First step towards a repaint; get all the parts to be painted off the machine. 

It really helps that this is not the first Remington Portable #2 typewriter I've tried to take apart. It means that by now I know what screws to undo and when (having explored all possible wrong options on the other machines first). When you know what to unscrew, it comes apart quite easily.

Important preparation is to put drops of oil on all the bodywork screws and especially on the platen-knob screw. Leaving this to creep in for a couple of days helps to loosen. On this machine it then all came apart without any mishaps. Platen came off readily. Removing the stop-screw from the carriage base of the machine allows the carriage to slide off easily. The one item that had me stumped on the previous attempts jumped out clearly now; remove two pins (nails) at the bottom of the removed carriage and the paper tray drops off.

This leaves the core of the machine exposed for a good cleaning. The mechanism is already surprisingly clean and rust-free, considering the general state the machine was in.

Now to explore how to remove the old paint, almost certainly to be nitro-cellulose lacquer. Will be giving this a try with some acetone...


  1. It's such a good feeling to open up a typewriter for a thorough cleaning.

    I look forward to reading about your paint removal and re-painting experiences.

  2. What's even more fun than putting an old typewriter back to life?

    Watching other people do it. ;-)

    Looking forward to see more posts of your progress.

  3. It is :) Slow project, will post :-)
    By the way - on that subject, this 2012 video still is amazing to watch; restoring a Remington Noiseless, finish. Recommended. (I'm not attempting that, not going that far and certainly not at that speed!)

  4. Hey Robert, this looks awesome. These pictures are perfect for me right now. I have a very dirty and decrepit 1928 portable 2 with some interesting features I haven't seen anywhere else. But for the life of me I cannot figure out how to remove the carriage. I looked for the stop screw you mention, but can't seem to see it. I have lots of pictures, if that will help. May I email you, please? I have a lot of questions and you seem just the person to ask.

    1. Congrats on your RP2 - these are great to tinker with and can be really good typewriters.

      Glad if the posts about these machine can be of help. Before you remove the stop-screw by the way, first loosen the bearing-races - otherwise you'll likely destroy the bearing-cage star-wheel.
      The stop-screws are on the carriage base, both ends.

      Do have a look at the Ames repair manual for Remington portables - the '45 edition still applies to the twenties' machines.

      Hope I can be of help in tackling your RP2 (Curious for the interesting features you've got :-)

  5. Thank you! I found the 2 stop screws and see where the star-wheels are catching. I bought the manual typewriter bible, which i realize is a collection of all the pdfs that i can print myself, but still cheaper to buy compared to printing and binding myself. Good to know it still covers the rp2s. The main feature I have on mine that I haven't seen anywhere online is the paper bail with rollers that flips from behind the trough to on top of the platen, like my 1950s Royalite or 40s smith-corona. It seems very out of date for this '28 machine. It was melted into the platen, which is disintegrating anyhow, so I had to cut them apart. All the rp2s I see have the clips on the paper feed ruler. The other is the serial number. It is a singular V to begin with, then the numbers. Most say that that is European, but I bought it in Savannah, GA, USA. It has the tab, which doesnt work too well, or at all I think. And most from 28 don't have the tab installed.

    I will keep you updated on how the carriage comes out. I need to do some more reading.

    1. Good luck & enjoy the fixing :)
      The RP's evolved slowly, mostly unchanged up to '49 - the manual will be useful for sure.
      On the RP2, paper bails seem to start around '29, get more common then. From the RP3 the 'tab'-like self-started appears; always 5 spaces I think - never seen one on a nr 2, unusual that.
      Yours does sound like a US machine; in '28 the numbering changed to the V-prefix. British get an extra V, so have VV. (the Remington page at the database, you should be able to date it to the very month)
      Rubber does tend to go 'off', new feet are easy, but a platen a bit harder.
      By the way, to get the platen off or get at the paper tray you won't need to take the carriage off (it's a pain to get on again...)
      Good luck! :-)

  6. I got the platen off no problem. If there is a way to get the trough off without taking the carriage off, so I can get the 8 rollers off there, that would be awesome!! I'm out of commission for a few weeks from surgery on my neck. So, I won't be able to do much work at my bench. I have the Manual Repair Bible, so reading is going to be my project for the next few weeks. And as far as I can tell, it is a '28 from November. Will give you updates as soon as I can get them in. I am posting photos on my instagram @mathildaanneflo Not much there yet, but I now have plenty of time to work at it.

    1. There is a way to do just that! Did it a while back, now also posted about the procedure - have a look at my blog posting of ~2 minutes ago :-)
      Good luck (& beterschap !)

  7. Hi Robert, thanks for your post! I do need some help though... I removed the carriage and got the two star wheel bearing racers - however I can't figure out how I would remount the whole assembly again! Any advice?

    1. Hi there, remounting is a bit tricky indeed. To keep the star-wheels and cage ok, you'll need to loosen one of the bearing tracks. Four screws underneath the bearing-race on the frame of the machine - they may be hard to undo (creeping oil + perhaps a gentle tap of a hammer ). Then one rail can be pushed outwards, given the extra play you need to re-insert the carriage with the bearing-cage with star-wheel. When that's in, the rail can be pushed inward again and fastened. Not too tight of the carriage'll go heavy, not too loose or it'll rattle. A bit tricky, but doable and can be adjusted afterwards too.
      Good luck! (These are great little machines, robust and pleasant to type o too.)