Sunday, March 13, 2016

Remington Portable anyone?

Going to let this one go.

Probably a very rare finish. It is still the only Remington Portable #2 typewriter I've seen with this crackle red finish. Spotted a few images of green crackle Portables online, but no red machines.

Even though it works well and has a spectacular finish, the 'Lava' machine will be let go of. Of all the machines to use and tinker with, this one gets picked least often. So decided to let this one go.

This time it comes with the instruction booklet. This should prevent a next owner forcing the lid down over the carriage with the knob extended.

Paring down...   ...well, probably more a case of making space for possible new specimens to tinker with and fix-up.

Lava, still a very striking machine :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Rolls Viceroy non-electric

An impulse purchase...

Complete in box with instruction leaflet. (Important: Do not blame the dry shaver if you have not read this booklet.)

The Rolls Razor company filed patents for this dry shaver around 1937. Evidenced from mention in advertising directories, the company launched this product onto the British market in 1939. It was manufactured essentially unchanged into the 1950-ies. This specimen with serial number K069535 probably was manufactured in 1953, judging from the year code on the cutting-element (as per Rolls Razor standard practice). 

Early specimens of the Viceroy can be a bright red color and come with a slightly different cassette with purple velvet lining, otherwise identical. Sometime early in the 1950-ies the company dispensed with the screw on the oiling-hole. The instruction leaflet has errata-slips glued in telling the user to ignore any instructions on removal of this screw. From at least 1950 the company also manufactured an electric version of the Viceroy dry shaver. (The ignominious demise of the Rolls Razor company is documented online.)

Good thing to have the instructions - who knows what this dry shaver would've been blamed for otherwise!

The shaver with the handle unlatched.

The cutting elements come out for cleaning. The only thing missing from the set is the original cleaning brush. Perhaps that's just as well. All these parts were rather gross and dirty as can be imagined. All carefully cleaned and disinfected with alcohol.

To properly clean everything (and being curious for its inner workings), the appliance comes apart fairly easily with the mechanism still together.

The body shells washed clean (strong soap and toothbrush) and some of the old grease was removed from the innards. Lightly oiled, good to go!

Rather noisy and hard work. It didn't catch on. Little wonder...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Skipping of the Remington Noiseless Portable and fixing thereof

As noted by several people in the 'Typosphere', the Noiseless Portable is prone to skipping. It needs a very staccato typing technique to work well. Any hint of 'bottom-typing' (pressing the key right to the bottom of its travel) will cause random skipping. The skipping is not completely random though, especially the letter 'a' is very likely to cause a skip.

Looking again at this very ornamental, pleasantly quiet, but still-skipping machine; noted that the letter 'a' is right towards the end of the universal bar triggering the escapement. Over time, wear of the whole mechanism could well mean that the bar is out of adjustment, worn or bent even. A possible cause then could be that the keys trigger the escapement a bit too late, especially the keys at the left-end of the bar.

To test the hypothesis, placed a thickness of some layers of tape on the universal bar right where the letter 'a' strikes it. Uncanny the difference that made. No amount of bottom-typing would cause the machine to skip! Removing the tape again it was up to its usual playful skipping routine. That small test seemed to confirm that setting the escapement trigger a little earlier could do the trick.

Then looking for the adjustment screw - there had to be one.

And there is - it is a small screw-pillar with a lock-nut. The whole linkage that pushes the escapement is a bit 'loose' by now, can well imagine that the play caused by the 8 decades of wear make an adjustment necessary.

A turn clockwise (in) of the pillar seems to have done the trick now.

The very ornamental Noiseless machine should no longer skip right at the end of an otherwise error-free page :)