Sunday, March 10, 2024

First words from the Standard Folding Typewriter

 After probably at least half a century, the little Standard Folding Typewriter typed!

Well, sort of; it still needs adjusting and it will not be a truly daily-usable typewriter ever again. But it's complete and basically functional.

To get there, a new ribbon was wound on the tiny spools. Both spools are identical, the left and right wound the same direction. (The machine is capable of bi-chrome 'black-red' typing, but black is fine and makes adjusting the ribbon vibrator much less critical.)

The machine only had one spool left, so first a new spool was manufactured. Taking measurements of the remaining original, a reproduction was made in brass. In the image above, original is on the left and reproduction on the right. (Reproduction was made with metric materials - the tube originally probably would've been 1/4" with 3/16" and a bit internal diameter. The flange is closer to 0.7 mm on the original. But that's all details that won't be noticeable :-)

The machine also had only one spool-nut remaining, so one replacement spool-nut was taken from a wrecked Corona 3. The design of spool-nut and capstan was changed from Standard to the 3 - the spring-force to retain the 'loose' nut was moved from a split capstan-tube to a deliberate steel spring in the nut. Definitely an improvement, as the split capstan-tube is liable to yield and lose its 'spring'. (And will then lose its nut. And lose its spool.) A Corona 3 spool-nut fits fine on a Standard Folding and actually is a great replacement, as it will hold even when the capstan-tube has lost its 'spring'.

Both the original and the salvaged spool-nut were heavily corroded. The tops were sanded-down to smooth metal and then re-nickeled. Some light surface-pitting is still visible, but the overall appearance is again clean and shiny.

Oddly, this typewriter was also missing its entire linefeed lever mechanism. This must have been a deliberate removing - you need to take out the platen-rod to be able to take this off. Weird.

With today's online resources it is possible to get a very good impression of what the missing parts looked like. Especially some entries on The Typewriter Database with many detailed pictures were useful - also the images on the Words Are Winged blog were again helpful. Counting pixels in pictures and combining this with measurements on the machine and of the Corona 3 equivalent part, reproductions were made in brass.

After nickel-plating and adding the little wire-spring to push the ratchet-pawl to the ratchet-wheel, the linefeed again works and also looks credible. A functional reproduction that is in-style with the original machine.

This derelict-as-was Standard Folding Typewriter now has all missing parts replaced. It still needs a lot of adjusting, but already a vast improvement over its previous condition :)

1 comment: