Brothers Grey


The foot and time has finally let me into the shed to clean a Royaluxe 400 and a Olympia SM3 up.




This Royaluxe came pretty clean and both knobs oddly removed. I suspect it was from a tinker’s home — The slugs were immaculate, the innards looking pretty as pie, the fabulous type feel. The keys needed quite a clean, and remedied a few naggy problems. The dead zip on the case is something I can’t fix, so there need to be some hunting for a simple solution.

It’s turned out to be a really steady, snappy machine, and proving to be a formidable typer!

grey olympia




Dumb me thought I’d scored a white Olympia SM3. I basically kicked myself laughing when I opened the case up.
Like most light coloured crinkle paint machines this one had the case of “sweat spots” (as I like to call it). The yellowed touched-most-areas took awhile to scrub off, but the overall light greyness is very, very nice. This is also the first lower SM series that does NOT have squashed rubber grommets. They look like brand new!
Oh, the platen looked like it had been sandpapered quite severely. I did try to raise the alignment to get a flusher print for a couple of hours… only to realise that there was no way to raise it as much as I wanted because there was another mechanism part that sat in the way, and I had to adjust it back to where it was originally. Hopefully there’s some bike tubing that I can get tomorrow.


I’m very glad I got to do something typewriter related today. Now I just have to get going on the letter stack. It’s really embarrassing that I haven’t actually typewritten a letter since last year…. and it’s June already! There’s a new machines that I’d like to blog about, but that’s what a backlog is for, no? :) (I think I’ve had some machines for nearly a year already and not made it to the blog!)
Oh yes, thanks for all the well wishes guys: the foot is still recovering. A bruise developed about a week ago, and is still there, covering most of my ankle in a weird blueish hue and causing some worry. It was two weeks ago that it got the slidey-widey, and the recovery is awfully slow. I think watching the FIFA World Cup doesn’t help either. The whooping Netherlands gave to Spain was sooper fantastic, and I couldn’t help put hobble jump with Van Persie’s crazy header!

Wooookay, it be time for bed now — thanks for reading guys.
Hobbling onwards!


Owwie :(





Pedometer Experiment – Trial 2








It worked pretty well I must say!
The clicker itself is very soft to touch and not over-responsive. Not heavy at all too. There’s no way to hit the reset button by accident as that button is pretty stiff. While waiting for the clicker to arrive I went straight to complicated-town on how to attach the clicker to the machine. Duct tape? An extra attachment? Pop sticks? Something anything?!
Who knew just chucking it on the space bar would just work awesomely?

I’m sure with more practice that the error margin will go down. Just a quick run down of having it on the space bar:


  • Kicked the problem of double spacing and error spacing – clicking on the button directly made the counting easy to track. Right hand clicking made the count, and anywhere outside the clicker isn’t a count.
  • clear visibility of the counter screen.
  • counter didn’t slip, stayed right where it was taped.
  • easy to set up


  • The counter ain’t a skinny one. It’s quite raised above the rest of the keyboard so it’s gets in the way of the lower banks. The height also got in the way of the type feel.
  • You have to hit the button on-the-spot. There was a couple of times I totally missed it and spaced the table top. Probably could make a larger surface area button thing. Hmm!

More. Testing. Please.
Test 2.2 the next night:





  • Kicked the problem of double spacing and error spacing – by positioning the button right under the right side space bar elbow I could make the  the far right end of the bar clicking count, and far left hand clicking not log in the count. The arm is  just high enough to little wuvvy kissy the button to make the +1 happen, and just high enough to not log in the count from the left hand side. Kapish?
  • No need to aim to hit the mark, ergo the higher accuracy.
  • Unhindered typing.


  • The counter ain’t a skinny one so I had to raise the thole typewriter up.
  • It was not easy to set up. I tried using this method for my Corona 4 and failed miserably!
  • Screen isn’t that easy to read.
  • I stuck the counter on the table cloth that sits on our tables. The counter moved out of place after awhile.


There’s heaps more to do for this experiment and there’s long winded type tests to be done! I’m pretty happy with the results so far even though it’s still a plus minus 5% error.
I think I’ll stop here tonight. My knees and ankles aren’t being nice today.

Thanks for reading guys.
Tried and tested on the trusty Blimey, Royal Model P.

Pedometer + Typewriter

Hey everyone! Just a quick post in hopes of clearing my drafts.
Remember this post I wrote back in November with promise of an explaination?


Here’s what really happened:
My late night random theory as such written in prettier English then ensued in my head:

The Use of a Pedometer as a Manual Word Counter
“If you consider the end (or beginning) of a word including the space used as one word you could take into account of every space as a measure of counting how many words there is in a particular passage. I.E: [] denoting a space in the following short sentences —
“[]Hi[]there,[]How[]was[]your[]day?” or
“Hi[] there,[]how[]was[]your[]day?[]”
— With total word count of six.”

So I set out to test out my theory with Blimey! I already had a high-end pedometer and I just tied it to the spacebar and let it hang loose. Blimey had to sit on the table with the front out as well to accommodate the pedometer and wrote out the above passage.




Pretty good for short passages! I went on to write a 200 odd word passage and then it all crumbled, haha!
Mainly because:

  • It took too much effort to remember to consider the space before the first word in the line (thus all the crossed out first letters in the sample above.)
  • The flow usually associated with typing on a typewriter was greatly affected. I found myself needing to stop and check the pedometer so often and scribble down somewhere if I had pressed the space bar an extra time or not.
  • Reliability of the pedometer — although my pedometer was pretty high end it doesn’t show the immediate “steps” taken. Its display feature was a little delayed for some reason. I used a FitBit.

Overall I’m sure it’s do-able: the results above showed a 5 word difference (82 words written, 87 shown on the pedometer) but that might just have been my haste. Its a good result for first try though!
I think it just might be easier to scan it in and have the digitiser to work its magic. ;)

Hope you enjoyed this!
Or think I’m a little crazy.
Because looking back at this idea — I think I am, hah!


Presents for the Typosphere!

Well, it’s not really presents but I think it’s pretty handy — User Manuals!
Here’s scans of 8 original user manuals I’ve managed to get, with web friendly versions available. If you’re using this other than personal use please credit it back to this blog, I’ll really appreciate it.
Click on the pictures for the direct links!

User manuals as listed:

  • Oliver Courier Portable
  • LC Smith & Corona Portable 4
  • Underwood 18
  • Olympia SF De Luxe
  • Olivetti Lettera 22
  • Royal 240, Sprite
  • Sperry Rand Remington, various later made models.
  • Olivetti Valentine



Oliver Courier SCP4

Underwood18 Olympia SF Olivetti L22

Royal 240 RSR Olivetti Valentine



Oliver Courier SCP4

Underwood18 Olympia SF Olivetti L22

Royal 240 RSR Olivetti Valentine


Feed Roller Replacement – The Mjölnir Method



Look how flat that issss.

So here’s how I did it:
Feed Roller Replacement – The Mjölnir Method
Materials required: Rubber hosing of the right size, WD40, Hammer, pen knives/cutters, self-healing mat, rags.
1. Remove affected piece by removing the platen or what may have you.
2. Measure the rubber hosing to the original piece and cut to size cleanly with a cutter.
3. Strip the old rubber from the metal casing. I used a pen knife and cut strips off lengthwise (so start from the top and go all the way down) then remove the remaining bits of the old rubber by soaking it in WD40 and rubbing it off with a rag.
4. If it helps: Make note of where the rubber piece should sit – use a marker if you have to. The feed roller I was using had quite a distinctive mark so I didn’t mark anything.
5. Once the metal casing is ready, fit the new hosing in. Mine was quite a tight fit: trial and error got me to the next step:
6. Sit your piece upright and use the hammer to tap the rubber as much as you can: I got to the point I was hammering the end of the metal bit and didn’t want to damage it – so tap it gently.
7. The last centimeter to fit I found was the hardest and I’ll try to explain it the best I can. Fold the rag into quarters or eights to save your work bench. Stand the metal casing on it’s bum end so the new rubber piece should be on the top. Now, grab the hammer and turn your it to the nail removing wedge side. Try to estimate a fit along the length of wedge where you’re holding the center metal piece upright and that it would fit in the wedge. The rubber hosing will then be in contact with the hammer, and the metal casing in the void of the wedge. Hold that in place and don’t let go. Raise the metal piece and the hammer and tap the whole thing onto your work surface/floor. The hammer should shove the rubber right in!
8. The rubber will be “scrunched up” so just roll it along the work surface until it is even and flat. Put the piece back into its rightful place and give it a spin. Adjust where needed.

Hopefully it helps.


The recovered feed roller! I went on replacing the paper bail pieces too.

You might be wondering about the fluro straws. Straws? Yes, I tried straws. I tried quite a few methods of trying to fit the new rubber but they of course failed!
I tried:
1. The Bare Hands Shove. Just elbow grease.
2. The Twist. The twist and push action helped but didn’t get me too far, the debris gummed up the end.
3. The Straw. Using a cut piece of a plastic straw to “piggyback” the rubber piece onto the metal rod. In my mind it would slide in really easily but in reality it got SO STUCK I had to chop the piece up.
4. The Big Freeze. Freezing the metal rod was a good idea, but patience and the Darwin heat got the better of me.
5. The Air Compressor. I remember watching the bike repair guy when I was young putting new handles on a BMX. He blasted the handles off and blasted the new ones in. I only have a measly can of compressed air, so of course that didn’t work. I honestly think I should invest in a small air compressor.
6. The Double Bare Handed Shove. That’s right. Tried to be a hero and had both rubber pieces as far in as I could with The Twist then tried to make the last centimeter by holding each side with both hands and then pushing inwards by sheer shoving force.  (Like trying to break an egg in between my palms.) My hands were incredibly sore and sensitive after. Maybe a tiny bit swollen. Surely I looked like one of those weird gymmers with a constipated face, heaving the heaviest thing possible in the gym.
7. The Teflon Spray. As much as I love this magic in a spray can, it does not magically make rubber hosing slide into place.

Right! Hopefully this will save you time and pains in your hands.. though I can’t help if the cutter is silly and decides to take a bite from your finger. Very ouchie.

Oh, if you’re wondering about  the readings in my typecast I decided to put it to the next post ;)
Okay, time to stop,and blame Thor 2 for being too awesome.
Thanks for reading guys!

Typecast written on Blimey, 1930 Royal Model P with fresh rubber pieces.
P.S. All content on this blog, unless stated otherwise, is copyright Nat T. of natslaptaps.