Sunday, November 2, 2014

Typewriter paper support anyone can make

Some typewriters have useful paper supports like the Smith Corona "Rabbit's Ears" or the Olympia fold up extending support, but others need help.

I've worked out a simple, fast solution that works for my Remington Quiet Model 1, and may work for your typewriter too.

You need a popsicle stick and a spring clothespeg:

Remove one side of the spring clothespeg, and substitute the popsicle stick:

Make sure the end of the popsicle stick doesn't go past the clamping end of the clothespeg.

Depending on the paper table of your typewriter, you might want to trim off a piece of the clothespeg end, like this:

Clip this onto the middle of the typewriter paper table, with the popsicle stick towards you, and you are ready to read the whole of your page as you type:

Happy typing!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Faster Remington Noiseless 7 Typewriter Spool Covers

Not everyone who has a Remington Noiseless 7 Typewriter has a small metalworking lathe to use to help make spool covers.  So, here's a faster, cheaper, and still effective way to make do it.  Instead of turning those two inch disks from brass, buy a couple of zinc plated fender washers.

This should take you to the page with 2" diameter washers with 1/4" holes.  There's a minimum order with these of 15, but they are not expensive and you'll find uses for the rest.

In addition to the fender washers you need a couple of zinc-plated round-topped carriage bolts with 1/4" shanks, a couple of 5/8" diameter washers with 1/4" holes, and a length of 9/32" brass tubing.

File out the centre of the 5/8" washers to fit the brass tube.

Super glue the two washers together and the brass tube through them.

At the end of the bolt shank nearest the head, there's a square part that normally secures that end in a square hole.  File the first corner down until you start to file the threads on the shank.  Do the same with each of the four corners.

The bolt should be a close fit in the end of the brass tube.

Cut off the threaded part of the shank with a junior hacksaw.

Hold the end in pliers as you finish cutting, because the head will be hot.

Cut the end of the brass tube sticking out the washers so the height of the brass tube (including the washers) is 1/2".

Now glue in the head of the cut-off bolt.

Do this twice and you have a pair of spool covers, as I did for my second Remington Rand Noiseless 7 Typewriter.

No lathe required.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Remington Noiseless 7

What does someone with a Remington Noiseless 7 want?  Another one.  I bought this (see above) on Ebay today, and it is on its way to me.  Depending on the condition when it arrives, I may well take it to Bob Montgomery at Bremerton Office Machine Co. for a clean and tune-up.

This one has spool covers, and a carrying case.  I will probably make another set of brass spool covers for it, but the case is intriguing.  I would like to make a case for my existing typewriter, but to do that I need to see how an existing case works, how it latches onto the base of the typewriter, and how the load is distributed by the case handle.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brass Tab Stops for Remington Noiseless 7 Typewriters

The Remington Noiseless 7 typewriter I bought in April needed tab stops.  Bob Montgomery, the typewriter repair chap at Bremerton Office Machine Co. where I bought it, showed me what these looked like from the repair manual.  They are n-shaped pieces of flat metal that slip over a bar at the back of the machine.  He explained the originals that came with the typewriter were often discarded as it wasn't obvious what they did, but that replacements could be made.

The paper table folds back to show this bar, which has slots on its front and back to hold the metal stops.  When folded forward the paper table rests on the top of the stops so they won't fall off.

As you may have noticed sometimes happens, Plan A, to use slotted washers cut in half, looked likely, and easy to do, but failed because the slots were too wide.  That meant the stops wouldn't stop.

Plan B was to make the stops from a strip of 0.032" x 1/2" x 12" K & S brass from Ace Hardware.

Step one - make a slot that would fit on the tab bar.

Two small cuts with a junior hacksaw leave a tongue that breaks off by moving it up and down with a pair of thin ended pliers.

The slot this left was filed more accurately square with a flat needle file, and tested with the typewriter bar from underneath at the back until it just fitted.

The end of the strip with the slot in it was cut off to leave the n-shape, and the top corners rounded with a file.

With two of these in place the tab button has a use.  If you need more, make them the same way.

Using the tab stops makes the carriage stop suddenly and it was sliding on the oak platform of the typewriter stand, so I put a piece of non-slip shelf liner under it.  I'll cut it to fit in due course.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Typewriter (or Laptop) Stand Part 3

Next step is the platform for the typewriter.  I happened to have a piece of oak that cut nicely into three 12" lengths, but choose whichever wood works for you.  Plane the joining edges in pairs, and edge glue them.

After the glue has set for a day, level the glued up board across the grain with a fore plane, flatten the top and bottom with a smoothing plane, and chamfer the edges with a block plane.

Put the stand upside-down on the underside of the board, centre the column, and draw round it with pencil.  Put a mark on one corner of the column and on the base.  That will let you align the two together.

Screw figure of eight connectors to the top of the column.  Note the two that will be affected by wood expansion and contraction of the top are turned so they can swivel as the wood moves with the humidity.

With the base upside-down again, mark holes for screws through the figure of eight connectors with an awl.  Take away the column again to drill pilot holes, then screw the column to the platform.

Turn the stand the right way up and you can use it with your typewriter or laptop.
If you find the stand too tall, you can remove the figure of eight connectors, saw some of the column off, and remount the figure of eight connectors easily.  If it is too short, you can shim the space between the column and the platform.

In use I've made this so my feet go either side of the column comfortably.  When I'm sure the height is perfect, and I've added a copy holder to the back of the platform, I'll varnish the stand for protection.

Part 1 Part 2

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers Part 4

Plan B worked well.  The item displayed above is made from a brass disk I turned on the lathe, a 1/4" brass washer bored out to 9/32", a 9/32" brass tube, and the top sawn off the Lee Valley small brass knob.

Originally my plan was to solder these together, but I chickened out and used super glue after an early version looked a bit ham fisted:

If I painted the disk black, like the original Remington supplied, I could have used the soldered one, but I wanted to have all the brass showing.

Compare this with the finished pair that I super glued together:

In position on the typewriter below is one of these brass spool covers along with the plastic spool cover held on with transparent plastic tubing together on the machine.

The plastic one and the brass one each do exactly the same job as the original would have done, but I think the brass version looks better with the elegant Art Deco style of the machine.

By shear luck, as I hadn't planned it, the carriage return lever clears the top of the left hand spool cover! 

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Friday, April 25, 2014

Typewriter (or Laptop) Stand Part 2

After gluing the other side of the column in place, working out where the mortices go in the base comes next.

The base is a piece of dimensional 2 by 12 planed flat.  45 degree pencil lines from each corner intersect to give points to draw center lines side to side and end to end, without measuring.
These lines help align the tenons on the column with the base.

When you're happy with the placing, draw a line on the base around the end of each tenon.  To make sure the column goes with the base the right way round, draw the tip of a triangle on the edge of one oak tenon, with its bottom drawn on the hem/fir base, as in the photo above on the right hand tenon.

The marks round the tenon ends are carried over to the bottom of the base with a square, so the mortices can be chopped through from both sides of the base, meeting more or less in the right place.

Then knock the column through the base.   In this case it was such a good fit I didn't need to use glue, but that's not always how these things work out!

The next trick is to add a bit of life, and therefore interest to the joint.  Using an offcut of the same oak I cut two right angle triangles, carved a curve into each hypotenuse, and glued them to the front and back of the column at the base.  These are sanded so they look like they are part of the original column.

The light coloured part on the left hand side of the top is a shim to get the column level so I can add the top.  It's important that the column top is flat to get a good support for the platform for the typewriter.

More to come, bye for now.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Typewriter (or Laptop) Stand Part 1

While I'm working out the spool covers for the typewriter, I've also been working on a stand for it.

This will be a single column pedestal stand, following the line of the back-saving bedroom bookstands I made for my wife and I.  Originally they were cat stands with carpet on top, but our cats studiously ignored them.  These were both intended to be prototypes, but have worked so well I've left them as they are.

As with most things I started with a mockup of the typewriter stand, putting the typewriter on folding table and shimming it to the right working height with different thicknesses of books.

Two 3/4" thick planks of oak, cut to length, would make the column, with tenons on one end of each to go into a base.  I ripped one down the middle.

With the other plank I used a Record plough plane to cut a 3/4" groove down the middle of each side.  I did this in two passes, using a 3/8" cutter.

When the grooves were cut I flattened the bottom of the groove with a router plane.

Now the first piece of the halved plank is gluing in one side of the ploughed plank.

To be continued. - See Part 2  Part 3

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers Part 3

The brass knobs arrived from Lee Valley Tools and look beautiful.  This is what I hoped the spool covers would look like when the disks I turned on the lathe were fitted with the knobs:

Unfortunately the base of each knob is not thick enough to be drilled through safely with a 1/4" HSS drill bit needed to fit the spool spindles of the typewriter:

Plan B involves using 9/32" brass tubing and a brass washer to make a new base for each knob, and cutting the top off the knob and fitting it to the top of the tubing, so I'll see how that goes.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 4

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers Part 2

The reason for the brass spool covers is the original Remington design.  In the diagram from the Operating Manual below you can see that spool covers, numbers 6 and 26, are elegant.  I want to make covers that are similar, but in brass.

Each spool has a 1/4" post in the middle that the knob of the spool cover fits.

There's a good picture of what theNoiseless 7 looks like at this link:

I think you would agree the original spool covers look good.

I'm guessing that the 1/2" by 1/2" small brass knobs from Lee Valley will fit if I drill them to 1/4", but it could be that they are smaller in diameter at the waist.  In that case I have a backup plan.  With 9/32nd brass tubing ( internal diameter 1/4" ), and washers drilled out to fit the tube, I can make up knobs to fit from scratch.

Part 1 Part 3 Part 4

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brass Typewriter Spool Covers

I recently bought a Remington Noiseless 7 typewriter.  "Why?" you may ask?  Because I miss typewriters, and this is a beauty, and because my wife, Christine, just bought an IBM Selectric II, her favorite machine.  I learned to type on a heavy Underwood in my dad's workshop in the 1960s, but the Remington is much lighter and elegant, and it's fun to use.  I'm also hoping to resume my output of articles.

Already there's a need for two typewriter stands and covers, and I'm thinking about designs for those. But ahead of that, there's a few things that need more immediate attention.  Originally the Remington was issued with two spool covers.  This machine has a a couple of plastic discs held on with bits of 1/4 " plastic tubing.

I bought some 2" wide 18 gauge brass strip from Ace Hardware to make brass replacements.  Two 1/2" by 1/2" brass knobs are on their way from Lee Valley Tools.

In the pictures below you'll see how two squares of brass can be changed into two spool covers, with a block of wood, some 1/2" screws, and a small lathe. More to follow.

Two x 2" squares of brass being screwed to block of wood (tenon cheek offcut):

Lathe wheel screwed to the back of the wood block:

Lathe wheel screwed onto boss:

Cutting a couple of disks:

...and here are the cover disks:

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4