a typewritten blog. Except these types of posts… that require lots of pictures. I figured that typing it out this way would be best to ensure 100% readability.
What “these types of posts” are, are those regarding restoration! Remington-Rand Noiseless Model 7 #H143886, world. World, Remington-Rand… you get the point.
I was going to do this entire post as typewritten, in fact you can see it in the typewriter there! But… there’s lots of pictures here so… (Oh, I have to comment on this. If you have never tried writing outside, do so. It is absolutely amazing. It is, I feel, how writing should be: organic, fun, inspired, and relaxing. Sadly, that backyard isn’t mine but at least it’s only a short drive away!)
But enough rambling! Here we go…
In the gallery below, I have all the pictures that I took of this guy when it arrived. I had done absolutely nothing at all to it. It was dusty. It was musty. And it came with more things than advertised! It arrived with, beyond the case and itself, the manual, two cleaning brushes, an eraser pencil, the key for the case (works!), correction slips, and the directions for said slips. With all that aside…
I refused to do any testing before getting at least some things cleaned! (All keys did move, the carriage slid, bell dinged, and the tabs worked. Okay, so I lied… I did do some testing.) The first thing I did beyond taking the ancient and brittle ribbon out was to take off the lid (held down by 4 screws: two on the front and two by the typebars near the spools) and the outer frame (held down by 4 screws: two on each side on the back). It looked so naked without them, so I feel a bit guilty showing it in this state…
The thing about taking the outer frame off is that two of the feet must be taken off — the front two — and then put back on after the frame is off so that the typewriter can safely sit. Thumbs up to the designers for putting a little bump on the metal bit holding the foot so that the foot is always aligned properly!
Once those metal things were off, they could easily be cleaned. What really bugged me was that I couldn’t find an easy way to take off the paper support, the rear, or the sides without doing some serious deconstruction of the thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking things apart… but when you see the side and it has at least 2 dozen screws on it, it makes you take a moment of pause in awe. With that said, the said metal parts had to be carefully washed while still on the machine. For information sake: I used Dawn Antibacterial soap in very slightly warm water. Worked like a charm. Gentle persistent rubbing with a clean rag did the trick then washed it down with clean water (new rag) and dried it (another rag). An excellent showcase is below:
After that, I cleaned off the typeface… Same Dial (just a tiny bit) mixed with 91% alcohol. I’ve used it on other typewriters without a hitch and it cleans very well.
Then I dusted everything! Compressed air came in handy as well as those brushes it came with and some rags.
Okay, so, I have to admit that I got a bit over zealous at one point in trying to get everything off. I couldn’t get the platen off for the life of me — even though the rod was out, etc. In the process of taking off the left side, a spring went flying… and was lost. This guy no longer has a left side carriage release, for me that doesn’t matter — I use the right exclusively. However, I noticed that a little bit of metal acted as the lock for the spacing selector. That little bit was under pressure from the spring that used to also keep pressure on the lever! Yeah, multi-tasking! So, I had to rig it to work. Solution? One paper clip and wire snips, for the win.
After that was fixed, I went on my merry way and cleaned the keys. This… this was nothing short of arduous in that it just took time. I used Crest (!) 3D White tooth paste, Q-tips, and water. I used a fresh Q-tip each time and took up a little of the tooth paste then went around in little circles. It worked so amazingly well that I’ve told my partner to buy me a tube when it goes on sale next time! After you go around for a bit on the key, you will notice the paste getting gunky, switch to the clean end and rub it into the key until it seems to disappear. Get another tip, dip it in the water, run it across a rag to draw out excess water, then run a few circles on the key. Get another tip and then dry it off. Unbelievable how well this worked. Something brown turned to a very nice black and white again!
That all done, I slapped everything back together. I thought the before and after would be obvious, but just these simple things breathed new life into this 1947 typewriter.
Oh… one thing I would like to share… how much gunk had been built up over time on the keys was startling, to say the least. The picture below is the rag used to clean the space bar…
And that’s that! There’s more planned for this guy in the future. I do plan on doing a full take-down once I figure out a few things and I’ll post up that how-to as well. It works very well as is but it does need fine tuning.
I hope y’all enjoyed this! I’ll be doing more repair and restoration things in the future. Leave a comment below if you want! Have a great day!