Smith-Corona Skyriter Restoration Finale

It. Is. Done. I didn’t end up painting it like I said it was going to — that’ll come at a later date. But it is cleaned and put back together! In the process of cleaning the typewriter, I also cleaned the carrying case and the difference is rather startling.

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This is a bit of a retrospect, I guess… Working with this typewriter in a rather intimate fashion gave me a good deal of self-confidence to try this with gradually more complicated typewriters. It’s all about studying before you do: the whole “measure twice, cut once” idea. Taking pictures and notes is absolutely key as well.

So, I really feel like this is something everyone should do with an equally simple typewriter — down to even removing the carriage assembly like I did. It isn’t as scary as it sounds for this one, it went back on as easily as it came off. I had to do some adjustments (let’s hear it for digital calipers) so I could get the card holders centered again, but that was a minimal amount of effort. If anything, the most tedious bit was cleaning all the painted bits. (Sangria helped with the monotony… as did Pirates of the Caribbean… and our cat Maze, who believed that I needed a lap warmer…)

Speaking of cleaning, I cleaned anything I could reach. What I didn’t touch were sensitive areas that I felt leery about touching. The things I used for the typewriter itself was Soft Scrub, lent-free rags, q-tips, Dawn, 90-something% alcohol, compressed air, and patience. Patience is key for cleaning in as much as taking the typewriter down into its parts. It doesn’t take much pressure to clean surfaces and if you press too hard, you risk damaging what you might be trying to get clean. As for the carrying case, I just used leather cleaning wipes — many of them. Though the case is faux leather, the wipes cleaned it very well and left the surface looking and feeling fantastic.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the results!WP_20140903_13_35_46_ProIf you notice, I left the repair shop’s sticker on the front. On the bottom of the typewriter is also a repair sticker that gives the date, who I imagine the customer was (or repair person?), and a repair code(?). Being a former framer/preservationist, I protected that from harm since it is part of the typewriter’s history.

Any case, I hope you guys enjoyed this small project. I’ll be posting up another project soon — possibly dealing with the J5 since that needs some TLC! If you guys have any suggestions for a next project, I’m definitely up to hear them.

Y’all have a great day and be safe out there!

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8 thoughts on “Smith-Corona Skyriter Restoration Finale

    • Goodness, uhm… mytypewriter.com lists them in their inventory, but they’re currently out of stock. I don’t recall them ever actually being in stock, but you could hit them up and ask if they will restock them any time soon.

      The second option is to check out ebay. Most ebay ribbons sells are pretty legit — at least with my interactions and from my research. As always, be careful for scams.

      You can also check out the Typosphere in general. Many individuals actually may be willing to part with ribbons for a cost or may actually do it for a living. I haven’t investigated this route yet as I haven’t had the need quite yet, haha!

      What I ended up doing for mine was I just reinked it. A not too pleasant job, but it worked and one inking has lasted a long time. There are many reinking tutorials giving various methods from painting on to letting it soak through. I prefer the soak through, but a more thorough version. The ink you want to look for, if you wish to try this, is the rubber stamp refill stuff. You can get it at OfficeMax/Depot if you’re State-side or probably any similar office store. 🙂

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