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Showing posts from July, 2013

Removing an Olympia Badge

No, the title of this post is not a metaphor. Although I am gifted in mystical arts of the metaphoric, what I am taking about is far more literal. I wanted to give you a few tips on removing this troublesome little piece of decorative metal.


Olympia badges on the 1950s varieties (SM-2, SM-3, SG-1, etc.) are high-quality aluminum castings that are adhered to the body of the typewriter by four sprue. Each of these four legs are placed in a corresponding hole and the ends deformed. The deformation holds the badge fast and makes for a very strong connection. Come to think of it I have never seen a badge-less Olympia. Quality German engineering.


Removing the badge is not for the faint of heart. You must drill out the deformed end of the sprue just enough to ease the badge from the mounting holes. To do this you need an electric drill and a steady hand.
I used an electric hand drill fitted with a bit only slightly larger than the sprue. Starting slowly, I drilled out the end taking care to…

Promises, Promises, Promises Fulfilled

I just finished typing a letter to Keith Sharon. If the name sounds familiar you might want to check out Mike Clemens' typosphere.net post about Keith and what he is trying to do. Click on this sentence to read it.
It was a few weeks ago that Keith asked me to write him a letter. I promised and put it off. I remembered my promise and was distracted by a new typewriter. I remembered my promise and finally sat down and penned a letter worthy of correspondence.  I even have photographic proof that this letter exists.

Keith is waiting for your letter. He want to hear about the weather, your favorite foods, or how you feel about the Angels. His address is in the photo above. So, off you go. Write a letter and make a new friend.

Oh That's Pink-lympia!

So, the painting is done and the color is striking. I like the color, but I might want to sand and do another coat on top of this one. There are a few sanding marks that made their way through the gloss and it's bothering me. Also, a small bubble has turned to a tiny chip that is causing me hours of lost sleep. 
This typewriter is destined for the classroom. The pink was a decision based on several requests from students. Obviously, original pink typewriters like models from Royal or Smith-Corona are too expensive for my budget, so I decided to turn this machine into a pink wonder. 
SM-9s are the perfect customizer's typewriter. The main body panel is one piece and you can remove it without tools. The only other piece of metal I removed was the back panel on the carriage and that came off with just a couple of screws. I left the rugged grey on the bottom because it looks good and goes with everything. In all, it looks pretty slick. The only odd thing is the ribbon color indic…

The Last Word on Justification

So, I thought that this post would have been over some time ago, but as I dug further and further into the topic, I could see that there was more than I could have ever imagined. We have all drooled over the Varityper at one point or another. That's a shame because I know– from my vast experience and rugged good looks– that drool really falls short as an ink substitute. Drool'n aside, the idea of cold typesetting typewriters really heats up by typeshuttle. Mostly because of justification which I have mentioned here.  The Varityper later became the Coxshead DSJ an example of which Richard recently acquired in an antique shop. A more drool-worthy machine never existed. I, however, will confine myself to a drier, lesser history of the justified typewritten page.

Let's start, again, with the snippet from Popular Science that started my interest in this topic. I posted it some months back. It details a new device that can be added to a typewriter to make it a justification-cap…