Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Magic Margin Vlog: Episode 2

In this episode of Magic Margin I wax on nostalgia. What is it? What nostalgic thoughts do I have lurking in my subconscious? Watch to find out.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Typewriter Day 2013

I spent my typewriter day prepping and painting the shell of an SM-9 a color so outrageous that Krylon's description of "watermelon" does not do it justice.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Magic Margin Vlog: Episode 1




More to come. I am not sure if this will be a thing or not. Just trying something else. Any kind comments will be welcomed.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Small, Charming. and Very Friendly

You have probably read about Richard's large find; a Coxhead DSJ. If you haven't seen it just imagine a typewriter that looks like it might actually eat you. That's the Coxhead DSJ. The typewriter that came to me in the post a few days bears no resemblance to a carnivorous typer. This little machine is the antithesis of large, ugly, and frightening.


The Underwood Standard Portable 3-bank typewriter is small, charming, and very friendly. Robert Messenger has combed over the history of this small wonder and you can glean all the historical bits you could ever imagine in these few pages:


So, what can I  add to the discussion of this typewriter? This example is in fair shape. I haven't cleaned it yet, but apart from the scratches on the front of the frame everything seems to be in order. I might not have to do any major mechanical repairs. All the renovation might just be cosmetic. I have tackled one small job; ribbon spool knobs.

They sit atop the ribbon spools and act as a shiny beacon becoming all who catch a glimpse to dash themselves against the keys. Think of the siren song from The Odyssey but less mythical. It's an over-the-top reaction that would completely natural if the knobs weren't so tarnished and rusty.

Dauntless, I took out some Mother's Magnesium and Aluminum Polish and started giving these things the Magic Margin treatment.


To the left is the remaining unpolished knob. The rust and tarnish is pretty ugly and hardly the finish you would want to see on a beautiful typewriter like this. When polished you get what you see on the right. Bright and beautiful. I like to create a pad of polishing cloth and move the piece. In this case I quickly rubbed it back and forth keeping in mind that the surface isn't flat. About 15 minutes for both the knobs got the job done.

Was it easy? The polishing was easy. These little knobs are ridiculously tiny. I had a devil of a time holding them, but that was the only hard thing about it. I think that this tiny change made a significant difference.

I have a few more steps to finish up on this machine and it will be ready for a typecast!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's a Shame

It's 1934 and Clarence H. Bills is set to task by Royal to create a new "mask" for a portable typewriter. Bills, inspired by the daring industrial design of Sakhnoffsky and Earl, creates this striking face:


I don't know about you, but I think this in gloss black which chrome accents would be offensive, entirely vulgar, and absolutely something I would want. It's a shame that the design was shelved and  never came to market.

Friday, May 31, 2013

November 1957

More Royal News. I shared the edition from November 1956 a couple of weeks ago and now here's  another one from a year later. Please enjoy the typewriter-y goodness.