Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tired Digits

Just a preview, but it is about 80% done. Huge project that I am unlikely to do again. Now I know why people have buffing wheels in shops. Doing this by hand has been a labor of love. So, enjoy the photo. I need to go and try to get this aluminum dust out of my hands.

As you know, pictures can never do these sorts of things justice.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We Need More Cowbell

After the baby was put to bed, I retired to the back patio to continue sanding the body of the Lettera. It is far from done. I still have the 150, 250, 400, 600, and 1500 grit papers to go, but 400 and higher is wet paper. Wet paper lets me sit inside and work on while watching television.

In Progress. Lots of elbow grease. See that reflection on the left side
of the ribbon cover? Quality.

The cover is sanded to 1500. The lower part is 150. See the difference
in shine? All I did was sand.

Pretty cool. 

I need to start looking for a buffing wheel that can fit in the chuck on my cordless drill. I think that Auto Zone or O'Riley might have something like that. The buff is the last step on this "little" project. I am hoping that by the end of the week I'll have a complete machine to show off. In fact, it might make it's way to the type-in on June 18th.


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Slow Methodical Plodding Along

So I don't know if I have the most horrible luck or what, but my Silver Surfer project is taking a long time. So far I have completed...nothing. Well, nothing isn't quite true. The cover of the old Lettera is coming along nicely. The body still needs the paint sanded off. Initially, I tried using acetone and it worked to some degree. The paint didn't peel off in one sheet. It just became soft enough to scrape off with an old paint stirrer.

After the paint was scraped and the surface cleaned, the aluminum looked heavily scratched and pitted.. It was probably made that way to give the paint an excellent key. That would be great for old paint that looked wonderful, but the putty color on the Olivetti was really unpleasant. I needed to sand a lot.

Starting with a 65 grit block I was able to get the paint off. It worked, but the work was slow. I might try to find one of those sanding disks that mount into a portable drill. Speed might get that ugly paint to vanish. 150 followed the 65. After that was a succession of finer and finer grit papers; 250, 400, 600, and 1500. As of tonight, I just need to buff out the micro-scratches that make the surface look brushed. I know there are buffing wheels at ACE, so I am going to get one of those.

The work looks great and I can't wait to finish and get to typing. Below is an adequate, but not very accurate picture of the cover.

Looking shiny!

Another angle, same model.

 I think I will be done some time next week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lonely Typewriter

Summer school is in full swing and the students are already using the machines. We are just about 1-to-1 in student-to-typewriter ratio. This allows the kids to choose a typewriter and keep it at their desk. This one ,complete with a story about a first football game, was left mid-word. The author will return to the story on Monday.

Water, Water Everywhere

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On the Bench

Silver Surferizing is all the rage. I've been sucked in with a Lettera that needed a little attention. All I am willing to show, yet, is an uncovered typewriter, but soon it will be ready to share.