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DIY Typewriter Repair

March 29, 2013

These pages are from the Reader’s Digest Repair Manual “The Complete Guide to Home Maintenance”. This book has all the information you could ever need in order to fix things from bent knife blades to the drive mechanism of your lawnmower. While I one day might repair the handle of a sports bag, or fit a new bulb into my iron (wow, just by leafing through this book I feel more handy), the most useful pages so far have been those on typewriter repair. Here they are for those who want to take typewriter repair into their own hands.

A few tips from my own amateur typewriter repairs: 1. The reason why your typewriter keys get stuck or jam up is probably because of grease and grime – clean all the type bars with something like methylated spirits. Be patient and careful.

2. Don’t use oil! It’s tempting to as it seems like the right thing, but in fact it attracts more grime and the mechanism will get stuck again. The pages below suggest using oil on certain parts of the machine, but if you do this, don’t use it anywhere else, it is tempting to start oiling everything when you’ve got the bottle in your hands.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2013 6:26 pm

    That is very handy, thank you! (:

  2. March 30, 2013 1:42 am

    This is hepful, thanks for sharing it.

  3. Rebecca permalink
    May 20, 2013 3:46 pm

    when the carriage DOES NOT MOVE! yes why did you stop moving so suddenly and with zine fair imminent???!!

    thanks for the tips, I feel calmer now

    • Vanessa Berry permalink*
      May 20, 2013 4:07 pm

      Yes stay calm! Every time I’ve had a major panic about my typewriter not functioning it has been something simple and has left me feeling embarrassed about my preceeding outburst of despair.

  4. August 1, 2014 3:40 am

    Thank you! What a wonder to find this in a Reader’s Digest book. Not unexpected, though. They are very thorough.

  5. January 1, 2015 11:48 pm

    Extremely Helpful. I supply typewriters but never knew how to repair them.

  6. October 18, 2016 4:52 pm

    I can’t wait to use my dad’s old typewriter on my next novel. There’s something comforting about using a typewriter over using a computer. The deliberation, the focus, and knowing that no mechanical hiccups will destroy weeks worth of work.

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