Specialized Typewriter Tools

From Typewriter Wiki


Like with many other types of repairmen, typewriter repairmen were often provided by manufacturers with specialized tools to complete specific tasks or make certain tasks easier. Here, we will attempt to showcase the many different kinds of tools and their general uses.

Typebar Tools

Key Tools

Special Wrenches

IBM "Semi-Proprietary" Tools

IBM had the tendency to use what I like to call "semi-proprietary" tools. This means that they are not tools or driver heads that IBM came up with, but rather unique and uncommon ones that they used. It was most likely a way to keep their machines only repairable by technicians, and to get said technicians buying only their tools. However, this is only a educated guess, so take it with a grain of salt.

Bristol Spline Wrenches

IBM Standards use Bristol Wrenches or Spline Wrenches on many of the set screws. These can be found on the pulley system for the power roller and on the platen knobs.

IBM Proprietary Tools

These tools are special to only IBM Machines.

Selectric Manual Cycle Tool

The IBM Selectric has a unique tool used for manually cycling the machine while it is off. This tool usually consists of a handle on one end with a left handed male thread on the other. These threads are somewhat small, so use caution when manually cycling the machine or you may shear off the thread.

Selectric Manual Cycle Tool Extender

This tool is used specifically in tandem with the Selectric Manual Cycle Tool to allow for manual cycling of the IBM Memory Writer series of typewriters. The right side of the operational shaft is right in between the memory bank and power supply of the Memory Writer, and a regular manual cycling tool cannot reach in deep enough to screw into it. The extender is basically a rod with a male left hand thread on one end and a female left hand thread at the other. To use it you simply screw your manual cycle tool into the female end, and then the male end of the extender into the female end of the operational shaft on the machine. It is used just like a Selectric Manual Cycle Tool.