Repair

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This page aims to help you diagnose and repair your typewriter. This guide will apply to most manual type-bar typewriters; however, more obscure makes are best taken to Discord to ask in person. Furthermore, electrics, electronics and Selectrics are not covered here. Repair manuals can be found on machine-specific pages, or here. If you want more interactive help, don't be afraid to ask for help in the typewriter discord server's #help channel. An invite is linked here.

We always recommend checking out cleaning first before moving to repair. Many issues are solvable without resorting to mechanical repairs.


Table 1: Diagnosis

Issue Description Next Step:
Carriage not moving when key is pressed. You press down a key, and the top carriage that holds the paper does not space to the next letter. Proceed to #Table 2: Carriage Issues
Carriage moves freely back and forth. Your carriage moves freely back and forth. It may not move correctly when a key is pressed. Proceed to #Table 2: Carriage Issues
Carriage is totally stuck. Your carriage will not move at all. Proceed to #Table 2: Carriage Issues
Carriage stays to the left. Your carriage stays to the left side of the typewriter, and when you push it right, it returns to the left. Proceed to #Table 2: Carriage Issues
Paper won't feed in the typewriter. Paper won't feed into the paper smoothly--or at all. Proceed to #Table 3: Platen and Rubber
Sticky keys won't press down. Keys are sticky or even totally stuck. Proceed to #Table 4: Key Issues
Keys press down partway, but don't hit paper. Keys either lock up before they hit the paper, or do not print even though they are extremely close to paper. Proceed to #Table 4: Key Issues
Typewriter Print is Unaligned Typewriter will not print in a straight line. Proceed to #Table 4: Key Issues
Typewriter Shift is Unaligned Typewriter may print in a straight line, but will not print capitals and lowercase letters on the same line. Proceed to #Table 4: Key Issues
Ribbon not Working Properly. Your ribbon isn't raising, or reversing, or moving. Proceed to #Table 4: Ribbon Issues
Typewriter Skips Spaces Typewriter skips every nth space on the writing line. Proceed to #Table 5: Escapement
Typewriter is heavily damaged Typewriter is covered coated in dirt, rust, or other fun things. May or may not be missing parts or have a multitude of broken parts. Proceed to #Table 6: Full Restoration

Repair Tables

Congratulations on having diagnosed your typewriter! Here you can find tables that link to more detailed info on the issue, as well as fixes and videos. Keep in mind that many of these methods will be different depending on the make and model of the typewriter.

Table 2: Carriage Issues

Carriage issues

Header text Header text Header text
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Carriage Stuck (Olympia) Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Table 3: Platen and Rubber

Header text Header text Header text
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Table 4: Key Issues

Issue Description Fix and Reasoning
Keys are sticking. Keys will not go up and down easily, but have some freedom of movement. Flush the typewriter.
Keys are stuck. Keys will not move at all. Example
Keys lock up. All keys stop moving in the same spot, before they hit the carriage. Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Table 5: Escapement

Header text Header text Header text
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Table 6: Full Restoration

If you would like to attempt a full restoration, we highly recommend taking your machine to the Discord --or, budget and time willing, a local typewriter shop of repute! Here is a basic guide to common issues you may encounter.

Issue Description Solutions
Missing Parts Example Example
Rust Example Example
Cobwebs, Dust, etc. Example Example
Mold and Mildew Example Example
Decals Example Example
Paint Issues Example Example