Sunday, April 17, 2016

Caligraph progress and poem #17

The restoration process continues for the Caligraph. (Anyone have a parts machine? I need a margin stop set screw and a lowercase letter o key, with composite keytop and stem.)

Parts usually look great after spending the night in Evapo-Rust:

I removed the keys in order to clean them and the wooden key levers (with their key stem holders, which point at me like little cannons in the photo below). The key stems are not always easy to pull out of the holders; I had to use two pliers and some muscle.

I was smart enough to make a note of the keyboard arrangement. (Try touch-typing on this thing.)

But I wasn't smart enough to note which of the horizontal key guides was which. After removing them, I realized that they had to differ, because the rows of keys are staggered (as on most typewriters) and the holes have to be in different places. I manage to figure it out and label the pieces.

Removing the Caligraph's carriage is very easy; you just unscrew five screws.

"More grease never hurt anything," thought somebody in the late 19th century. Today that grease is hard and gluey. But I can't complain — it has protected the metal underneath.

So this is what it's like to work as a dental hygienist.

The escapements on most typewriters have a single rack and two teeth (or "dogs") that take turns engaging the rack, creating a step-by-step motion. The Caligraph has two racks and just one dog. One of the racks can slide back and forth, and it's linked to the other rack by a little spring. When this is all working, I'll have to make a video.

The user's manual for the Caligraph no. 3 (I think mine is a similar no. 2) has an unusual amount of information about all the parts of the device. This may be very helpful if I forget how to reassemble the typewriter. (You can download the manual on my website.)

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Today's poem. Have you ever been in this situation?


  1. Nice update on the Caligraph restoration. As for the poem, yes, I've been ballast. Great thoughts.

  2. You're a brave man Richard. On both counts. And this is a great Napowrimo milestone, because this actually got me, this little poem. (Also it made me smile, with my poetry-teacher hat on. 'Look honey, he's written his first Icarus poem'....! Very well done, I'm loving this month!

  3. Very nice work on the Caligraph. I'm sure you will have it looking and working like it should in no time.

  4. You are uncovering some beautiful shiny metal under that hard gluey grease - what a fun project. And what a great user's manual! I wish all typewriter manuals came with an internal parts diagram.