Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Return of the platen

Olympia SG3 (Side View)


Anonymous said...


Major congratulations on getting the SG3 back in service! It must feel great. I've never had a recovered platen so I don't know what the difference in feel would be like. I can say my SG1 makes a deeped impression on the paper than any other machine. And that seems to be the nature of the SG series since I'm not hitting the keys harder than usual. It does help to use two pages and when I do the NaNo I'll have carbon paper between the two pages. (I keep a carbon of the first draft, mistakes and all, for later reference if needed.)

As to the NaNo plot, I'm using an old manual typewriter as the spark for a murder mystery/adventure. I don't know much more than that at this point but I want to avoid overthinking matters until November 1st. I'll be as curious as anyone else to see what happens.


mpclemens said...

Great news, Elizabeth! I've considered having some of my machines's rubber bits redone, but didn't know what to expect, nor if it would be worth the money.

The punch-through may be a factor of our own clumsy hands expecting to have to smack too hard to get a decent impressing. On Gomez, my SM3, I have to deliberately lighten up so punctuation marks don't become pinholes. I typed up a batch of index card notes last night, and the first ones in the set have more dangling bits than a Florida ballot.

This may be an opportunity to fiddle with the touch control lever. It's a shame that Olympia didn't offer a "stencil" typeface for those of use prone to punch through our letters: something with gaps in all the loops that would maintain paper integrity even when a hammer-handed dummy like me sites down at the keys.

Olivander said...

No need to feel weird. A newly-recovered platen is just the typewriter gearhead's version of a new transmission with a higher gear ratio. I'd do the happy dance, too!

If I may ask, how much did it cost? Duffy reported that the cost had gone up significantly when he had his last two recovered.

Elizabeth H. said...

It's true, it really doesn't take a huge amount of effort to get a strong imprint with the SG series -- that's both a blessing and a curse, I'd say. While Bernard was out of commission I used Stinky and the nicer SM-9 (who, incidentally, just informed me that his name is George, as in George Knightly of Jane Austen's Emma, 'cause he's dependable and good at gently pointing out my lack of typing skillz, but I tend not to notice him except when I need him). The portables require that I'm a bit more deliberate: more aware of the strength of each keystroke if I want the lettering to be even. Now I need to readjust.

Mike, I think you're right -- setting the touch selector does help. I spent some time on a story before work this morning. I adjusted the touch to a slightly higher level and had fewer issues. One thing I'm noticing with the new platen is that there is more variation between soft and hard keystrokes: if I type gently, so the typeface just comes in contact with the paper, the letters are clear but thin. If I really bang on the keys, the letters are broader, blurrier, and more apt to have cut through the paper. ;-) I just need to find my rhythm again.

And on further consideration, I think it's definitely quieter.

For those curious about cost, the recovering itself cost about $15. Not too bad. I didn't have any feed rollers done, though, since the feed rollers were nice and round and soft and I haven't had *any* paper feed issues with this typewriter. Return shipping via Fed-Ex was a bit over $10 (to Olympia, WA), and of course I paid for outgoing shipping. So the total was in the $35 range. More than the typewriter itself...but I'm OK with that, I guess, considering this should be a big help in prolonging the life of the typewriter and the typeface!

Anonymous said...

It's a fine thing to have done, Elizabeth. A bit like renewing one's marriage vows.

Strikethru said...

I hereby declare your SG3 with robot font to be Most Awesome Typewriter Ever.

Anonymous said...

I'm still impressed how you took out the platen. I need to learn how to do this so I can clean couple of my typewriters.
The type font looks really nice and Unique, almost dare I say it? like an old computer, like Hal. Yeah, I un-intensionally shipped a typewriter to my work address and had the similar reaction.

Elizabeth H. said...

I hereby declare your SG3 with robot font to be Most Awesome Typewriter Ever.

Thank you, thank you very much. I am honored to accept this award on Bernard's behalf. He is unable to be here today, on account of I'm not about to haul his porky behind off the desk in the other room again.... Whew!

I'm really looking forward to some serious bonding time with him in November! Here's to a long future together!