Monday, March 14, 2011

Devastation (with updates)

To begin with, the Lettera 33 smells like Stinky.  But that, I expected.  Also, it was packed with *nothing* around it...a few folded pieces of brown paper that did nothing except maybe keep the shipping box protected from the dirty case.  And, though it may or may not have happened in shipping, it has several issues...and none of them things I feel hopeful I can fix on my own.  The biggest one is that the carriage feels sort of wobbly, and the draw band is off, and although the whatchamacallit the draw band winds around still feels like the spring inside is working, it doesn't feel...right.


I should know better than to go near eBay.

On the bright bright side?  It came with a little Lettera 33 manual.  Yay.

I guess there's always Blue Moon.  Maybe this will have a happy ending after all.  In the meantime, I guess I can concentrate on cleaning the case.  I don't have the heart to work on the busted typewriter.

UPDATE (and this is precisely why I shouldn't work on my own typewriters): I fixed the draw band...sort of...for awhile...before everything went terribly south.  The first time, the tension wasn't high enough, I don't think, because it would go about halfway across and then sort of lose steam.  So I went to try again, and it was closer, but still too loose.  So I tried another time.  And *this* time, the screw I was using as a weight in order to lower the cord through the typewriter and attach it at the bottom of the carriage on the other side got stuck in the mechanism.  And I can't get it out.  At all.  No amount of jiggling and tapping and yelling at it makes any difference.  Neither did cutting the cord to it so the screw is in there all alone.  The carriage is jammed to one side with that screw in there, and so far as I can see the carriage will need to come off to remove it, and there's no easy way to remove the carriage when you can't *move* the carriage.  So not only do I still have to take it down to Blue Moon, but now I can't even take it in the case, and I have to admit what an idiot I am.   I spent the better part of the evening trying to get the darned thing out, so I'm tired and cranky and I smell like mildew and I want to cry and maybe punch something.

So there's that.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I got the carriage centered again.  And I sort of rigged up a temporary draw band to let me play with it.  The draw band doesn't work quite as it should...I probably still have the tension wrong, or it's too short.  And the margins aren't working...maybe they weren't working to begin with, or maybe I busted 'em.  In any case, I'm not attempting any further fixes on my own.  On the bright side, from what little typing I can do...this is one comfortable, snappy little typer.  Maybe all will come out right in the end...?


OldFashionedGirl said...

Y'know, maybe I shouldn't say this, but if you end up not wanting to deal with it, I'd be happy to give it a good home. I've been coveting a Lettera of any kind for so long that it would be appreciated . . .

Little Flower Petals said...

Oh, I've been looking for a Lettera for ages. And at this point, I already have almost $40 in it, with the shipping factored in. In for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose. I might as well get it all fixed up, once I have funds to do so. I'm just heartbroken that it arrived non-functional when I've been looking forward for a Lettera for so long. It's not fair. *snif*

And by the time I get it worked on, I'll have spent enough that I probably could just about have bought a spotless, perfectly functional one from a real shop.

Sometimes I'd really like to slap myself upside the head.

Tom said...

Rats! Sounds like a rough day all around. What a crapshoot ebay is! But don't be so hard on yourself, it happens to the best of us - as I'm sure your readers can testify. And for what it's worth, you've sort of made this reader feel better about his own misadventures with that cursed site.

Ted said...

Sadface ):

That's the unfortunate fact of Ebay - half of what you win is going to be afflicted with hidden defects or will be poorly packed and damaged in transit. It pretty much forces you to learn DIY typer repair unless you have the budget to take the poor wounded soldiers to the experts - which if you do have the budget, is good for helping to keep the local repair guy in business - so silver lining?

Little Flower Petals said...

Silver lining...I guess! But it does mean it'll likely be a month before I have this in good working shape. On the other hand, it gives me more of an excuse to go to Portland than I had before, though I'll probably have to put taking any other typewriters down there on the back burner for now.

Spent this morning scrubbing the case inside and out. The zipper is intact, if there's that. I still need to work on doing more cleaning. and some more, and some of the rusty looking mildew stains inside will probably never come out entirely. The outside looks better, though. I wouldn't say it gleams, but it's at least glimmery. Kinda. In spots.

Duffy Moon said...

Sounds like my experiences with typewriter repair.
What I generally experience is that I struggle with one particularly vexing problem, fail to fix it, then put that machine away.
Months later I come across a somewhat similar problem with another machine, and know what *not* to try, and eventually have some limited success with repair.
I then parlay that minor success into another go at the *original* machine (whose vexing problems I've been somehow stewing around in my subconscious for a while), and so on and so forth.
That's why it took my nearly two years to fix the drawband/mainspring issue on my Silent Super.

So, I guess, keep at it.

OldFashionedGirl said...

Sorry. Enjoy fixing it, as much as you can. And no, we're not gossiping about you.

deek said...

Enjoy the adventure, as when its all done, you'll have a great typewriter, some fun stories and some experience!