A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying

A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying
A photographer/collector who likes analog cameras and the images film produces, while also enjoying the latest digital.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My First Oliver No. 5 (Continuing the Clean-Up)

Doesn’t it seem like there is not enough time in the day?  Just a quick update.  The clean-up process continues on the Oliver.  I am having difficulty finding enough free time in the last few days devoted to the project to complete this refurbish.  It is progressing however.  See the below teaser image.

A happy Memorial Day to all those current and former service members to whom we owe a great debt!  Semper Fi.  When I was growing up, this holiday was locally called Decoration Day.  Flowers were placed on not only war veterans graves, but all graves by family members to remember those no longer around.

More to come…………

Memorial Day: A day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Decoration Day: The precursor of the holiday Memorial Day, and was first observed in 1868, following the carnage of the Civil War.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My First Oliver No. 5 (Starting the Clean-Up Process)

I was able to obtain the answers I required to understand the Oliver No. 5 sufficiently, to attempt the clean-up needed that will put the machine back into shape.  For those that do not follow any of the other typewriter groups, I will provide those answers here.
  • Where is the serial number?  See my previous post for both locations on the typewriter.
  • Where is the Backspacer?  Did Oliver make any No. 5 machines without a backspace lever?  Backspace lever was added sometime after the Oliver No. 5 was introduced. (See below)
  • Why is all the bare metal a copper/goldish in color?  No definitive answer on this one.  Some speculation that this was nicotine stains however there was no such smell accompanying the machine.  Discoloration is best described as like a yellowing varnish.
  • Did Oliver's come with shiny Nickel, or was it more muted?  Much of the exposed Nickel plating apparently came shiny.  The remainder of the nickel was more of a satin finish. 
  •  Does someone with more experience on Oliver's think that a backspace lever could be mounted on my machine?  Where can I obtain a backspace lever for my machine?  Moot point, I would not put something on the machine which did not originally come from the factory.
  • Where can I obtain ribbon covers?  I did find a place on eBay for reproduction ribbon covers and ordered a pair (See Below).  These repo’s do not have holes in the top as most production covers I have seen on Oliver’s have.  Also not sure the color will match?  We shall see.
Armed with the above knowledge it was time to tackle the work.  As my previous post shows, I was able to remove the yellowing film from the spot on the back of the carrier where the serial number is located.  This was not achieved however without considerable elbow grease.

Starting with the removed carrier, I progressed through a series of methods for removal of the yellowish film.  I will not reveal that method yet because only the carrier has been completed and I want to be sure that my methods do not cause something bad while doing the body of the machine.

The results on the carrier do seem promising as the images show.

Before & After:

More to come............

Oliver No. 5 Year of Manufacture: No. 5 started about serial number 183000 in 1907.  Backspace added about 282,000 approximately 1911. (http://www.sljohnson.net/typewriter/oliver/oliver-serials.html)

Reproduction Ribbon Spool Covers for Oliver Typewriters 3,5,7,9 and 11: Enter this query into eBay for this item from “oliverserviceuk”.  Cost $30.29 + shipping.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My First Oliver No. 5 (Finding Answers)

Cross-posted my No. 5 questions on the Yahoo Typewriters group and have received several responses.  Some questions have been resolved, some not.

Did locate the serial number and found that the number on frame and carrier match!  Once I was told where to look I successfully worked down through the grime.  Amazing how you can miss something right in front of you until it is pointed out.

You notice from the two above images that I also solved another question.  Once I cleaned a spot on the metal, I was able to determine that the yellow covering all the nickel plated surfaces was just some sort of deposit.  One suggestion was that it might be years in a smoke filled location?  Maybe so.  It was extremely hard to remove!  Progressed from detergent through stronger cleaners with no affect.  Finally used an auto polish that was not too abrasive successfully.  Promises to be a long job however to complete all the nickle surfaces.  The image below show a single key that I cleaned via the same method.  Strange how everything is yellowed?

Also appears that this same polish will work on restoring the painted finish.....

One concern is that the polish does just that, shines the nickle to a high polish.  Not sure if that is how the Oliver looked when new?  Was it a glossy finish or more muted?  Need to determine before I continue.

On to the missing backspace issue.  This one has me baffled.  This example has none.  From what I can tell there never was one.  Seems like if the backspace had been removed, there would be signs of its previous existence.  I don't see any.

Brian Brumfield was kind enough to post some images of the backspace mechanism on his No. 5.  Thank you Brian.  I have used those images here along with images of my machine with similar views.  Hoping that someone can resolve this issue.  Not sure this typewriter is even fully machined correctly to have a backspace installed from another typewriter.  Guess I need to see one close-up and in person.  If anyone has an Oliver No. 5 in the Kansas City area for comparison purposes, let me know.

Brian Brumfield images:

Image of the same area on my machine:

Brian Blumfield images of how the backspace connects on the rear of the machine:

Image of the same rear area on my machine:

I also have been told that this model came with covers for the ribbon holders.  So, looks like I have still open questions:
  • Did Oliver's come with shiny Nickel, or was it more muted?
  • Did Oliver make any No. 5 machines without a backspace lever?
  • Does someone with more experience on Oliver's think that a backspace lever could be mounted on my machine?
  • Where can I obtain a backspace lever for my machine?
  • Where can I obtain ribbon covers?
More to come............

Oliver No. 5 Typewriter: This model manufactured between 1907 and 1914

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My First Oliver No. 5

I just acquired my first Oliver No. 5.  Very cool.  I will freely admit to not knowing much about these machines.  I also broke the cardinal rule in buying this typewriter: Know what you are buying!

The carriage did not move upon testing but I hoped that was a relatively minor issue….  Other than encrusted in dirt and grime, it looked like it was in very good shape overall.  Everything else seemed to function on the Oliver even if it was molasses slow.  Took the plunge and I am now looking forward to the clean-up.

Things have started off well.  Downloaded instructions for the machine and quickly was able to remove the carriage.  Discovered that the hook which catches the return string was stuck down in the machine instead of hooked onto the correct spot so that the carriage could catch upon install.  Moved the hook to the right spot, put back on the carriage and it functioned as designed!

Other then that I have only studied the Oliver to this point.  This has raised several questions I have so far been unable to answer.

  • Where is the serial number? (I have seen others where it is located on a plate on the back.  Not on this one?  Nor on the rail as could be seen when the carriage is off.) 
  • Where is the Backspacer? (I have been told that this addition was what changed the model number from a No. 4 to a No. 5.  It has not been broken off.  It was never there.)
  • Why is all the bare metal a copper/goldish in color?  (I thought that all the metal should be chrome/nickel?  Is this different or is it just dirty or corroded?  If so, what would be the best way to remove this discoloration?)

I would appreciate any input before I begin on these questions and if there are any special considerations in cleaning an Oliver.  It appears that the machine will clean up well with only minor nicks in the paint.  Thanks!

More to come……………