domingo, 4 de dezembro de 2011

The Cesaro Project (Royal Royalite)

*** The Cesaro Project ***

This project has consumed my free time these days. I decided to baptize it in honor of its keyboard.

It all started with an online purchase what went wrong. I've found a Royal Royalite in a Portuguese online sale. From the pictures shown by the seller (low resolution) the machine just needed a good cleaning. I questioned the salesman and he told me that the machine was working in perfect condition. It was his grandmother's typewriter and it had always been highly esteemed.

When I finally got the typewriter in the mail I thought I'd die! I could not believe what I was seeing. The painting was all popping... The machine was  beyond dirty. My first thought was to pour it into the trash right away!

I leave you here some photos of the cover. The rest... I refuse my self to publish it. I think I was too innocent (and dumb) and did not realize I was being deceived.

I decided to take a chance on this machine and  clean it and take it apart... I could use some spare  parts in the future. And then I realized that all the mechanisms were in perfect condition. With a good cleaning and a little oil the machine would be running like new. So I decided to get on with the task at hand. And use the vacuum cleaner, a toothbrush, several toothpicks, several cotton swabs and even a oven spray cleaner...

The keys were so dirty that I couldn't tell what was their original color. Thought to be white. I was saved by oven spray cleaner and a toothbrush and after scrubbing key by key I got a new keyboard.

Given that machine was from the Portuguese dictatorship Salazar period, I decided to paint it red. A political joke and a compliment to the communists. On top of all, everything looks better in red...

And so I got a new machine. Was working in perfect condition, had a fantastic ivory keyboard and felt as if I've saved it from certain death. I was at peace with my conscience and proud of the work I've done. Incredible what a can of spray paint can do.

Sadly I had to lose the Royal logo. But I was so calcinated that was impossible to remove it without breaking it. I chose the paint it too.

But there are some things that could not lose, and I ended up keeping them. As the seller's information sticker. The machine was sold in my city. Quite close to where I usually have coffee...

It was not a perfect job. But given the state it was... For me was a great achievement! I've never thought I could do it.

There is something on this machine that screams "Christmas"! And Christmas is almost there. Then I remembered that my older wanted a typewriter for Xmas. I realized then that it was the perfect present...

To contrast with the body that was smooth and shiny, I decided to create some texture on the lid. An attempt only... But I remembered the texture of my Splendid. And I thought it would give some life to the machine. I think that the final result is pretty good!

The body, all-aluminum, was severely damaged. Aluminum in some places was already eroded and even sanding could not hide some surface faults.

The red spots on the screws were already there! I think that they were painted by the seller to ensure that the machine was only stirred by an authorized technician.

Oddly enough all the internal mechanisms are in excellent conditions with no signs of rust or rotting. Only the body was damaged. And ruining the aesthetic!

The serial number shows that this "young" machine was produced in 1960. And 50 years later received a new life and a new home.

I confess that I can not get used to these keyboards. They have all that is necessary to write in Portuguese... But I believe that there's nothing more comfortable than a qwerty/z keyboard!

I was surprised by the power and fantastic writing of such a small and compact typewriter. Although I'm a fan of German brands, I must admit... This "lady" writes very well! I almost felt sorry for letting it go. But it will in the family!

The case is only in need of a little shoe polish and a good and hard polishing. It will shine like new! And here it is the perfect Christmas gift. Only needs a ribbon. One for the typewriter and one for the package!

Triumph Gabriele 2

Since I had bought Splendid's an older sister I've decided to do the same with Gabriele. This was my first purchase in hand personally and in Portugal. Since the first pictures I saw of this typewriter, there were something about those round lines that made fell in love with it.

This machine redefines the portable typewriter concept, in my opinion. It's all metal... And very, very heavy and not portable at all. I had to cross part of the city carrying it, after I have purchased it. And believe me, carrying it is a hard job. It has a considerable weight that gives it an amazing stability! And an impressive robustness, almost resembling a typewriter desk.

It was produced in the early 60's. From what I could unveil by the seller, was used in an office since late 70's until the early 90's, when it was replaced by computers. After, it was stored somewhere (?). Denotes various signs of wear and age... However it has a fantastic typing. But it was very dirty... And it took me ages to clean it. Maintenance was done incorrectly. It smelled like motor oil... I struggled a lot but it stills not as clean as I would like it to be. Although I've used toothbrushes, toothpicks and cotton swabs, there are places to which I can not access to clean.

The machine is working in perfect condition. The dimensions and weight help a lot with the typing. Especially for me, I am write fast typer... Although the noise it makes is almost deafening. I think this is the louder typewriter that I got!

A little more evolved than the younger sister, the Gabriele 2 already allows you to select the color of ribbon. Humorous though it has been bought in Portugal, has a German QWERTZ keyboard ... I think that's QWERTZ persecute me.

I am pitty that the carrying case was in such poor condition. I ended up by throwing it into the trash. However, it was what saved the typewriter to be in worse condition. Although there are some areas where the paint is cracking. I think that it caught a lot of humidity and probably some rain too...

In some places we can see small rust spots. Even crossed my mind to paint it. But I gave up right away... There were too many metal parts to remove and having to paint them one by one... It seems to be too much for my skills. Honestly I'd rather have it like this and know about its history ... And all the visble signs of it... I guess we could say that "she" lived a full life. And still gets the job done :)

Here it's yet without a ribbon. Oddly enough I'm out of ribbons (how did this happened?). I have to remind myself to buy. 

The slugs were so dirty that it took me hours to clean. With a toothpick and letter by letter. They were covered in a pasty mixture of black powder and leftover ribbon ink.

As I had said there are still parts that I could not access for cleaning. I am thinking seriously to take it apart and give it a bath (and who knows doing some paint job). If nothing else just to get rid of this awkward smell (a mix of motor oil and train station). That black bottom covered in oil, dust and dirt is me doing a lot of confusion.

In the end I have to admit I'm very pleased with this typewriter. Although aesthetically it isn't in such good (perfect) conditions as I wish, still is a typewriter that has a lot to give. And I honestly believe that I will use it very often. Not just for correspondence letters but also for that more "serious" writing...

Adler Tippa 1

This was a typewriter that was waiting with some expectation... I had read enough about it and was curious to try it out. Luckily I could get one on German eBay by 1 and the best of all, with the carrying case.

In the first contact seemed to be a portable typewriter very compact and interesting. Although the excess plastic has disappointed me. Expected something more robust...

Produced by Adler. According to the production date it would be from the early 60's, however the merger between Adler and Triumph was in the late 50's... So it should have TA logo. That's something that intrigues me and I still have to explore.

The typewriter is in good condition. It does not have large cracking, scratches or rust ... It was clean and without signs of having been over-oiled. The color scheme is gray and white, although the photographs are not capturing the true color.

Again a qwetz German keyboard. As I had mentioned earlier coverage is all-plastic however the body is aluminum alloy. Supposed to be stable. But I think the machine is too fragile. Vibrates too much and the keys seem to swing and bouce... Maybe I'm used to more robust machines.

Color selection. Although for some unknown reason the letters with lower case (p, q, y. ..) get half black half red. Even when I reduce the typing speed... From what I think I'll replace it with a black ribbon.

Some signs of aging... Perhaps because of the carrying case. Something that perplexed me was the fact that there is no mechanism that locks the lever... Whenever I put it or remove it form the case I'm afraid I'll damage it.

I still have to do a more thorough cleaning. And maybe grab a toothpick and lose a few hours cleaning each letter ...

The interior is very clean, with no signs of over-oiling or dirt and dust. At first glance, the mechanism seems similar to all other German machines I have.

In this photo we see that the cracks along the screw. Consequence of the totally plastic body... However it was that the only apparent damage found on the typewriter.

Something that intrigued me was this + and -... Supposed to serve some adjustment mechanism or a touch tuning control. But I've searching and there is no lever or button ...

I still have to figure out what size it is. It seems to be larger than Pica but smaller than Elite.

On each key stroke there is a shadow letter left in the paper... And when I accelerate the speed of writing, the machine literally seems like it gets undone. After all maybe my typewriter is not in so good condition as it appears. Or that I think it is ... Of all the other reviews and opinions I've read about similar typewriters, no one reported the same "problems".

In summary ... I think it created too high expectations and ended up disappointing me ...