Cabinets of curiosity

by | Sep 3, 2013 | IBM, parts, Royal | 22 comments

PS: Ray said that they used to have a card catalog listing all the parts and telling where they could be found in the cabinets. If only! … I’ll have to explore every drawer and then do plenty of guesswork.


  1. notagain

    Wow you could really use that. I like feed roll dept label

  2. Ton S.

    No one else deserves those cabinets- really special in themselves, I must say -full of typewriter parts than you, Richard. Congrats!

  3. TonysVision

    It must be a treat just to open and close those lovely wooden drawers. I will do what i can soon to give you that opportunity. There's this little fancy screw missing …

  4. rn

    1st: what amazing machine part cabinets. Amazingly useful and amazingly beautiful. And, as Ton says, they are absolutely with the right person.

    2nd: Regarding that 'Feed Roll' and 'springs' dept., I'm looking for feed rollers and a carriage bail spring for a 30s Royal 'model p' portable. The rollers I can see in your photo look more modern, but …

    3. This would be a great side-by-side comparison: Blick Electric vs. IBM Selectric.

    Rob in NYC

  5. TonysVision

    P.S. I'm glad to hear you honor the Selectric. I acquired one near the onset of my typewriter problem, feeling a bit like I was cheating on my manuals, but secretly loving it for its intriguing mechanism and lovely impressions. It, too, suffers from issues making it unusable. A peek inside shows decades of lint – a sign of a long a lack of servicing. Probably a good air blasting, cleaning, and lubricating in the right places (if only I knew what they were) would get it going right.

  6. Miguel Chávez

    Fantastic cabinets, Richard! Congratulations!

    Regarding the Selectric, the first thing you could do is clean, then put on a little light oil on the metal bar guide of the element; it's a round bar running all across the machine. The print element runs over it. Just a little light oil should do the trick…

    … while you're at it, you could add a drop of oil or two on the metal "combs" that also run in front of the machine, next to the keyboard. These are the points where the keyboard connects to the internal mechanisms. With the lack of use they tend to try out and this causes some keys to become sticky.

    This should help the carriage move smoothly, unless there's a problem with the tensor springs that keep the metal bands taut. If that's the case, you might have to change them (or have them changed… this would be a job for your local version of Mr. Pablo Caballero).

    There's an old entry in my blog regarding how to test a Selectric, and the fifth photo shows the pieces you could lubricate. You can find it here: http://www.modernidadyobsolescencia.blogspot.mx/2011/11/comprando-una-ibm-selectric-cosas-tener.html

  7. Bill M

    That is a fine treasure of parts!

  8. Scott K

    You mentioned these were coming. How fantastic! The cabinets are quite beautiful, and it is magnificent to have such a trove of parts.

  9. Anonymous

    How cool! This is amazing! I kinda have no words for it. You are indeed a very lucky guy.

  10. TonysVision

    Muchas gracias, Miguel, and to Richard for inspiring this helpful little conversation.

  11. John

    Richard, a gift from typewriter heaven. These are just the sort of cabinets that we typewriter mechanics dream about. The parts are simply just an extra bonus.
    Regarding your sluggish Selectric, lubricate as suggested above and if that fails to do the trick it maybe that the carrier return clutch is a little dry. This can be rectified quite simply by removing the right-hand internal cover plate, the one that warns you to keep your cotton picking fingers away,. You can spring it off with your screw driver. Inside you will see quite a big clutch in the centre of the works. It has a greasing hole. Fill a hypodermic up with a suitable light grease and insert the nozzle into that hole and squeeze. When the grease starts to come out the sides you will know that you have accomplished your objective. Test out the machine and you will be pleasantly surprised.

  12. schrijfmachine

    wow, that is an amazing gift. Those cabinets are beautiful. Congratulations!

  13. Brian

    Join the Golfball Typewriter Shop forum on Yahoo groups. Very generous folks There's a gent in Australia who will respond in perfect detail, with photos! He showed me how to fix a II with one drop of oil. Congrats on the supreme haul!

  14. shordzi

    What a treasure trove!!! Fun for decades guaranteed. And your garage shall become a pilgrim site for typewriter aficionados. It is now on my "10 places to visit before the end of the decade" list.

  15. Ted

    I echo the comments regarding the small drop of lubrication for your Selectric II. I just had a III with the same problem, and the fix turned out to be a drop of oil on one of the myriad of linkages in the *back* of the machine. This was after I had tried about a dozen other potential suspects, so have patience. eventually you'll find it (:

  16. L Casey

    It seems as though Xmas has come early in the Polt household, eh? What a generous and fantastic gift!

    Any leads on a soon to be retired Olympia repairman you could hook me up with? :D

  17. Dwayne F.

    Wow, that is amazing! I would have settled for the cabinets, but all of those widgets are just to die for.

  18. teeritz

    Well, I know where I'LL be sending my Royal for repairs from now on. And don't you dare tell me you don't have the parts.
    Nice score, Richard!
    And did your wife say something along the lines of; "Oh, so THAT'S what it took for you to clear some space in the garage?"

  19. Cameron

    Wonderful cabinet, with or without all the typewriter parts! It's great that you've got this treasure trove.

    By some miracle, would that cabinet happen to contain the thin, narrow metal strip of teeth that screws onto the back carriage rail, that engages with the escapement — for a Royal 10? Mine has a couple of worn teeth, located towards the left margin, and it always skips in the same place (about 20 ticks in). I've been trying to find a replacement for a while now, but no luck so far.

    Not only do you now have two fantastic pieces of historical furniture, your garage is now clean! Great bonus.

  20. Richard P

    Thanks to everyone for your generous and helpful comments. Yes, my wife did have some remarks about cleaning the garage, which I'll keep to myself …

    I'll be glad to look for parts for those who need them. Just give me a few days and I'll get back to you.

    And I'll try some of these tips on the Selectric and let you know how it turns out.

  21. Rob Bowker

    Poetic that the large cabinets look just like the sort cast metal type was stored.


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