Turbo Torpedo: the nitty gritty

by | May 24, 2012 | Torpedo | 26 comments


  1. mpclemens


    Brilliant, purple lunacy.

    *still agog*

  2. Ryan Adney

    I am curious aout the heat-shrink tubing. I tried replacing the platen of an old Remington with some radiator hose, but it was too large a diameter making the paper release and feed rollers function poorly. Is the diameter increase negligible?

  3. Richard P

    The tubing adds about a millimeter to the diameter. That's not nothing, and it does have an effect. In fact, the typebars now hit the platen just a little bit before they can hit the anvil. This is one reason I added the felt to the anvil: I was concerned that otherwise, the typebars would be rough on the tubing and it might wear out faster. I think it would be ideal to remove 1mm from the platen before applying the tubing, but I don't know how to do that evenly.

  4. Cameron

    This typewriter is truly a work of art, and your extensive purple "mods" and graphics are impressive indeed!

  5. Dwayne F.

    This is an awesome custom! I appreciate all of the little details. Finding just the right part is lots of fun. Now you have shown your readers sources for custom decals. You have most likely triggered a wave of extreme modifications. Addiction, thy name is Polt.

  6. michaeliany

    This simply must be the most awesome thing on the Internet today! Thanks for sharing. If you don't mind me asking, and not that it matters any when it comes to our beloved typewriters but what was the total time approximately it took to make these modifications?

  7. notagain

    That's hilarious in a cool way! I see you went beyond my failed experiment of long balloons for the platen (they went over smoothly but failed quickly). The decals are a nice touch but the dice definitely finish it.

  8. Mark

    I like this and I think I might be inspired to make my own hot-road typewriter…

  9. Scott K

    I know I'm being pedantic here, but when you say it added about 1mm to the platen, do you mean 1 mm over-all thickness? And if so, did you measure this with a micrometer? It is an interesting idea, and I'm curious as to how well it lasts. certainly a heat-shrink tube is likely to be easier to replace than resurfacing the platen, so I don't think you're money was totally a waste… now you have more on hand.

    That said….

    WOW! I love it! I want one……

  10. Rob Bowker

    The work of a truly subverted mind. There is no cure. Well done. I have a Torpedo with forward screw holes beneath too. Wonder what they are for?

  11. Richard P

    Not a huge amount of time. Maybe 15-20 hours overall, spread out over several weeks? None of these modifications is very difficult. The most challenging is the spray painting, but I have lots of experience with that by now.

  12. Richard P

    I'm just guesstimating that the overall diameter increased by 1mm. In other words, the thickness of the tubing is about 0.5mm. That may be a slight underestimate.

    Durability is a question. We'll see. You're right, this is quite a bit cheaper than a new platen, especially now that the late lamented Ames Supply Co. is out of business.

  13. Duffy Moon

    That's thinking so far outside the box, it might be inside of another, previously unknown and slightly more disturbing box. A purple one. With glitter.
    Well done, Richard.

  14. Fernando Antunes

    Absolutely amazing! I I wonder how many hours you spend around this project…

  15. rino breebaart

    Someone give Mr Polt a TV show. Slogan: Typewriters pimped; philosophical problems solved.

  16. Martin A. Rice, Jr.

    You need a youtube channel, just call it "The Secrets of Prof. Polt"! I'm still … blown away! Hey, if you need to swap a type slug, just gimme a call!

  17. DonN

    How fast does it do the quarter mile? The shrink wrap idea is terrific!

  18. tr0x

    Wow, what a beautiful mod!
    I love the purple platen, the heat-shrink tube is a very nice idea!

  19. Duffy Moon

    Plus, that looks quite a bit like the imaginary Voss Low-Writer that showed up in the Editor's Notes in ETCetera. You've been bouncing this sucker around in your head for a while, haven't you?

  20. Anonymous

    For some reason, all that glittery purple raises expectations of seeing this thing bouncing around on hydraulics. Can we expect to see the front end being raised and lowered in this manner any time soon?

  21. Bill M

    Great post. Your typewriter customization is great. I do not know how I missed this post and some of your others. I guess my odd work hours at the present are keeping me from visiting all the blogs.

    My next project is to turn down a spare Royal platen that fits my Signet and give the heat shrink a try.

  22. Unknown

    Hello… Nice find fo me. I was curious about the new feet. What did you use to create them? My T18 has worn out feet and I need to find new ones. Thanks.

  23. Richard P

    I got lucky and bought a batch of about 40 assorted office machine feet on German eBay, including these, which are meant for some kind of standard typewriter.

    Poke around a hardware store and you'll find many rubber pieces that can be shaved and gouged to fit a typewriter.

  24. Ed Harrison

    How is the heat shrink tubing working out after a couple years? Last month I did the same thing to a 1946 S-C Sterling that I am restoring. Used a woodworking lathe, lathe chisels and sandpaper to shave 1.5 mm off, then added it back with the heat-shrink tubing, applied using a heat gun. I wonder if it is ever going to start slipping. So far so good. Nice blog, Ed

  25. Richard P

    Thanks, Ed. No slipping so far, but the tubing isn't as strong as rubber. I don't use the typewriter a lot, but I've put a few little dents in the platen. It would probably wear out pretty fast if I typed several pages a day on it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


typewriter revolutionary factory logo




Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pkwy.
Cincinnati, OH. 45207