Question about Brother SX-4000 Typewriter

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Carriage Return Inconsistency

I have an Underwood World's Fair Model typewriter.  Recently, when I use the carriage return lever, the spacings are inconsistent--sometimes lines are close together, sometimes spaced a little more than single.  It is noticeable, and wondering if there is a simple solution.

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It has been a while since I have seen a #5 Underwood. I think I still have one hidden in the attic that the wife thinks was thrown out long ago :).

The carriage return is done by the lever that pushes a pawl. The pawl engages in the ratchet teeth on the LH end of the platen. If the typewriter has the half-space feature, then it has to roll the platen two clicks (teeth) for a line space. The problems were usually in two places when this didn't happen correctly. The first is that the bushings on the platen were dry and needed oiling. The second was the follow-up roller is not clicking into the ratchet tooth and keeping it latched in the proper position. Because the platen doesn't roll far enough, or is free enough, the roller stops on top of a tooth instead of clicking into the space between the teeth. This can be caused by dry platen bushings, sticky follow up roller mechanism, or weak follow up roller spring. If you roll the typewriter on its back with the carriage all the way to the left, you should be able to pull the carriage return and watch the follow up roller action from underneath (you may need a flashlight). A light weight oil (Marvel Mystery or a sewing machine oil or Triflow) will be suffiecient to fix it usually. Put a few drops in the bushing where the steel platen shaft goes thru the end of the carrier and a few drops around where the mechanism that attaches the follow up roller to the end of the carriage. Roll the platen back and forth to work it in then slide the carriage to the right and do the shaft on the other end and work it again. Hopefully that will take care of it. If it doesn't, then the spring will have to be tightened by removing a loop. Depending on your mechanical ability and tools, that can be an easy or difficult job.
I didn't mean to write a book on the subject. I worked on mechanical typewriters years ago and hated to see them go to the wayside. I usually don't do this, but if I can be of anymore help, email me :cautionflag1956 at yahoo

Hope this helps

Posted on Jun 13, 2010

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