In part One of this Typewriter Repair 101 series, we discussed adjusting the typeface alignment on Basket/Segment-shifted typewriters. One question that came up pretty quickly was the basket-shifted Royal QDL, which has a more complex 4-point adjustment system that is similar to Carriage-shifted machines. Today, we’ll examine some examples of these carriage-shifted machines, and adjust one out:
First up, the carriage-shifted Hermes Rocket – although for the purposes of the demonstration, I’ll substitute my identical Empire Aristocrat. This typewriter is extremely easy to adjust, although its 4-point system is slightly more complex than the usual 2-point system on Segment-shifters.
Note that when *both* upper and lowercase letters are out of adjustment (as is the case here) it’s important to adjust the *lowercase* letters first, because they have descenders. First make sure that letters like “h” print nicely and evenly with the ascenders not fading, then *make sure* to double-check letters like “y,g,j,q” to ensure that the descenders also print clearly. Then you can go ahead and adjust the uppercase letters to line up with the lowercase letters. I tend to use the letter “h/H” to check this because they are exactly the same size and are easy to line up.
Small travel typewriters like the Rocket tend to have “rocking” carriage-shift mechanisms, where the carriage rocks up and down on a single pivot, a design that makes it easy to have the adjustment points right on the ends of the carriage rails.
In sharp contrast, other carriage-shifters use a mechanism where the carriage shifts straight up and down on a sort of rail system of it’s own. These tend to have the adjustment points either accessible from underneath the rear of the machine or, in some really annoying cases, buried deep inside the machinery in such a way that they are extremely difficult to get at. Here are some examples: