Kipling Fixed (with video), plus Swissa Returns!

Kipling partly disassembled, with the offending part removed for refurbishing

What i originally thought was petrified leather, actually what used to be soft rubber, is since 1938 turned as hard and brittle as glass. This is the comb pad that keeps the keys from going full-travel.

As the old rubber was pinched into the metal bit, replacing it with another would be difficult (even assuming I could find a replacement). I think you were prolly supposed to replace the whole part, metal bracket and all. I settled for digging out the old petrified rubber and setting a bead of hot glue in there to replace it.

The hot glue is dried and slots cut in it with an exacto knife where the keys are low enough to need to travel through the pad. Ready for re-installation!

Partly re-assembled for testing…

There are lots of tiny screws holding stuff together, even a couple that are about the size of eyeglass screws. It’s recommended to keep them in separate baggies to keep track of which sub-assembly each set goes to.

While we’re at it, let’s replace the squished and petrified feets with some soft and even, but not even remotely the same shape or color replacement feets. (:

Functional new shoes for Kipling. I’ll keep the old ones in case someone eventually manufactures exact replacement rubber for the mounting hardware. For now, this will keep him solidly gripping the desk instead of wobbling around and sliding everywhere…

Everything reassembled and body plates shined up!

Adwoa, 1955 Swissa Junior – with supple new platen!

Underwood “Vertical Script” from an early-50’s Finger Flite

Updated: October 11, 2013 — 11:43 am


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  1. Kudos! I’m really amazed at your resourcefulness and patience with the Kipling repair job.
    That finger-flite script typeface is cool.

  2. Excellent problem-solving. I will have to keep this issue in mind for my own noiseless portables.

    Cool script typeface, I agree, but it would drive me nuts after about an hour of writing with it!

  3. Very nice machines. The Noiseless is extremely nine. I really like the typeface of the Swissa. I do not know if you are in the U.S. If you are, one place I use for many parts is McMaster-Carr.

  4. What WAS that crap they used to dampen the key action. Nothing but mechanical effort would shift the stuff on my noisy noiseless. My fix was a thin, very precisely cut strip of dense foam type stuff. They are great machines and worth the effort – well done. And video too!

    1. It looked to me like it once was some sort of soft rubber, probably pink originally. I’ve seen this part in better shape on other Noiseless machines and it’s usually colored a pretty bright orange. Mine was sort of a dull orangish-brown and very brittle.

  5. That Underwood script is really cool. I can imagine using it for writing short letters. It might be a bit much for novels.

  6. Hey, those look like the exact same feet I put on my Noiseless! Now we have almost-twins, except yours have the really snazzy glass keys I envy…

    Speaking of which, that Swissa is so lucky and pampered! Now my other one is clamoring to join you too, but I am keeping her firmly locked up – don’t go giving them ideas :-) Platen refurbishing is a rare luxury unheard of in Switzerland. I am quite impressed by how crisp the type is now.

    1. I have up to now thought that this machine had just plastic keys with metal rings, since there’s no glass discoloration or chips. However, I just examined them with a flashlight, and the keytops are very smooth, shiny, and slightly concave, and it *looks* (to my failing eyesight) that the type on the keytops is behind a layer of very thin glass. So, maybe they are glass topped. I’d say the odds are 70% or better.

  7. I have a Noiseless 8 with this problem and I think I will try your glue fix. Is it pretty obvious which keys need slots cut? If you have any advice I’d appreciate it. It’s philipsdave (at) gmail.


    1. I sold off this machine quite awhile ago, but I remember it was obvious where the slots needed to be cut. The keys are set in 3 or 4 different heights, and you can see in the keylever comb which ones need to be deeper.

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