Taming The Tinny Typing Sound of a Brother JP-1 Typewriter (Part 3 – the Finale?)

Weapon of Choice: 1978 Brother Charger 11 #K83712885

It was back in 2015 that I started pondering the problem of silencing the tinny sound of the Brother JP-1.

In 2017, I shrinktubed the platen, along with a couple others.

To adjust ring & cylinder on a JP-1 is done by loosening these two screws on both sides of the carriage rail and moving the rail back enough to account for the thicker platen. You check this by rolling in a sheet of paper and placing another slip of paper between a middle typebar slug raised up to the platen and ensuring that the typebar pressed against this paper allows the slip of paper to be pulled out without much resistance. To ensure Platen Parallel, do this test on both sides of the platen to ensure that the pull resistance is equal on both sides. This adjustment moves the entire carriage assembly (and the platen) further away from the point of typeslug impact, and because the carriage shift stops stop on an inclined plane, the On Feet will be lower than before the adjustment, and will have to be re-adjusted.

Oddly, none of this is covered in the factory service manual and I had to figure it out myself – but because I have enough documentation on how this works on other, similar machines, it wasn’t difficult to locate the adjustment points and suss out what needed doing. I use a produce rubber band to hold the typebars up while I remove the whole typebar rest bracket to work on it. The rubber rest is just glued onto this bracket, so pull it off and rubber cement or glue your replacement strip in it’s place. You do this while the bracket’s out of the machine both because it’s easier, but you also don’t want to drip glue down into the worky bits.

Charger 11 passes the sniff test.

The Joe Van Cleave method of silencing the typebar return spring.

Updated: December 21, 2020 — 6:47 pm


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  1. Nice improvements! I still haven’t tried the heatshrink tubing trick. I figure if I go to the trouble of removing the platen, Why not send it off to JJ Short.

    1. well, would you drop that kind of scratch on a JP-1, though? One of the nice things about all of these modifications is that they’re all reversible – the shrinktube can be easily removed and the machine can be re-adjusted to the previous spec, you can save the old typebar rest and put it back on if you want, etc. They’re more of a list of “added value” things that a typist can do to improve the experience without much expense or skill. (:

  2. Nice work Ted.
    I’ve not gotten to silencing any of my JP anythings. I have some JP-1,2, and3s in the collection. The JP-1 sounds the tinniest. First time I heard of the JVC return spring silencers. I’ve got to give them a try. I like to heat shrink all my cheaper machine platens rather than have them recovered. The platens end up costing, and being worth more than the typewriter.

    1. do you re-adjust Ring & Cylinder when you shrinktube? I haven’t up to now, but I feel that doing so will basically eliminate the few issues that shrinktubing usually results in. I’ll have to do my SM-3 next. it has a shrinktubed platen too…

      1. I too am chasing type impression and have a shrinktubed SM-3. The wrap deaded some of the thwacks, but like most of my thumpers with shrinktubed platens, it’s punching holes in pages. I would love sound down to a more soothing level, I have a Traveller that’s whisper quiet. I might not get there with the an SM3, but moving the platen back smidge would help.

  3. Good work! I get a lot of satisfaction out of hacks like this. We can make good products still better!

  4. I’ve had a dozen of these but every one of them had a soft rubber platen, even the oldest ones from the mid 1960s. They are all noisy however! I tried shrink tubing on some platens but didn’t find that it made much difference unless they were rock hard to start.

  5. In reading the all-too-brief section on ring and cylinder adjustments in the Royal standards book, I realize it’s much more complicated performing the adjustment on an FP. I actually have a standard carriage FP on the way. If it arrives safely, I suspect I’ll give the wide carriage version to Bob Marshall. I’m sure he would be much more confident in making the adjustment than me.

  6. yoga mat typebar rest. awesome.

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