The most essential tool for typewriter repair…

Weapon of Choice: 1970 Royal (Silver-Seiko) Sprite #NM 1113791

Tiki mug (From the country’s second-oldest Tiki Bar – the Alibi in Portland) is a gift from Bill, typecaster and fellow TCL member – Thank you, Bill! Used in this week’s TCL meetup for a nice Mimosa, yum!

Typewriter Club LIVE 2021-04-25

Here’s a thing I said in a Facebook group at some point. Someone made a little sign out of it to hang in their repair workspace and then took a photo for me, which is nice, because I totally forgot that I said it. It encapsulates perfectly my philosophy in these things. (:

Updated: April 26, 2021 — 9:23 am


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  1. Best advice I got when I started out in electronics eons ago was “you’ve got to have confidence in yourself.” Give the repair a try because if it’s not working you can’t break it. Best thing with repairing a typewriter is we have a physical item to observe, take our time, and think about how it works and how it is supposed to work. I started both journeys the same; get something broken and fix it. Then the proverbial “If it ain’t broken don’t mess with it.”

  2. Prices are elevated on Gumtree too, even for e.t.s. it only takes one greedy seller and others jump on the bandwagon thinking that’s what they must be worth …not that anyones going to buy them at those prices.

    1. well, that’s the kicker – those prices are being realized for many sellers. I know of prolly a dozen people from the FB groups that have started little typewriter repair/refurb/reselling Etsy businesses selling pretty common machines for hundreds of dollars, and succeeding at it. The paradigm has changed over Covid, I think. People are realizing they can make good side money (or primary employment) in the current market, and that has grabbed the attention of people who may have lost work in the past year. Right now it’s kind of a land rush, but if sustainable could actually be a good thing if more areas start having repair resources available when they previously didn’t.

      If anything, it’s starting to lock down what a serviced machine with a warranty is actually worth. Also, I think it probable that this will be the next generation of repairers to replace the rapidly dwindling pool of current mechanics. That, I feel is a good thing.

      1. Higher prices in a collector’s market isn’t a bad thing. Early collectors don’t like it because it’s harder to get cheap/free typewriters. When we all took to the internet with our blogs we wanted to save typewriter culture. We did it in large measure by creating cache around owning prestige models and saying these machines have value; monetary value, cultural value, and emotional value. It worked. It’s kept people like Bill at MTE in business longer than even he thought possible. Of course, this is late stage capitalism and flipping, easy money, side hustles, and the grind all contribute to the dilution of our noble pursuit, but who as a collector of anything hasn’t imagined owning a little shop where you could be surrounded with your passion? It’s fantasy career cosplay in a time where manual labor is secondary (maybe I mean devalued) to the information industry. we all can be typewriter repair people. Hang your shingle. Stake a claim. Using Teds Reverend persona as a metaphor, we all undertook to spread the good word. Are the wages of advocacy more expensive typewriters?

  3. You just convinced me to hold onto my typewriters until they are worth $200 each!! When will that happen, did you say?

  4. Glad you liked the mug Ted! The pandemic has certainly impacted people in a number of ways, including a newfound interest in typewriters for many. Myself and quite a few others would seem to be proof of this. Judging by what others report paying, I’d say that Typewriter prices here in the Portland area tend to be on the high end of the scale. But it’s the same story around here with things like film cameras, turntables / LP’s, vintage Japanese motorcycles, or any number of other things that I’ve been into for decades. Only just recently have I noted what appears to be a possible softening of prices. I’m not sure what that’s all about as Ace Typewriter here in town has continued to note that they’ve been busier than ever every time I’ve ever stopped by.

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