Hookey with a Typewriter on International Typewriter Day!

Weapon of Choice: “Thunderbird 3” 1966 Montgomery Ward Signature 440T #D6216161

Installing the silencer spring (thanks Typewriter Minutes!) – this is the “twisty” spring, and it goes pointy end down into the bottom ratchet wheel groove, so its travel back and forth is limited in the cutout below the loose dog. This is the disengaged position.

The second “straight” spring goes pointy end upwards in the top ratchet wheel groove, and to almost all appearances interacts with nothing. Well, nothing except a hook that rises when the tab key is pressed, so we think it is a sort of tabulator brake. If that’s true it seems to have negligible effect. The parts and service manuals don’t even mention it. Pictured above, the silencer spring is engaged and pushes up the loose dog when the carriage is on the return stroke. This “silences” that rattly grindy sound that the loose dog would ordinarily make as it bounces on the ratchet wheel.

Aaand.. while I’ve got that 440T opened up, I’m certainly gonna foam & felt it up tight. I do mean tight. I cram enough foam rubber under the felt that it requires hard hand-clamping to press the body panels far enough in that the screw holes line up, and the sides are under serious tension when you do get the screws in. Ain’t gonna be no rattlin’s side panels on my Brothers! :D

Burnt layer of leaves on my poor trees..

Hey, check it out – Hermes HD2-64 feet work pretty good on my new paper chopper! That’s good, because the original feet are ripped off.

There is no substitute for wood, cast iron and high-carbon steel when it comes to paper choppers. Them plastic-base Fiskars units are shamed by comparison. Three bucks at Deseret, and a Franklin-Covey Classic 7-hole puncher for a buck! :D

Packin’ up Thunderbird 3 for the evening. Below: a couple of new instruction sheets for some of the feet I have in stock.

Updated: June 23, 2021 — 10:21 pm


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  1. Happy typewriter day! I’ve been spreading the word under every comment I made on the r/typewriters sub on Reddit yesterday =)

  2. I’m glad that your hooky typewriter day was a good one Ted. I really dig the look of those 1st generation 440T machines!

    1. yeah, the Highbrow JP-1s are shmancy! :D

  3. I forgot all about Typewriter Day. My Brother Valiant has a better touch than my Charger 11 typewriters.

    1. Yeah, seems weird. It’s not that the other JP-1s are bad, not like say a Lettera 22 or Oly SF that has the misfortune of being a “mushy one”, but it’s certainly something you can feel a difference in.

  4. I’ve always wanted to experiment with silencer springs. I worked on a noisy SCM electric recently and wondered if a silencer could have helped it. Does Typewriter Minutes sell silencer springs or did he have a spare or did he have instructions for making a silencer?

    1. He had some spares from a junked highbrow JP-1. Richard Polt has experimented with *making* silencer springs for some machines – Torpedo at least. See: http://writingball.blogspot.com/2012/04/mystery-revealed-polt-silencer.html

  5. This was fun reading! BTW, the monsoon rains have now hit Central NM. Yay!

    1. Yay for the Monsoons! :D

    1. heh, yeah, sorry. My patois tends to wander into scifi languages sometimes – wo’ batlhvaD. (:

  6. Ted, I’m raising a toast here to you and to the proverbial Long Tail of the internet. I’ve been working today on a 440T that was pretty dirty inside, but its main issue was that the carriage was Majorly Sluggish when I hit the Tab key. I wondered, does this machine have a tabulator brake somewhere? A-googling I did go,and soon landed on this post, which directed me to the “pointy-end-up spring” that, on your machine, made hardly any difference. I removed it and, at least in the case of my 440T, it made all the difference. Now to put it all back together, sans “pointy-end-up spring.” Thanks, Ted, for your posts; they truly are the gifts that go on giving.

    1. Yay! Yeah, blogs rule for micropublishing small fixes like that. (:

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