How to Remove the Left Platen Knob on a Smith-Corona 5-Series Floating Shift

How to Remove the Left Platen Knob on a Smith-Corona 5-Series Floating Shift

A TCL friend asked if I had a left platen knob for an SCM 5-Series in my spare parts, and it happened I did, but it was not especially clear to me how to remove it from my parts machine – even after consulting the service manual. It told me to remove certain screws, but it was not made clear how, or what they looked like. I puzzled it out, though, and documented it:

Step 1: (see above) hold onto the variable knob (chromed conical knob) with something like the inner round part of a set of needle nose pliers while turning the inner nut clockwise with a 3/16″ wrench until knob unscrews off.

Step 2: Use 3/16″ wrench to remove nut (counterclockwise). Hold the other end of the variable shaft to prevent it from turning.

Step 3: With nut & knob removed, pull out variable shaft.

Step 4: With shaft removed, use flathead screwdriver to turn shaft collar screw counterclockwise to loosen and remove. Pull off the retaining collar and pull left knob out of assembly.

Step 5: If you’re sending the knob to someone, re-assemble the assembly so they have all the parts. Enjoy! (:

Updated: September 6, 2021 — 11:08 pm


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  1. I love that kind of blog articles. Good information! Thank you from Germany.

  2. Hello Ted,

    Not really the place to ask but i’m desperate!.. i’m looking for a drive belt for the SMC poweriter.. i don’t think there is any left..

    So..yes; i finally found a Poweriter that is in REALLY good condition: with the original powerbank, the original ‘changeble keys’ box (complete!) the original enveloppe with all the original papers etc. It works (yes: also on 220V!).. so happy.. but no typing.

    hope to hear, i posted this also on Typepals forum.


      1. thnx Ted, I think i need a toothed 20 inch drive belt?, so one pretty big toothed (and flat and wide) belt. i cant find a picture of it on the web but i’ll try to look one up

        1. oh, then I dunno. sounds like unobtainium, but you might try the GolfBallTypewriterShop Facebook group.

  3. Hi Ted,
    Any idea on where to source a replacement left polished conical knob/nut like the one in your above photos? I recently acquired a 5TE that is missing that.


    1. only off another machine, and I already gave that one away.

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