Step 6: Fixing the Margin Release

The margin release key is designed to let you temporarily go past the right hand margin. Photo 1 (taken from the rear of the machine) shows the margin stop (box noted on the left) and the margin release lever (box noted on the right). When you press the margin release key, the margin release lever should move rearward enough to let the margin stop pass so the carriage will continue to move (shown in Photo 2). On this typewriter the margin release lever didn't move far enough out of the way to let the stop pass.

I removed the right side panel (Photo 3) in hopes of finding some sort of a cam type of adjustment to remedy this, but there was none. What I did find, however, was a part of the linkage connecting the margin release key to the margin release lever had a dog-leg bend in it. You can see this in Photo 4. Using a pair of pliers, I adjusted this piece of  linkage by bending it to slightly shorten it. After three attempts at adjustment, the margin release worked!
<p>Hello. Any ideas on how I might free up the carriage? If that's the right term. The keys work, the space bar &quot;works' but the carriage does not move, either left or right even when pressing either release lever. It stays dead center and there is about a half inch of play in it. I don't think there's a lock per se, but I also can't figure out what's keeping this KMM from moving. Otherwise it seems very clean and willing to type. Thank you.</p>
It could be a variety of things, but the first thing to check is to make sure the left and right margins aren't the problem. If they're both set toward the center, that's your problem.
<p>WD-40 tends to accumulate dirt and grime over time. I use gun oil on fine machinery as it cleans and lubricates at the same time while not viscous enough to attract dirt and gum up the mechanism.</p>
<p>I scored a KMM at a Goodwill for only $24! I was ecstatic when I found it for such an amazing price with minimal damages. In fact, the only things I see wrong with it is that the Tab and Margin setters are a little rusted, the bell doesn't work, and obviously it needs a lot of cleaning. Thanks to you I can fix some of these problems, but I can't seem to figure out how to open the side panels, and I don't want to damage it. I have cleaned the outside with a distilled vinegar/distilled water mixture and Q-tips. Now from reading some of your other ibles I see you can use harsher chemicals. Any tips? Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>The side panels simply pop off. Use something with a thin blade (like a stiff putty knife) to pop them off.</p>
Ok, Thanks!
<p>Hello, my grandfather had a KMM that I use to play with all the time when I was a kid. The typewriter was given to a historical foundation over 20 years ago. Long story short, my parents located it for me and got it back. It needs some work, but it's not in that bad of shape. I have no experience with this type of restoration, and I am wonder if you know of any resources I could use to educate myself. My onre concern is replacing the springs connected to the key levels; many are broken. </p><p>Any advice would be greatly appreciated.</p><p>Rob</p>
I really don't have any good resources on how to replace these springs. Since each model of typewriter can be a bit different, what I do is look at how the existing springs are mounted and just muddle through.
So I came across a Royal KMM sitting in the dumpster of my apt. complex it appears to be in rather good shape. After having cleaned it up and piddled around with it, I seem to have fixed all the problems but one. The shift keys when pressed will fall to enable shift, but won't rise back up without a bit of help. I think this is because I only have one spring attached unlike your photo1 which has two, though when I raise the front up about 45&deg; it will function properly. Am I right in thinking I just need some new springs or might this only be half the problem? If anybody could help me out it be much appreciated.
Sounds like a return spring problem. You might also need some lubrication on the rods that guide the basket when it is shifted. The reason it works when the machine is tilted is because the lifting is now done at an angle instead of straight up.
I bought a necklace at an art store...antique typewriter keys were soldered to a small loop of silver and attached to a black leather necklace. I bought my initial, of course.
I love this post! I purchased a KMM with an 18 inch carriage as a Christmas gift for my 22 yo. daughter. Serial number suggests 1941. Before purchase I inspected the machine quite thoroughtly and determined it needed a few tweaks and major cleaning to get it into full operating condition. The hints you had here helped a lot. With the single exception of the &quot;Tabular&quot; key to automatically move to the next tab, everything works. It took about 24 hours of work in the secret lab. <br><br>If anyone has any suggestions for getting the &quot;Tabular&quot; key to work, I'd appreciate hearing them. This is the largish rectangular key in the upper right of the keyboard, directly under the Tab Set key on the horizontal panel. The key presses down and springs back readily enough, but it doesn't seem to engage any release mechanism tht would allow the platen to slide to the next tab. The &quot;Tab Set&quot; key seems to work and the &quot;Tab Clear&quot; key also seems to work (the &quot;Tab Clear&quot; button seems to have increased resistance when &quot;unsetting&quot; a tab, so I'm sort of guessing it works).<br><br>If anyone has any suggestions for a fix, I'd be quite grateful. <br><br>Best regards, to all and happy holidays. Ed Horner
Ed, I'm glad you got something out of this instructable. I haven't run into that particular problem on a Royal KMM, so I don't have any suggestions for you other than just trace the linkage and hopefully you can see what's amiss. Tab key functions seem to be a problem area on a lot of old typewriters -- I have run across similar problems on a couple of LC Smiths, and the problem was a tab bar that needed adjusting. On some LC Smiths the tab bar can get out of alignment when someone tips the machine over on it's back and allows the full weight of the typewriter rest on the tab bar. Most tab mechanisms seem to be very finicky on how they're adjusted -- at least on LC Smith typewriters. You might try removing the rear panel on your Royal and see if you have a similar problem. Thanks again for your comment, and good luck!
Great writeup.<br>I have a really nice Royal KMM but the carriage belt came loose. I tried to remove the Platen and after soem disassembly gave up. Your writeup is so good its going to give me the courage to tackle this again. Thanks again.<br><br>Post anything about Typewriters - future generations will appreciate your work.<br><br>Carl<br>
Thanks for the kind words, Carl. I've never had to replace a carriage belt, but I've read that you can replace these belts with a lot of things -- shoelaces, heavy fishing line, etc. Good luck with your project!
i have that typewriter, too. the thing's a beast. these things were seriously meant to last. mine could use a bit of cleaning, but otherwise perfect.
I think with a minimal amount of reasonable care, these old typewriters can last several lifetimes. And yes, they are definitely a beast! Thanks for your comment.
what a great instructable! I don't have one of these old typewriters (but I wish I did!). If I do get my hands on one, this is my go to guide!
Thanks for the kind words! Old typewriters can be both fun and frustrating at the same time. There are a lot of old typewriters out there, but unfortunately most of them found their way to the dusty attic (or worse, the damp basement) decades ago. Thanks again!
Actually, there are a zillion hits for zaq2 in search. Growing up we had an Underwood clunker and I think after the keys started getting stuck did my brother get an early model electric typewriter. I might have been in one of the last typing classes in junior high. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. We were all afraid of the consequences if we did not type fast enough to pass the class. We had to re-ink the ribbon a few times with stamp pad ink and taking the paper out to really erase mistakes and try to line up the paper again was an art. The invention of white-out and eraseable onion skin paper did help a lot when you were up late typing that book report for homework that you put off to the last moment.
Wow, I forgot all about eraseable typing paper. I never had to re-ink a ribbon with stamp pad ink, but I did use more than my share of typewriter erasers. Basically they were abrasive disks with a brush attached. I grew up with the old Royal KMM (which weighed 38 pounds), and then later a Sears portable got me through college. I think my old Sears portable is still up in the attic. I ought to get it out some day and blow the dust out of it. It's hard to believe it is now around 45 years old! Thanks for your comment.

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Bio: I enjoy taking a pile of junk and making something unusual out of it. I like wheeled vehicles, and currently own two motorcycles, two electric ... More »
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