I enjoy rebuilding old typewriters. I like the challenge of taking something that is 50-100 years old and giving it new life. One of the challenges in rebuilding an old typewriter is that you can't just log onto the internet and order new parts, since the typewriter industry pretty much died when pc's came on the scene. So, you either have to cannibalize parts from another old machine, or make them yourself.
One part that you can pretty much never find is a replacement platen. The rubber on a lot of these old machines dries out and hardens over time, and can develop cracks such as the one in the photo. This typewriter was made by Remington in 1895, and is one of my current projects.
I won't delve into the details of all the work that has gone into this project -- instead I will focus on how I renewed this old cracked platen.
Step 1: Remove and measure the platen
Removing the platen on this old machine was relatively easy. I removed the knobs on each end, flipped the carriage up (it is an old up-strike machine), and carefully removed the platen assembly. The first photo shows the platen after removing the knobs and the second photo shows the carriage after the platen came free.
The next step involved carefully measuring the diameter of the platen. I picked a spot where the rubber was still intact and used a caliper to measure the diameter.