How to mend a divot in a platen.

I picked up this 1948 Royal KMM for $25 at a thrift store some time ago. It was in tough shape. Very dirty. I removed the platen to clean under it. I had to reshape some parts so that the paper would feed smoothly. In the end, and in spite of some small rust underneath, I got it working quite well. The mechanics are smooth and responsive. I enjoy typing on it. There was one irksome problem left. There were two inescapable divots in the platen. Letters were not showing when the slugs hit the divots.

Yesterday I finally tried an experiment I had been considering. I filled the divots with superglue, let the glue dry, and GENTLY smoothed out the spots out with a copper Brillo pad. The results are not perfect, but the letters show up nicely. Otherwise the platen had been in excellent shape. It seemed a waste buying a replacement.

Now I partly would like to keep this machine, but I’ve offered it on OfferUp. It will serve someone well.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. John Cooper says:

    Yikes! That’s more trouble than I would go to. I’d probably try to find a replacement platen. But it looks like this KMM has a 12″ platen, and that might be harder to find. (My KMM has a 10″ platen.)

    Still, the KMM is a fine machine, and everyone who wants one should have one. So thanks for saving this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      I do need to pick up some platens for some other machines. Generally speaking, how much does that cost you? Do you go through JJ Short?

      Like

      1. John Cooper says:

        I’ve never tried to find a platen by itself. I was thinking that you might try to find a similar typewriter that’s beyond repair but has a good platen, and obtain one that way.

        I have had one (Olympia) platen refurbished by JJ Short, and they did a good job. But it cost a little more than three times what that KMM cost you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mcfeats says:

        I figured as much. I have a green Remington Portable 3 for which I’d spend that kind of money.

        Like

      3. mcfeats says:

        By the way, I just sold the KMM to two gothic teenagers inspired to write some stories. The black KMM has found its kindred spirits!

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      4. John Cooper says:

        Excellent!

        Like

  2. Richard P says:

    Glad you found some takers for the KMM. Short charges about $60 for a portable platen, $80 for a big one, and then there’s shipping in both directions. They do fine work, but I can’t afford to give every typewriter that kind of treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

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