Working on my colleague’s new Olympia SM3.

I saw this 1959 SM3 on OfferUp for sixty bucks. It is pretty and clean, but I have enough Olympias and I don’t want to be a hoarder. I brought it to a colleague’s attention. He had picked up an SM9 a while ago. He has machines in Argentina, but could use a couple of serious writing machines in Florida. He picked up the machine, which is in excellent shape, barring a small and fleeting catch when returning the carriage. It types perfectly well, so the escapement wasn’t an issue. I took it home today to look at it. I looked carefully at the carriage. Maybe something was stuck inside? Nope. After a while I was able to determine that it was the tabulator stops catching on the back of the body. A line of paint has been scraped off. Now, I considered whether I should gently reshape the carriage, but moving the tabulator stops to the other side where the carriage clears does the job. If anyone is more certain about how to fix this issue, please let me know. My thought now is to leave it alone. The carriage moves smoothly.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael Arau says:

    Mine did that. Had a weird grating scraping feeling at the end of the return. Turned out to be some rubber spacers under the machine. Nice that you found the culprit and thwarted it. Again, one of the best machines I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      It’s amazing how many different issues can disrupt a smooth carriage return. This SM3 is in great shape. Good platen and easy typing.

      I have a blue SM7 on the way. A few years ago, I could not find an Olympia for the life of me. Now I want the whole collection.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill M says:

    Generally the rubber grommets that mount the machine to the covers need replaced. I have some examples on my blog, Rob Bowker does on his, and I think Robert Messenger also does. The rubber Olympia used squashes over time and causes various carriage problems which most can be traced to the rubber grommets. I use faucet bibb washers from ACE Hardware if I don’t have any grommets handy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mcfeats says:

      I remember this coming up in the Typewriter Maintenance group on FB. Thank you for the specific details!


  3. Hoehne says:

    This well-known problem has to do with spacers between the body and frame is covered by the other commenters here, except to point out that it is not fresh rubber grommets that you want to insert but rubber _washers_. It makes a difference when you ask for them at a hardware store. About 3/16 inch should be the right thickness with a hole to fit the mounting screw that you take with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thank you very much!


  4. Richard P says:

    Yeah … what they all said. It will make a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

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