Long shot: Any old typewriter techs here IBM Selectric

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Old 08-25-09, 01:22 PM
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Long shot: Any old typewriter techs here IBM Selectric

Looking for someone (anyone!) who has repair knowledge of IBM Selectric typewriters. I have an old Selectric III that is malfunctioning and don't "really" want to spend money on it, but would like to DIY fix it if I can. I am pretty mechanically inclined and have worked into the mechanism as far as I dare, it just has a problem I can't comprehend and better seek a little help before I go any further with it. If you or someone you know used to service these I sure could use a little explaination and advice.
I have tried doing a web search for help but not getting any replies from any one.
Gilly
 
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Old 08-25-09, 01:49 PM
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Oh, man! I used to work right around the corner from a man that knew these things forwards, backwards and upside down. Unfortunately, I have no way of contacting him now.

Sorry.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 01:57 PM
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OK so what's the problem. Unfortunately there are a couple of simple tools that are a must to do many of the adjustments, but I'll give it a try.

Bud
 
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Old 08-25-09, 02:10 PM
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Thanks Bud, I did see some "crank" for sale somewhere, maybe eBay?
OK, it suddenly stopped returning the carriage. There is a cord I've now found out is the "tab cord" which ravelled around the plastic (front) spool, and the return cable has come off the rear (metal) spool. The spring behind the metal spool is disengaged but seems OK. I have fiddled with it (oops breaking the tab cord in the process, when I got it caught in the 4 gears which run the spools, my fault not the machines).
I got it to the point where I see how the spring engages no problem, how the tab cord attaches to both sides, how the return cable attaches, including the small guide rollers, OK with all that. I can't figure out what actually advances the carriage, I was thinking the tab cord but am now doubting that. I think there is some basic thing wrong that I just don't know about, is there a seperate cable that advances the carriage? The ball will type the correct letters and shift, need to figure out the advance/return system including when the spring gets installed and if that spring aids the return cable?
See what I mean? To sum it all up I know just enought to get myself in trouble. It is a Selectric III with correction and can shift from 10 point or 12 point. Date on motor is 1980.
Gilly
 
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Old 08-25-09, 05:04 PM
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Hi Gilly, I think you are in trouble. I owned the business and only came up to maybe 50% as to being a sel tech. That said, I'll back up a bit. The basic problem with selectrics is they need to be lubed and services at least every year. As the typewriter business declined, machines were seeing less and less service and we were only getting calls, like this, when it finally shut down. Your failure most likely occurred due to a clutch or other lubrication problem. To simply reassemble it would still leave the problem. A typical repair with the tab and draw cords off would start by pulling the center shaft, cleaning everything up, re-lubricating and reassembling, which includes installing those cables. Without a hand crank, Bristol wrenches, some new clutch springs, even an old tech would not try it. With the tools and an IBM book AND a few weeks a good mechanic wouldn't stand a chance. IBM books were not written for the untrained, believe me, I went through it for many years where my brother was the old Boston IBM tech and like I said, maybe 50%.

Now, since my books, if I can find them will eventually be going to the dump, you are welcome to them. I might even have a box of parts left. ALL free MODS so I'm not selling anything.

The irony is, 5 years ago you could still buy a reconditioned selectric III for $200 and I would bet there are still a bunch around being used to fill in forms. But not enough to make a living doing repairs, not that I would try.

As for how that drive works, the motor turns a clutch in the center. Selecting a character or function key trips the clutch to take one cycle. That cycle operates whatever other latches dropped when the key was hit. The hand cycle tool allows you to go through each process slowly and see what is or is not functioning.

If you are interested, let me know.

Bud
 
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Old 08-25-09, 05:23 PM
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That would be great Bud. I have a nice Selectric II as a backup, but would like to try this. I could also return the stuff once, well once me and this Selectric meet "the Y in the road".
Just in case others are interested I will ask this here: What actually moves the carriage to the right when typing? I see the return cable. Does the tab cord do it or something else?
I was also wondering about the clutch, as the spools (on the front and back of the set of 4 bevel gears) don't seem to spin the correct way and I can sort of see how it might do that if there was a bad clutch. The whole thing reminds me of a differential in a car.

I will contact you directly about the stuff you have.

Gilly
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:23 PM
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Gilly, I hope you don't mind if I hijack your thread for a minute.

Bud, I have a Royal Adler 601 that I haven't used in years. A couple of months ago I wanted to use it and while everything seemed okay it gave very faint impressions on the paper. I have the one-shot carbon film "ribbons" and I thought maybe that was the problem so I tried an unused ribbon I had and had the same result.

Is this a defect in the machine or do the carbon film ribbons have a shelf life? Would it be worthwhile buying a new ribbon and trying or is my typewriter a candidate for the landfill?
 
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Old 08-26-09, 05:53 AM
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I may have to refresh my memory, but there are two common failures, different unite, that result in light impression. Sorry can't recall for sure the models. Both deal with not transferring enough mechanical energy to the printwheel.
1. one used a plastic impression arm with a piece of flat metal embedded in the middle. The plastic would crack where the metal was molded in. I think I still have some arms NC.

2. the other used rubber cushions to dampen the noise. But the rubber would get tacky and slow the impact process.

When I go looking for the book for Gilly I'll see if I can find some info on the 600 series.

Note for the mods, not selling anything, actually glad to find a use for the old stuff before a clean up sends it all to the dump.

Bud
 
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Old 08-26-09, 06:05 AM
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Thanks, Bud. It's an older machine but it has very few hours.
 
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Old 08-26-09, 08:49 AM
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furd, found the book but no parts. My book is for a TARoyal 600, but most likely the same. Called an "armature". The hammer that actually strikes the paper has one of the rubber bumpers that occasionally turns to glue, but if this is the unit I'm looking at, it is 99% the armature. Has a "C" clip at the bottom to slide it off. If adjustment is needed with new one, I can explain. If I can't find my old stock to donate one to you, they should still be available. Typically gray plastic with the metal in the middle for the magnetic unit to pull the hammer forward. Let me know if that sounds correct. If correct the machine was made by Nakajima and sold by everyone, Sears, Swintec, TARoyal, IBM, and several others and they all failed over time so I'm sure any repair shop would have one.

Ribbons do have a shelf life, but a weak hammer is more probable.

Found this search for repair shops, someone should have a part:
"Typewriter-Repair-Shops-in-the-USA"

And here is an old typewriter repair guy, if he is still around, article and link.

The Last Typewriter Repairman? - BusinessWeek

Gramercy Typewriter Co. - Home

Gilly, still looking for IBM book, doubt I gave it away as others already had theirs. All retired or dead now.

There is a good side to growing old, it is better than the alternative.

Bud
 
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Old 08-26-09, 09:20 AM
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I have a Selectric III at home that was given to me several years ago when the local government agency was literally hauling them by the truckload to the dump. I use it daily for forms, checks, and other things that can't easily be handled by a computer printer. It badly needs cleaning/lubricating, so I talked to the typewriter repair shop here, and he told me he could sell me a new electronic Asian built typewriter for the same money as it cost to do a routine cleaning on the IBM. He also mentioned IBM is no longer making any ribbons or other parts for these machines.....and he wasn't interested in taking my old unit in on trade either. These Selectrics were magnificant old machines, but it looks like the odds are stacked against keeping them runnng. Anybody need a boat anchor?
 
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Old 08-26-09, 01:34 PM
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I'd probably take you up on the offer if you were closer. Shipping would be pretty pricey on an IBM boat anchor! Plus another Selectric (I have a II and this III) would be easier to hide from my wife than another jukebox!!

Thanks for the effort Bud. Who knows, maybe I'll be the last Selectric tech! I'm hoping to catch on. You really have to admire this thing, when you think about how automated it really feels (or maybe better to say how electronic it acts. When I started into the guts of it, and read a little, and you think it really IS all mechanical except for the switch and motor. I would have thought it was all controlled by many small motors and solenoids and microswitches such and would be an electrical nightmare to work on. I've laways like electro-mechanical devices (I have one jukebox now, but have owned several other in the past, might have been a good training ground for a Selectric).

Gilly
 
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Old 04-01-10, 03:13 PM
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last IBM tech? probably close

It's been a year, so if any of you are still interested let me know. I spent 13 years working on them between 1977 and 1990. I have forgotten a lot about these machines but I may be able to dredge up some vital info, you never know....
 
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Old 06-08-10, 12:05 AM
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IBM Selectric II Carriage Return Problem

Originally Posted by kiteflyer06109 View Post
It's been a year, so if any of you are still interested let me know. I spent 13 years working on them between 1977 and 1990. I have forgotten a lot about these machines but I may be able to dredge up some vital info, you never know....
Hi,
My Selectric II works except for the carriage return and express return.

I cleaned the oil off of the carriage return pinion spring and the plastic foot stops the pinion gear when the return key is depressed, and the carriage unlocks but won't return on its own.

The spring and pinion appear okay.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 06-08-10, 02:50 AM
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BUD9051 was a great help, plus now the guy who repied on 4/1/10 has offered to help, so maybe one of these guys, if they don't answer in a day or two, would help if you contact them directly. I imagine it's either this braking shoe (forget the techie name for it) is out of adjustment, or the return cord is broken. My Sel III has a cable instead of a cord, and it came unhooked, which caused the problem with mine, I sorta think the II has a cord. The cords are what pulls the carriage to the left and right. The one that pulls it to the right is called the tab cord, the one that returns it to the left is the return cord. The spool that pulls the tab cord is to the right side of the mechanism under the plastic cover (the black cover with the yellow caution labels under the carriage), the one you are having problems with is on the back of the mechanism near the motor. You should be able to see both cords above the black cover, one on each side of the carriage.
Gilly

As an aside, I now have a I, II and a III! They can be addicting once you get them sort of figured out. You can pick them up so cheap now.
 
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Old 06-08-10, 04:13 AM
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Hi Greg, I gave away my books, so not good at doing this from memory. Maybe kiteflyer will jump back in, but a PM may be needed.

Carriage return issues start with a little spring that puts tension on the leager spring to the right of the center support. They break often and will pervent the carrier from returning. But I'm not sure if express is also affected.

The little spring that the foot pushes on needs to be clean, no oil. You can run a touch of alcohol down a screw driver onto it while running to see if it improves the operation. The larger spring the its left, little coil sticking up on right side, needs grease. It has flutes in the cylinder under it, so no alcohol.

Replacing any of those springs is near impossible without a book and the part of course. I probably still have parts, but Gilly will have to help with the book . I know a couple of old IBM techs, but they would laugh if someone wanted to tackle a selectric without tools, books, and training. I never got to their level, but can appreciate why they would laugh.

Gilly, did you pull the right hand shaft? If so, you can help on the instructions if needed.

Somewhere around here I may still have another book on there, but chances of finding it are slim.

Anything making sense from what has been said?

Bud
 
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Old 06-08-10, 05:12 AM
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Since Bud gave me the books, I would be willing to LOAN the books, or they can be had on eBay for pretty cheap.
Bud, if you mean the shaft that rotates and drives everything, no I never needed to pull it. I got grease in by prying a screwdriver between the coils, which caused problems that almost had me turning the thing in to a lawn ornament. But ultimately I did get it all working properly.
But the real problem started after it sat for a number of years, the shafts that the carriage slid on were sticky and the tab cord came off. THEN the return cord turned into a birds nest back on the spool, due to me trying to manually slide the carriage around, which is a bad thing to be doing I found out.
If the carriage ain't happy ain't NOBODY happy!
Gilly
 
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Old 06-08-10, 05:20 AM
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Also you can try pushing directly up on that brake shoe with your finger, or a hook or screwdriver to see if that works. But if the shoe is stopping that shaft, it's doing it's job.
Gilly
 
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Old 10-18-10, 07:28 PM
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IBM Sel III

Looks like you all have received good advice. The problem you have with carrier return on the selectric 3 is normally cause by a small spring that provides tension the the main (large) hub clutch spring. If the small spring is still intact, you might be able to bend the bracket that holds the small spring, giving the spring more tension. If the express key is not working, or working slowly, you can make a small adjustment in the arm that is underneath the typewriter. It's very common for the arm to bend with use and require this adjustment.
I know this machine inside and out. I was a tech for over 30 years. My suggestions are fast and accurate but do require some special tools. A hand cycle wheel is must, T bender, half cycle tool less so. Anyway, I'm no longer in the industry but I'd be happy to help.
 
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Old 10-18-10, 08:59 PM
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Hi Buzz, older thread, but happy to have help on these. My brother was the ex IBM tech and I learned just enough to be dangerous. We have gotten rid of most of the stuff, but some parts and tools still around. Hard to just adjust these beasts without a full cleaning.

Bud
 
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Old 10-19-10, 01:39 AM
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Buzzkill: Thanks much for the offer. Bud got me all set up, just a super guy! I have since added a Sel II to my stable as well, so I have a I, II, and III now. I hope to go through the II this winter when things slow down a bit, plus I have a Pachinko machine I hope to restore (old one my brother in law brought back from Taiwan when he was in the air force).
Gilly
 
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Old 01-11-11, 12:53 AM
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IBM Selectric II

I have a lovely IBM Correcting Selectric II. Everything seems to work perfectly, except that the ribbon doesn't seem to move, so that the letters keep hitting the same spot on the ribbon.

Any help here? I tried to take a look, but the spindle on the right through the ribbon container doesn't seem to be able to turn at all, even though the ribbon itself freely turns manually.

Any help is appreciated.

Mitchel in Brooklyn.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 06:03 PM
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Question Dead on Arrival IBM Selectric III

I have a customer who brought me there selectric (dead as a doornail) and asked if I would look at it? Well being a die-hard tech, I said I would. I have worked on typewriters back in the day, and this looked like a switch, but after pulling the cover and checking the switch I see that its probably the motor (thermal protection) can anyone confirm my theory? Motors are about $60.00, but it will take an hour to replace it.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 10:54 PM
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The SEL III will occasionally lose a motor, but not often. The (I forget the name) clutch assembly on the end of the motor is supposed to allow the motor to come up to speed before it engages the load. If that shaft is seized to the drive gear you might still see it trying to start, but it needs to spin freely to actually get going. The motor should turn freely if you try to rotate it. If it is trying to drive that belt, then the gear needs to be removed and the shaft cleaned and polished. There is a motor mylar that should be replaced as well.

The motor shaft has bushings in each end which can also get gummed up. Tip it up on each end and add some quality light oil and let it soak in. I have pulled those motors apart, but there are a couple of problems in doing so. If you go that route I will discuss getting it back together.

Let me know if any of this helps,
Bud
 
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Old 06-14-11, 10:00 AM
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To: TCD 123

TCD -TCB,
As stated previously, this is probably not the motor. On the business end of the motor is a centrifical clutch that needs to be removed and lubricated. While you have that out, remove the motor (4 screws) mark the position of the large clips that hold the motor bearings, pop them off with a screwdriver, clean and oil the motor bearings and reinstall. If this does not take care of your problem, the cycle clutch has been sucked between the drive hubs. I can fix that but it would take 3 pages of typing to give directions. good luck!
 
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Old 06-14-11, 10:12 AM
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Bud9051,
Hi Bud,
just reading your old posts and would like to comment on how "spot on" your comments are. I was in the business from 1973 to 2000. Worked on alot of different machines but mainly IBM, Olympia. I will check this post when I can, let me know if I can help. Keep up the great suggestions and talk soon.
 
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Old 06-14-11, 11:11 AM
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My teacher was my brother, x-ibm out of Boston. One of the locations he supported was the reservation office for the airport. They had a bunch of machines that had been modified with relays on the output so the selectrics could talk to what they called computers back then. Because these machines ran 24/7 they needed very frequent complete overhauls, all right where they sat. Where a normal selectric might go through a center bearing once in its life, these went through one every 6 months. He could pull a main shaft faster than I could change a ribbon.

I never really came up to speed as the number of machines was declining rapidly and whenever we had a really good problem, he simply fixed it. I moved over to do more on the electronic side and he maintained the mechanical side, but he was always fast, as that is what IBM trained them for.

There isn't a lot of action on these machines as they are now antiques, but we can use all of the help we can get. Since I sent my books to Gilly I now have an excuse for not remembering HOW, so younger minds are needed. PS, Gilly is the first tech I have ever run into that could fix a selectric right from the books. One has to have worked on these to understand just how hard that is.

Bud
 
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Old 04-06-12, 09:19 PM
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Enjoyed reading this thread. I was a Selectric tech back in the early seventies at a company in San Jose, CA called Anderson-Jacobson and before that at ISS/ITEL (ex Dura) in Mountain View and after AJ at Wang Labs in Portland, OR. AJ made timeshare terminals (AJ 841) by hooking logic and solenoids to the latches and clutches of the Selectric I/O which was a beefed up version of the office Selectric. The machines required exact adjustment after adding the solenoids. After assembly, the units were printed continuously at full cycle speed 4 four hours without error. During the run-in lots of stuff would break and we'd fix them right there. Back then, I could replace a rotate tape, cord, or clutch spring in just a couple of minutes.

I remember the essential specialty tools being the hand-cycle tool, the half-cycle tool, Hooverometer, a latching spring hook, and several regular spring hooks with a fork on one end.

Fun memories

Jeff Orlando
Kalama, WA
 
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Old 04-07-12, 01:36 AM
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Man, I couldn't even get the covers off in a couple minutes! Do you have any machines now?
 
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Old 04-07-12, 07:45 AM
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No, never looked at them again after leaving AJ in 1977. If I ever saw an 841 at a yard sale though, I'd probably grab it!

Are parts and tools still available?

Jeff
 
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Old 04-07-12, 12:55 PM
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In general, if you know where to look, you can find stuff. Luckily Bud sent me some of his collection, the cycle wheel (no idea what a half-cycle tool is), and a spring hook hand-made from a bike spoke, and some manuals and parts books, enough to get the job done. I have a "trifecta" now, I, II and III. The II still needs some attention, got it cheap off craigslist, I think $10
 
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Old 04-07-12, 01:11 PM
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The half-cycle tool is a little gizmo you set on top of the cycle clutch that disengages the drive at the half cycle point. It allows you to check the print head alignment for tilt and rotate under dynamic (vs hand cycled) conditions along with some other adjustments.. The Hooverometer is a little aluminum gauge with a slider on it and a foot milled in one end. The foot can also be used as a half-cycle tool but its not as good as the proper tool. I can't remember what is measured with the Hooverometer. No doubt the repair manual covers it.

If you ever need to work in the escapement mechanism on the carrier, there are some tiny springs in there that are almost impossible to handle without a latching spring hook.

I'll post if I can find any of the old tools lying around by shop. I think they're all long gone but will check anyway.

Best
Jeff
 
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Old 04-07-12, 01:28 PM
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You guys sound like the TTY techs I knew back in my early days in the Navy....before anyone even had an idea what a printer or a network was.

Matter of fact my first shop on a ship had a label above the door..."TTY and Electronics repair shop". We had 3 ultrasonic cleaners the size of washing machines at one end of it. A spray rinse unit, a soaking ultrasonic cleaning unit, and a dryer unit. Was nice for doing skivvies and socks or soaking your feet. Also a nice way to warm it all up when we were in the colder regions. Never saw the TTY techs use it.

Anyway...they had all these little tools with hooks and loops for putting springs and such in place. All sorts of gauges and stuff for getting things right. Many of them were trained in typewriter repair when those came out a few years later.
 
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Old 04-07-12, 08:29 PM
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Apologies for hijacking this old thread to reminisce over ancient history. Also, I just discovered a Selectric Owners Club at Yahoo groups with 111 members

I never learned TTY machines. They were pretty much history when I came on the scene. Selectric tech was my first job. I was trained on Selectrics by a guy named Frank Hummel around 1971. I think Hummel came from Dura Automatic Typewriters in Greely CO that had been bought out by ISS in Cupertino who had hired me.

I did some searching on Google about these machines and some of the early companies that were involved and there is surprising little to be found. (Maybe thats a good thing :-)

The Dura 1041 was a Selectric typewriter with paper punch on one side and reader on the other all mounted in a case about 30" wide. A lot of them were built but I couldn't find a single photo. The AJ841 was strictly a TimeShare terminal and I was able to find a single photo but practically nothing about the company. Ray Jacobson who founded the company was the original patent holder of the acoustic coupler modem.

Cheers
Jeff
 
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Old 06-17-12, 08:07 PM
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XIBM Tech Looking for Tools

I worked for IBM, OPD back in early and mid 60s. Did Selectric, Models A - D.

My request - We had a double ended nut driver, 1/4" on one end and 5/16" on the other end. The driver part slid back and forth in the handle so it was not extra long. A white ring around the center was pushed to one end to release it from it's present position so you could push the driver shaft to the other end.

I am trying to find a source for this tool. IBM doesn't know what I'm talking about. I have been searching the web for some time and just found this thread.

Can anyone tell me where I can find one or if they are still made, who makes them?
 
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Old 06-17-12, 08:29 PM
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No I am afraid not you are right this is a very old thread. I know someone here gave away some of their IBM tools. I am not sure who the member was at the time I was just wasting some time and happened to read through most if not the whole post. Have you tried e-bay there are people there who sell old tools for different things. If you didn't see the exact tool you can always contact the seller. I did that once when all I wanted was a camera bottom for an old camera I eventually want to sell on e-bay and the dealer was willing to take it out of his lot of things when he couldn't sell the whole lot. I wish I could help you further but I kind of doubt you will find what you need since most people use printers now.
 
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Old 06-19-12, 08:09 PM
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BUD9051 sent me a couple tools i needed to get my repair done, the hand wheel and a hook made out of a bicycle spoke. He probably just hasn't noticed this post yet, he is a moderator here. I'm sure you could at least email or PM him about the tool. He sent me a few books too, I don't know if there was a list of tools or not. I could look.
 
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Old 06-19-12, 09:26 PM
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Tool Number

The part number on the nut driver handle is: 324-63
 
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Old 07-06-12, 10:10 AM
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Hi Lee,
The last time I saw my sliding nut driver was 1988. Did find something that looks like it would work about the same.
*******************
Looks like the head of the nut driver clicks from 1/4 to 5/16.
Good luck.
 

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Old 11-14-13, 09:19 AM
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Hi Lee
I am new to the forum, but may be able to provide you with some information re: the nut driver you are looking for as I was an IBM tech and still do work on selectrics occasionally. The nut driver you are looking for was produced by a company called See-Lect, the actual part number from IBM for the part (tool) was 9900242. Let me know if you have any other questions. As I said, this is my first post, but hopefully I can help with some issues as I have worked on these a long time and still do.

Dave
 
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