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Repair guides and support for a wide range of typewriters.

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Why's isn't my typewriter hammer working?

So for some of my keys when I try using them the hammer in the electric typewriter it doesn't go off so it doesn't type why does it not work?

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Often the striker is sticky because of accumulation of old lubricants. WD 40 flushes out some lubricants but

does not solve the problem. Try using a 100% synthetic oil to re-lube the moving part of the striker hammer.

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Unfortunately there are a wide variety of electric typewriter mechanisms out there that all have their own quirks, so I can’t give specific advice without knowing what machine you have.

Electromechanical typewriters usually have some variety of ‘power roller,’ either a rotating rubber roller that mechanics engage with, or a ‘ratchet roll,’ which is functionally the same but made of metal. Latches can get gunked up and freeze (usually this results in the whole machine bogging down), and can be degreased and re-lubricated. Sometimes a rubber roller has hardened to the point that the latches don’t engage properly. If that’s the case, the roller can be softened with something like rubber rejuvenator, but removing the roller and getting the rubber replaced is better.

Selectric series machines use a complicated system centered on an ‘operational shaft,’ ‘whiffletree,’ and tilt and rotate tapes. While these machines are repairable, they are delicate and need machine-specific repair tools. IBM is also jealously enforcing copyright on the service manuals.

Electronic typewriters (usually wedge-shaped with a daisywheel type element) can in some respects be easier to fix. Failure to type with everything else functioning can be the solenoid that performs the typing action, especially on IBM Wheelwriter machines. Otherwise traditional electronics troubleshooting will suffice.

Hope this helps!

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