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Repair guides and support for a wide range of typewriters.

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The keys don't return, all jam up.

I have an old, 1950’s manual typewriter, hasn’t been used in years. I have sewing machine oil, but I don’t know if I should use that or just spray WD-40 at the thing. I know in oiling any moving parts should be oiled but that’s all I know. When I depress a key it stays there and doesn’t return.

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Here’s a good video on how to fix sticking keys:

Here’s a video on a slightly newer model:

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I viewed the video and hopefully it will work. Walmart had denatured alcohol for about 7 bucks a quart or pint, an awful lot anyway, so I'm wondering if rubbing alcohol would work as well.


@labadee2019 rubbing alcohol is 30% water


Good to know. Guess I'll spring for the denatured stuff. Thanks for your help!


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There are a lot of pivot points between the keylever and the typebar, but usually the biggest problem is gunk in the segment. Toothpicks and denatured alcohol work very well at digging that out. Do not, under any circumstances, use oil or WD-40 in the segment. The segment is designed to ‘run dry,’ and oil will gunk the segment up in relatively short order. Every other pivot point between the segment and keylever is fair game as far as oil’s concerned.

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