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SMITH-CORONA, ROYAL, OLYMPIA, HERMES, OLIVETTI, UNDERWOOD, REMINGTON, TORPEDO, MORE...Replace your worn, hard platen with a Turboplaten®
"Give me your tired, your poor, your cracked and ratty...."
What a difference a new platen makes! Begging a good platen however, a machine's just another doorstop.
In 2008, I began earnest experimentation with creating a platen in-house -- in lieu of subbing out the recovery work to Ames at an eight-week turnaround. (Ames is gone now.) By 2010, I had established a process and was producing platens regularly, mainly for Smith-Coronas but also for other makes.
Early in those experimental days, I also contemplated a *test* of what I now call a "Turboplaten." The first machine I built one for -- an old Torpedo -- cleared the ten-year mark with aplomb (April 2018). I used it how I considered might be typical -- as a daily typer for years at a stretch, for special projects and road trips, or set aside idled but "at-the-ready." I am happy to report that after a decade of general and sporadic usage, that original, provisional Turboplaten remains as buoyant and robust as the day I sheathed it.
I've now built, finished, installed and delivered some 700 Turboplatens.
1) The original black rubber is removed; 2) the inner core is cleaned and polished or painted; then 3) sheathed in flexible, tight-fitting PVC tubing (not to be confused with PVC pipe); and finally 4) lathe sanded -- a) to bring it to spec diameter; b) to obtain a smooth, uniform surface; and c) to apply low-level heat by which the tubing bonds to the core and achieves a wholly practicable roundness.
Turboplaten is more resilient than rubber, hence more responsive to the strike of the typeslug, increasing the speed of typebar retraction and effectively if subtly supercharging the entire machine. Because it doesn't decompose like rubber, Turboplaten outlasts by a significant -- and still increasing -- margin.
The transaction process –
Your offer and remittance covers the total cost of the job. Send me your old platen. I'll
rebuild it, finish it and send it back to you postpaid and transformed within about ten work days of
If you'd like to send the whole machine (the equivalent of *two* Turboplatens), that's probably your best deal. Beyond platen removal, rebuild, reinstall, test and adjust, my work ethic prevents me from leaving undone other tasks that must obviously be done. By sending the whole machine you'll tend to get much more than what you pay for.
I've set up this sale page to lay out in general terms my offer and proposed procedure for restoring your platen to a Turboplaten (and, if you choose, to a practical extent the machine itself). The object of this page is to establish direct contact, delineate the process, and secure payment to initiate the job.
I've outlined basic costs and the scope of work performed. I've addressed shipping: Your dime to me, my dime to you – platen-only or whole machine (portable only). My calculated return-shipping cost is based on platen-only.This is structured as, but hardly is, a one-size-fits-all proposition. I believe my pricing for the specific product and labor can accommodate cost variables over the long-term. However, my greater aim is to do this affordably for the greatest number of people *and* profitably enough to keep doing it.
As always, if for any reason you are not gushy-goo delighted with the work, I will repair, replace, refund or re-whatever it takes to make it right. You are the boss!
I offer a lifetime guarantee -- seriously. Unlike rubber, PVC vinyl is completely man-made. That's a liability in a disposable item, but an asset in something intended to last. A platen is just such a thing. For the machine you're refurbishing, restoring, or just trying to make better, this will be your last platen.
On Writing & Typewriters
MY APPROACH in all this typewriter stuff is as a writer, a teacher and a publisher. I work with young writers (young in experience if not always in age) throughout the Greater Louisville, Kentucky region. I've learned, both in my own development and through observation, that writing in type fosters the disciplined thinking valued by, and admired in, the best writers.
I use the manual typewriter strictly for draft. Because I'm casting each letter immediately to posterity, i.e. the printed page, I'm less cavalier with my grammar and word choice, more inclined to take a moment to think through not just what I want to say, but how -- at least to the next point of punctuation.
For finish copy there's nothing better than your word processing application. Writers once used real scissors and tape to rework their manuscripts, the legacy of which remains in your Cut and Paste commands. Drafting on computer seems easy. You stroke a bunch of words, dress 'em out in a nice font and layout, and think you've got a finished piece. A lovely looking sheet of words is not the same as good writing.
The villain, posing as your pal, is Mr. Delete Key. How often on a computer first draft have you overwritten yourself? You know you've done it when you reread the piece and wonder where its power went. The power still exists, but it's buried back there in that first crude draft.
Mr. Delete Key is wrong. Nobody writes a perfect first draft. The day you accept that is the day you enter the zen of the manual typewriter. It is the most sophisticated *thought* processor created by man. Unlike anything electronic, you completely animate it. It is thought -- released physically, gathered to the sheet, speaking to you, stimulating thought.... It is the extension of the only true self-propelled machine, your mind. What you produce breaks off instantly from you, is independent of you. Nobody gets all that meta-whatever stuff down exactly right on the first go-'round, despite what Mr. Delete's presence might imply.
A writer is two entities -- writer and editor. The writer works uncritically in the glory of brain-to-paper discovery. The editor is always looking for what's wrong. It's important to keep these guys separate to do their jobs (the delete key is the editor's main tool). The computer gives the illusion of efficiency, where writer and editor work together. With the mastery of process that may be true, but they're always separate. In the development stage it's best to keep them separate *and* apart.
Writing in type is risky. First you have to make sure you're getting it right technically -- you know, think "a," hit "a." Then consider what to say. Then how to say it. What scares people new to typing is that every little part of each process is *on record* -- a record we subconsciously believe may be used against us in some court of whatever.
The only thing prosecuting you is the sheet of paper, and you can enter into dialogue with that and come out okay, mitigate (if not litigate) your case. Sure there are risks, but the stakes are low -- the cost of a sheet of paper; the amortized cost of spent ink over the life of the ribbon. You want to add Time to that list, you think. But that's exactly the one thing that is not wasted. Writing is a record of thought. Whether or not the record is preserved has no bearing upon the advances made in thought.
As you've scrolled through , you've probably seen a copy of that old book, "The PC [or Mac] is NOT a Typewriter"? How true that is. Different tools for different jobs.
To process words use a computer; to process *thoughts* use a typewriter.
If you're a writer without a typewriter, get one today -- from me or whomever. Make sure it works. If it does -- and if you do -- you will revolutionize your stuff. That's a guarantee.
– Dean Jones, Louisville, Kentucky