A mini photo-essay on how I spent my day with an Underwood Champion...
First order of business was to brush out the case, douse it liberally in Lysol, and set it in the sun to ge-funk-ify. Then came lots of Quality Time wrestling the old foot-screws off so I could shell the machine. The two front feet were long gone, and the back were badly crumbling. Finally got them off after heavy application of Liquid Wrench and Salty Language, so I could perform the much-vaunted dip-and-dunk cleaning. Here's the Champion doing a little naked sunbathing in the back yard*:
* That should excite the spam-bots, no?
As the guts dried, I turned my attention to the shell, rubbing it down with "Mother's Caranuba Wax Cleaner" from the auto section. Recommended on the Portable Typewriters Group, and I can see why: what a shine! The felt was in sorry disrepair, so I raided my wife's fabric bins and found remnants from an old Clifford costume. Red on black is very classy, n'est pas?
Now dried, I spent some time squirting down the works with lighter fluid to degrease the worst spots -- the ribbon vibrator is still a tad gummy -- and check for overall cleanness. I gotta say: I'm a Dip and Dunk Believer now. As long as the machine can dry properly, it's amazing the grime it dislodged.
It took a while to get the shell back on: it's tricky, and there's lots of sticky-out parts to contend with (technical term) but the halves were rejoined at last:
And oh, what an improvement! Here it is, right before I cleaned up my stuff and came in for dinner:
Still on the to-do list: new feet that fit better, a stubborn screw on the back panel that doesn't want to go back in, deciphering the workings of the ribbon reverse lever, maybe repairing and reattaching the alignment guard to the paper table. But the Big Stuff is done, and I think the Underwood is better for it.
Not that I didn't take a little time out to play: can you tell which one is mine?