Cleaning gungy Flexowriter

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Thu Nov 4 13:40:07 2004

On Thu, 4 Nov 2004, Joe R. wrote:

> I asked about cleaning up the Flexowriters and a friend of mine
> reminded me that the old typewriter shops had vats of solvent that they
> would dunk the entire assembly into (taking off electrical and rubber parts
> before-hand). These are pretty nasty so I thought that sounding like a
> good idea. I was thinking of using minerals spirits. Anybody have any
> experience with using that on electromechanical stuff? Any sugggestions? I
> thought I'd remove the platen and belt on the RH side and any other rubber
> parts that I could see. Does anyone know if there are any parts inside the
> Flexowriters that should be removed first?

This sounds barbaric, and it has it's dangers, but my method
is simple. I've used this on two Teletype Model 28s. One had
been out in a field in S. Arizona, under a tarp, for 10+ years,
and the other in a dusty garage and was filled with dust and
cat hair adhered to ancient, gelled lubricant.

Took the entire mechanism, rubber, electrics and all, placed
on a concrete walkway.

Sprayed with garden hose and nozzle to remove bulk crap.

Used automotive "purple cleaner" and a paint brush to remove
all the congealed lube and dirt.

Sprayed with garden hose THOROUGHLY to remove degreaser and
crud and most of the paintbrush hairs.

Rotate and tilt to remove most water.

Left in sun all day, tilted for drainage. Let dry inside for
2? 4? days.

The only damage was to the keyboard contacts inside the little
tin box, I had to open and clean it out.

I lube everything with synthetic grease and 0-weight synthetic
motor oil.

Water is a great solvent. It's non-toxic, and while it promotes
electrochemical corrosion if it lingers too long (ie. rust)
it's easily removed.

I did #1 6 years ago and there has been no detectable problems
since then (eg. incremental corrosion caused by trapped or
residue degreaser).
Received on Thu Nov 04 2004 - 13:40:07 GMT

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