A Wild SM9

Last weekend I spotted this Olympia in a charity shop by the sea

I had paper in my bag and asked to test it out

After a few minutes of idle chat with the volunteers in the shop I asked if I could take it away and clean it up for them. They said yes straight away, so I took it back up the hill. Bloody hell it was heavy, carrying it all the way when I already had a full bag of groceries!

It had that old Olympia smell, weird how some brands seem to cultivate a distinct aroma over the decades. The previous owner was keen on erasers. All the gunk I cleaned up was old greasy eraser crumbs:


I took the whole shell off. The easiest shell removal I’ve encountered so far. The whole front is the ribbon cover and pops off without hassle

The rest is secured with four screws on the base

Can’t help but admire that naked hulk in the evening light. A thorough careful clean with long handled brushes and a bit of canned air. Actually the air was useless on the eraser crumbs. There was just one loose spring we had to fix back. I’m guessing it was the tab set. It went back in place easily with a pair of tweezers.

I revitalised the ribbon with a bit of WD40. Easily the most hurried and slapdash operation I’ve ever done on a ribbon, taking me about ten minutes. I gave the unravelled ribbon a light spray and didn’t wait to let it soak before winding it back on the spools.

I left it overnight. The next day was St Patrick’s Day…

I cleaned the typeface with blue tack and the key tops with a soapy rag. I also cleaned the case with a soapy jute scrubber outside

Ok great! I fully intended taking some nice shots for the database before taking it back to the shop this weekend. However!

The SM9 got adopted before that could happen yesterday. It’s now sitting happily in its new home, and I have to take a twenty down the road to the charity shop when I’ve finished my tea, which is like…. now

Happy to have found a home for the SM 9 I was starting to get attached to. I know it will get lots of use, and I’m so pleased to be able to help out with sourcing a really fine machine.

Up The Revolution! Type on, my friends 🙂

Album Cover Artwork

Available today on Bandcamp, general release I believe is the 22nd March 2019.

This is already my favourite Pyramids of Space album, (and it has nothing to do with my artwork being chosen for the cover!) Seriously crafted epic journey. This album by rights ought to be on vinyl. It deserves the kind of listening we have grown out of in the digital age. Set aside enough time to play it through from start to finish on first listen the way we used to with LPs.


J’aime, mais c’est trop cher … et c’est cassé.

Ok so it’s only a broken drawstring and a stuck carriage. But £85… Aurgh better just go and stare at the sea for a while and talk myself out of it Edit… I returned a week later to find the serial number : F28221 which makes it late 1938. I also discovered that the ribbon selector needs work, though I did manage to coax a type sample out of the machine 🙂