A week of cleaning and tinkering. This one stank to high heaven, as the Letteras often do. I scrubbed the case inside and out. Its case linings had come loose so this made cleaning easier and also revealed the flimsy nature of these soft cases: the linings are merely cardboard and cloth. I used stain remover made into a paste and applied with a toothbrush in small sections, allowing each cleaned part to dry off in the sun. I was worried the cardboard would disintegrate! I fixed the linings back into place with strong wood glue. Irene’s name sticker also gave me worries but actually it just peeled off easily, and the remaining gummy parts cleaned off with washing up liquid. The felt inside the base of the machine was treated to anti-bac foot spray, which neutralises the deep aroma coming from inside the typewriter.
Hmm. The wiring was correct but the whole area underneath was drenched in oil, so I dabbed up as much as I could with cotton buds and slips of newsprint, and added a new drop to the spindle nut, feeling that this was not the answer. And it was not. The dial still returned too slowly. From zero it should return while you say “one, one thousand and one” and stop on the last “one”.
P.S! this is the only phone we will be fixing on type the clouds, for this year at least. Back to typewriters now. I have a new Lettera 22 to smarten up …
being sewn into a first run of ten little books