TYPEWRITER: Replacing The Drawband On A Remington Portable.Posted: January 30, 2019
The machine used in this article is a 1924 Remington Portable #1, but the drawband mechanics are the same on the Portable #2 and #3, so, let’s start:
I’ve replaced several drawbands on different Remington Portables. What you need is:
- a magnetic rod to ‘lock’ the main spring, I use a flashlight with a magnetic bottom,
- a piece of string to serve as drawband. I use thin black woven string intended for venetian blinds,
- a piece of wire to finagle the string through the holes in the main spring. I use a dental hook for that,
- a sharp screwdriver,
- a thin wooden/bamboo stick, I use a ‘saté stick’ for skewering meat, but as long as it’s thin and about 20cm long, it will do,
- A soft cushion to put the machine on, I use a piece of foam.
First, put the Remington Portable upside down on the cushion with the carriage close to you. Holding the magnetic rod handy, you start winding up the spring in the main spring housing so it nestles tightly against the axle and the small round hole is exposed, then place the magnetic rod on the mainspring housing so it stays in position.
Use the dental hook to fish the string from the hole.
When you have removed the piece of string, put a new piece of string through the side into the main housing and pull it up through the hole.
Tie a tight knot in the short part that comes out of the hole and pull the string to push that knot into the hole next to the coiled spring.
Remove the magnetic lock and slowly let the spring in the main housing uncoil and press up against the knot. When the spring uncoils, keep the string up so it won’t catch under the mainspring housing. When the spring is totally uncoiled, you wind up the housing 4 rotations. This is more than enough to pull the carriage. Lock the mainspring housing with the magnetic rod again. The hole with the string coming out is at your side, the side of the carriage.
Pull the carriage all the way to your right (fully extended carriage), and lead the drawband string around the tiny pulley and hook the string under the guide hook.
Tape the end of the string to a stick to thread the string underneath the carriage. Make sure the string travels straight under the carriage (over the carriage now that the machine is upended, of course) to the far end.
The drawstring is pulled taut and clamped between the carriage and that little brass hook, screwed down tightly. Originally, the string is clamped inside that little brass thingy, but that folded brass part is difficult to unfold and might break. So I hold the string against the carriage over the screw, push the brass hook into position behind the screw and tight the screw.
When you are sure the string is tightly clamped, add a knot to the end for security.
And your Remington Portable is ready for use again!