So I’ve been doing some research, and it looks like this is actually a number 4 instead of a number 5. That makes the machine a bit more rare, but it also has 4 fewer keys, which has become the bane of my existence. There are some clever ways to get around that, but it’s going to take work. For instance…

Note the switch on the top right.

There’s a switch up there on the right, above the rest of the keys. Cool, I can use that. It used to switch between the red and the black ribbon so you could type in 2 different colors.

But there’s a hitch.

When you push it to one side, it stays down there. And any keyboard software will simply reading that as holding down the keyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

So, in order to have all the characters and functions I need, I have to make that come back up when I press it down.


That tab is holding me up!

So I filed that down, and that got me some more freedom of motion, but there was also a point in the back where it was connected to more of the inner workings of the machine.

Cut it out!T

That crescent shaped piece attaches to a rod that runs up to the front of the switch.

So now I have a full free range of motion for that switch in the front. Great. But it still doesn’t return to it’s original position like I need it to.

There’s a simple answer to that problem: Return springs

Springs are awesome

The hardest part of this whole process was getting the set screw on that crescent shaped piece back on the rod (that connects to the switch) at just the right angle so the switch would rest in the right spot. Eventually, with tiny screwdrivers, nimble fingers, a great deal of determination, and an unreasonable amount of expletives, I got it to work

Of course, if I want to make 2 switches out of that red and black switch, and I do, I’ll need to have to springs, one going in each direction, if it is to work.

Long story short:

The two springs force the switch all the way at the front to return to center.

So the two springs basically force the switch into equilibrium, and when you press one side or the other, it gets sucked back into the middle.

There is still a little bit of work to be done because I have to figure out where the reed switches are going to go, but I’ll fill you in on that once I’m installing them.




In other Project Underwood news, I decided to do a little bit of painting to cover up the really badly rusted spots.

I don’t have a great “before” picture, but this is what I got.

Less than appealing

You can see that some of the parts are a little bit rusted and just generally look really bad.

Now, I really like a lot of the metal here. Some of it has a nice patina, an old worn look to it I’d like to preserve. There’s no way this thing is going to shine like the top of the Chrysler building because there is some damage to the paint. Plus, I think the metal adds a nice look so it’s not all black.

In the end, I brought back what I could with some carefully applied naval jelly, and painted the things that didn’t come back.

Take a look.

If I did it right, you can't really tell what I painted.

I didn’t want the thing to look shiny, new and all black, but I didn’t want it to look like something I pulled out of a barn and threw some electronics into. Hopefully, I pulled it off.