A Small Brother Charger 11 Repair Surgery

I spent some time today doing surgery on my Brother Charger 11 Correction typewriter. It was quite relaxing to tinker around for a bit and appreciate the sparse, but clever and solid internals of this late model JP-1 machine that the serial number dates to January 1985. 

Wooden table with a blue towel on top of a portion. On top of that is the internal frame and components of a typewriter with the hood, bottom, and side piece of the machine sitting behind it. Strewn around it are a variety of screwdrivers and small tools as well as a can of compressed air.

I managed to clean out a lot of white somewhat sticky cruft, ostensibly from the correction ribbon this machine once had. I initially thought it would all blow out quickly with canned air, but it really needed some careful work with my typewriter brush and some Q-tips. The spots on the still supple rubber platen and rollers came off pretty quickly with some rubbing alcohol.

I quickly found the re-connected the spring that was preventing the margin release from working properly.  I then tracked down the issue I was seeing with the vibrator assembly. It turns out someone had worked on this before and neglected to replace two small screws and nuts to hold the assembly down to the frame and at the appropriate distance from the platen. Without them it just sort of floats around between the basket and the platen. I’ll have to pick up a pair of them at the hardware store to be able to reattach it and then adjust it to the proper distance from the platen. Hopefully the rest of that assembly will operate properly once attached, particularly the bichrome lever which seems somewhat flimsy.

View of the bottom of a Brother Charger 11 with the bottom plate removed. One can see the metal escapement above which a screwdriver is pointing at two empty holes where screws and nuts ought to be to hold the ribbon vibrator assembly in place.

Beyond this the only outstanding thing I see, besides adding a new ribbon, is that the end of the backspace assembly isn’t attached to anything. It ends in a small question mark-like but very sturdy hook which I presume would have attached to either a spring or a metal wire, but I’m going to need to consult either another machine or find a service manual which details what the assembly is supposed to look like. If anyone has a helpful photo of the bottom of their Charger 11 from that hook to the escapement assembly, that would be most helpful. 

View from the back of an upside down typewriter. In the front is a small copper colored bell  and moving toward the back we see a small question mark-esque hook peeking out from between two plates on the frame of the typewriter. Something should be attached to it to actuate the backspace key.

The last couple of tweaks should have this back in perfectly serviced operating order. Its almost as clean and new as when it rolled off the assembly line 39 years and 4 months ago.

I received this machine on March 12th and just realized that I never really took any photos of it or played around with it at the time in part because that’s the day my car’s engine died. I’ll see what I can do to finish this up soon, so that I can do a proper acquisition post and include some photos of the exterior as well as a proper typeface sample.

Watched Royal Typewriter Platen Variable Repair, Roller Removal by Phoenix TypewriterPhoenix Typewriter from YouTube
I was seeing this issue on my 1949 Royal QDL. I figured it’d be an easy fix.

Turns out, it was exactly my issue and the pieces had “frozen up”. A quick clean out and we’re back in business in under 20 minutes.