Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sad Face Voss Still Sad

Type slug fully extended as far as it will go - not touching the platen, just lightly grazing the ribbon. Another problem is that the paper bail rests quite close to the plastic guard, perhaps a result of the carriage sitting too low.

The shadow of the type slug on the platen - so close. And yet.

Look at that carriage - it just isn't sitting right. The groove is where it's rubbing against the shell each time I move it back and forth, wearing off the paint.

Does anyone know what the little lever under the left platen knob is for? I doubt it is the key to our problems, but I'm curious as to its function.

More scraping on the right side of the carriage.

A look at the innards - anything obvious out of place?

The carriage lock is the lever on the right, but it seems to be working as intended.

Another thing we're wondering is whether the metal nuts above need to be resting directly on the green hole below - it's slightly offset. But how we would manipulate it back, and whether it would make a difference... well, who knows.

These days, I am this guy. Oh, and as if to tempt me, this "Oliver" just appeared on eBay UK...


  1. Pictures 5 and 8 show an adjustment screw that in both cases show screwdriver wear and seem to be adjusted to their lowest setting. Have you tried loosening these and seeing if they let you move the carriage higher and more forward?

  2. Adwoa, I wish I had something concretely useful to say but as an avowed optimist, I'm still hopeful that eventually you will find the solution to this impasse.

    For whatever its worth- I'd like to mention that your photos of the innards of the Voss are just awesome!

  3. I agree with Ted and wonder if there is a screw on the opposite side from the one on #7. From the appearance of the screw head above the chrome screw on 5 & 8, especially 5, looks as if someone had the carriage apart and did not re-assemble it correctly.

    I have a Hermes 3000 (rounded cover) I bought for next to nothing and it has a similar problem because someone dropped it and bent the frame inside the cover. On the Hermes this will be an easy repair which will be to re-bend the aluminum frame to its original shape. Hope your Voss results in as easy of a repair.

    If I remember correctly Hermes uses a set of carriage alignment screws that can move the platen or entire carriage closer or farther from the typebars. Perhaps the Voss has something similar.

  4. You have done amazing work here and are coping with admirable fortitude and grace.

    What Bill and Ted have written makes sense--and I hesitate to add my voice here because I know little about Vosses except what I've read.

    Yet I wonder: I'm still not understanding if it's mechanically impossible for the typebars to go further towards the platen. For instance, if you lower or remove the typeguide, will they smack the platen? How about if you tighten or loosen the screws on the segment, thus changing the arc of the swing a bit?

    I ask because I have a Continental on which the keys will not strike the platen if they lie flat on their felt bed. Instead, I have to tighten the segment screws so hard that the typebars sit up in an unruly scrum. Looks terrible, but that's the only way the machine will type.

  5. I agree with Ton--awesome photos. Clearly my diagnosis was wrong; it seems to be a displaced carriage. But that Voss is still gorgeous in a thousand other ways.

    I am sending my most optimistic vibes in your direction, at least for your recovery from this disappointment, but hopefully for the complete reversal of the disappointment itself! And eBay is a wonderful palliative in any case.

  6. Okay, now we know who are the worst enemies of the typewriters: It's not the keychoppers. Nor the typewriter throwers. It's the awful carriage seaters!
    Adwoa, I hope you find some way to make the Voss an enjoyable typer. :)

  7. I understand your frustration. There does look to be some amateurish chewing of screw heads (I should know, my Burgundy SM4 bears the same, self inflicted scars). Your strategy of leaving it for a while can do nothing but good. Your photos are extremely clear and come as close as you can get to actually having it in one's own lap - magnifying glass in hand. I think rn's suggestion may do more harm than good. Check the segmen't screw heads. If the look unscathed - I'd leave well alone and concentrate your efforts on the carriage itself.... after a few months subconscious reflection. It IS a beautiful machine and it WILL perform one day.

    PS: That Oliver has been around a while, now sold at last. I wasn't tempted because it was local pick-up and a soft case can spell disaster if I'd asked for it to be shipped. Plenty more fish :-)

    PPS: Gratifying also that the combined might of the typosphere is behind this one. Positive vibes and support and all that. Just a matter of time.

  8. ...on reflection, apologies to rn. I wasn't intending to be rude - just trying to help you avoid compounding a problem.

  9. Would it be at all helpful if I took some shots of my Voss for comparison?
    I know Richard Polt showed me this summer how the shift *tension* can be adjusted from the machine's underside. And obviously there are adjustments to the position of the carriage (I had to do some minor adjusting of my own to my Voss, and - sadly - there are some amateurish burred-and-warped screw heads to show for it) when the letters weren't printing exactly right.

    Let me know if any pics would help, and I'll send them out to you.

  10. Oh, and plus? Word verification = fanesses. Of all the Fanesses of your blog, I'm the fanessesest.

    Let me know about the pics.

  11. @Duffy Moon: Awww! Yes, yes, yes, I would love pictures of your Voss! If you can shoot all the angles that I have in this post (and perhaps even in a better resolution) and any others that you think would be helpful - it'd be wonderful to compare before I fiddle about unnecessarily; wouldn't want to make things worse. Email is genevatypewriters(a)

    @Rob: I agree, I wasn't about to unscrew with the segment, even though I take all suggestions in good faith. (@rn: I have seen several Continentals with the "unruly scrum", and I always wondered... now I know! :-))

    The fact that the carriage is so clearly sitting low and scraping the shell means that it's the most logical place to start, and hopefully Duffy Moon's pictures will give me a clue.

    @Joe B: Thanks so much for your support! I shall be merely windowshopping on eBay for the moment, but it is a soothing balm nevertheless :-)

    @Ted and Bill M.: Great suggestion about the screws in pictures 5 and 8. I will be taking a closer look at them once I have seen how they look on Duffy Moon's Voss. You may well have spotted the problem!

  12. Consider it done. I'll take some pics tonight and get them to you by tomorrow (God willing and the river don't rise).

    I think Richard Polt has a Voss that's the twin of yours, but I think mechanically they're pretty much the same inside.


Thanks for your comment! Please note that comments are moderated; so this will be posted as soon as I have read it :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...