Posts tagged ‘Groma Kolibri’

Groma Kolibri 1

I am still positively giddy about my Groma Kolibri that I committed to making its cleaning my very first project.
It has jumped to the front of my priorities list. If I were to be logical about it, I would probably clean every typewriter’s case first.

Here is my current stash:

20120704-213951.jpgThen, I’d prioritize cleaning by first cleaning my least prized typewriter, likely my Smith Corona Silent Super or my 1950s Royal QDL. These two are my lesser prized because there are so many of them out there and they can be replaced. I hate to say that but it is true nonetheless. Back to the topic, I would clean the more common typewriters first because I honestly have never cleaned a typewriter before.
Don’t get me wrong, I am prepared.
I have bought the following products as suggested by many typewriter sites especially Mr. Richard Polt’s Basic Typewriter Restoration page and and nearly every typewriter repairman and enthusiast alike:
– loads of Lysol Disinfectant spray 20120704-214134.jpg
– some bottles of compressed air 20120704-214209.jpg
– a bag of dental picks 20120704-214245.jpg
– rubber cleaner & rejuvenator and Plasti-dip 20120704-214154.jpg
– Hoppe’s solvent 20120704-214236.jpg
– Gummi Pflege Stift 20120704-214146.jpg
– Mother’s Mag & Aluminum Polish 20120704-214201.jpg
– Evapo-rust 20120704-214215.jpg
– water-based Mineral Spirits since CA has banned VM and P Naphtha (despite my efforts to procure the real deal)
– Soft Scrub
– PB Blaster
– Steel Wool
– super fine sandpaper

– some shitty screwdrivers (which I might probably will likely return so I can get real good screwdrivers)

– bag of rags including about a dozen old boxer shorts (I am mercifully saving your eyes from the pics)

Yes I am an overexcited newbie and I look at all these products and I know I overdid it. But you know what, I am already having fun and I think through all this typewriter thing, that’s what it’s all about.

Back to my Groma.
Here is her case:


She’s pretty. Two-toned.


She set me back some but was worth it and i probably would have paid more in fact:


Here is a close up of her typeface:


Her imperfections are plentiful however, including that stupid carriage return lever scraping her ribbon cover for decades:


Additionally, she has some paint loss due to scraping on her bottom back end. The other problem is that she has a couple sticky keys which by the looks of it, i should be able to remedy using some of the stuff i bought.

I started a light cleaning already with just some dishwashing soap and water and a cotton rag. She immediately brightened up.

Consider this the BEFORE pics and hopefully soon i can present some after pics.

The Rescue

Long Beach, CA – a recent rumor surfaced that she was hiding out among some junk trying to pass itself off as antique. Since when did it suddenly become fashionable to consider all old shit as vintage, leftovers and surplus as treasure, and rusted, broken, withered shadow-of-their-former-selves things as primo collectibles? These items that even in the past, their heyday, weren’t thought of as valuable? Sure I believe some artifacts of the past are indeed prized and significant – we’re talking ancient mayan fertility goddesses, fossilized-in-amber pterodactyls, and the ark of the covenant to name a few; however, dull and bent nails and worn out moth-eaten hats and smelly rotten furniture cannot be and should not be sold at a premium because due to their decrepit states they cannot possibly be reasonably in demand – certainly not in demand enough to warrant a cost triple or quadruple that of a brand new and improved version of itself available now. Again, these are everyday items of old, discarded because they are obsolete as chewed gum. Nevertheless, these antique dealers and steampunk hipsters continue to attempt to cajole us to regard these cheap and inferior, nonfuctional objects as coveted and sought in order to validate their usually outrageously obscene price tag. “Retro”,” vintage”,”classic”,”rare”,”patina”… A bunch of other hogwash words to deceive the truth of what it really is: used, decrepit, falling apart, useless, trash, garbage,  second or third hand thrift store filth and scraps and firewood.

Well, I waded through this sea of crap and found her. She herself was close to being discarded yet again but this time her lofty price tag kept her out of the recycle bin. How many of her lives had she already used up? She wasn’t too beautiful but she had promise. She was a prom queen, pageant winner but for the last 20-30 years she’s been an alcoholic and homeless, forgotten and abandoned.

She needs rehabilitation. I held her hand to help her step out of her own piss and sweat and paid her bail and then negotiated her freedom.

Then we drove to the actual beach, which she hadn’t seen since her youth in Germany.

She has lost her ability to speak for the time being. She sat there quiet, but looked around with curiosity. Her eyes have some sparkle left. But her colors are faded and she has some scratches and scrapes. She escaped without any dents thank god. Be that as it may, she no doubt has seen better days. Maltreatment and abuse is what she’s accustomed to and she’s been handcuffed and caged. Still, I sense that there is fight left in this one. She’s tough. She’s a survivor.

Soon, food and water. I will help her become strong again.

I now have my very own Groma Kolibri!!!