I know it has a ways to go, but I can't resist some before and afters.
|And look at that, it even had a serial number.|
Soft Scrub and cotton rags was the way to go. (Thanks again to Richard's classic typewriter restoration page.) Even as I saw it happening, I could not believe this was the same machine, or that such a lustrous lacquer finish could remain under 75 years' worth of grease, oil, tar and nicotine.The shine you see here is the result of cleaning and rubbing only. There's no wax or polish on here at all.
It took quite some doing, though. I got it to this point after a nine our marathon cleaning session, and it took the vigorous application and removal of soft-scrub an average of 30 times in each area to get to this finish. I went through an entire bag of rags from the hardware store, plus three old tee shirts.
Even with it shining like this, I could keep going and still have sticky yellow-brown gunk come off on the cloth.
I still need to have a go at the paper ledge and a bunch of the chrome parts. Also, bringing this outside on a sunny day makes it clear it really would respond well to some further efforts.
Mechanically it's improved dramatically as well. It responded well to a bit of oil on the carriage, and when I pulled off the front panel and those "shoulder" pieces, it exposed more gears and linkages for me to lubricate. Now it zips right along without a breath of hesitation. I can almost match the WPM of my Selectric on this thing.