[Attoparsec] wondered what if you could carry a typewriter in your pocket, then followed through with that and built one. (Video, embedded below.) Kind of. The plan was to use an existing set of striker bars, but not wanting to destroy a perfectly good typewriter, they realised that you can easily source just the bar set on eBay.
The first problem was that the striker bars are shaped to allow the typewriter mechanism to operate, but that would not make for a compact arrangement. After a spot of straightening in a big vice, and drilling in a custom jig, they were in a suitable state to be arranged inside the case. The casing is milled from a chunk of aluminium, complete with a nice recess to hold an ink-impregnated felt pad. To prevent this pad from drying out when stowed, and to keep the whole thing clear of pocket lint, a U-shaped metal cover was bent from some sheet. This slides into a set of slots that are milled near the edges, in a very satisfying manner. This last bit was causing them a little trouble, so a custom slotting tool was created especially for the job. And a good job was indeed done. The final results look as you might expect from a manual ‘typewriter’ quirky, a bit wonky, but fabulous all the same.
If you have an old typewriter that needs some attention, here’s a quick guide for giving it a once-over. Some of you of a certain age may remember electronic typewriters with some fondness. They died a rapid death, but if you’ve still got one lurking, you could convert it into a Linux terminal for some clackity nostalgic fun.