How to thread Underwood Typewriter?

standayDecember 25, 2006

Hi, Can anyone out there tell me how to thread the ribbon on an old Underwood Typewriter model 5?


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Can you post a pic of the typewriter. I'm guessing there are two spools which go on either side and the ribbon is pulled taunt between the spools?


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 5:58PM
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Standay - Better yet: Type "Underwood Typewriters" in your web browser line - I just did and several sites came up. Since I'm not sure what yours looks like, hard to pick out what you're looking for. You might even be able to write or send one of the companies and email and ask if they have an instruction manual for your type.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 6:04PM
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It's this one:

I did try to find the info on the web but could find no information on just threading the ribbon. Yes, it just has 2 spools on it. Ribbon has both black and red sections on it. I found a few manuals for sale online but I just need to know about the ribbon threading. I don't plan to use the typewriter much but wanted to at least get it going!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:33AM
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I did find the link below, but it really isn't much help.

Did you get a new ribbon exactly like the old one? I assume you cannot see how the old one was threaded and that's the problem?

As I recall, you put the two new spools on the pins that hold them, then insert the ribbon in the bracket which holds it and moves it up when you press a key. Press any key a little to see that bracket move up so when the key strikes it hits the ribbon making an impression on the paper.

Don't know if this helps a bit or not, but I tried! Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: typewriter ribbon

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 5:17PM
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First, take the ribbon off the old spools if you can't get new ones. You may have to find a computer ribbon cartridge. Cut in the middle of the ribbon with a scissors, hook one end of the ribbon on the prong inside the spool. Wind the spool until the ribbon has filled to about one-eighth inch from the edge. Hook the other side of the ribbon to the other spool. The spools hooked together with the ribbon should look a little like a reel-to-reel tape recorder tape. When you install the ribbon, the ribbon itself between the spools should be facing you. When the ribbon is installed in the typewriter, the left takeup will wind clockwise and the right takeup will wind counterclockwise. Each spool cup on this machine has a little lever on the side. Pull that lever towards you, and that will bring out the slot the ribbon goes in. Put the ribbon in those slots. The ribbon should also contact the wheels on the sides of the spool cups. Now bring the ribbon to the "vibrator," or the little thing that brings the ribbon up each time a type bar strikes the paper, and thread it in between the slots on either side.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:45PM
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Try this link.
This is the original manual for the underwoods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Underwood manual

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:12PM
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