Any ideas of what to do with old Royal Typewriter?

  • Topic
  • chiccottagejunkchiccottagejunk #43812

    I picked up this oldie – but not with the wonderful round bakelite keys – typewriter at a flea market yesterday. Although the keys are neat – they aren’t the really old cool looking keys. Does anyone have any ideas for the keys or other pieces? Would you part it out or put it in your shop as is?



  • Discussion
  •  Anonymous #84305

    I’ll keep my eyes open, thanks.

  •  Anonymous #84304

    I took a class in sewing machine repairs. The man who taught the class says that even the real expensive brand new sewing machines are throw away. They are made to last about 5 years. The old machines were made to last and they do. I see old machines every day that could go a hundred more years or more. Then there are some that have NOT been well kept. Those are fair game for parts and since there aren’t parts made those old junk machines are still useful, too. There are a few people catching on – you would be surprised how many are learning about the vintage sewing machines.

  •  Anonymous #84303

    i agree, there is nothing like sewing with an old singer @!!! but again…here, you can buy them at auction for $1 !!! there are way more out there, than there are buyers….

    they used to make things to last….not we use things a while, then toss them out….such a ‘throw-away’ society..they purposely make then NOT to last so you will buy more…sad…

  •  Anonymous #84302

    Too bad you don’t live around here. I have some old Singer 99s and Spartans – the bobbin drops in and there is a little thing you push to pot it out. They are so easy to use. My mom still uses the Featherweight sewing machine she got as a college graduation present in 1948. I think I like the 99 and the Spartans better – they are heavy and don’t dance around.

  •  Anonymous #84301

    LOL Didn’t mean to get you on your soapbox. They would be perfect for Quilting. I love the REALLY old black machines with the gold painting. They took such pride in the design. Can you imagine how much a sewing cabinet made out of oak for todays sewing machines would be! I learned to sew early and worked in sewing factories right out of highschool, so I like a heavy machine that won’t bounce all over. I have an old 50’s singer, love it. I’m looking for a machine for my Mother, she’s 88 and can’t get the bobbin in anymore, she needs a drop in bobbin.

  •  Anonymous #84299

    Funny. I just sold a straight stitch machine to a lady who quilts. She said she had a high end Viking and it was cheaper for her to buy and use an old straight stitch sewing machine than to pay to have the Viking serviced one time. So since most quilting is just straight stitch she planned to only use the Viking when she had something else to stitch. Makes sense to me. Those old sewing machines are really well engineered and the new ones just don’t do what they do. I figure if I ever need machine embroidery, I’ll pay someone to do it for me. There are also older high end zig zag sewing machines that will do pretty much everything you can need and then do it much better. I can make about any all metal vintage sewing machine work like new if it has all it’s parts and is not rusted. I have seen old machines that would not move – they were gummed up with dried up oil. I can make those work and they will work well when I’m done. There are places to buy parts on line. There are repair manuals on line. No reason to buy a plastic wonder with stamped metal parts for most sewing. Those are throw away when they break.

  •  Anonymous #84298

    I can see where both Lewis and Junx is coming from. It’s like the old sewing machines. They are works of art, and the wood cabinets are beautifully crafted. But they only do a straight stitch and I need more than that when I sew. The cabinets are being torn apart and bases used for tables, tops for signs and the drawers for containers. It’s really sad but know one wants the actual machine anymore (except Copperhead of course.) It’s sad.

  •  Anonymous #84297

    Junx, I wish I could find them for $1; you can’t do that in Central Ohio. I agree with your logic. I think if you can find a rarer model, it is worth trying to find a buyer. Otherwise, repurposing the more common model is resourceful and good for sellers trying to make a living.

  •  Anonymous #84292


    so very sorry that you feel this way. trust me i truely appreciate an antique, but these are NOT hard to find, and NOONE wants them. do a google search on ebay..there are hundreds available ANY day. they sell at our auctions here for $1 many times. NOONE wants them. i understand your trepidation, i felt exactly the same way when i first started my business.

    my take is that instead of pleasing one person with their beauty, i am pleasing at least 26 people with what i make from these old machines. i suppose its just how you choose to look at it. I believe that i am ‘saving’ them…and passing on the idea and knowledge of a what a typewriter even IS to a new generation.

    this is the age of recycling dear, and this is what we are doing.

    i have rescued many a typewriter and saved them from the landfill.

    different strokes…haha..pun intended.

  •  Anonymous #84291

    Please in the future, can you limit yourself to destroying typewriters that are so junky they are beyond repair? These old beauties are in limited supply, and the number of people chopping them up day to day is constantly increasing. Nobody is making them anymore and it would be a shame to destroy all of them in the name of a fashion trend. They are not simply outdated pieces of technology, the early ones with the glass keys have reached the stage of being true antiques and they should be respected as such.



  •  Anonymous #76520

    sadly mostly we just scrap the rest of the machine, at least it gets recycled….

  •  Anonymous #76500

    Whoa!!! What do you do with the old typewriters or do you just by keys? diane

  •  Anonymous #76497

    i mostly buy royals..(because i have a tool to remove the keys.)….never underwoods…the stems are too wide and take way too much time to cut….and i go for coronas…but only the fatter keys…….hmmm after you do this for a while you learn which ones work for you…….but i cut ALOT of keys……..i’m getting ready for a few big shows and i just make over 500 type key necklaces and so far about 200 bracelets…… when i say i cut a lot of keys, i mean i cut A LOT of keys……………….

  •  Anonymous #76491

    Thanks Junx, I’ll tell sis.. Love your site!! Diane

  •  Anonymous #76490

    i never tried cutting the keys off….and would hesitate to do it for someone after they paid mne……i would probably do it wrong and mess up the sale….my favs are the heavy tall old black ones…. also have sold a couple of pastel ones this summer…

    .love the idea of typing notes on the porch!!! so fun…..


  •  Anonymous #76489

    What kind of type writer do you look for?

  •  Anonymous #76488

    we use bolt cutters, but my suggestion is to list it first…….then ask the buyer how long/short they want the stems……or if they want the whole typewriter……

    i buy these on ebay all the time, and i would rather buy the whole typewriter and do it myself than have someone unexperienced do the cutting…

    just a suggestion….many people cut them too short and i never bid on those……everyone who uses them has a different idea of how they want them cut……sell first, then ask…….

  •  Anonymous #76479

    This is why I LOVE this site – I never would have thought of ANY of these ideas!! All my readings tell me that old typewriters are hot, but I didn’t know the half of it!

  •  Anonymous #76478

    So we just found an old Royal typewriter with the round keys and sister wants to take them off to put on ebay. Question, how do you take them off? Diane

  •  Anonymous #66544

    Welcome to the Revolution Pieces and thank for the really unique idea. I really like that! Couple of things against me on the suggestion though – I don’t have a covered porch, just a stoop, and we live on the other side of the state from our families and friends. We NEVER have visitors. Not even the meter reader ever comes to the door – just to the meter and back in her car. Occasionally Jehovah’s Witnesses will come to the door – about once a year. Other than that, we have no visitors… : (

    Very cute idea!


  •  Anonymous #66542

    Hi, I once had a woman tell me that she put hers out on her porch on a little table with a note: “If I’m not here, type me a message” and put a piece of aged paper in there. She said she was stunned at how many people would come up just to leave her a little note here and there! I thought that was a cute idea, especially in this age of emails and answering machines. I’ve also seen people just put some pictures sticking out where you would put the paper. Me? I’m one of those people who buys the keys on ebay because I make the jewelry, but what I wouldn’t give for a really old, cute little typewriter to do some of these projects…<sigh>…just gotta keep scrounging!!

  •  Anonymous #65996

    Oh, Gigi, I really like that idea. I hope that the typewriter sells as is, but it would be fun to tear it apart too! Thanks for the idea.


  •  Anonymous #65993

    just a thought, don’t know if it would work…but speaking of “carcass” ­čśë wouldn’t the paper return/roll be cute as a type of mini blind-ish way to hang a sign? maybe use fabric or even an actual piece of mini blind shade and attach to the roll core and add words like “open/closed/welcome/come on in,” etc. hoping this makes sense to others than myself…LOL ;O then when in/out of use jack it up or down with the return handle

  •  Anonymous #65916

    Hi Sue…

    I love love love typewriters as is — but also appreciate those talented folks who harvest the keys and then use the “carcass”.

    I try to always have a typewriter in my home and booth (and right now have an extra one in the barn). I easily sell the basic ones for $25.00 — nicer ones may go higher. I think they have such a great visual impact — and work for every season.


  •  Anonymous #65908

    Thanks, Connie, it’s kind of little, but I sure get the idea. How cute is that?! If the one I’ve got at the store doesn’t sell, I plan to part it out – sell the keys on Ebay or Etsy or keep them for some of my projects. Then I’ll look at possibly turning it into a message center or using the parts for projects! Like I need another project – I don’t have enough time to put my thoughts into action as it is. LOL.


  •  Anonymous #65907


  •  Anonymous #65905

    Well, I’m going to try to upload…

  •  Anonymous #65892

    Connie – that sounds really cute. I never would have thunk (sometimes the DUH just pours out of me!) to make the shell into a message center. It sounds like you really used some imagination on it. Like Leveta says – pictures please!?!?!? : )

    I did take it to the antique shop (along with the screaming pink drink cart and other things) and put a tag for 30 bucks on it. We’ll see what happens. Sorry, Diane, I forgot to put in a sheet of paper with the beginnings of my first Junk Novel on it…if it doesn’t sell in a couple of weeks, I’ll add the Novel page to it and see what happens!


  •  Anonymous #65891

    Pic’s please….lol

  •  Anonymous #65890

    I bought one of the old typewriters at a church rummage sale for under $5. Since the keys sell big on Ebay, I clipped off the keys and sold them for about $30. I made the typewriter “skeleton” into a message center so we can put a note in the carriage area for each other. I cut off the rest of the key arms (for lack of an actual term), so there was a gaping hole where the keys had been. The hole is now filled with a decorative pencil/note holder. I made the holder out of a Rubbermaid divider tray (about 6 x 2 x 2″). I covered it with the curtain fabric I used in the family room. I believe I used spray starch to hold it in place. Then I fastened 2 layers of ribbon over the sides. I love how it turned out. I really need you guys to come over and ooh and ahh over it, as no one else has! I will see if I have a photo to post. Thanks for being my audience!

  •  Anonymous #65387

    I WOULD SELL it as is…unless you have some great jewelry project going…..they sell pretty well here….at 40 to 50$$..


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