How To Change Typewriter Ribbons

How To Change Typewriter Ribbons

The majority of vintage typewriters use a universal sized typewriter ribbon making it simple, quick and easy to change the ribbon when you run out of ink.

We have more information about which ribbon to buy here.

Once you have the new ribbon you can replace this by following the easy 4 step guide below:

Make sure to put the new ribbon in the correct way..

Replacing new ribbon on original spools

If your typewriter uses smaller spools you can follow the simple steps below to wind a universal ribbon onto the original spools:

Step 1 – Remove the old ribbon from the original spools

Carefully lift the original ribbon spools out of your machine and unwind the ribbon off them. Be careful to keep any clips that may hold the ribbon onto the spools or any screws that may hold the spools onto the typewriter. Some ribbons are held in place on the spool using a clip, while others are attached by a spike.

Once the spools are both empty you are ready to install the new ribbon.


Step 2 – Installing new ribbon

For this job, it is best to use some rubber gloves. Winding ribbon soaked in ink can be pretty messy!

Remove one end of the ribbon from the new spools and unhook it from the spool. You might find it easier to cut the ribbon off as close to the spool as possible.

Attach the end of the new ribbon onto the spike of one of the old empty spools or clip the ribbon onto one of the old empty spools as necessary. Notice the direction of the spike, because you will be winding the ribbon onto the old spool in the opposite direction. (Otherwise the ribbon will come loose).

Step 3 – Filling the Spools

Carefully wind the new ribbon onto the old spool while unraveling it from the new spool. This takes a little practice and you may find it easiest to use a pencil inserted into the spool hole to spin the spool easier. Make sure that the ribbon is flat and not twisted.

Allowing the spools to roll like wheels (so lightly hold the middle of the spools only) this will unravel the new ribbon from the full spool.

Keep doing this until all the new ribbon is wound onto your old spool. When you have finished the once full new spool should now be empty and showing its spike or clip. Cut the ribbon off the spike of the now empty new spool and attach it to the spike on remaining empty old spool.

Replace the original spools with the new ribbon back into the typewriter and start typing again with fresh ink!

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