Broken Drawband Repair on My 1948 Remington Rand KMC Using Fishing Line

One of the first things we noticed about our old typewriter after we had hauled it in from the curb was that the carriage did not advance with typing or hitting the space bar.  My husband noted a suspicious strip of fabric strapping hanging from under the right carriage:

The suspicious stray threads hanging from under the carriage

The suspicious stray threads hanging from under the carriage – that doesn’t look good.

On further investigation we found the other piece of the fabric strap still attached to the mainspring drum on the left side of the carriage.

From the left of the typewriter, you can see the old drawband on the maincase

From the left of the typewriter, you can see the old drawband on the mainspring drum

A quick internet search confirmed our fears: the drawband that pulls the carriage along while typing was broken. I did find some great information on replacing the drawband:

Though the above links describe drawband repair on non-Remington typewriters, the general concept is the same: replace the drawband with something strong and attach it to a wound-up mainspring so that the carriage will be pulled along as you type.

Here’s a video of a gentleman replacing the drawband in an Oliver – I found it very helpful though my Remington Rand set-up was very different:

Replacing My Typewriter Drawband

I removed the old broken drawband from the mainspring drum and laid it out.  It was pretty cool looking, like a super tightly woven shoelace. Looks like it should have lasted a million years.

The drawband end that connected to the main case

The drawband end that connected to the mainspring

With the two ends laid out, the original drawband was about 25.5 inches long.


Since they probably haven’t manufactured these in about 50 years, I went to my local sporting goods supply shop and bought 80 lb fishing line (I didn’t need 400 yards):



I liked this fishing line because it was braided and looked like it would be easier to knot that regular monofilament.

I cut the fishing line and added knotted loops at both ends, making it 25.5 inches in length.

Made a loop.  This braided fishing line was very easy to work with.

Made a loop at each end. This braided fishing line was very easy to work with.

Starting on the right side of the typewriter, I attached the first loop to where the old drawband was attached – a little notched projection.

One loop goes on the notched projection under the end of the carriage

One loop goes on the notched projection under the end of the carriage; this picture was taken after I fed the fishing line through to the mainspring and attached it. I think I made the knot a bit close to the loop.  Hope it holds.  If not, I’ll film replacing the drawband.

Next, I taped two wooden skewers together to make a tool that I could use to feed the fishing line under the carriage to the mainspring. A huge thank you to Robert Messenger of who suggested using a wooden meat skewer.

Taped together, my skewer is about 20 inches long

Taped together, my skewer tool is about 20 inches long

Like Robert Messenger, I modified the end of one wooden skewer with a utility knife and slipped the knotted loop over the slit.

I then fed the skewered fishing line straight under the carriage to the mainspring, being careful to feed straight across the back to the mainspring drum.

loop inserted into a slit cut into skewer

Loop inserted into a slit cut into skewer. This held the fishing line as I fed it through to the mainspring.

The path the fishing took.  I used wooden skewers as a tool to guide it straight through the typewriter

The path the fishing line took. You can see the attached fishing line in white just below my dotted lines.

Once the fishing line was fed through the typewriter to the mainspring, I came to the tricky part: winding up the mainspring and attaching the looped end of the fishing line to it without it unwinding.

I put on disposable gloves for this because it was dirty work and the little teeth of the mainspring drum bit into my fingers. My hands are pretty small, but this was a very tight situation.

I pulled the looped end of the fishing line out of the way for the time being.

I then wound the mainspring clockwise 3.5 turns. It got to a point where it was difficult to turn and hold a grip on it. I kept losing hold of it and it would rapidly unwind and the little teeth of the mainspring bit into my fingers like mad piranhas.  On my last attempt, I wound it up clockwise 3.5 turns and with a pair of tweezers, set the fishing line loop onto a hook on the mainspring drum. I let go and the mainspring wound up the extra fishing line, pulling the line taught.  There was a enough tension for the carriage to advance with typing.  I had a semi-functional typewriter.

I will try to post a video of how I replaced it. Since I am not an expert knot maker, I may have put the knot too close to the right loop.  It may come undone; and if I have to replace the drawband again, I’ll film it for posterity.


17 thoughts on “Broken Drawband Repair on My 1948 Remington Rand KMC Using Fishing Line

  1. tony says:

    a great time repair all the old typewriters i repair typewriters for over 30 years
    now im loook ing for parts . to restore a old imperial 60 cant get any so i will have to try to make them up


  2. Carlo says:

    Thanks for the information. This really helped me fix my KMC with a broken draw band. Instead of a fishing line, I was able to find a similarly sized ID lace and that’s what I used. I was lucky enough to have one that didn’t stretch lying around and used it with the original hardware.

    It works perfectly now.


  3. Fari says:

    Hello from Denmark, loved reading your post on how to fix a drawband for a typewriter
    I am in very similar situation
    My draw and is broken and have ordered a nylon fishing line
    I tried using the broken braided on the winding drum it doesn’t seem to fit anymore
    After seeing your post I can see that I do not have any Hook to set it in the drum ?! Do you have any suggestion on how I can fix without it ? ☺️


    • Hello Fari from Denmark! Some typewriters do not not have a hook on the mainspring drum for the drawstring. What you will see is a hole or slot where the knotted end of the drawstring is inserted. Here is a good video from Duane of Phoenix Typewriter that shows how to attach a drawstring in this situation:

      If you tell me the brand and model of your typewriter, I may be able to help you find a more specific video.


      • John Hoffmann says:

        Great video! Super helpful. I have a Royal Quiet with the same problem. Would you know how long the draw band should be from loop to knotted end, before it starts to wind over the main spring drum? I know that it will wrap a few times around the drum, so how long should it be to start/


      • Hi John – I took a look at my Royal Quiet De Luxe and I am estimating that the drawstring is about 13 inches from the loop to the knotted end. See if that works for you.


      • John Hoffmann says:

        Thanks! I’ll give it a try today. I have 30 lb. braided line and 40 lb. mono-filament. I’ll start with the braided line first. Thanks again. John


      • In the past, I sort of over-engineered drawstrings and used extremely strong material. I have recently begun using heavy duty, waxed upholstery twine since it’s easy to knot. It seems strong enough.


      • Ali khalife says:

        Hello ,how are you please if you can help me I have a typewriter that is old(Olivetti Loxicon 80 ) Now and after finding it In my grandfather house I am trying to fix it but some problems I can’t be solved so I need your help to find the solutions and If you want some pictures about the problem I will send it to you and thanks…


  4. Fari says:

    Hi again, Thank you for your help
    The drawband is on and it is working very well now 🥳👍🏼☺️
    The typewriter model is Mercedes super T (made in Spain)
    I have been testing it and can now see that the uppercase letters are not working correct and my brand new ribbon isn’t providing enough black ink onto paper 😩
    One problem solved and now two other appeared lol 😂
    May I ask your for help again with these above mentioned issues?
    Thank you in advance ☺️☺️


    • Congratulations on you drawband repair!
      Could you send me a photo of a typing sample as well as a photo of your ribbon placement with the ribbon cover up to my email address? My email is:
      That will help me diagnose your problem. You may have one or several issues: a sticky ribbon vibrator that does not lift properly, a ribbon that isn’t feeding correctly (is it inserted properly?), some kind of obstruction that prevents shifting, etc.
      Also, does your Mercedes Super T look like this? If it does, I *think* it’s a rebranded Spanish Olivetti and that will help me trouble shoot.


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