Swapping Out a Missing Key

After we fixed the major functional issues of our old typewriter (replacing the drawband, setting the margins, cleaning the keys and getting them moving, replacing the ribbon), we addressed a comfort issue. The key “T” was missing its key cap.

It seemed like a minor problem until we started typing with our newly functional typewriter.  Who knew “t” was so popular?  Our fingers were soon sore from striking the naked stem of the key. The stem was rusty and sharp and though we are up-to-date with our tetanus shots, we decided to do a switcheroo.

The shift lock button on the right had a broken spring and wasn’t functional.  Since we had a functional shift lock on our left, my husband gently pried the blank key off the stem with his fingers and put it on the bare “T” stem.


You can see the broken spring hanging down from the shift lock button

Typing was much more pleasant with a key rather than a bare stem.

I am going to search on eBay and see if I can get a replacement composition key for my right shift lock – I know that I will eventually replace that broken spring and make it functional again.



2 thoughts on “Swapping Out a Missing Key

  1. tami says:

    How did you find a replacement key? I have a Remington Rand from my grandmother and it’s missing the f key. I want to display it in my history class.


    • If the keytop is missing and you would like to be able to use the typewriter, I have been known to fashion replacement keytops out of cork and glue them in place. It may be difficult to find an exact replacement for the type of machine you have, but you can try searches on eBay and Etsy. You may want to consider joining the Facebook Typewriter Maintenance group:
      Someone in the group may have a “parts machine” Remington of the correct model and give you the “f” keytop.


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