Fixing the Stuck Margins on My Old Remington Rand KMC

We tried to fixed the stuck margins (we had about two inches of space between the left and right margins) by hitting the Margin Release key and then the Set and Clear keys.

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

All we were actually doing was setting tabs.

The margins were still stuck, the left margin way over in the center of the page.

However, once I knew that I was dealing with a Remington Rand KMC, I was able to find information on adjusting the margins. Sometime in the past, our typewriter had a traumatic event involving its left KMC key. Someone had replaced the missing key with a blank piece of painted wood.

The mystery key on the left side of the keyboard is identified as the left KMC key (Keyboard Margin Control key)

The mystery key on the left side of the keyboard is identified as the left KMC key (Keyboard Margin Control key)

It was a mystery key until I identified that blank wooden key as the left KMC key – the key that controls the left margin.

By holding down the left KMC key and the carriage release lever, I was able to move beyond the left margin and set the left margin where I wanted it. Same thing on the right using the right KMC key – and ta-da: useful margins!

This is the right side twin of the mystery key - "KMC" clearly printed on it.

This is the right side twin of the mystery key – “KMC” clearly printed on it. Keyboard Margin Control.

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4 thoughts on “Fixing the Stuck Margins on My Old Remington Rand KMC

  1. Hello! I just got a Remington, and the KMC keys (especially the right side one) doesn’t seem to work, so the carriage can never get to the right side unless I reset the margin.

    I am really new to type writers and I look forward to restoring it, but I can’t even seem to get it working…

    Whats the right approach?

    Thank you!

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    • Congratulations on your KMC. It was our first typewriter and still a favorite in the family (now we have about 15 typewriters). The KMC is such a solid, satisfying typewriter.

      Richard Polt has a manuals archive at the Classic Typewriter Page and a pdf of the KMC manual. From the manual, this is how to set margins:

      KMC KEYBOARD MARGIN CONTROL
      Keyboard Margin Control is a new and greatly simplified device for setting margins on the New Remington. To set Left margin, move carriage to right, against left margin stop. Press and hold down left KMC key while moving carriage to desired position. Remove finger from carriage release lever, then release KMC key, and the margin is set-positively. To set Right margin, move carriage to left, against right margin stop. Press and hold down right KMC key while moving carriage to desired position. Remove finger from carriage release lever, then release KMC key, and the margin is set-positively, To clear the left margin, first move carriage to the right against margin stop, then depress left KMC key. Continue to move carriage to the right on to the final stop, release KMC key and margin is cleared. To clear right margin, depress carriage release lever, move carriage to the left against the stop, depress right KMC key and continue to move carrriage to the left until finalstop is reached, release KMC key and margin is cleared. A warning bell sounds before the right-hand margin is reached, After the bell rings, several more characters may be typed, then the keys lock, preventing further typing on the line unless the Margin Release Key (30) is depressed. This permits writing to the extreme end of the carriage.

      Here is a diagram of the KMC. You will be depressing the carriage release lever (#15 on right and left) at the same time as the appropriate KMC key (#5 on right and left) and moving the carriage to the desired location.
      KMC diagram

      And here is a video of adjusting my right margin my KMC. The right margin was set in the center of the page at the beginning. I depressed the right KMC key and the right carriage release lever at the same time and moved the carriage to the left to move the margin further right on the page. You’ll notice that I wiggle the carriage a little to the right then push left to set my right margin.

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  2. Carolyn Wolfer says:

    I couldn’t find the correct place to write to you, so I hope this is OK. I have a Remington Rand that we’ve had on display for probably 25 years. It’s in great shape but I finally took it down and dusted it off because our 15yo wanted to try his hand at typing on it. I discovered that the only thing that doesn’t function is the spacebar. It’s stuck in the depressed position. I’ve turned the machine over and cannot see anything missing to cause this. Can you provide a suggestion of what I might need to clean off? Thank you.

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    • Hmmm. Your spacebar problem could be related to a missing spring or linkage, dirt and gunk, mechanical obstruction or a combination of these three issues.

      I flipped my KMC on its back and this is what I see from the bottom:
      bottom view of KMC

      Note the spring – if it’s missing from yours, it may cause a spacebar problem. I would clean all the moving parts you see under the machine that are connected to the spacebar with denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. I have found the penetrating lubricant PB B’laster very effect for frozen, rusty mechanisms. Be careful around painted surfaces as the denatured alcohol and mineral spirits will strip paint.

      When I sit the machine upright and open the back panel up, I see where the spacebar connector rod triggers the escapement mechanism:
      KMC escapement

      I would clean carefully in this area as well.

      If you need more pictures, let me know.

      Like

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