How To Remove Keys From a Typewriter


I have an addiction to antique typewriters.  There, I admitted it.  They are so beautiful even when they aren’t shiny anymore.  It breaks my heart to remove the keys but after the first clip I’m unstoppable.  I’ve had a number of people ask me how I remove the keys.  Warning:  it’s not for the faint of heart.  You need to have some muscle and the right tools.


Tools required:  Safety glasses, tin snips, pliars, wire cutters and a dremel.  It is extremely important to wear safety glasses while you are working.  As I work, little pieces of metal and often the actual typewriter keys ping against my safety glasses.

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Flip your typewriter upside down.  Ewww…it’s a little dirty and nasty in there isn’t it?  No problem, you are going to snip the keys off anyway.

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Once you snip the keys off you will need to remove the arm.  If you are working with an old Underwood typewriter all you need to do is to lift the 3 metal flaps on the back of the key and use something sharp like a pair of pliars to pry the key off the arm.  Once you’ve done that simply fold the metal flaps back down and you are set to go.  If you are working with a brand of typewriter like my Remington Rand you will need to use your Dremel to cut the back off the key and then sand off any rough edges.  I wear a glove on the hand holding the pliars gripping the typewriter key to protect my hand as sparks and metal fly.


The next step is easy.  Have fun creating something that you love!  We hope this DIY post was helpful!

Kristi & Carolyn


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