Here's the aluminium platen tube/core once the cotton was removed. Not much to see, but you can tell that the opening doesn't allow for too much clearance. This was going to be a fiddly job, to say the least.
Here's the bucket of hot water. Waste of time, but at least I now knew what wouldn't work. One of Thomas Edison's assistants once complained about the various methods they had used in order to try and get the first telephone working. I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something along the lines of ;" We've tried a hundred different ways, without success."
Edison replied; "Well, at least we know a hundred different ways that don't work."
Here's the spring-loaded metal thingy (not a technical term) that clips around the platen end to hold the other metal thingy in place. If you attempt this procedure yourself, don't lose this thing.
The rubber sheeting was three millimetres thick. I should buy a whole lot more of it and make a Batsuit.
After a while, the dining room smelled like a tyre factory. My fingers turned black as I handled this rubber. I cut out a bunch of these discs, and then all manner of fun (that was sarcasm) cramming them into the platen.
Yeah, I can't do this trick with my tongue, either.
So anyway, I grabbed a 10 cent coin and used it as a template for the next batch of discs. These coins measure approx. 23mm in diameter. I don't know how many of these I cut out. I just kept cutting and pushing them into the platen with the coat-hanger. These smaller-sized discs were a perfect fit. Looking into the platen, I could see that they sat nice and flush against all sides. It was Scott K (The Filthy Platen) who suggested that whatever I filled the platen tube with would have to press against the inside of the tube in order to absorb the sound. This is why I decided against using silicon rubber or roof sealant.
I tamped the discs down with the coat-hanger and a large screwdriver. I'm sure I left more than a few scratches inside the platen tube.
Here's the coat-hanger 'tool' that I used;
I made sure to leave enough clearance so that I could fit that metal spring thingy back in. This left about an inch-and-a-half on the end of the platen where I couldn't fit any more rubber. Hopefully, it would be enough. I also noticed that the platen was now noticeably heavier than when I started. Of course it was. It had enough rubber in it to make a spare tyre.
When I was done fitting these discs into the platen, I gave it all one last hard press and fitted the platen back onto the Galaxie II. I have to hand it to Smith-Corona for making these platen assemblies so easy to remove.
I loaded a small sheet of paper into the typewriter and started typing...and couldn't tell the difference at all.
Ticked off, I put the typewriter back into its case, tidied up the mess I'd made, and walked away from it.
Here's all of the equipment that I used;
The next day, I got out the Galaxie II, loaded a full-sized A4 sheet of paper into it and began typing as much nonsense as I could get onto the page. I wrote about three lines. Still not sure, I kept typing.
This time, I noticed a very definite difference in the sound. It was considerably muted compared to how it sounded before I filled it. Maybe I was tired the day before, after spending three or four hours on this project.
Whereas the typewriter used to produce a loud 'thwack' for about half a line before it dulled down into the 'typewriter sound' that we all know, now it sounded a lot more muted. The more I typed, the more I noticed the difference, as my mind dug up the memory of how it used to sound. I noticed the 'noise' of it didn't bounce off the walls the way it did prior to this procedure.
I should have used the voice recorder app on my iPod to record a 'before and after' of the sound. No matter. I can definitely tell a difference in the sound.
In typing the first page of this typecast, I was now certain that there was a difference. The platen no longer started off loud. It was an even sound throughout. Actually, that's not true. The first couple of inches still sounded a little louder, but this quickly settled into a lower 'tap, tap, tap' as each typeslug hit the platen. Remember, I had to leave a little clearance for the metal thingy.
In terms of this being a reversible procedure, I have a feeling that it is, but it would require quite a bit of elbow grease, another coat-hanger tool with a flattened, hooked end to dislodge the discs, and a pair of long-nosed pliers to wrench them out of the platen.
Although, I doubt I'll have to worry about that.
The more I use the typewriter, the more I realise that this procedure worked. It now sounds a lot more like most of my other typewriters. If I ever get the platen re-coated, that will probably quieten it down even further.
Yes, it was indeed a fiddly, pains-taking job, but the end result was worth it. I just wish I'd known the exact diameter at the start. This would have made it a lot more straightforward.
Still, I can't complain about the result.
Definitely made a difference.
Thanks for reading!