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If you have a machine, machines, run a shop or have a special project we would love for you to submit your information and photographs to us for inclusion on the Graphotype.net web site.

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We get contacted all the time from people asking where can I find a Graphotype machine?

Our answer is simply you find them where you look for them.

Many people are under the impression that these machines are rare.  This belief is supported by some of the inflated prices and false descriptions on web sites such as eBay.  Nothing against eBay but many times sellers have no clue as to what they are selling much less accurately describe or represent their sale items.

If you are truly on the hunt for a Graphotype machine, many of them can be found right in your own home town.  These machines are much like everything else, in larger towns there are more machines just as there are more people.

Graphotype machines are not advertised for sale in your local office supply store, to find these machines you have to exert some effort.  Get out and knock on some doors.  Learn where these machines were used for decades (NO, it is not the military), and start asking around.  You would be surprised who might have a Graphotype stuffed off in a closet or shoved into a corner.

Learn the history of these machines and develop an appreciation for what the Graphotype is and you will have no problem finding machines in your local area.

Too many people want to find these machines in hopes they can procure them and resell them at an obscene profit with no intention of using or preserving the machine as a living piece of history.  It is for this reason that we do not list here specific places to search for these machines.  If you really understand the Graphotype then you will need no assistance . . .

Essentially it can be summed up that Graphotype machines are where you find them.


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It is for this reason that we value your input.  Please contact us with any information, comments or questions you might have about Graphotype Machines.

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Greg - NY

Greg - NY
January, 2008 -2009
Graphotype 6381

"A True Labor of Love"

Greg of New York acquired a 6381 Graphotype that was abandoned by the previous owner.  We will be following Greg's progress on the restoration of his machine.


While working his "day" job, on his truck route, Greg found a rusted greasy hulk of a Graphotype machine lying on top of a pile of stuff gutted from an old house awaiting the trash haulers.

Not knowing what the machine was Greg contacted the owner and inquired as to if he could have the machine.  The owner told Greg that he had no idea what the machine was but he could have it if he came back tomorrow.

The next day Greg took his pickup and drove over to the refuse pile and

Below are photographs of the machine "as-recovered" by Greg. 

Notice the photograph above and you can clearly see that the flywheel on this Graphotype machine is broken.  This is a common problem on machines that have been abused, knocked over or dropped.  The flywheels are cast and as such tend to be "brittle" subject to damage if shocked.

Greg an accomplished "certified" welder is planning to braze the flywheel in an attempt to repair it.  Before using the flywheel, Greg will verify the integrity of the flywheel and have it checked for balance.  We will update this section as soon as Greg let's us know if his repairs are successful.

Also clearly visible in this photograph are the factory protective covers the hide the gears.

In this photograph we can see the metal gear hidden under the protective cover.  It appears from cursory examination that the mechanical parts of the machine are in tact with no damage.

From the factory a 6381 would have been a upper and lower case debossing Graphotype.

This photo shows the front of the machine and while there is surface rust visible, this machine is in pretty good shape for being abandoned.  99% of all the rust and dirt on this machine are common on machines that have not been in service for many years.  This machine will clean up nicely with a little effort.

The "gate ring" does not appear to be to heavily rusted and this is a critical part of the machine.

The JAWS on the carriage do appear to have seen better days.  But I feel certain that the jaws are completely salvageable.  We recommend that you remove the jaws and use a fine "Scotch-Brite" pad with oil to clean the surface rust from the jaws.

See below for tips on using "Scotch-Brite" to remove surface rust.

DO NOT alter the leading "lips" of the jaws, it is important that they remain flat and parallel for proper operation.

In this photo one can clearly see the carriage rail and the tag flattener.  The carriage rail appears to have a lot of surface rust that will NOT effect operation of the machine.  On the bearing surfaces use your "Scotch-Brite" to remove the rust taking care to not remove the base metal.

A lightweight machine oil and a "Scotch-Brite" pad is all you need to remove this surface rust.  Remove the carriage rail and lay on a flat table.  Cover the carriage rail with a thin coating of oil and lightly run the rail in a swirling motion with your "Scotch-Brite" pad to loosen and remove rust.  Do NOT be concerned about deeply pitted areas, just rub over them and remove the rust from the surface.

Check carriage rail for flatness.  While you have the carriage rail off the machine it is a good time to check the carriage rail for flatness.  The carriage rail must be flat to properly work.  Use a known flat surface such as a granite table top or flat counter top and lay your carriage rail on the flat surface.  Inspect the carriage rail from the side to see if it is flat.  If rail is NOT flat work rail to make as flat as you can.

The Tag flattener stop arm is broken at the pivot point and can be see just in front of the carriage tension assembly.  The tag flattener stop is not critical, but one needs to know that if this stop is not in place and the carriage travels beyond the "rack", it will spring to the right and cause the tag flattener to actuate without warning.

The carriage tension assembly is visible and it appears that it is NOT attached to the carriage.  The tension assembly will have to be "rewound" and attached to the carriage before it can properly function.  This assembly is used to pull the carriage to the right one character space at a time while imprinting.

The tag flattener - this device is as the name states, it is a mechanical roll press that flattens the tags and causes the imprinted text to be formed to a uniform height.  This subject of tag flatteners is addressed with it's own dedicated page found on this site here - TAG FLATTENER -

This tag flattener appears to be covered in surface rust.  It is not necessary to clean this apparatus as it will clean itself when used.  It would be recommended to oil and lubricate this unit.

For proper height adjustment see the page mentioned above.

Broken feet are a common problem for machines that have been dropped, hit or abused.  The legs of the machine are cast iron and as such they tend to snap off, crack or break if subject to shock, bumped or hit with force.

Repair of cast iron is possible but it should be done by an experienced metal smith that has worked with cast iron in the past.  For the average person or non-welder cast iron is NOT repairable via welding, soldering or brazing.

When repairing the feet on these machines, one needs to keep in mind that this machine weighs 390 lbs in it's factory configuration.  If the machine is to be used in or exposed to the public you do not want a faulty repair to break and have the machine fall over on someone.  Repairs to lets and other structural supports should be taken very seriously.

Under view of the keyboard and the key lever assembly.  Notice all the springs.  The bottom cover has been removed for this photograph.  One needs to ensure that all pivot points on the keyboard arms are properly lubricated and function freely.

Keyboard, most key caps appear to be intact.  The surface rust on the palm rest is inconsequential to the operation of the machine.  You can see the RESET lever on the left hand side of the keyboard.  It appears the SHIFT lever key caps might be missing.

Before operating the machine all keys should be checked for function.  With the machine OFF - each and every key should be tested that it functions freely with no sticking or binding.  If any keys stick or bind, you must trace down the problem and correct before using the machine. 

To track down a problem start at the Key Cap and trace your way back to the actual gate in the gate ring. 

This photograph clearly illustrates what happens to cast iron when bumped, struck, knocked over, dropped or subjected to shock.  This photograph is of the "belt guard" that covers the flywheel belt to keep people from sticking their fingers in the flywheel.

Notice that this guard is "shattered" into multiple pieces.  While possible, it will be very difficult to repair this guard to it's original or even a usable condition.

A design flaw of the guards is the number of mounting points that hold the guard to the physical machine.  Because there are too few mounting points the guard tends to have some "flexure", that results in fatigue and can cause the belt guard to be prone to damage.

02-2009 - After much anticipation - we now have an update on Greg's Graphotype machine.  I must say that it has been worth the wait.

Cherished Heirloom
Fruit's of Labor

A design flaw of the guards is the number of mounting points that hold the guard to the physical machine.  Because there are too few mounting points the guard tends to have some "flexure", that results in fatigue and can cause the belt guard to be prone to damage.











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