The only known R.C. Allen Woodstock machine, a model 600 with dual branding, was received with what was thought to be a broken front frame member.  On inspection, though, it turned out that the left side frame had also cracked completely off as well, altering the whole body geometry.
July 19, 2006
The machine has been disassembled as much as necessary to allow J-B Weld to be applied first to the left side piece, then later to the front frame piece -- using clamps while curing.
Rex Visible No. 4 serial number 48935 is a complete mess.  One type-bar linkage disconnected, totally filthy, drawband broken and a host of mechanical problems including jammed right side shift keys and non-functional backspacer.  Here, it's being torn down; my brother Dave is along for the ride on this particular project and is seen here comparing the machine with the patent drawings and details for reference.
July 20, 2006
We decided today to let the R.C. Allen Woodstock sit, and really went after the Rex Visible No. 4 to attempt to clean it up, repair and restore it.  At left we see the machine after the removal of the ribbon spools.  These have to be removed before the top deck assembly can come off; there are two screw fittings on each spool shaft that must be removed to allow the spool shafts to come out the top.  The base of the spool section is actually permenently mounted to the shaft; on top of this is a wooden center spindle that ought to have a metal clip to attach the ribbon.  The top portions of the spools just screw on.  The lower of the two fittings on the ribbon spool shafts is actually integral with the ribbon spool shaft driven gear, the drive gear being left in place.  The assembly is run from a gear off the mainspring drum via an extension shaft along the left side.
In order to get the front plate off, you have to pull the margin release and tabulator keytops, and have to unscrew the ribbon selector lever.  The selector lever shaft runs through a punched hole; if they'd have slotted the plate it would have been easier.  Here's Dave getting the ribbon selector lever loose.  The ribbon reverse lever actually comes off with the front plate -- oddly!
Removal of the upper deck assembly, which contains the escapement, leaves the machine in the conditon you see here.  Upon removal of this section and the front cover plate, two different cracks were found in the frame.  In addition, the ribbon vibrator is broken off, and there is a linkage entirely missing in the back-space mechanism.  At this point, it was time to decide whether or not this machine was worth fully restoring or else just cleaning up for visual display.  We chose the second route.
At right, we see the machine from the front.  More problems included the fact that somebody at some time had not understood, apparently, that the right side shift keys always lock and had attempted to force the machine, with the result being very badly bent key levers on both right-side shift keys.  (You can lock the "shift release" key on the right to avoid this effect, as many of you know.)  Dave got those bent straight; I removed the remains of the drawband and found the mainspring to still be good.  We also started to disassemble the carriage for cleaning up.  We'll use the J B Weld on the right side frame post, which you can see is missing here, and probably leave the crack in the main lower frame alone.  This machine had been repainted at some point, so that all the original pinstriping is not recoverable.  One further problem -- the end of the linkage from the space bar to the escapement is broken. (The type bars are also all misaligned.)  Yep -- tried to "luck out" on this one hoping it was only just dirty, and it turns out to be a mechanical wreck.  But we think we can make it displayable.
Here's your author making yet another delicate adjustment to the machine.  He has discovered that the platen is actually useful in this situation.

This one's for all of you who have started to work on a machine only to have some small part launch off into the ether, or else forgotten how it goes back together.

No, I didn't really hit it.  Heck, the platen on this machine is actually in good shape, believe it or not!
August 8, 2006
Today was J-B Weld day in the workshop.  On the left, we can see that the RC Allen Woodstock is on its side; this is because the side piece has been welded on, and this orientation seems perfect to hold that piece in proper alignment.  Note that the broken-out front frame piece is inserted but not welded, proving alignment.  Above, the Rex No. 4's vertical frame post is attached, with both direct application to the break and a weld buildup behind.  Below, Dave is trying to recover the chrome on the Rex's carriage with chrome polish.
MORE workshop excitement!
Davis Typewriter Works

Will & Dave venture into typewriter repair and rebuilding, and you're welcome to come in and watch.