I am currently tinkering with typewriters and two things striked me when I started to read about their maintenance:
- They are supposed to run almost completely dry, except for a very tiny amount of lubricant at very specific points;
- Gummy or sticky gunk buildup - usually due to over-oiling + dust buildup + passage of time - is one of the main causes of typewriter malfunctioning.
As an avid cyclist I am, I have already noticed some oils have a tencency to get sticky as they dry out and mix with dust (e.g. gearbox oil), while others seem to be very stable and somewhat "repel" dust, mostly automatic transmission fluid - ATF, power steering fluid, or suspension oil. I believe these are somewhat intended to remain fluid and to actively repel dust, which seems to "fall out of the way" instead of get increasingly mixed with the oil and the working surfaces.
I know a lot of typewriter folks use sewing machine oil (Singer, mostly), but I wonder if its characteristics are suitable for this need of not getting gunky as the years pass.
So que questions are:
- Given the considerations above, would some type of oil or non-oily lubricant be more adequate than sewing-machine oil?
- Is the hydraulic fluids hypothesis a good one?
- Any other relevant consideration?