Back in July of 2021, I had the pleasure of building the beautiful Lego Ideas Typewriter 21327. It’s a stunning model typewriter, approximately half scale, that has occupied a feature space on my office desk ever since I completed it.
The action of the typewriter is truly satisfying, and even though all of the keys cause the same hammer to actuate, the way that the carriage moves from right to left as you type really sells the effect.
The first part of the build was repetitive, as there are two very similar mechanisms that make up each of the actuating keys. It took awhile to make these, and it was difficult at this stage to understand how these pieces fit into the finished project, but I got through the grind with the help of a podcast.
Soon enough, I could mount all of the key lever arms into a grid pattern and arrange them in the frame that makes up the back plane of the keyboard for the typewriter.
Next up was the hammer mechanism, a wide bar that is pushed forward any time one of the keys is pressed down. As mentioned above, every key on typewriter that can be actuated causes a single shared hammer to spring forward. Although it would have been nice to have distinct hammers for each key, I don’t think that it would have been possible at this scale.
In front of the hammer mechanism is a flat smooth track that the carriage slides on. In this model, the carriage is made up of a movable wheeled component that can move from left to right on that smooth track, actuating a ratchet system that prevents it from sliding back to the left. Whenever a key is depressed, the ratchet lifts and the carriage moves one notch back to the left.
With the guts of the model complete, it was time to turn start building the body that contains the inner workings.
The seafoam green colour of the body components is striking, although I’ll admit that I had difficulty differentiating it from Technic grey at times, causing me to mix up some internal and external parts. I didn’t notice the mistake until much later in the build, and had to backtrack to fix it. Being colour blind can be a chore at times.
This model is gorgeous. It looks great on my desk, and I’ve had co-workers on Zoom calls ask if it is a real typewriter. I had fun building it, and love to watch the mechanism at work. I’d call this set a must-have for any fan of Technic and of typewriters.