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Computer Keyboard #1: Over my head...

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Blog entry by Wes Grimes posted 10-02-2011 04:34 PM 1610 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Computer Keyboard series Part 2: Major woodwork complete »

I was inspired by the Steampunk keyboards where people have stripped the keys off of vintage typewriters and modified existing keyboards with them.
I really like the look of brass and wood, so I thought I would make my own keys of brass and take the circuit board out of a keyboard. I chose mahogany for the wood.

Here is the current state of affairs:

(the black swirl marks on the wood are just rubber from some clamps I was using to hold it down while drilling. That will sand right off)

The keys are made from 5/8” brass hand cut using a pipe cutter. That is a lot of cutting… I wore out two pipe cutters.

I buffed all of the keys to shine with a dremel.
I used clear casting epoxy to create a lens in the keys that includes a concave end for comfort on the fingers.

I did not own a drill press, so that is why not all of the holes are drilled through. Turns out drilling straight by hand is tricky…
Also, the concave lenses turned into the bane of my existence. ;)

I now own a drill press, so I can finish the wood.

I became a little overwhelmed by this project and put it on hold to build my digital clock. Perhaps now that I have completed my first ever wood working project, I can finish this one.

-- Wes, Garland, TX



8 comments so far

View Maveric777's profile

Maveric777

2690 posts in 1733 days


#1 posted 10-02-2011 08:14 PM

Im with Autumn about being interested in this project… Keep us up to date on this. Like to see how it comes along…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2452 days


#2 posted 10-02-2011 09:41 PM

Very cool so far. Any pics of the profile of the keyboard?

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1772 days


#3 posted 10-02-2011 10:32 PM

looking good sofare :-)

Dennis

View Wes Grimes's profile

Wes Grimes

38 posts in 1099 days


#4 posted 10-02-2011 10:38 PM

Thanks all. I will get a profile shot of it. It is a 3/4” piece of wood with the corners rounded off. I did cut a bevel on the front of the keyboard. So, the profile is boring right now. Once it has keys, it will be more interesting.

-- Wes, Garland, TX

View Wes Grimes's profile

Wes Grimes

38 posts in 1099 days


#5 posted 10-03-2011 12:35 AM

I broke out the drill press and fixed all the holes. Here are the profile shots as requested as well:

-- Wes, Garland, TX

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2452 days


#6 posted 10-03-2011 12:59 AM

I like it so far. I can’t wait to see where you take the design.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View spamfilterman's profile

spamfilterman

147 posts in 1678 days


#7 posted 10-03-2011 02:55 AM

really cool. interested to see how you mount the keys

View Wes Grimes's profile

Wes Grimes

38 posts in 1099 days


#8 posted 10-03-2011 03:00 AM

Me too!!! :)
I have yet to figure that out. I am sure that it will involve dowel rods and generous amounts of epoxy…

-- Wes, Garland, TX

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