Instructables

SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard for PC!!! Handmade please look!!

Check out this eBay auction for the following SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard!!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170344004923&ssPageName=ADME:X:AAQ:US:1123

"SteamPunk" Typewriter Keyboard for PC

This is a custom made "Steampunk" Typewriter Keyboard that is fully functional and works with any PC! I hand made this over the course of many weeks of hard and meticulous work, using the guts of a very solid Logitech PC keyboard system which I completely rebuilt over many stages, into this solid, beautiful, and unique piece of antique technological art! Three separate sets of antique Royal glass typewriter keys make up all of the keys besides the handmade brass keys (described below). I can personally guarantee this keyboard is completely unique, and you won't find anything like it out on the market! This new beautiful style of combining the old Victorian look with new high-tech products is becoming very popular from young teens looking to be creative and inspired to rich business CEO's wanting something beautiful to match their office. Think about the all the joy and beauty this would bring to your life (not to mention bragging rights!). Right now is your chance to own a piece or art and history which you can put to use everyday!

This keyboards design consists of:

  • Solid glass keys from a three different sets of original antique Royal early 1900's typewriters.
  • Hand and naturally aged copper top and bottom rails.
  • Custom, hand punched, leather backing (perfectly fitted and stretched over the top and seamed underneath).
  • Custom bent steel side brackets (which have been properly welded to the copper rails to make a very solid keyboard).
  • Beautiful antique cloth wire loom covering computer connector.
  • Hand made brass Esc key, F keys (done in roman numerals), Arrows, and nine keys above Arrows (because they didn't make any of these keys on antique typewriters).

Brief "Steampunk" History
Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.

Functionality and Beauty
As I keep strongly pointing out, not only does this piece of techno-art look beautiful, but it also works as beautifully too! All the keys were lubricated then meticulously aligned and ergonomically angled with high strength silicon glue, which will stand up to many years of hard use! Keys that weren't available (such as the F keys and arrows) I custom made from brass which was then clear coated for years of protection.

A Brief Fabrication Process
This whole keyboard started with an idea in my head one day, and then turned into numbers of sketches and design ideas until I filled my notebook and decided it was time to make it! I started with a high quality Logitech PC keyboard, and gutted it down to the bare parts. Then after trimming all the borders off the top frame I perfectly aligned the key frame back together with now a flat surface. Next I had to hand cut all the key tops off and level them for attachment of the Royal typewriter keys. During this process I custom made the copper/steel rails and side pieces making sure the height and angle was ergonomically correct. Next was the custom punching of the leather backing which was quite difficult to align perfectly, but came out beautifully! Finally the smaller things like the light posts, cloth wire loom, painting and copper aging, and electrical work was done. (P.S. Like I said, this is a very brief summary of the complete process! Many, many steps took place during this fabrication!)

Level, Sturdy, and Desk Scratching Friendly!
This frame was professionally welded together by a hired welder who meticulously made sure was level and solid. Every detail about this keyboard was thoroughly thought through, down to the hidden padded bases so it won't slide around on your desk or scratch it!

You Wont Find Anything Like It!
Obviously you can tell by now that this is a very custom piece of art that you have the chance to own and display in your office or home! You can't imagine the beauty of this in real life, pictures just simply do no justice! A few other people have attempted to make such type of typewriter keyboards that consist of the original ugly plastic base and just changed keys.... this keyboard goes above and beyond the bar and you will not be disappointed!

Reduced Environmental Impact
As always, I tried to stay eco-conscious while designing and fabricating this keyboard. It was designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:

  • High quality polyurethane based Leather alternative (no animals harmed!)
  • Recycled copper piping
  • Original and restored Royal typewriter keys.
  • Highly recyclable parts (although you'll never want to get rid of this!)

Picture of SteamPunk Typewriter Keyboard for PC!!! Handmade please look!!
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The auction for this has ended, I saw something similar in the steampunk section of MakerFaire. Can I get or commission one?
maxter32 (author)  egbertfitzwilly4 years ago
Hi! I'm so sorry about the late reply, but since the making/selling of this keyboard my Steampunk design/fabrication career has taken off beyond my wildest imaginations(which as you can see from this keyboard is pretty wild!)! I currently work with/for a company called ModVic (ModVic.com) which does entire absolutely beautiful and breathtaking Victorian home renovations with a Steampunk-like attitude. But we've actually been concentration on more toward mixing functionality and quality with the newest technologies and best antiques, compared to regular "Steampunk" where it's an extreme art of usually nonfunctional (or not much) gizmo's and gadgets making a somewhat useful product.... But don't get me wrong, us at ModVic.com absolute LOVE and respect the Steampunk community and everything about it! It's our roots and we only want to expand from an already amazing art and culture!.......Anyways! Sorry about that tangent! Your answer is absolutely YES! You can have a custom fabricated keyboard like the one I made back then.... Along with that, I have been designed/fabricated an entire modern home office (computers, multi-LCD monitors, speakers(made to look like old record player speaker horns), a desktop computer center dash panel with useful gauges, gadgets, and gizmo's, along with wireless mice to match my keyboard, web-cam's hidden in antique cameras, and all of that is only the tip of the iceberg! If any of these things sound good to you, just let me know so I can schedule in a meeting to go over more specifics. Just don't forget....any of your imagination and ideas are beyond capable with working with me! Sorry again about the late response, I hope you still get this message/are still interested! Message me back or contact ModVic.com asking about your interest in Brian's work and design, and they'll give you further information for contacting me personally. Thanks again! - Brian
I am curious what is the model name and # of the keyboard you used for this? I have been looking for a keyboard to modify, with a clicky sound. The old IBM M keyboards are great, but I'm they generally have a curve to them that creates issues when covering it.,

It doesn't have to be a clicky keyboard, however some keyboards are better than others when it comes to modding. What are your thoughts/suggestions?