Picture of Clean your vintage IBM M2 clicky keyboard!
Clicky fever is indeed upon us. It's not hard to find a used one of these, but it is hard to find a clean one, so you'll need to break out the elbow grease. I've found instructions for cleaning the big version, but I haven't found any yet for the M2, which is the smaller version I'm using here. I like this one a lot better, as it has all necessary keys, but is much more compact.

After you read this guide, you'll be able to fully clean an M2 keyboard, so when you find one for sale at a garage sale for $5 you can say, "Yeah, but all those stains..." and take it away for $2, knowing that only a couple hours' work later you'll have a like-new M2! Yeah!

For those wondering, today's keyboard is part number 1395300, manufactured in Feb of 1994. There are no detachable keycaps or drainage channels.

For those with no idea what this is about, the Model M and M2 are keyboards that use a buckling spring mechanism in each key to provide tactile and auditory feedback. When each spring buckles it makes a click, resulting in a machine-gun stacatto of clicky noise, as my wife can tell you. She's sitting two rooms away. Read more here:

Step 1: Unscrew these screws

Picture of Unscrew these screws
Easier than it sounds--people report difficulty finding the correct size square driver. I got lucky, but if you're not so lucky, just try a few small flatblade (minus-shaped) drivers inserted diagonally. These bolts aren't particularly torquey, and if there's something you're going to mess up in this process, this isn't it.
crispy345 made it!1 year ago

Thank you! I managed to open it, removed the keys and the springs, put them back toghether but didn't know to put the black coating over first. Managed to make them all fall out and sat in anger trying to get them back toghether. The main reason I wanted to open it was that the spring for the spacebar had snapped, I replaced it with the one for the scroll lock (never use it) and it now works amazingly well. I'm glad I found it!

bluescrubby (author)  crispy3451 year ago
Glad it was helpful! And it sounds like you found the only brand new spring on the old keyboard ... not even used once! ;)
Might be correct, the space key now feel better than ever! :)
Wasagi4 years ago
Clicky! And I just passed up the opportunity to grab one of these from a pile of outdated but functional electronics outside my neighbors house... Drat!
Colonel885 years ago
How is it tagged for "machinegun"? Please take that off, this has absolutley NOTHING to do with machineguns.
It's tagged for machine gun because of the sound the keyboard makes, and in the intro (third paragraph) it says "When each spring buckles it makes a click, resulting in a machine-gun stacatto of clicky noise, as my wife can tell you."
bluescrubby (author)  Colonel885 years ago




not sure what you're talking about.
santy226 years ago
Naked Keyboard! if you add "only for +18" that would have made my day.
lol thats funneh