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~ An entryThe Winner in the Steampunk Weekly Challenge! See it here: (Link) ~

Greetings, my kind fellows, and Welcome to my brief (Sarcasm alert!) tutorial on how to construct a Steampunk Keyboard - Without having to completely demolish the board in the process! Even better, you probably have most of what you need at home.
This project cost me about $4.00 in the end. Thrifty! However, it also took me about 11/2 months to build, so only make this if you don't mind having a long-term project on your hands. This was my first large-scale Steampunk project, and boy, was it an adventure! I hope you wouldn't mind having 11/2 months' company with me as I tell you exactly how to duplicate my Steampunk Keyboard... Let's get started!

I also put this in the County Fair in my area... see the last step for pictures of the keyboard on display, and the 2nd place ribbon I got for it!

Step 1: Materials, Supplies, and Tools Needed:

Remember, this project (and most other Steampunk projects) is supply-heavy, though 90% or so of what I used was already in and around the house. I can't guarantee that you'll have the same lucky streak, but who knows?

To coin a popular phrase, ~~"YOU WILL NEED:"~~
  1. A Keyboard (Of Course). Make sure that it's boxy-looking for best results. - $3.00 at a thrift store.
  2. 1/2" Copper or Brass pipe - at least 26" long (I used Copper because that's what I had on hand)
  3. Gold or brassy paint
  4. Wood textured Con-Tact paper ($7.99 at my local OSH, but I only used about $1.00 worth of it)
  5. A good word program (Wordpad or Wordperfect should work - but NOT Notepad!)
  6. Some old-looking, maybe off-whitepaper
  7. At least 30 sticks of Hot Glue - I'll explain why later on.
  8. E-6000, also known as "Household Goop" More info here
  9. A tube of Super glue
  10. Shellac - and it has to be Shellac! Not Polyethylene or anything else.
  11. A Large Box to help contain your project (Optional)
Tools needed:
  1. A Hand-operated Pipe-cutter
  2. Super-Heavy-Duty Scissors(Or regular scissors and a Hacksaw or, better yet, a Dremel)
  3. An Xacto knife
  4. A Hot Glue Gun
  5. A Printer
  6. Pliers
  7. A very small Paintbrush
  8. A Creative Mind
When you have all of these items, continue to the next step.
Really well done. I totally want one!
I used a tool I made myself. I took a tube of like 10 cm long and a diameter that goes easily around the base of the keys (when you hold the key upside down). Made a sharp edge on one end of the tube, and then mounted the tube around a drill that just fit in it. Clamped the drill in my drill machine, and I had a perfect hole cutter. Hold the key upside down with a pliers or any other appropriate tool and drill around the base of the key. Clear? I don't think so. I'll see if I can add a picture.
This is an amazing but simple steampunkish keyboard, I gotta make it. I'm sorry but I gotta say it, your ribbon says "Butte County." xD
Rather than cutting the keys with a hacksaw or scissors, you can use a Dreamel tool to cut the skirts off and round them out to nubs all in one go. It takes a bit of practice, but you can get down to 10-20 seconds a key. And it doesn't wear on the hands like using scissors.
You know, I considered that idea while I was making this keyboard, but I couldn't find my Dremel. I'll definitely add that to the tools list and Step 7! Thanks.<br> Win Guy
No prob. Happy to help
Very impressive!!! Keep Steampunking!!! <br>It's a winner!!!
I thought that I commented on this! I missed it somehow! Very impressive. I love the steam punk look! Thanks for sharing your hard work and have a splendorous Day! I have to see if you won! <br>Sunshiine
I want to build one of these but I am curious on how durable it is. How long will the keyboard last.
Well, I really couldn't say exactly (I've only had it for a couple of months) but I'd say that if you put enough glue and paint on it, it should hold up for quite some time. It could require some light maintenance, however. For me, it's just guesswork - you might want to check with phirzcol and ask how his keyboard is holding up. He's had one for a lot longer, and his keyboard is very similar to mine.<br> Happy Steampunking!<br> Win Guy
Cool..project ....County Fair pics please :)
park47,<br>You got 'em! I'll see what I can do about getting them up here later today.<br> Win Guy
They're up! View them on the last step.<br> Thanks for commenting!<br> Win Guy
very nice job well written and clear instructions with some added humour going to have to have a go at this as my key board is looking a bit tatty<br>but i think i will use my dremel to cut the keys down<br>also to make the paper look like parchment i recommend going over it with a used tea bag and allowing it to dry before printing
Nice Job. Now if I just had the time I would make one. Maybe a project for next summer.<br>Another trick for the cord is to take the core out of a piece of paracord and put the outer part around the cord. That makes it look like the old style cotton insulated wire. However you have to remove the cord from the keyboard first because the paracord won't go over the plug.
That's an excellent idea! Maybe it could be possible to slit the paracord shell, slip it onto the keyboard cord, and glue it closed...? (It's simpler that way, and my main goal in this 'ible is to make the keyboard as simple as possible!)<br> Thank you for viewing!<br> Win Guy
I want one!
Wow. This is really impressive. Well done!
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! Steamy!<br>Definitely gonna make me one of these... im gonna try and use my wireless keyboard for it though... that would be addbassery....
Great job. I really like this idea.

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Bio: I never spend a nanosecond without making stuff! (Mostly MIDI Music right now!) Also, my birthday is February 21st, if anyone would like to give ... More »
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