Armour From Keyboards

Introduction: Armour From Keyboards

This is an instructable on how to create a suit of armour from a set of keyboards. Do not use hacksaws as they will be wrecked by this and seeing as you will be handling all kinds of nasty appliances and sharp edgs be very careful not to injure yourself

You shall need:

A very god pair of tinsnips
a ruler, preferably 30cm
needle-nose pliers
ordinary pliers
something to cut up pieces of coathanger (I used a pair of nail removers)
a pencil
a large piece of cardboard (for the template, should be AT LEAST 60 by 40 to accommodate drawing well)
a vice
a hammer
a nail, or something hard and sharp
a drill (electric) with an attachment capable of drilling through 1mm steel plate without breaking
a sturdy workbench
a screwdriver
thick gloves, for working
a good file


about 5 keyboards, old, and not from laptops (dont take apart any historical artifacts like, say, the very first Amstrad) as these are the only ones with good plate. Laptops are rubbish for theis purpose

A lot of wire coathangers
belts/ rucksack straps (about 6, it really depends on your preference)
split ring washers

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Step 1: Template

Draw your template for the armour on the large cardboard like so. it should take the initial shape of a large 30cm by 42 OR by 50 if you want extra length to it. if using te 42 long it is divided into a series of smaller rectangles, each one 10cm by 6cm, 3 wide and 7 down.

The top row is a bit wierd though. there are only two plates here. due to a lack of resources i had to miss out this row completely on the back half as well. the reason behind there only being two plates is so that there is space for your neck. the two plates should be cut to be the standard 6 by 10 BUT you should make a second cut on each. the cut should be a diagonal one from two points. the first point is on the long side and you should make a point at 4cm along. on the short side th poin should be 2cm in. this means that the triangle that you are cutting off should have one side 6 cm long (fromthe long) one side 4cm(from the short) and a hypoteneuse somwhere around 7cm or so.

Step 2: Cutting Up the Rest

in this step, which should be considered as the main bdy of work (and will take a considerable amount of time), i shall be going over the manner in which you should cut up the rest of the plates. as stated earlier you should cut each plate out of the plates from the old keyboards. each plate should be 6cm by 10. remember to be very careful: use the gloves and any other precautions you think of. remember, you should have 36 plates, each 6 by ten after youve done this, with 18 plates for each side (front and back) in addition to the 2 other ones on the front for the neck guards.

ok, here are the pics. follow as best you can. and file the edges down.

Step 3: Drilling Everything Full of Holes

ok, now we drill a hole in each of the corners of the plates, remember to drill holes big enough to put the coathanger wire through. use the all the necessarys. sucure everything with either a vice or A G clamp so that nothing goes flying away. before you drill ANYTHING however you should hammer in little points with the hammer and nail beforehand so that the drill doesnt slip.

remember please to drill two at the top of the triangular neck guard plate as the shall have straps attched to them

Step 4: Bending Clips

here we shall start the first part of the joining process: bending the clips.

the clips should be bent thusly:

1. cut a length of coathanger, about 2 inches long, using the clippy ability of the nail remover clips.

2. take the length and grip it in the middle with the ordinary plier.

3. use the needle nose pliers to bend the ends over at about 45 degrees. at both ends.

Step 5: Attaching the Clips to the Plates, and Linking Them

now comes the good ( comparatively) bit.

take the bent clip and loop one end through te hole drilled into a corner of any one of the plates.
then take a second plate and loop the other end of the clip in through its hole. remember to make sure that you have them correctly aligned so that bottom left hole on one plate is in line with the bottom right on the other etc. i found it easiest to work by making six strips of three plates and then linking them together horizontally. this means that there is greatest accesability for the pliers to get in and bend the clips tight.

once you are done with the main body (put on a DVD to watch while doing this: it will take time) remember to attach the plates for the neck (the ones that you cut triangles out of).

Step 6: Attaching the Straps...

I personally found this the most annoying part of the whole process, leaving aside the soreness caused by continued use of heavy tinsnips for about 3 days straight. you however, lucky as you are, shall have less of a problema s you shall only have to follow instructions. i spent ages guessing and using bootlaces to tie everything to gether: dont do this as the can tear and are hard to adjust.

in the end I opted for rucksack straps and attached them using split ring washers. you can also use keyrings if you wish. in fact they might be slightly better. open the washer as wide as you need to and loop it through the rectangular hole in the buckle of the strap. sorry for the bad quality of the pics if it is bad but i was having trouble witht the surroundings not being too good

I am deliberately not telling you where to put the side straps as this is really a matter of choice. please also note the straps on the side should be put on in the same manner as above. if you wish (and, indeed, as i had to) you can use bits of leftover coathanger to make the clips here as well

Step 7: Grand Finale. (tightening and Tweaking)

ok, once youve finished assembling all this you are pretty much all set. the placement of the straps should be easily changable if you need to. so just fiddle with until it feels right. DONT wear your best shirt under this as it will get torn. wear some crappy old thing. it wont matter then. and do be careful.

one other thing: remember that although this is *armour* by no accounts engage in fights under the assumption that this will protect you: it wont, the metal is almost certainly too thin.

and alos you may have to re- link it occasionally after transportation etc as the links may well become loose.

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    7 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hello and welcome. Have we met? (Nice armour!) L


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yes, i was the guy at the maker faire. as a matter of feedback did i miss out/ mess up anything on the instrucable? thanks,


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I recognised the two Amstrad labels. Some people are not familiar with these old and heavy keyboards (not in bits anyway) - I'd add a picture of a keyboard (and that shouldn't be hard). Computer-case would work too I guess, but it's thinner? L (post some of your other stuff - the walking stick is good)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    unfortunatley i didnt take pics of the construction of the stick. ive got a wierd semi monocle thing that should be up soon though


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You can post slideshows of your older/less well documented projects - just give as much backstory and instruction as possible.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Prior to seeing this comment i had actually decided to make a second cane of similar type, though this may take time. thank you for the suggestion anyway though, i shall bear it in mind