I've been working on this project for a while, and have gotten to a point I can call "Done". It is now stable, and looks good.
Additionally, I'd like to do something with the LEDs in the keyboards for the shift lights, until then, it's done.
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Step 1: Gather Parts
Going to a goodwill would probably give you your best selection of keyboards to choose form. All of the keyboards I used were donated to me on the verge of being thrown out, or in the case of the older one with the cord cut off, it hit the trash pile, then was reclaimed.
I used the scanner from an all-in-one printer. Find something about the length of a keyboard.
My only disclaimer as far as gathering parts go, some older keyboards may be worth a good bit. Look up what you have before you gut it. A quick Google search might surprise you. A side note, it will be harder to use boards made prior to the 2000's, just because of how they are built.
Step 2: Planning
The more squared off the shape of the board, the better.
The most important length you need to match is the length of the scanner. You need one to run parallel along the bottom.
Step 3: Disassembely
Remove everything from the scanner, there are fun parts in it, such as the mirrors that can be used to make a kaleidoscope. www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-awsome-klidoscope-from-a-scanner/
Watch out for the light, It's sometimes a CF bulb.
You can remove what you want from the keyboards, or leave it all in. I recommend cutting the cords, if you are leaving the circuit boards in. The only part you NEED to leave in is the rubbery part that makes the keys pop back out. There is an exception. I removed the rubbery part to the keyboard I made the lower shelf, so it acted more like a shelf, and not a spring board.
Step 4: Reassembley
Start to attach the framework, but do not close the cases. Begin to screw the bases together. Originally, I used the screws that previously held the boards shut. In later versions, I switched to drywall screws.
Keep in mind, you want two keyboards on each side, not one.
Step 5: Tech Support
(get it, it's a pun, it's technology, and we're literally going to help support it :D )
In the finished pictures, lot of it's strength comes from the lamp wire X on the back. (That and the shelf) To install this X, you will need something to cross the back of your project, I used an electrical cord from a dead lamp. Ensure you have enough cord (or whatever your using) to make it corner to corner 2 times, Plus an additional 3-5 inches on either after it is cut in half.
Step 6: Finishing the Support X
Cut the cord in half.
Close the two keyboards in the from of the project, leave the back two open. Drill four holes in the back of the back keynoards. Two on each keyboard, one at the top, and one at the bottom.
With the two pieces of wire, pull the ends through the New holes in the keyboards. One wire should be through the top left corner, and bottom right, the other should be through the bottom left, and top right.
On one keyboard knot the wire on the inside of the keyboards. At this point there should be one knot in each wire.
Next trim the wire back if necessary. DO NOT leave less than an inch of wire. I would recommend not trimming the wire, in case the knot slides.
Then do the same to the wires on the other side.
Step 7: Putting the Scanner Back Together
Place the upper half of the scanner in place, trace the outline of the window on the bottom of the bed. Remove the upper half, and use something to set up a wall to keep small things in place. if your putting in change or flash drives.
If not, skip this.
Then reseal the scanner.
Step 8: Finally Reassemble
The back two keybaords and scanner bed should not be screwed together at this point. If they are, it's not a problem. If you used screws previously employed by they keyboards, you need enough to have one in each of the corner holes, and one somewhere close to the middle. The scanner do what you see fit. If you bought screws, all the better.
If you would like, add some epoxy/super/plastic glue. Just keep in mind, some plastic/super glues chemically melt the plastic temporally, to mix the plastics of the two things your putting together, then re-solidify. So if your planning to glue a metal screw in place with model glue, it isn't going to work well.
Participated in the
Dead Computer Contest