Well, first let me state that i made this about 4 years ago, so bare with me.
i wanted to try to make a steampunk keyboard that won't require much tools and craftmanship like Datamancer's keyboards which are insane. also to spend as less money as possible and also try to make it on a wireless common cheap keyboard.
i would like to give props to this project which helped me a lot and the brass "friction lid support" was used as well here:
scissors and x-acto knives
also used heavy duty cutter for cutting the plastic keys
glue(any kind will do, i used r21 and wood glue)
nail polish or any kind of polish will do(wood polish)
brass buttons - i used two sizes for emphasizing some keys like the ctrl and shift etc..
vintage ish looking paper(looks a bit like a scroll paper)
guitar strap pins
fabric of your choise
friction lid support - which is basicly a window hardware, but you can also use other hardware parts or make something similar your own, which is what i would have done if i would redo this.
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Step 1: Preparing the Keys
disassemble the keys from your keyboard of choise - this can be done with a flat head screwdriver and a little force.
most newer keyboards nowdays have this rubbery thingies under the keys so make sure you keep them.
try to take a picture of the keyboard before you do all that, so you will know what goes where
Then print out your new keys label, i made mine with photoshop, i measured the inside diameter of the brass buttons and used that for the sizing, also i arranged them in a manner that will look like the way they are orginized on the keyboard itself and then put an image of a steampunk ship. the idea was trying to make it look like the keys form a picture - in the longrun it didnt really work well, but it has a nice look to it.
then i cut the plastic keys tops in such a way there will be only the minimum of the top left(as possible)
after printing and cutting the keys labels i glued a piece of cardboard to each brass key(from the packeging of the keyboard itself) so they will be a bit taller and also glue better.
glued the keys labels to the brass buttons, and put a nice coat of nail polish on top
after all the keys dried(it didnt took more then 10m), i glued the new brass keys to the plastic keys buttoms.
Step 2: Making the Rectangle Keys
Ok, so for the rectangle keys i searched for AGES on ebay for some brass like things that would fit with a nice rim and all. after much searching i found this dollar bill pendants that fitted well for the cause.
so the same steps apply for those keys as well - cut, glue cardboard on the bottom and glue the label and then polish.
For the space bar and the hole where there was those annoying play shut down buttons i inserted some fabric and ordered an engraved brass plate from ebay to fit there.
since not all keyboard has those annoying buttons i didnt bother to make a step that explains to disassemble the keyboard and take them out. but if you got those then thats how its done:) not complicated at all, just be carefull not to hurt the circuit board and wiring.
Step 3: Final Touches
So for the buttom plastic part of the keyboard i glued in some Victorian looking fabric and then screwd two Guitar strap pin heads on the sides.
the fabric part could have been done less sloppy. i admit.
then i screwed the windows brass hardware thingies on the sides of the keyboard, using very small screws! so i wont hit the keyboards pcd and stuff inside.
Step 4: Thats It!
and now its done! hope you liked it :)
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