wireless alum. keyboard - what to do?

Posted by: mrpixlaw

wireless alum. keyboard - what to do? - 08/27/09 02:21 PM

I've been using the small wireless aluminum keyboard for awhile now and love it, both for the feel of it and also for the fact that its small size makes it easier to fit on my small desk.

Problem is, I HATE the aluminum finish. Makes the one part of my desk look like a pretentious yuppie kitchen counter.

So what to do? Radio C1ash posted a very tasty mod here a while back (c.f. 1900 keyboard) which is kind of like what I'm thinking of, but I'm finding it not practical for at least 3 reasons: finding enough typewriter keys for the mod won't be cheap; I have doubts about hot-gluing anything to the chiclets; and the small smaller footprint of my keyboard makes it much harder to fabricate and adequately support the wood superstructure the way he did.

I'm thinking of painting or otherwise modifying the aluminum itself. But I'm a little dubious about how well the paint might adhere. I'd toyed with the idea of electro-plating the aluminum, but a little research made it clear that was a no-go. I'd also toyed with the idea of tracking down a laser-cutting joint to cut a small sheet of brass which I could use as an overlay, but so far I've failed to find a place that could do it without charging me more than the keyboard cost in the first place.

Suggestions? Thoughts? Wood veneer maybe? How easy is that to cut and glue? Sources for same?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: wireless alum. keyboard - what to do? - 09/25/09 10:45 PM

A enamel base paint will stick very well to metal.

As for wood veneer and glue I would say use the liquid nails stuff or some gorilla glue. Cutting can be easy depending how thin or thick the veneer is. If it's thin then all you need is a straight edge and a box cutter. If it's somewhat too thick for a box cutter use a detail saw that is used for crown molding.
Posted by: KnifeLord

Re: wireless alum. keyboard - what to do? - 10/09/09 06:09 AM

Sorry for not seeing this sooner.
As far as editing the aluminum, try anodizing. This guy has a great guide on it- <http://www.focuser.com/atm/anodize/anodize.html> You'd have to take out all the components first, and perhaps to be effective remove Apple's expensive super-tech surface coating... maybe that's a good thing.
On the side of wood, it would be very easy if you're patient with it. You'd need a good thin-bladed inlayer's or jig saw with a VERY small blade and a drill bit slightly larger than the blade and a nice fine-toothed file. You could make the wood as thick or as thin as you'd like, but if you make it too thin (perhaps less than 1/32") your constant typing will eventually rip it to pieces. As far as gluing it, I'm not sure what to tell you, probably superglue is a safe option but you'd have to make very thin lines in-between the keys. Good luck!