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December 30, 2014 AT 7:00 am

Make A Wooden Computer Keyboard #ArtTuesday

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Steve M Potter made this beautiful wooden keyboard and tutorial to follow via instructables

I decided that I deserve a keyboard that I really adore, since I spend most of my workday at the computer. You can buy gorgeous office desks, chairs, wooden pens and beautiful stationery. Why is it that keyboards are all plastic and ugly? I always liked the feel and sound of the old IBM-AT clicky keyboards. These have the “buckling spring” mechanism that is very strong and never wears out. But aesthetically, beige plastic – Yuck! So I decided to take the mechanical and electronic guts of a clicky keyboard and install them into a home-made wood version. This turned out to be a long and tedious art+engineering project, and I will spare you some of the missteps I made, describing here what worked. In the end, I have a very solid, completely functional beautiful wood keyboard that I use every day at work. The keyboard even survived dozens of kids pounding on it at the Atlanta Maker Faire, where I had it hooked up to my laptop for people to try it out.

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There are many artistic or aesthetic decisions I made that you may not have, and which involved a lot of extra work, such as dyeing the function keys according to the resistor color code, or using Scrabble tiles for the letter keys. But these were important for me to really love it, and to think of it as an art project, rather than just a tool I use to type at work. If you do decide to make your own wooden keyboard, I encourage you to add your own artistic touches…

Full tutorial


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