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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wooden keyboard enclosure

Wooden keyboard enclosure

Having become proficient at typing on a Commodore 64, I just never end up using the numeric keypad, even if I need to enter some numbers. So the numeric keypad is just a waste of space and makes me reach further for the mouse. Of course, there are all kinds of reduced size keyboards available, but these usually don't feel like a real keyboard. They never have the cursor keys where they should be and usually the key travel is also not quite right either.

So I set out to make a reduced size keyboard by cutting the numeric keypad off a regular keyboard. And to make it look good, I needed a custom enclosure.

Cutting off the numeric keypad is not as trivial as it sounds. At left you can see some various layers of the keyboard, arranged after I cut it apart. There are vital interconnects under the keypad that the keyboard would not function without. Also, the PCB attached to the foil with all the traces on it also connects to the right side.

My approach is to take the circuitry from under the right side of the keyboard, and just fold it under the page up/down and cursor keys. The foil with all the traces on it is flexible enough that you can get away with doing that.

A big challenge with making a wooden case is to cut a nice bezel for the keyboard. I traced the shape of the bezel from my donor keyboard onto a piece of plywood.


Wooden keyboard enclosure and more Wooden Computer Stuff
Creating wooden enclosures - Hack a Day
Wooden keyboard enclosure
Wooden computer case
LCD monitor stand
Macro photography

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