[Photos] IBM F122 restoration log

This is a quick one because I lost most of the pictures in a sudo cp maneuver and the keyboard was in a good shape overall. I bought this keyboard for 90$ shipped (!) from Halverson @ GH and I can't thank him enough for this tremendous price.

De-rusted and painted the inside of the back plate
No before picture, unfortunately. I applied 3 layers of Tremclad flat black rust paint after removing the rust with a dremel. BTW, Tremclad is another brand of Rustoleum.
01.bottom_plate_fixed.jpg


Rusted barrel plate
02.rusted_barrel_plate.jpg


De-rusted and painted the barrel plate
Same job as the back plate but this time I applied 3 layers of Tremclad regal red rust paint. I wanted to give it a little red selectric vibe but as you will see, it doesn't matter, you can barely see the barrel plate with the top cover on.
03.barrel_plate_fixed.jpg


Mostly assembled
Again, I lost most of the pictures but I cleaned every layer of this thing and I kept the original foam for now because it was in good condition. I chipped a little bit of the red paint along the way.
04.barrel_plate_with_keycaps.jpg


View of the back with the case on
I did not paint the exterior of the back plate but I feel like I should. However, I don't want to risk painting over the label.
Also, as you can see, there is a broken plastic part and a screw is missing.
06.back_view.jpg


Glamour shot #1
07.glamour_shot_1.jpg


Glamour shot #2
08.glamour_shot_2.jpg


That's it! I am done with the keyboard for now but the restoration is not completed yet.
Here is a list of things I will do in the future:

* Find a screw for the back plate.
* Find a replacement for the broken plastic bar. Does someone has a spare one?
* Find replacements for the broken plastic wire stabilizers on the barrel plate (good candidate for a 3D print job).
* Repaint the back plate if I find an effective way to cover the important parts (ex: label).
* Replace the foam. I will buy one from Ellipse, if possible.
* Create an external connector with Soarer firmware.

Cheers!
Last edited by j0d1 on 19 Apr 2018, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 13:22

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Nice work, the F122 is such a great keyboard. Capacitive Buckling Spring is one of my favorite switches. Looks really good.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 13:30

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Ah, the F122. Glorious boards, those.

For the label, if you are set on removing it to paint the back, I'd suggest trying and remove it with some heat and a lot of careful efforts, but I'd practice on a Model M first since you only get one chance. The other option is just taking a lot of care to mask over it and spray in very thin coats so it doesn't wick under the masking tape. Or not painting it at all and leaving it stock.

I can't remember if the early M122's have the separate plastic bar there or not, but I'd suspect that that is specific to the F122 and it's going to be hens teeth to find. Kind of like back when F122s were nearly worthless if they didn't have spacebar because the only other spacebar that would fit was from another F122.

IIRC, those screws are different from a Model M as well, but it's been years since I opened my last remaining F122.

[Edit: yep. the M122's got a complete plastic bottom. You might be able to dremel out the plastic bit in the back, though]
Last edited by Aer Fixus on 19 Apr 2018, 18:09, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:24

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Why would you want to remove the label? Ask elecplus if she has one of those plastic bars.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:26

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I'd assume it's going to be replaced after painting.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:32

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Aer Fixus wrote:I'd assume it's going to be replaced after painting.

Right. I would just leave it stock but hey it's your F122.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:46

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Cindy may well have one of those back splines. You can replace screws but the heads will probably be different, Philips-head is easiest. Fs have metal sleeve inserts and use machine screws, while Ms have screws that are more like wood screws with aggressive threads.

I have painted the backs using a mask made of clear plastic and clear plastic tape so that I could get it as small as possible and position it exactly.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:58

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Only thing I might have done differently on the restore is to take the plastic wire stabilizers out prior to painting and then put them back in once painted, but that's just a personal preference. Looks nice!
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 18:01

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seebart wrote:
Aer Fixus wrote:I'd assume it's going to be replaced after painting.

Right. I would just leave it stock but hey it's your F122.

So, there might be some confusion. I'm not the OP. I reworded my last post to hopefully make that more clear as I saw how that could be misread as such.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 18:08

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Ahh OK sorry. Well j0d1 will know I meant him.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 18:09

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F122s are life. Very nice work!
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 20:25

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Thank you all for your comments!
Aer Fixus wrote:The other option is just taking a lot of care to mask over it and spray in very thin coats so it doesn't wick under the masking tape.

Yes this is probably the only viable solution and not hard to accomplish / succeed.

I like your idea of taking the plastic bar on a M122 if I cannot find one for the F122.
seebart wrote:Ask elecplus if she has one of those plastic bars.

PM sent :)
orihalcon wrote:Only thing I might have done differently on the restore is to take the plastic wire stabilizers out prior to painting and then put them back in once painted

I totally forgot to talk about that in my post... I learned the hard way that those stabilizers are 1) made of plastic and 2) removable. So obviously I used my dremel on them and I succeed to break two or three. :oops:

I'll edit my post to add this in my TODO list, I must find some replacements. For now I am lucky enough that each key that requires a stabilizer have at least one plastic wire but that's not ideal.
seebart wrote:Ahh OK sorry. Well j0d1 will know I meant him.

I do :lol:
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 21:24

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Nice restore, j0d1. I also learned the hard way regarding the plastic stabilizers. After being informed of the fact that they were actually removable, I think I broke 2 or 3. Managed to salvage them with a few drops of epoxy or gorilla glue, something like that.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 21:40

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fohat wrote:You can replace screws but the heads will probably be different, Philips-head is easiest. Fs have metal sleeve inserts and use machine screws, while Ms have screws that are more like wood screws with aggressive threads.

I will try to find a perfect match for the screws:

  • Machine screw
  • 5.5 mm (7/32 inches) hex head
  • 17 mm long (including the head)
  • 7 mm pitch

Here is a picture I took to validate the pitch of the screw.
screw.jpg
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 22:03

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j0d1 wrote:
those stabilizers are 1) made of plastic and 2) removable.


I remove them by pushing them straight out from back to front with a small flat-head screwdriver. This strips off part of the "flange" or "skirt" but usually less than half of it.

I replace them by putting a large flat-head screwdriver into the "mouth" of the tab and pressing it straight down from front to back with the shaft of the screwdriver parallel to the surface of the plate (it takes some firm pressure). I do it while the final coat of paint is dry to the touch but not yet cured, in hopes that the paint will help "glue" them in place without making them silly hard to get back out.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 23:29

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Nice work.

I would remove the plastic bar and just get shorter screws .
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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 11:28

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So how did you go about derusting it? How do you know that there isn't rust further beneath the surface? I'm not questioning the quality of your work, just asking for my own current restoration project. :)
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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 13:55

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DeChief wrote:
So how did you go about derusting it?


Vinegar will stop the oxidation but remember that the exposed metal is then even more susceptible to rust until you get something on it. Sandpaper or steel wool will remove surface rust, maybe a bit of grinding if it is really bad.

In the US some "Rustoleum" paint is specifically formulated to paint over rust and stop it (it will say something to that effect on the can). I use multiple light coats of primer and paint.
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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 15:44

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fohat wrote:
DeChief wrote:
So how did you go about derusting it?


Vinegar will stop the oxidation but remember that the exposed metal is then even more susceptible to rust until you get something on it. Sandpaper or steel wool will remove surface rust, maybe a bit of grinding if it is really bad.

In the US some "Rustoleum" paint is specifically formulated to paint over rust and stop it (it will say something to that effect on the can). I use multiple light coats of primer and paint.

Vinegar and protective paint, got it. I've never done anything in terms of rust treatment before, but from my understanding it seems that soaking it in vinegar will remove parts of the metal entirely if they are rusted all the way through; is there a way to know if something has rusted that deep? And is there a way to stop it from just disintegrating during the deoxidisation process?
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 13:27

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@DeChief I use Evapo-Rust, it is expensive but only attacks rust (mostly). Vinegar will induce some additional rusting if you introduce too much air into the mix, not a large concern if you only leave it for a day or so but would be an issue if you left it longer. If something has rusted deep then any sort of removal of rust will make the metal more brittle then before. I think if you are worried about something being rusted deep and it falling apart I would go with Evapo-rust and don't do any sanding, just bondo up the pits. My opinion on he matter.
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 13:32

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DeChief wrote:
but from my understanding it seems that soaking it in vinegar will remove parts of the metal entirely if they are rusted all the way through;


If it is anything similar to the photo shown, that is no big deal. Most of the 122s that I have rehabbed have been at least that bad. I would recommend a quick sanding with a fine grit and then priming shortly thereafter, there is little need for more.
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Unread post23 Apr 2018, 15:17

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Thanks @fohat for the detailed explanation on how to remove/put back the stabilizers. In my case, unless I can find a source of stabilizers, I will try to 3D print them eventually.
andrewjoy wrote:So how did you go about derusting it?

In my case, I used a dremel with a P80 grit sandpaper.
It took care of removing the rust and the original coating.
I have a big dremel so I had to manually sand some parts of the case that were unreachable otherwise.
In the future I want to acquire a smaller dremel with a steel wire wheel brushe, which should do a better / faster job.
After the sanding, I removed all particles with a wet cloth and let everything dry for a moment before applying the paint.
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Unread post24 Apr 2018, 14:49

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