IBM Model F AT Keyboard restoration and ISO layout mod


03 Mar 2019, 00:41

it was very tempting but as the plastic was not peeling off I thought I would leave it.

My 1987 first generation IBM Model M had its plastic on its badge too but as it was yellowed I took that off. To be able to take the plastic off of a vintage IBM keyboard was so satisfying :D
Last edited by Fkazim on 17 May 2019, 23:40, edited 3 times in total.


03 Mar 2019, 00:42

Side note also the cable on the keyboard was perfectly coiled still with no stretching after all these years.
Last edited by Fkazim on 03 Mar 2019, 00:51, edited 2 times in total.


03 Mar 2019, 00:42

But the cherry on top had to be that all internal and external manufacturers labels were still there and not rotted and the dates on the case and the metal back plate were the exact same date.

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03 Mar 2019, 00:57

Thanks for sharing all those pictures. Also, I envy you deeply for having had the chance to peel off the plastic film. :mrgreen:


03 Mar 2019, 01:14

haha Thanks I also have a few more restoration logs coming out one for a first generation Model M which I will screw mod and I have a restoration of a 1990 terminal IBM Model M with very unique key caps.


03 Mar 2019, 17:56

Nice work! First ISO mod I've seen on an AT. What foam did you use? I've had a hard time trying to find 3mm thick foam that compresses.


03 Mar 2019, 18:01

Not much is available in the UK in terms of foam. I tried art foam, but it deadens the sound/feel. I'm scared to open my AT assembly and properly clean the barrel frame/ change the foam. I've done this before with other Models F and ended up completely ruining the feel. I just can't get it right.


03 Mar 2019, 20:51

Thanks for all the your comments on the restoration it really means a lot to me as it was a lot of work.

About the foam I used it is 3mm neoprene foam if you want I could post the link on where to get it from and I live in UK too and I can tell you it's great value and works really well hope that helps.


03 Mar 2019, 21:06

About your other point on the feel of IBM Model F keyboard losing their feel after disassembly. I too have ruined the feel of my first Model F XT keyboard and the key to not losing the feel that I have found is to not let dust get on any of the buckling spring assemblies or the barrels..

You might think that dust is not the reason as these Model F keyboards must get dust in them over the years anyway but the truth of it is they don't as the springs and flippers are protected under the key caps very well the problem of dust arises when the keyboard is disassembled as the springs, paddles and barrels are then exposed to dust.

Best way to avoid losing the feel of Model F keyboards is to put all the springs assemblies in a clean box or better still keep the springs in the exact same order they came out as in put the same spring that came off of each key back and don't mix and match the springs as they have wear that varies between each key hope this info helps :D

I can't stress this enough no dust and you will keep the lovely feel don't worry.

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07 Mar 2019, 22:51

Some pics of mine: ... 3193054570

Yours is certainly in nicer shape than mine.


08 Mar 2019, 14:56

wow great job finding an AT if you don't mind me asking how did you get a hold of yours as getting my one was very difficult. Also your keyboard used to have lots of stickers on it that is good as all of that is aesthetic and can be cleaned up and should clean up very well and look shiny and new in no time. Another thing how is the foam in yours and are you planning on ISO modding it? can't tell fully from the pictures but have your key caps been written on I have never seen that before very interesting.

If you are I can give you some great tips on everything you need to know when changing the foam and doing the ISO mod :D
Last edited by Fkazim on 11 Mar 2019, 12:30, edited 2 times in total.


08 Mar 2019, 14:59

Also please make a restoration log as I would love to see your keyboard all cleaned up :D

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