Repainting / repairing IBM 3278?

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VelonicV

15 Oct 2019, 08:11

So, I recently got my hands on an IBM 3278, along with some pristine Selectric I blue keycaps (ended up proxying the whole typewriter from Canada since I saw a horror story on here about the seller damaging the caps while removing them for shipping).

Image

Works like a champ, but sadly the paint on the case is chipped, and the off-white doesn't really match the black/blue color scheme of the keycaps (imo, although it kinda feels sacrilegious even considering it).

As such, anyone have any experience repainting a beamspring case? I was thinking about taking it to a shop to sandblast/powder coat it, but since the wrist rest/manual door is plastic it would have to be painted separately, which would likely cause a color mismatch (although two-tone for the case might not be too bad).

Also, the little plastic retention piece that keeps the wrist rest in place is broken and only the top portion is left which is currently taped on. This means that any time pressure is put on the bottom of the wrist rest, the door pops open, which is quite annoying. I was thinking about 3D printing a new one, but sadly I don't have the whole piece to measure/model it. Anyone have this issue before by any chance?

Image

(Thanks to Chyros for the above reference image from his 3278 video)

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darkcruix

15 Oct 2019, 13:36

Hi, I did both - I painted it with different colors and primers but finally went for powder coating. You wouldn't believe how quickly paint is fading / stripped off the case, when you use it daily (like me).
The powder coating I have on it since some time is a dream:
IMG_0191.jpg
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Fkazim

15 Oct 2019, 13:53

Just curious darkcruix how did you get the relegendable keycap for the Function key? Looks really good though nice Beamspring.

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darkcruix

15 Oct 2019, 14:29

It is an MX mount key from Signature Plastic :)

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SneakyRobb
THINK

15 Oct 2019, 15:47

darkcruix wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 14:29
It is an MX mount key from Signature Plastic :)
Hi Darkcruix, why do you not use more of the MX mounts? I thought I remember you having many more MX keys on your beamspring

Fkazim

15 Oct 2019, 15:54

How can one get something like MX mount to work on a beamspring stem?

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SneakyRobb
THINK

15 Oct 2019, 16:19

Hi,

I need to update my 3d models as I am still learning FreeCad, but you basically can just print/mold a new stem out of plastic/resin.

Then insert it into the slider part.

stems.JPG
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darkcruix

15 Oct 2019, 17:28

And I can tell - it works great

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darkcruix

15 Oct 2019, 17:30

I went back to the original keys for the most part, as they have a slightly different sound when typing. But I also enjoyed the MX mount ones. I have a 5251 and some of the keys would definitely look cool to be replaced ;)

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VelonicV

15 Oct 2019, 20:27

darkcruix wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 13:36
Hi, I did both - I painted it with different colors and primers but finally went for powder coating. You wouldn't believe how quickly paint is fading / stripped off the case, when you use it daily (like me).
The powder coating I have on it since some time is a dream:

IMG_0191.jpg
Gotcha, thanks for the info! Fantastic looking board btw.

I'm curious: was the wrist rest also painted, or was the powder coat color chosen to match the original color? I thought only metal parts could be powder coated due to the heating involved for curing.

Sbazzeguti

19 Oct 2019, 19:00

darkcruix wrote:
15 Oct 2019, 13:36
Hi, I did both - I painted it with different colors and primers but finally went for powder coating. You wouldn't believe how quickly paint is fading / stripped off the case, when you use it daily (like me).
The powder coating I have on it since some time is a dream:

IMG_0191.jpg
The color is beautiful and - at least in my eye - very accurate!
I'm restoring a couple of Model F keyboards and I will have to repaint as well. Now, the thing is, the upper part of Model F keyboards is plastic, what would you suggest to repaint it?
Thanks!
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Waxwood

02 Nov 2019, 19:07

Hi!

I have two Model F XT keyboards that have scratched and cracked cases.
The crack in one is not serious and I assume that using superglue will be the way to repair it. I'll do more reading here and wait for suggestions before I attempt anything.

My main concern is what type of product should I use to paint the XT's heavy plastic case?
Can I do this, or should I find an autobody shop that can paint it with industrial plastic-specific paint?

Thanks for any suggestions!

SDS604

06 Nov 2019, 14:18

Waxwood: The trick to painting these successfully is in the prep. Start with as clean a surface as you can get and give it a light brushing with a magic eraser style pad but I would hesitate to use anything too abrasive.

Plastic specific paint with a bit of flex agent in it (auto bumper paint) is good as a base layer.

Once that has fully cured you can go over it with plastic paint of your chosen colour and apply as many coats as you think you will need to get your desired effect, however keeping in mind that the paint will be a bit thicker so fitment is something to keep in mind.

After that, clearcoat, clearcoat and more clearcoat with each layer being allowed to fully cure and harden. It does not need to be glossy clear, but this will help reduce worn paint from everyday use.

I recently refinished my Model M 122 using these methods and will post pictures soon.

Waxwood

Yesterday, 17:56

Thanks for the advice. I'll fix the cracked case with epoxy, and then being preparations for painting and clearcoating.
Any recommendations on the brand of paint or clearcoat?

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