Metal keycaps

daphnis

11 Jan 2020, 15:37

I was thinking the IBM Model F is perfect and the only thing I
would change about it is the key material, as I'd prefer keys
in the same material as the frame. Is there any reason except
cost that they are not?

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

11 Jan 2020, 16:33

There was a sculptor in England who made some metal caps for buckling springs, it was probably 5 or more years ago and I don't recall his name. He sent me a few of them that I used in a few odd places, but not a whole board full.

They were great but he had cast them out of a pewter-like metal so they grayed and discolored somewhat.

I think that skin oils and acids won't play well with metal surfaces, but if don't mind patina it will work.

User avatar
SneakyRobb
THINK

11 Jan 2020, 21:08

daphnis wrote:
11 Jan 2020, 15:37
I was thinking the IBM Model F is perfect and the only thing I
would change about it is the key material, as I'd prefer keys
in the same material as the frame. Is there any reason except
cost that they are not?
I think it is probably just up to not many have tried and there is not as much of a market. On many new Cherry style keyboards you see a lot of artisan keycaps, variety and "flare" for lack of a better term. It is part of the fun for people and that is perfectly fine.

Most Model F you see posted are usually straight stock setup. Beige and gray tones. Some people might have a red esc key and even less often people paint them. For me its like how you see "modded" new cars, but rarely classic cars are modded with new stuff."

For production it's far from impossible, but you need to have a certain amount of equipment and funds to experiment to make them work.

I'd estimate it would take some hundreds/more of dollars for supplies and a few weekends to produce metal buckling spring caps.

Some kind of aluminium/zinc/stainless metal probably would be fine for skin oil/acids as fohat mentioned.

For at home production, soft metals like pewter are far easier as they melt at lower temperatures. Something like steel would require high temps and quite the backyard setup

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”