Dust covers, but not the sexy kind...

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Go-Kart

09 Jun 2021, 23:03

Not all my keyboards are as perfectly put together as my 2000 Plus.
Spoiler:
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Since my descent into keyboard madness, I seem to able to justify having four or more keyboards out at once; three on my desk and one in my living room ...at a minimum. While having these beautiful beasts ready for me to use at my beckon call is a luxury I enjoy, I do worry about dust. When I first obtain an old keyboard, unless it's NOS/NIB, I will tear it down and thoroughly clean 'n lube it. While I somewhat enjoy this ritual, we're not in lockdown any more. I am back working full time, training before work, going hiking at weekends, etc. and no longer have the time to tend my beloved keyboards; likely time to invest in some dust covers.

I've seen fancy clear acrylic ones on eBay that would certainly be what I'd go for if it weren't the cost. The four or more boards I have out at once may be all full size boards, possibly even with a terminal thrown in there. Sometimes, I'll have two 60 %, a TKL and a full size, etc.. I figure, if I wish to carry on like this I need quite a few dust covers of varying sizes to cover however I chosen to decorate my apartment with keyboard in any given week. I'm after the cheapo plastic jobbies you get with modern gaming keyboards but I don't know anywhere that sells these standalone. Anyone know where I can purchase such a thing? What about those acrylic 'keyboard roofs'? Anyone seen those being sold for reasonable money anywhere? Anyone got any better ideas for a man who likes to live amongst his keyboards?

inozenz

09 Jun 2021, 23:53

How about building one?
The fastes and easiest would be with carton.
It protects from dust and sunlight!
Just measure the hight and length, after that remember the good old times in kindergarten and grab your best scissors/glue.
I am sure you can even buy something like laminating film, a colorfull foil which is a little harder then normal ones.

https://www.paper-shape.com/images/cont ... rucken.jpg

Findecanor

10 Jun 2021, 02:16

I don't find the acrylic ones I've seen on eBay or AliExpress to be too pricey but I think most of them are too small for vintage keyboards that tend to have wider borders around the keys.

Sometimes one of those cheap flimsy vacuuformed PETG covers will fit another keyboard with the same layout, but often they do not because of different spacing between clusters.
I have one from a vintage keyboard over my Topre Realforce, although I had to cut out parts that would have got in the way of the Windows keys.

Typewriters used to more often have dust covers of a flexible material such as vinyl. I have seen similar dust covers on vintage home computers (which had the keyboard integrated). If you can't find clear vinyl, use a plastic translucent shower curtain, coloured opaque vinyl or a nice fabric.
You'd need to have, or borrow, a sewing machine though but the construction would not be very complicated. You could make edges look nicer with edge tape though, or learn how to do piping. You can find lots of variations out there for inspiration.

soyuz

10 Jun 2021, 20:30

I sidestepped this by putting up a cabinet for my keyboards to live in. Can't get dusty if they're behind glass doors ;)

thefarside

10 Jun 2021, 21:13

For my buckling spring keyboards I don’t worry as much about dust, but for my Alps boards I try to make sure they are always covered when not in use. My go to has been to fold an old concert T-shirt into a rectangle that covers the board enough to keep dust out.

I recently acquired a DataDesk Mac10E which came with a nice plastic cover:
Mac101E with Cover.jpeg
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This made me wonder if there was a material that could be heated to form a plastic cover similar to the Mac101E. I thought there were some plastic sheets that you could heat up with a hairdryer and I need to investigate that further. Has anyone ever experimented making a cover by heating up plastic?

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Go-Kart

10 Jun 2021, 22:02

Indeed. Just for clarity, the acrylic keyboard rooves I've seen are always £20. If I'm going to buy six, seven or eight of them... I'd go down this road if they were £5ish.
thefarside wrote:
10 Jun 2021, 21:13
This made me wonder if there was a material that could be heated to form a plastic cover similar to the Mac101E. I thought there were some plastic sheets that you could heat up with a hairdryer and I need to investigate that further. Has anyone ever experimented making a cover by heating up plastic?
This has what has got my nog'n jog'n. Seems like a clever, yet simple and cheap solution. Surely with all the expertise I've been whiteness to over on the Alps Factory Lubricant thread, someone on DT will have knowledge enough of industrial plastics to at least suggest a material worthy of trialling.

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