So I bought two G80-3422LAMIT from acolombo's group buy and I'm doing a TKL mod on one of those.
A little backstory about why I want to make this mod, for those who care
Now, enough chit chat, let's start to mod this keyboard !
1. Top cover
1.1 Cutting the top cover
We'll start with the top part of the keyboard, we'll first plan where we need to cut.
We want the width of the right border (the one we'll cut) to be equal to the left border.
There are ribs at the back of the top cover... basically, we need to keep the rib located at the left of the numpad, and cut the one at its right (when watching the keyboard from the front, so actually the first picture is reversed).
Using a fine-toothed hacksaw, we'll begin to cut the top cover. We'll go slow so we'll have the straightest border as possible:
The first cut is done:
Both cuts are now done:
On that picture, you can see the tools required until now. The cutter is used to to deburr the edges after the cut. A sanding pad with 240 grit sandpaper is used to sand the edges until they're perfectly straight and smooth.
Sorry I forgot to take a picture after sanding
Basically, on the left side of the keyboard, you want to sand the edge flush to the rib. On the right side, we have cut the rib so we just want it to be straight.
1.2 Gluing the top cover
We need to lay the top cover on a flat surface (front side facing down) and glue booth part with cyanoacrylate (also known as CA glue or Super Glue). Use the glue sparingly, only one drop on each corner and one in the middle is enough. If something is not aligned, you can then easily disassemble it and glue it again properly.
We can see that the result is not bad... except maybe I beveled the edges a little too much, but that shouldn't be a problem.
The CA glue was great to do a quick assembly, but we now need to assemble it more strongly with epoxy glue. I decided to use JB Weld because I had it on hand.
1.3 Preparing the top cover for painting
We'll now use filler to make the top cover smooth. I used some Milliput Standard because I had some, but any body filler should be suitable.
After applying a first coat of epoxy, I noticed some low spot and added a second coat.
We then have to sand it using medium (240 then 400 grid) sandpaper.
The next step is to "paint" the top cover with primer. We apply two or three very thin coat of primer, waiting around 15-20 minutes between each coat.
The result is not bad but not perfect. The line between both parts was still a bit visible, and the texture was smoother in the sanded spots than in the untouched zones.
To fix these minors problems, I sanded the front cover and will apply another coat of primer.
But for now, the weather is very rainy in here, and I don't have a place to paint inside...
Meanwhile, I began to work on the bottom cover and will describe that in a future post.
I hope you enjoyed this first post, don't hesitate to comment and tell me if I can improve something