Howto: chop a model m barrelframe/ steel plate to fit in a (F)SSK case

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

18 Mar 2016, 22:32

Here is a small guide for chopping a fullsize model m barrelframe and steel plate so that it will be fit in SSK case. This is part 1. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and part 3 when I have received the FSSK pcb.

Things that you need:
A model m SSK and a model m barrelframe and steel plate.
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To do this mod, to do a screw-mod is necessary
My model m barrelframe has allready holes for screws in it:
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Barrelframe and steel plate.
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Inner assembly from my SSK.
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The two steel plates have exact same height.
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The model m plate need to be chopped in lenght.
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Just hold the model m plate on the SSK plate and you see who much must be cutted away.
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After bench saw.
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Now its time to cut the barrelframe, just put it on plate and you will see how much you must cut away.
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Some sanding.
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There are some recesses and a missing hole on the right side that you have to add.
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Some sanding is needed, but now it fits in the SSK case.
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The next part will follow tomorrow, but the plate and barrelframe fit allready in the SSK case.

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

18 Mar 2016, 22:32

Part 2

After cutting the missing hole and the recesses in the plate, everything will fit in the case.
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There is some plastic that needs to be removed to fit the model f flippers at the barrelframe.
Just cut it away and then it will be functioning.
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Also the plastic of the backside of the spacebar stabelizer mount must be cutted away.
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Now fit all model f flippers (sadly I need 2 extra ones to finish the build)
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Putting all stuff together.
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It works, nice sound so far.
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Screw-mod.
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Everything should fit.
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Now with the full case, everthing is in place.
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I put not all screws in the plate, because I wait for the pcb.
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I will post part 3 when I received the pcb.
Feedback and Questions are welcome.
Last edited by hypkx on 19 Mar 2016, 17:25, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

18 Mar 2016, 22:32

Just for fun I painted the steelplate.

First some brushing.
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Finished.
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Painting the steelplate with black Hammerite.
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I will also paint the other side, but it needs 3 days to dry.
Last edited by hypkx on 12 Apr 2016, 21:15, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

19 Mar 2016, 17:27

FSSK pcb.
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Cables to connect the PCB to the controller.
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The plate.
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I soldered 30 cables to all 30 pins.
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Through hole soldering.
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I tried to bend the pcb but failed. I was just to carfull, because I dont wanted to damage the pcb.
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But I discovered, it isnt necessary to bend the pcb, I just screwed all stuff together and it worked.
Barrelframe (with flippers)
PCB
mat
steelplate
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Everything fits-
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Everthing fits nice in the case.
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Old innards and new FSSK.
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NEW

So the Xwhatsit(s) have arrived.

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The cables to build everything together.

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Attached controller.

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Programming the controller, it work still not perfect but hte keyboard is usable.
Some important keys dont register and some keys flicker, but I think after some more software studies it will work better.
This is the software:
http://downloads.cornall.co/ibm-capsense-usb/0.9.0/
http://downloads.cornall.co/ibm-capsens ... odel_f.pdf

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USB cable, maybe I add later a plug.

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backlabel of my SSK
Spoiler:
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NEW

How to fix the controller:
Grounding and shorter cables:

old installment:

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Greenock model M spacebar grounding.

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Resolder the controller:

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Grounding

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Last edited by hypkx on 21 May 2016, 18:16, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

19 Mar 2016, 17:34

This is so you don't have to fork over your entire SSK correct?

So you can keep the membrane SSK and have an FSSK as well?

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

19 Mar 2016, 17:40

Redmaus wrote: This is so you don't have to fork over your entire SSK correct?

So you can keep the membrane SSK and have an FSSK as well?
Yes, I dont wanted to destroy my membrane SSK to build a FSSK and I had laying a broken model m around. When I received the pcb and finished the project, I can just swap the case around and have a SSK and a FSSK.

User avatar
ramnes
ПБТ НАВСЕГДА

19 Mar 2016, 23:51

Nice, hypkx!

User avatar
Ratfink

20 Mar 2016, 02:14

hypkx wrote:
Redmaus wrote: This is so you don't have to fork over your entire SSK correct?

So you can keep the membrane SSK and have an FSSK as well?
Yes, I dont wanted to destroy my membrane SSK to build a FSSK and I had laying a broken model m around. When I received the pcb and finished the project, I can just swap the case around and have a SSK and a FSSK.
Heck, if you're comfortable chopping things, turn your newfound extra full sized case into a new SSK case. Then you don't even need to swap the case around.

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

20 Mar 2016, 02:32

Ratfink wrote:
full sized case into a new SSK case
Much easier said than done, in my experience.

User avatar
Phenix
-p

06 Apr 2016, 21:13

thanks for all those pics! looks really good

berserkfan

07 Apr 2016, 20:03

fohat wrote:
Ratfink wrote:
full sized case into a new SSK case
Much easier said than done, in my experience.
Hehheh fohat, these are kids who don't know what they are getting themselves into.

When I got my super duper dremel 4000 I went all crazy and made a couple of destroyed M casings just to experiment.

Indeed, easier said than done. I suspect many kids will end up with destroyed keyboard parts.

User avatar
Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

07 Apr 2016, 20:14

From Unicomp boards I know that some barrel frames are inadequate and should not be used. I would avoid using any lexmark or later IBM barrel frames as there is something to the plastic that makes the switches scratchy.

So maybe only grey/square labels should used?

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

07 Apr 2016, 20:59

Scratchiness aside, don't Unicomp barrel frames have drainage channels? I don't think they fit into the older cases which lack the drainage holes, not without chopping off the channels at the bottom of the barrel frame.

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Phenix
-p

07 Apr 2016, 22:33

@berserkfan

For what should I watch out? (I will need a case, and hoped I could managed to make one, must only work)

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fohat
Elder Messenger

07 Apr 2016, 23:01

It is not just a matter of making a box. The screws and sockets must line up properly. There are slots and tabs that must fit together and maintain the proper tension and compression on each part. None of the glues or adhesives work very well (ie far too weak), and epoxies are the wrong color.

Then there is the problem of the space/volume required to accommodate the controller, which comes in different sizes and shapes. That was the biggest problem for me, but I have never had one of those "universal" controllers that somebody here makes.

User avatar
XMIT
[ XMIT ]

08 Apr 2016, 00:02

If you are chopping a full sized plate for the FSSK project - you may as well cut some extra space up top to make it that much easier to solder the xwhatsit board in place.

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

08 Apr 2016, 15:19

XMIT wrote: If you are chopping a full sized plate for the FSSK project - you may as well cut some extra space up top to make it that much easier to solder the xwhatsit board in place.
Thats a good idea, I will try to do it when I get the pcb and controller.

User avatar
alh84001
v.001

09 Apr 2016, 03:15

@hypkx can you share some more info on the tools you used? Specifically, what did you use to cut out the hole in the corner of the steel plate?

User avatar
Phenix
-p

09 Apr 2016, 21:01

regarding the case:
Heres an quite interested option to build an case (eventough I have no plan how the plate is attached to the construction)
http://steampunkworkshop.com/keyboard-shtml/

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

12 Apr 2016, 15:27

I received all needed flippers to finish the build, I only need now the controller and the pcb. Out of sheer boredom, I will paint this evening the steelplate after brushing it. I will add later some pictures.

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hypkx
Chasing the Dream

12 Apr 2016, 21:17

Added some pictures from painting the steelplate with black hammerite.

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Phenix
-p

12 Apr 2016, 22:51

Do you think its possible to paint the barrel frame? (I assume yes..)

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hypkx
Chasing the Dream

12 Apr 2016, 23:12

Phenix wrote: Do you think its possible to paint the barrel frame? (I assume yes..)
I think phosphorglow had allready did this to some keyboards.

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alh84001
v.001

29 Apr 2016, 09:44

Die has been cast.

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Phenix
-p

29 Apr 2016, 15:41

now you can figure out how to make an nice BS numpad :)

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hypkx
Chasing the Dream

29 Apr 2016, 19:22

alh84001 wrote: Die has been cast.

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Nice, I am almost done, I painted just for fun the metal plate with hammerite, today or tommorow I will bend the pcb and screw everyrthing together. Currently it is a bit hard to take photos, because my phone died last week so I must use camera from someone other, but I will update the thread. The only thing that I need now is the xwhatsit.

User avatar
alh84001
v.001

29 Apr 2016, 21:03

hypkx wrote: The only thing that I need now is the xwhatsit.
We're in the same boat then.

And I still need to treat backplate with vinegar, sand it, paint it, then get some F springs (I have 5 or so for testing, rest are on their way hopefully)

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

02 May 2016, 20:56

Updated the post, now the FSSK is almost finished, wainting for a controller. It wasnt necessary to heat the pcb and bend them, I just screwed everything together and it fits. When I received the controller I will maybe add some foam in the case to dampen the sound.

User avatar
shreebles
Finally 60%

16 May 2016, 13:17

I also did a hypkx-mod this weekend. Unfortunately, my mod did not go as flawlessly. This was in part due to the inferior tools I had available, but also partly because the steel plate was not a perfect drop-in replacement after cutting, and had to be modified even further than hypkx's did.

I used a (pretty bad) hand saw which of course had no trouble sawing the plastic, but struggled with the metal. But it still worked, even though the plate wasn't cut perfectly (luckily you cannot see that once it's in the case). On the other hand I bought a new power drill so it was fun not only to bolt-mod, but also much much easier to do the cutouts with the power drill and then sand the edges to make them rectangular.

This worked and the first fit tests seemed promising. However, fitting the completed assembly into the case showed that the plate was not a perfect replacement. The whole assembly had to moved slightly up and to the left. It was so far to the right that some keycaps were getting stuck where they made contact with the case (CTRL, F4).
For this, I had to modify both holes that hold the keyboard in place on the bottom case. No, not only the second hole I had drilled myself. It was also needed to modify the first, original hole on the left side. I could make it work, thanks to the assortment of metal files I had laying around, but it was really a lot of work. I spent the better part of this weekend on it, around 3-4 hours on saturday, 6-8 hours on sunday and two hours today. The result is satisfactory, but slightly less than perfect. Perhaps you can still see it on the picture that the assembly is sitting slightly too low and to the right. The problem is that the bigger you make the holes on top of the plate, the less secure the assembly sits in the case. I can already move the assembly around in the case now, but only using some force (it does not happen during normal typing).

Maybe it was the combination of components. I sawed apart my first IBM, a '95 Lexmark Model M, and tried to fit it in a '87 IBM and a '93 Lexmark SSK case. I had these fit issues in both cases. It had to be that one, it was always the IBM board which felt best in my opinion, despite being the newest one. The springs were the most snappy and after taking it apart I also found that the barrel plate still feels incredibly solid, which is great considering I recently had to glue an older IBM SSK barrel frame back together. Another factor was the plate, I knew I couldn't use an older IBM M because they have thicker plates, and I only had this crappy hand saw.
I only feel a little bad for taking apart a working M. Luckily, I got it quite cheap, for 25€ (a few years ago, before the big mechanical keyboard craze started).

So, thanks for the tutorial hypkx!
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Word of warning: Results may vary and this may cost you your weekend :mrgreen:

User avatar
hypkx
Chasing the Dream

16 May 2016, 14:06

Thanks for the feedback, I had also to modify booth holes and after the first test the spacebar wasnt right in place and stuck with the case. Now everything fits, currently I try to program it, I will post more pictures from the finished keyboard. I used a table saw for the metall plate, so it was easier to chop it. Btw nice keycaps shreebles, I use the keycaps from my model F bigfoot.

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