Beamspring Switchplate Restore.

701c

05 Aug 2019, 07:49

Hello.

I am restoring an IBM 5251 keyboard. I have already restored the switches, but I still need to restore the plate and replace the foam and the insulation mat. I did not get as lucky as some other people, and my switchplate has come corrosion on it. Here are a couple of pictures. https://imgur.com/a/oij6xkD.

What should I do to take care of the corrosion? Would It be a bad idea to just leave the plate as it is?
Also, is there a specific type of 2mm foam that would be best to use?

Thanks!

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PlacaFromHell

05 Aug 2019, 10:03

Well, is not something too bad. If you want a clean and more serious finish you should paint the plate. Otherwise, if you don't want to expend money or you preffer the original zinc plating just leave it like that, but don't try to remove the rust, it will rust even more. Personally, in that state I would paint it, you ensure to avoid even more corrosion. A good bath of vinegar will work to remove the rust before applying paint.
For the foam, I had success with 2mm EVA. As far as I know, nobody found a good replacement for the insulation mat, you can just leave it like that.

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SneakyRobb
THINK

05 Aug 2019, 15:21

That plate is in great shape and I would actually say YOU are lucky for

1 getting such a good plate. Seriously it is fine. That plate is in great shape.
and
2 - Getting a beamspring!!!!!!!

Seriously now.

Nothing really bad will happen if you leave it as is. The rust in the plates generally forms a surface coating and basically just sits there. But the plate is so thick that the layer is really thin.

It could flake off and get into the board somehow but it's not that big of a concern. Still possible so I would "restore it."

What I do for beamspring/model f plates is use rust removing solution from the hardware store and scrape them clean after soaking. Then I coat them in some kind of rust paint or other metal paint.

You only need a light coating.

For the foam you basically just need the foam from the "Michaels" craft store. They have many shops in many States and Canadian Provinces.

orihalcon

05 Aug 2019, 15:52

You got lucky! At least yours wasn't like this one I got a while back:
_DSC5719 copy.JPG
_DSC5719 copy.JPG (3.57 MiB) Viewed 1501 times
On yours, You could just put a light coat of rust preventing oil (like something lanolin based, though beware, your beamspring may then smell like a sheep) and wipe off the excess.

Fkazim

05 Aug 2019, 16:14

Orihalcon Is that the Displaywriter that you are selling the caps for on your eBay store?
Last edited by Fkazim on 05 Aug 2019, 17:37, edited 1 time in total.

701c

05 Aug 2019, 16:17

orihalcon wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 15:52
You got lucky! At least yours wasn't like this one I got a while back:
Yea, I have seen quite a few beamsprings that were much worse than mine. Do you know what conditions that one was stored in?
Mine was kept in an un-air conditioned house next to the beach in Florida, so considering that, I got pretty lucky.
Also, It came with the 5251 terminal. I found a bunch of documents in a compartment in the back of the terminal. There are a couple of cool illustrations in it. Image
Image
Image

User avatar
PlacaFromHell

05 Aug 2019, 18:26

orihalcon wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 15:52
You got lucky! At least yours wasn't like this one I got a while back:

_DSC5719 copy.JPG

On yours, You could just put a light coat of rust preventing oil (like something lanolin based, though beware, your beamspring may then smell like a sheep) and wipe off the excess.
How rare is find something like this? Looks like I was really, really lucky:
Image

spongebob1981

06 Aug 2019, 14:33

PlacaFromHell wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 18:26
orihalcon wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 15:52
You got lucky! At least yours wasn't like this one I got a while back:

_DSC5719 copy.JPG

On yours, You could just put a light coat of rust preventing oil (like something lanolin based, though beware, your beamspring may then smell like a sheep) and wipe off the excess.
How rare is find something like this? Looks like I was really, really lucky:
Image
I had the money and was coming to terms to buy it for weeks. And you got it the day I decided to buy it. You are SO lucky :lol:

andrewjoy

06 Aug 2019, 16:02

Any chance we can get high res scans of the manual.

Mainly just the keyboard section, but if you want to do the whole thing i am sure there are computer history websites/groups that would kill for the documentation.

User avatar
User101

06 Aug 2019, 17:53

andrewjoy wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 16:02
Any chance we can get high res scans of the manual.

Mainly just the keyboard section, but if you want to do the whole thing i am sure there are computer history websites/groups that would kill for the documentation.
I think bitsavers already have that. Not 100% sure tho

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PlacaFromHell

06 Aug 2019, 21:55

spongebob1981 wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 14:33
I had the money and was coming to terms to buy it for weeks. And you got it the day I decided to buy it. You are SO lucky :lol:
At the end the life takes revenge on my luck, like the silver squared model M at 1000 ARS that I lost the last week. :cry:

orihalcon

07 Aug 2019, 01:20

Fkazim wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 16:14
Orihalcon Is that the Displaywriter that you are selling the caps for on your eBay store?
Nope, the keycaps on that one actually didn't have any yellowing iirc. Got that one a long time ago and keep the picture to remind myself that it could *usually* always be worse when I find a board in bad shape :D

Fkazim

07 Aug 2019, 04:28

Ok thanks for letting me know.

spongebob1981

08 Aug 2019, 15:33

PlacaFromHell wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 21:55
spongebob1981 wrote:
06 Aug 2019, 14:33
I had the money and was coming to terms to buy it for weeks. And you got it the day I decided to buy it. You are SO lucky :lol:
At the end the life takes revenge on my luck, like the silver squared model M at 1000 ARS that I lost the last week. :cry:
I'd say you still got a great deal. M's keep popping up and not a single beamer appeared since ;)

701c

09 Aug 2019, 03:53

I am probably going to get it chrome plated. Does anyone know of any good shops to get this done?

User avatar
snacksthecat
✶✶✶✶

09 Aug 2019, 16:41

701c wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 03:53
I am probably going to get it chrome plated. Does anyone know of any good shops to get this done?
You might consider looking instead to get it zinc plated. I got mine nickel plated and I think it messed with the grounding. I haven't had an opportunity to validate this yet but I have a strong suspicion. Most of the electrical talk on here is over my head so I'm just guessing but perhaps someone else has insight.

Edit: I'd also recommend just doing a google search for metal plating shops near you. Go into one and see if they do the service you're looking for. If they don't, they should be able to refer you to a shop that does.

701c

17 Aug 2019, 04:45

I found a couple of places that will strip off the zinc, and then re-plate it for around $140.
Has anyone had any experience in getting their beamspring plates re-plated in zinc?

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adamcobabe

17 Aug 2019, 13:57

701c wrote:
17 Aug 2019, 04:45
I found a couple of places that will strip off the zinc, and then re-plate it for around $140.
Has anyone had any experience in getting their beamspring plates re-plated in zinc?
No, but I'm also looking for a shop that will do that here in London. Will let you know if I figure it out.

701c

20 Aug 2019, 21:57

The bottom plate is made out of the same material as the top plate, right?
I am thinking I should get that re-plated as well if it does not add much more onto the cost. whatever leaked out of the insulation mat ate away at the zinc. The metal below is completely fine though.
https://imgur.com/a/K8au7HS

Image

Also, does anyone know of anything that I can do with the 5251 terminal?

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