Sun Damaged Keycap Restoration

User avatar
wadeak78

09 Mar 2020, 02:59

I recently got a keyboard that had been left in the elements for roughly a few decades. Luckily it comes from Arizona so there is no water damage, but the sun damage is extreme. The keycaps took the brunt of the damage, but the on the one switch that was exposed, the slider disintegrated. Compared to that the keycaps are doing better, but not by much. They are covered in tiny surface cracks. I've been afraid to clean them before I got some opinions on how to deal with the cracks and repair the keycaps.
Damaged ITT Keycap.JPG
Damaged ITT Keycap.JPG (563.63 KiB) Viewed 570 times
This is what the damage looks like.
Does anyone have any idea how to repair this?

andrewjoy

09 Mar 2020, 16:30

Honestly think your at the stage of replace not repair, that sun damage is extreme.

You possibly could get some clear epoxy (you can get optically clear epoxy if you look around) and cover them in a thin layer but i dont know how you would go about getting an even coat and it would be an insane ammount of work.

User avatar
ZedTheMan

09 Mar 2020, 21:38

Hello, can you please show me a picture of the whole board so we can see the extent of the full damage?

User avatar
fohat
Elder Messenger

10 Mar 2020, 01:40

Are those double shot keys? May be my eyes, but it looks like the legend has become raised above the surrounding surface.

In a way, that key is fascinating and attractive in its strangeness.

User avatar
wadeak78

10 Mar 2020, 01:54

They are doubleshot, and the legend is raised by some tiny amount.

I think that first picture overstates the damage a bit, too. Most of the damage is cosmetic and the caps are maybe just more fragile than normal caps. Totally usable as is.

User avatar
wadeak78

10 Mar 2020, 04:05

I'm thinking of using acetone vapor smoothing, like with ABS 3D prints, to smooth the keycaps.
Does anyone see anything horribly wrong with this idea?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xFUNFG-UKE
This is a good example video of what I want to try.

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

10 Mar 2020, 10:25

wadeak78 wrote:
10 Mar 2020, 04:05
I'm thinking of using acetone vapor smoothing, like with ABS 3D prints, to smooth the keycaps.
that is what I was going to suggest, but you need to be very careful, you are going to smoothen all the edges and the legend as well

User avatar
Erderm_

06 Apr 2020, 08:55

Honestly Id keep them as is, thats a pretty unique pattern. Also +1 for wanting to see what the whole board looked like!

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