Some of you will know the TV series called Warehouse 13. Do you remember when "Artie" Arthur Nielsen researched artifacts in the world that were lost when typing on a specific keyboard? Well, that keyboard is built in steampunk style. Many items made in this style have attracted the attention of many DIY (do it yourself) experts who try to replicate them using readily available materials.
Fig.1: the steampunk keyboard in a scene of the Warehouse 13 series
Fig.2: The main characters of the Warehouse series
The steampunk style originated from the reconstruction of out-of-date technical objects often described in 19th century fantasy novels, especially its style often reminiscent of Victorian London. Consider the various books of Verne, HG Wells, and Conan Doyle, which describe many weapons or instruments in an overly mechanical way, sometimes powered by steam and decorated with brass or iron.
These have preserved our memories of that era. Not only that, but this style is rapidly spreading in artistic expressions, clothing and furniture.
Fig.3: Small octopus artwork
Fig.4: Steampunk costumes for women
Fig.5: Steampunk costumes for men
You can buy these keyboards on many other commercial websites such as Mechdiy.
If you have the tools to make a steampunk-style keyboard yourself, you can actively try it. The following content may be helpful to you.
First of all, you need to know the size of the keyboard you are making. You need to determine the size of the base. The safer way is to take out your old keyboard as a reference.
Next is the process of cutting and shaping the brass. Be very careful when cutting brass on a table saw. If the pieces stick together, you may need a lot of effort to separate them. Pay attention to protect your eyes.
Then cut the shape on the band saw.
3/16 inch pilot holes were drilled on the drill press, and then they were enlarged with this step drill. The step drill leaves a shoulder halfway through the hole because its step is 1/8 inch, and this piece is 1/4 inch thick. I think these steps add visual appeal, so I didn't drill down from the other side to remove them. You can adjust it according to the size you want.
Several grades of sandpaper, steel wool, and rotating fiberglass brushes are then used in the drill press to clean up the debris. Drill and tap to connect the legs.
Then prepare the keycaps, base, and shaft body, preferably from the old-fashioned keyboard before, so that it will not cost a lot of money. please check the photo.
Now start the more boring pasting process. If you want the sound of the keyboard to be as low as possible, you can add some cotton to fix the shaft body and try not to loose it. Then install the keycaps and status lights.
If conditions permit, you can make a firmer shaft to ensure that the keyboard can be used for a longer time. look! It has been completed.
Maybe you can start with a retro-style mechanical keyboard.