How to Make a Working Steampunk Keyboard

How to Make a Working Steampunk Keyboard

The PC keyboard might not actually run on steam but it would look at home in any Victorian drawing room.

Many of us are obsessed with stuff that looks like it could fit into an airship piloted by a guy named Cid. I'm not exactly sure what the fascination is with brass gears, brown leather and goggles, but I certainly am filled with glee whenever I see overly complicated costumes or machines that actually serve their function with a steampunk aesthetic. That's why I was impressed with the craftsmanship displayed by the Rampkins craft shop in Shropshire, England in building a functioning USB keyboard out of wood, vinyl and imagination. They call it the Buccaneer Keyboard.

The keyboard began its life as a DAS Ultimate, the model that clacks loudly when you press a key and isn't even labeled for the hardcore typists who don't need to look at their keys. Rampkins removed each key, then cut new ones from brass tubing before gluing each new key inside. After designing the layout, they then cut holes in a block of wood and padded it with hand-tooled leather. The holes were punched out and detailed with a scroll saw while a tray was made to hold the electronic innards of the keyboard.

The result is a damn fine piece of prop-making that I'd be proud to clack away at while penning the great Victorian novel I've been working on - To the Moon and Back in 99 Days.

Click here for more pictures of the Buccaneer Keyboard.

Source: Rampkins

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Oh... wow. That's an impressive piece of work. The little gold USB 2.0 cover is a nice touch too. Good job, Rampkins!

Oh holy poo, if I had the time, the money and the unlazyness, omg I would make the shit out of that shit.

Seriously, that's pretty tight. Someone should manufacture those *NUDGE NUDGE*

I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I hate being a kill joy... T_T

Um... do you take orders?! ^_^

Must ask, how well can you type with it? I would've thought that the brass keys would be rather uncomfortable...

Looks nice and cleen for the umpteenth steampunk keyboard mod I've seen . . . I've got to finally get around to doing this myself someday.

I want a complete set, imagine your monitor and rig in that same style....

Awesomeness.

Not the first mod I've seen, but the first steampunk one and this somehow makes more sense (aesthetically) to me than the others.

DO WANT. NAO.

Does this bloke take comissions?

That's some impressive craftsmanship. Too bad he had to cut the Das, which is quite a good keyboard.

Ohhh it's very vintage looking! I bet it's alot easier to clean unless the modern day keybord (stupid dust getting underneath it and all).

...I want one... Why are all the cool things so hard to make?

I would totally pay money for that.

I think the big question we are all asking is... How much is this going to set us back?

Holy fuck that is awesome. I want one, I want one now.

I have to say, while it looks very awesome it looks like it would a pain in the fingers to type on!

The keys look about an inch tall, how could you type on it? One finger warriors would be ok but anything more advanced than that are pooped.

awesome work - some serious dedication going into that...

Steampunk keyboard! DO WANT!

If only to have to coolest keyboard in the city...

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I hate being a kill joy... T_T

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Imagine how exciting it would be to try to put your computer-fire out without using water and short-circuiting it. IT WOULD BE LIKE A VIDEOGAME!

sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

beautiful... and just down the road from me! Now for the whole set up and I'll be in geek heaven!

The guy that owns that is so steam-punk he shits monocles.

Here! Just shut up and take my money!!

That looks fantastic, but it looks like there aren't any bumps on the home keys to let you know where they are. I wouldn't be able to type with that thing if that is the case.

Must have right NOW! Please, sell me one T_T

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I hate being a kill joy... T_T

Why would it be? I mean, there's no sensible reason why it would be a fire hazard.

I want one!

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.[/sub]

Keyboards, aren't fueled by molten lava. The watts being driven up the USB aren't going to set anything on fire. I suppose if you're a trainee fire breather with a dribbling problem then, yes, you're in the shit.

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I do not see how that keyboard is a fire hazard. Treated, finished wood, such as used on that keyboard is VERY hard to burn. Also the low power going though USB is not enough to spark a flame with lacquered wood and leather.

One would have to douse the whole keyboard in gasoline and light it on fire to attempt to make a fire hazard. I am sure a Rubbing Alcohol fire on that keyboard will only produce a warm keyboard.

There is something about a well sculpted piece of leather and brass that just gives me such a nerd-on

-M

Very impressive. Think I'm going to put this one on my Christmas list...!!

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I hate being a kill joy... T_T

I read that as 'Giant Fire Lizard'
so no harm donee
:)

Sammaul:
I want a complete set, imagine your monitor and rig in that same style....

Awesomeness.

Not the first mod I've seen, but the first steampunk one and this somehow makes more sense (aesthetically) to me than the others.

The Michael's by my house has all of their register monitors surrounded with wooden frames, making them look steampunk.

This goes nicely with the steampunk flash drive that guy makes.

That looks familiar...didn't I see that used as part of the TARDIS's interface?

CAPTCHA: Tellini, senici

Hang on...I went to college with a girl named that...

I don't get what people see in steampunk. That thing looks hideous to me.

But I guess it looked tricky to make so good jerb.

Catchy Slogan:
I can't help but feel that it would be a giant fire hazard.

I hate being a kill joy... T_T

It's okay, I'll ignore the killjoy-i-ness of your comment, even as my house burns to the ground.

Slightly more on topic, I would pay for one of those.

Granted, that looks like it could go for $200-300 easily, but still... So sexy.

 

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