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How to Make a Working Steampunk Keyboard

| 19 Jul 2011 18:52

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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