Author Topic: DIY U-shaped keycap puller  (Read 10804 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline nanu

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 392
    • http://T-T.be/portal
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« on: Sat, 20 June 2009, 14:36:40 »
After having already misplaced the loops-style keypuller I made just yesterday, but then failing a replacement (1.8mb image here) using overly-thick paperclips, I made one in in the Topre U-style as conveniently shown by xsphat, and it was fairly straightforward.

I started out with a 7.5" (19cm) by 5/8" (16mm) strip of steel that I had on hand.  It was coated in rusted black enamel, but some wet-sanding removed it quickly.

I cut 45-45-90 triangles away on all four corners to form points on either end.  I then bent each tip 90 degrees, and trimmed them.  I formed the "U" shape, and finally used a Dremel to grind away the tips until they protruded about 0.33 mm.  More sanding throughout made all edges and corners smooth.






Finding the right material is the difficulty.  The steel is about half as thick as a hacksaw blade (around 21 Guage).  Does anyone know how to properly identify the metal or where to obtain it?  I feel it's useful stuff in general.
« Last Edit: Sat, 20 June 2009, 14:40:13 by nanu »

Offline wellington1869

  • Posts: 7381
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 20 June 2009, 16:24:19 »
Quote
Finding the right material is the difficulty. The steel is about half as thick as a hacksaw blade (around 21 Guage). Does anyone know how to properly identify the metal or where to obtain it?


Finding material for this is NOT a problem.  I took one look at this and the first thing I thought of is asian style "tongue cleaners" that they use for oral hygeine all thru south and south east asia.  That product is *perfect* for this. And sure enough they're on ebay and cost just a couple of dollars.



Look here for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Premier-Stainless-Tongue-Cleaner-Scraper-Oral-Care_W0QQitemZ230345205965QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item35a1a4e8cd&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C72%3A1205%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50#ebayphotohosting

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-x-Stainless-Steel-Tongue-Cleaner-Oral-Hygiene-Scraper_W0QQitemZ180368380424QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_HealthBeauty_DentalCare_RL?hash=item29fecb1208&_trksid=p3286.m63.l1177&_trkparms=240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

They would be very easy to bend into shape (I'm guessing at most you'll need a pair of needlenose pliers to sculpt the pulling-tips), and they're firm enough to keep their shape.
« Last Edit: Sat, 20 June 2009, 18:54:37 by wellington1869 »

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline sixty

  • Posts: 1855
    • http://deskthority.net
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 27 June 2009, 03:20:15 »
great work on the key puller.. and what the heck at those tongue cleaners. Never seen those before. I might actually order some to try out both, actual tongue cleaning and a keycap puller!

Offline wellington1869

  • Posts: 7381
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 27 June 2009, 03:50:02 »
Quote from: sixty;99563
great work on the key puller.. and what the heck at those tongue cleaners. Never seen those before. I might actually order some to try out both, actual tongue cleaning and a keycap puller!


my mum's a dental hygenist, so I know all about that ;)  Tongue cleaning supposedly helps if you have bad breath, as it gets rid of bacteria. The major drug store chains in US now sell plastic ones by the way. In asia they still use stainless steel. Its really an asian cultural phenomenon I think, but my mum told me that in the office where she works they've begun recommending it along with flossing.

But more to the point, I think the steel ones would make a killer homemade key  puller. :)  The stainless steel ones (as pictured above) are usually about 10 inches long. You bend them into a U shape to use them to clean your tongue (you lightly 'scrape' it).  So we already know they can be bent into a U shape :)  Now it just needs the bent-tips on it to pull keys off.
« Last Edit: Sat, 27 June 2009, 03:52:16 by wellington1869 »

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline itlnstln

  • Posts: 13093
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 29 June 2009, 12:54:08 »
Quote from: wellington1869;99569
my mum's a dental hygenist, so I know all about that ;) Tongue cleaning supposedly helps if you have bad breath, as it gets rid of bacteria. The major drug store chains in US now sell plastic ones by the way. In asia they still use stainless steel. Its really an asian cultural phenomenon I think, but my mum told me that in the office where she works they've begun recommending it along with flossing.
 
But more to the point, I think the steel ones would make a killer homemade key puller. :) The stainless steel ones (as pictured above) are usually about 10 inches long. You bend them into a U shape to use them to clean your tongue (you lightly 'scrape' it). So we already know they can be bent into a U shape :) Now it just needs the bent-tips on it to pull keys off.

Your "mum?"  C'mon, Welly you live in NYC.  You need to be calling her "Ma" (with an NYC-Italian accent).


Offline wellington1869

  • Posts: 7381
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 29 June 2009, 13:13:52 »
Quote from: itlnstln
Your "mum?" C'mon, Welly you live in NYC. You need to be calling her "Ma" (with an NYC-Italian accent).


funnily enough I actually do call her 'ma' ;D  Tho my accent is a cross between nyc and boston (college years plus engineering years in and around boston area)

Quote from: ripster;99945
Wish my mom was a dentist.  Stuff makes the best tools.


lol, i've got a great collection of pullers, pokers, and mirrors in my toolbag, as a result ;D
And more free toothbrushes than I know what to do with ;D

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline microsoft windows

  • Blue Troll of Death
  • * Exalted Elder
  • Posts: 6264
  • Location: WINDOWS
  • President of geekhack.org
    • Get Internet Explorer 6
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 04 July 2009, 07:50:06 »
For removing keys, I still use the trusty ol' flat-head screwdriver. It easily pulls out the keys without damaging them. However, when using it I always have to be careful to avoid having keys pop off and fly across the room...

GET MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER 6

Offline nanu

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 392
    • http://T-T.be/portal
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 04 July 2009, 11:14:47 »
Quote from: microsoft windows;101110
For removing keys, I still use the trusty ol' flat-head screwdriver. It easily pulls out the keys without damaging them. However, when using it I always have to be careful to avoid having keys pop off and fly across the room...


I always thought the biggest concern people have with using a screwdriver may be that it is an imbalanced force, focused on one spot.

But with this puller I made, I'm concerned about scratches upon insertion; the funny thing is, I haven't even tried using the puller yet.  I'll try it on my just-ordered Filco when it gets here.

The loop-style one I made works nicely on scissor-switch keys; instead of a twist & pull, it's a prying/rocking motion.
« Last Edit: Sat, 04 July 2009, 11:16:47 by nanu »

Offline keyb_gr

  • Posts: 2332
  • Location: Germany
  • Cherrified user
    • My keyboard page (German)
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 04 July 2009, 18:26:57 »
Quote from: nanu;101156
I always thought the biggest concern people have with using a screwdriver may be that it is an imbalanced force, focused on one spot.
Plus, things like Cherry keycaps want to be pulled straight up, so if anything you'd need two screwdrivers (and even that typically works on rather isolated keys like Escape only).
Hardware in signatures clutters Google search results. There should be a field in the profile for that (again).

This message was probably typed on a vintage G80-3000 with blues. Double-shots, baby. :D

Offline microsoft windows

  • Blue Troll of Death
  • * Exalted Elder
  • Posts: 6264
  • Location: WINDOWS
  • President of geekhack.org
    • Get Internet Explorer 6
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 05 July 2009, 16:06:42 »
If I use a screwdriver to remove keys then I'm way too cheap for Cherry's.

GET MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER 6

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 2501
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 06 July 2009, 07:14:04 »
Quote from: microsoft windows;101110
For removing keys, I still use the trusty ol' flat-head screwdriver. It easily pulls out the keys without damaging them. However, when using it I always have to be careful to avoid having keys pop off and fly across the room...

Alps switches have been destroyed with this method in the past.
The Apple M0110 Today
Miniguru thread at GH, kit preview site at guru-board.com

Offline Rajagra

  • Posts: 2950
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 06 July 2009, 08:26:27 »
I've always used an IC extractor tool for removing keycaps.

They can be hard to get into tighter areas, but filing down the tips would fix that if you are making a dedicated tool.

(Normally pushing down adjacent keys is enough to make room though.)

Offline lowpoly

  • Posts: 2501
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 06 July 2009, 09:33:02 »
Quote from: nanu;97949
Finding the right material is the difficulty.  The steel is about half as thick as a hacksaw blade (around 21 Guage).  Does anyone know how to properly identify the metal or where to obtain it?  I feel it's useful stuff in general.


Steel rulers might work.
The Apple M0110 Today
Miniguru thread at GH, kit preview site at guru-board.com

Offline dfj

  • Posts: 195
  • Location: Canada
  • Visit our irc: #geekhack on Freenode!
DIY U-shaped keycap puller
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 26 July 2010, 09:40:41 »
Quote from: lowpoly;101380
Steel rulers might work.

Nice thing about a lot of rules, even the cheap ones, is that they are stainless... but the tragedy is that it is very weak stuff with very little spring.

For lock-picks we used to use 'street steel' (flat long, thin bristles from street sweepers, it turned out), or alternately the band-strapping you could grab from construction sites after someone unloaded bricks, etc...

Not stainless, but we got a decent amount of wear out of it.

If you want to preserve it, rather than rust-paint which is pretty soft when poking against metal, a little grease and toasting in the toaster oven at 450-500 will create an enamel/oxide layer without wrecking the temper on the steel.
IBM F: 122s ~ 15, XT ~ 2, oddball terminal ~ 8. 'M's: 1386887, 139: 4540, 0238, 1401, 5660, 0876, 4100.
Other kbs: G80 120 (ghetto green), Unicomp 122, BW (blues), RF (Topre 55), Matias TP, ...
 Author of the ill-starred and poorly supported dfj-verter and flaky 122 F IBM replacement controllers.