Author Topic: RIT dye on my Model M  (Read 3194 times)

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Offline Quarzac

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RIT dye on my Model M
« on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 18:28:08 »
So, after seeing all the posts about RIT dying keycaps, I thought I would give it a go, since I had a model M that could use a bit of a spicing up. So I went to a Rite-Aid, bought some denture cleaning tabs and a box of powdered dark green RIT dye, and went to town. I gave the caps a good 20-30 minute soak in warm water with two denture tabs prior to doing this, and rinsed them pretty well. Then, I got to the hard part.

The RIT dye. A cold, calculated science around these parts. People have written it out before with detailed temperatures, times, and procedures.

I threw a good bit of that to the wind.

So, while I was at Rite-Aid, I didn't buy a thermometer. I probably should have, but since I forgot, and I wasn't going to be buggered to walk all the way back there, I decided I didn't need it. When it came to the whole water part, I filled my estimated 2 quart pot about halfway, until it looked like I'd have a decent amount to cover all the keycaps. If it gives anyone else an accurate frame of reference, it was the same amount I use when I cook a pack of ramen. I heated that until I saw a bunch of little bubbles on the base of the pot, and steam started coming off the surface of the water. I threw in a bit of salt, prior to noticing that the powdered dye already contained it. It was probably about half a teaspoon. I poured a bit into my hand and threw it in. Then I added the dye, stirred it around until it was looking good, and threw in the keycaps.

DISCLAIMER: Do not throw in the keycaps. The dye will splash, and you will end up with some spots on your clothes, and possibly your stove and counter top.

Following that, I began stirring. I went in three minute intervals, checking them every time I went to increment the timer. After 18 minutes, they looked pretty bad, so I decided to cut my losses and pull 'em out. I poured them into a strainer like you would use for pasta or draining ground beef, and rinsed them in warm water, and then cold water. I wouldn't recommend anyone rinse them directly in cold water. I'm not completely sure, as this didn't happen to me, but it seems like you could run the risk of cracking or warping your keycaps due to the sudden change in temperature. Try it with a test tube, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Once I had all the excess dye off, I threw them in a towel, shook it up to dry them, and popped them back on my board. I have to say that I'm not too disappointed. They're not the color I was going for (more of a British racing green), as they ended up olive/army green. However, my artsy sister tells me that I wasn't going to get the color I wanted with the dye I chose. Naturally, she was with me when I bought the dye, but failed to mention that. The biggest downside is that the dye shows the wear on these caps really clearly. The numpad looks pretty bad. If I was to do this again, I would do it with new keycaps (as I likely will soon enough.) I imagine these would look pretty good with an industrial case, if anyone wants to throw one my way. And now, for the obligatory pictures!

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Got a smaller board with white ALPS, Montereys, Cherry Blues, Reds, or Clears you'd like to offload?  Shoot me a PM. Looking for a grey Leopold FC700R in particular.

Wyse buy colors were GSY for the dark grey, GBA for the light grey, and BBI for the fonts.

Offline mbc

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RIT dye on my Model M
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 19 June 2012, 21:41:13 »
Very classy. I like it. GJ

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: RIT dye on my Model M
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 23 July 2012, 16:41:32 »
I used RIT "Dark Green" on the keys for a "camouflage" board I modded for my teenage son. The results would have been considered abominable, except for the fact that the splotchy uneven color was absolutely perfect for the camo effect. I used some "Cocoa Brown" that made for slightly uneven and ugly keys, but not nearly as bad as the dark green.

Only a straight light mark transverse on the spacebar was an obvious "issue" with the dye job.

I have done lighter, brighter colors such as "Scarlet", "Sunshine Orange", "Golden Yellow", and bright blue (can't remember the cute name) with spectacularly excellent results. And the darker modifier keys took the dye just as you would expect them to, perhaps ending even a bit darker than you might expect.

I would like to ask for members to send in their lists of which colors work well and which don't - I'm sure that it is case-by-case.

PS - black was amazing and beautiful - even a magnifying glass failed to reveal the original legends!
« Last Edit: Mon, 23 July 2012, 16:53:52 by fohat.digs »
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT

Offline damorgue

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Re: RIT dye on my Model M
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 23 July 2012, 16:44:40 »
Is it possible to save a failure by going even darker? Say that your green went bad, could you for black to cove it all if you consider all black to be better than an uneven green?

Offline fohat.digs

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Re: RIT dye on my Model M
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 23 July 2012, 16:56:51 »
You can go back to the bath for darker and richer colors.

I am guessing that black would hide everything, but I don't know for sure. I cleaned my keys very well before dyeing, so I doubt that was the problem.

The good thing about Model M keys is that they are tough and you could probably put them in the top pan of a double boiler for an hour and they would survive.
Were our leaders just stupid? Well, maybe. But there’s a deeper explanation of the profoundly self-destructive behavior of Trump and his allies: They were all members of America’s cult of selfishness. You see, the modern US right is committed to the proposition that greed is good, that we’re all better off when individuals engage in the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest. In their vision, unrestricted profit maximization by businesses and unregulated consumer choice is the recipe for a good society.
Support for this proposition is, if anything, more emotional than intellectual. I’ve long been struck by the intensity of right-wing anger against relatively trivial regulations, like bans on phosphates in detergent and efficiency standards for light bulbs. It’s the principle of the thing: Many on the right are enraged at any suggestion that their actions should take other people’s welfare into account. This rage is sometimes portrayed as love of freedom. But people who insist on the right to pollute are notably unbothered by, say, federal agents tear-gassing peaceful protesters. What they call “freedom” is actually absence of responsibility.
Rational policy in a pandemic, however, is all about taking responsibility. The main reason you shouldn’t go to a bar and should wear a mask isn’t self-protection, although that’s part of it; the point is that congregating in noisy, crowded spaces or exhaling droplets into shared air puts others at risk. And that’s the kind of thing America’s right just hates, hates to hear. Anger at any suggestion of social responsibility also helps explain the looming fiscal catastrophe.  – Paul Krugman 2020-07-28 NYT