Author Topic: Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top  (Read 39624 times)

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Offline nanu

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« on: Sat, 18 July 2009, 12:45:35 »
Here's my aesthetic modification to a Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless Tactile Touch "Otaku" FKBN87M/NPEK.
The goal of the mod was to make a form-fitting replacement case.

I used an assortment of basswood strips, available from a hobby/crafts store.  The wood is finally stained an Ipswich Pine, and finished with shellac.

The result keeps the small footprint as provided by the original internal unit, which is 87 brown Cherry MX switches mounted to a switchplate and PCB.

The bottom frames a textured sheet of flexible polypropylene, for no good reason.

I could probably replace it with a wooden sheet for strength, to make it less fragile.

For the "strapless" top panel, the front and back strips appear to "float", while the sides appear to be solid to the metal switchplate.


The top's crossbar is attached via the original single screwhole from the back, while the chipset cover is friction-fit.
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 July 2009, 13:31:48 by nanu »

Offline o2dazone

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 18 July 2009, 14:27:34 »
that's clean, I like the handiwork of the "lip" you put around the pieces

Offline msiegel

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 18 July 2009, 14:36:15 »
:D this could be the future of keyboard cases

do you notice a change in the keyboard's sound?

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Offline nanu

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 18 July 2009, 15:26:58 »
Quote from: msiegel;103200
:D this could be the future of keyboard cases


The future of cases would probably be undesign, in the spirit of Apple, I thought.  I would not have started this mod if Filco would have put the daughter chipset behind the top right corner maybe, and not make extra holes in the switchplate; ideally, the switchplate would be part of the case, if it were extended on the back and sides.  The base could then just be a sheet as a cover.  Cases are overrated to me but they exist with actual sides for the protection of keys, in case of drops, don't they.

Had I the patience, skills and insurance, I would have attempted to desolder the daughter board and the quick-pins and resoldered it directly to the mother board, though am still unsure if it would fit entirely in the hole (would probably also need to grind down the solder points some.  Then you could probably go super-slick and insert a laser-cut piece of veneer?!)

As for why Filco wouldn't execute my ideal, I could only wildly guess that it's not possible with existing machines to solder upon something with sides on it (PCB must be on an unobstructed plane), and they also save on raw metal costs by cutting holes anyway...
But incidentally, the 104key Majestouch looks much cleaner in this regard.

Quote from: msiegel;103200
do you notice a change in the keyboard's sound?


I didn't notice a change in sound.  The default Filco case is quite solid.  Then again, I had removed the casing within hours of obtaining the board.

Coming from a rubberdome, it's loud, even after inserting into the keycaps 87 donuts made from 2mm foam sheet on day 1.  The 2mm actually shortens the throw of the Brown Cherries by perhaps 0.5mm?


I also tried aquarium tubing but it stretches too much for the diameter I have on hand, and it's hard to consistently trim such thin pieces, so I went with foam.  The foam is slightly more dampening.
« Last Edit: Sat, 18 July 2009, 15:38:19 by nanu »

Offline lowpoly

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 20 July 2009, 18:09:36 »
I like this. Bezel-less FTW. :smile:

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Offline nanu

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 21 July 2009, 20:31:58 »
Wooden base completed, modding done for now.

Another shot, with blue gaming keys, thanks to megarat!


Offline majestouch

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 22 July 2009, 00:20:30 »
Nice work!

Offline nanu

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Offsite pictures of the base.
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 22 July 2009, 11:49:05 »
Yep, the metal plate is supposed to rest on the sides, and the front.  I bought just enough wood to cobble together the back panel for the cord grommet.  The metal plate is just shy of resting on this back panel, but it's hard to tell, and the front side is warped anyhow so it doesn't sit square either.  The keyboard unit instead rests on the fancy bar you see with the standoffs.  This bar doesn't touch the PCB, but meets the metal plate via the standoffs.

On the same bar, there is a section carved away to accommodate the cord's connector.

There are also sections carved away for rerouting the LEDs in the future, I guess.  I was thinking maybe ambient light scatter through either side for Caps/Scroll lock (though I use neither).


The panel where the ferrite bead rests had to be thinned out < 1mm.  I was serious when I said form-fitting.
Here it is being backlit.


To hold the plastic sheet, there's a slot that runs the length of that bar, cut using my ghetto Dremel "table saw."

The plastic sheet also rests under the lip of the front of the baseframe.
I think I should display a big FILCO logo through the translucent plastic and reupload pictures.

This mod can be viewed as ridiculous, I'll admit.  Surely, a plastic version could be executed, too.  The error tolerances would just be lower.
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 July 2009, 12:17:39 by nanu »

Offline nanu

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Some finishing(?) touches.
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 26 July 2009, 21:08:28 »
A mailing label used for the bottom's logo:


Upon ogling, the original shiny spacebar wire gets bothersome... How to get paint to not flake off of a paperclip?

The stabilizer bar could not be reversed with the same clip system reused without further modification (holes/clips not symmetric).
« Last Edit: Mon, 27 July 2009, 13:35:04 by nanu »

Offline watduzhkstand4

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 26 July 2009, 21:33:22 »
wow that is just sexy =O
KEYBOARDS
Cherry Blue *Filco Tenkeyless w/ blank keys* w/ red ESC key thanks to Megarat
Cherry Red Noppoo Choc Mini
IBM Model M 1391401 12/15/88
Siig Minitouch w/ White Alps


SOLD
HHKB Pro 2 white w/ blank keys red ESC key and blank WASD keys
HHKB L-2
Cherry Brown Compaq mx11800
Dell AT101W
Cherry Red Leopold 104-key Otaku FC500RR/ABN

Offline Zet

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 18 May 2011, 22:43:20 »
I just saw this mod and fall inlove to it.

Really really amasing work man, great job!!!

Offline JustCallMeCrash

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 04:15:41 »
This is outstanding.  I'm currently working on one with oak, but I don't think it will turn out looking as nice as all this.

Offline keyboardlover

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 05:28:07 »
Haven't seen this until now...looks awesome!

Offline JustCallMeCrash

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 12:54:13 »
So I had a bolt from the blue on my way to work this morning... I have a TON of old cigar boxes sitting around.  Surely Spanish cedar would make a good housing material for a plateless Filco Majestouch2.  Not to mention how amazing my desk area will smell (for a while, anyway).  I'm thinking the thinner cedar may lend itself to easier tooling, but I haven't tried it at all yet.  I'll look at my stock tonight and figure out what all I'd have to do to make it happen... may end up finishing this oak case anyway.

Offline kaen

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Blank Filco Tenkeyless, with wooden top
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 15:58:37 »
now THAT is a mod, gorgeous work!