Author Topic: Radical Edward Keyboard  (Read 21559 times)

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Offline Charger

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Radical Edward Keyboard
« on: Sun, 08 May 2016, 22:59:05 »
So I got the idea to make a copy of the keyboard from cowboy bebop from another member that was talking about making one. Since I didnt see that thread go anywhere and I was rather interested in it I started thinking about it and drawing up plans to make my own.


The first thing I noticed was that every screen shot I seemed to take would have a different layout in it so I just laid out what i think is a decent representation of it based on what caps I could buy and ended up with this layout.



and quickly made a sketch up drawing of what I guesstimated it would be like



and it just sat there as in idea for a bit until I started looking for a parts keyboard that would have a 10u space bar and a big ass enter and I just saved an ebay search for the Unitek K-151L and after some time I saw one pop up and i bought it. So now its forcing my hand to start trying to make it happen.



and the first thing I did was start taking it apart to get some measurements from the plate for the big ass enter.



and now I have these drawings that I'm planing to have bigbluesaw waterjet hopefully I will order in the next few days and get moving on this build.

Offline DamnDan

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 09 May 2016, 02:30:45 »
Woooooow!

That is one awesome idea!! :D
As a fan of Cowboy Bebop I can't wait to see it made :D
Will follow this thread :)

Will you go with weathered look as well?
With or without the handles?

Now you have to get VR glasses and an oldschool PC :D!!

Offline KnivesM

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 09 May 2016, 02:43:55 »
Will make a really cool display piece! Look forward to seeing how this turns out. :thumb:
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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 09 May 2016, 04:50:18 »
As someone who has never seen this show(?) I can only see this for what it is - a seriously random layout with a lot of stabilised keys!

It's always good to see ideas become reality though, looking forward to updates :thumb:
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Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 09 May 2016, 07:32:46 »
Woooooow!

That is one awesome idea!! :D
As a fan of Cowboy Bebop I can't wait to see it made :D
Will follow this thread :)

Will you go with weathered look as well?
With or without the handles?

Now you have to get VR glasses and an oldschool PC :D!!

I'm not sure but I'm hoping to go with a weathered look when it is done. I will make the handles it wouldn't be to hard. At first I was looking for just off the shelf drawer pulls that would be the correct size but its probably cheaper and faster for me to just make them myself since I already have the tooling to do that.

I may try to make the computer later on but that would be  a different project lol

Will make a really cool display piece! Look forward to seeing how this turns out. :thumb:
that is my hope as well. I plan to make it a functioning keyboard but I don't see it being a practical keyboard to use... I say that as I'm typing on a 40% lol.

As someone who has never seen this show(?) I can only see this for what it is - a seriously random layout with a lot of stabilised keys!

It's always good to see ideas become reality though, looking forward to updates :thumb:
Agreed it is a random layout with a lot of stabilized keys lol

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 09 May 2016, 21:13:50 »
Ok so I just placed my order for the waterjet parts so now the waiting for that has begun along with waiting until I have money again to order more of the parts.

On a side note I have noticed that although I have 9 of the stabilizers on hand I still need 10 more lol

needed parts list
  • 10 more 2u cherry plate mount stabilizers
  • blank das caps for all but space bar and enter.
  • teensy or pro micro
  • rack mount handles probably diy

Offline csmertx

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 10 May 2016, 00:11:10 »
Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
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Offline ProCarpet

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 10 May 2016, 10:17:11 »
Realy interesting thread ill keep an eye on it :D looking forwart to see more of it

Offline Maave

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 03:53:40 »
Nice. It would be amusing to have a cutout in your desk that you could drop the keyboard into

Offline UTEster750

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 04:13:37 »
This looks like it could be pretty cool :D

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 07:25:46 »
Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
Blank DSA would be the only option for some of those keys. I don't think that the keys on the left hand side really needed to be made that wide.
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Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 07:42:52 »
Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
ya the images look dsa in style and its the only real way to get caps that will look correct on it.

Nice. It would be amusing to have a cutout in your desk that you could drop the keyboard into
that would be an interesting idea if i end up using it as my main keyboard and I do have an ikea desktop that I paid $6 for so its not something that is out of the question lol

Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
Blank DSA would be the only option for some of those keys. I don't think that the keys on the left hand side really needed to be made that wide.
agreed dsa is the only real option to even put caps on it but I still needed to get the bigass enter and the space bar because signature doesnt make them. It also looks like dsa as it is so that works well in my mind. As for the keys not needing to be that wide they only are because I'm trying to make it as close to their random always changing layout from the anime lol

Offline DeTommie

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 07:55:41 »
Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
ya the images look dsa in style and its the only real way to get caps that will look correct on it.

Nice. It would be amusing to have a cutout in your desk that you could drop the keyboard into
that would be an interesting idea if i end up using it as my main keyboard and I do have an ikea desktop that I paid $6 for so its not something that is out of the question lol

Oh man, that rack mounted keyboard is a beast. Anything other than DSA would completely change the look of the keyboard imo
Blank DSA would be the only option for some of those keys. I don't think that the keys on the left hand side really needed to be made that wide.
agreed dsa is the only real option to even put caps on it but I still needed to get the bigass enter and the space bar because signature doesnt make them. It also looks like dsa as it is so that works well in my mind. As for the keys not needing to be that wide they only are because I'm trying to make it as close to their random always changing layout from the anime lol
Show Image


Looks like there are lights in the leftmost keys...

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 11 May 2016, 08:01:54 »

Looks like there are lights in the leftmost keys...
could be or it could just be their half hearted attempt to put legends on the keycaps but others clearly show there are not legends on the keys. its not in all of the screen shots I have of the keyboard

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 31 May 2016, 20:56:11 »
well got my parts from big blue saw they seem like they will work although they sure have a lot of bow in them that will take will take a lot of work to get flattened back out I think




Offline muon

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 31 May 2016, 21:02:44 »
Wow, that's not great machining work. You should ask them to fix that if possible.

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 31 May 2016, 21:06:08 »
Wow, that's not great machining work. You should ask them to fix that if possible.
its just water jet cut aluminum most of that bow is just a result of the metal they started with I really wouldn't expect them to do anything about it but maybe that is just because I have worked with enough metal to assume it will be that way a bit.

Offline csmertx

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 31 May 2016, 21:22:32 »
Boy does that look sharp (literally! Yikes!)! It's gonna look really good once you piece it all together :)
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Offline Data

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 06:19:15 »
Freakin sweet.  I approve.

Offline ProCarpet

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 14:33:07 »
Nice to see u come along  :thumb: looks great but that bend is unfortunate. How did this happen? Didnt you order everything to be straight like giving them a max lift in the middle of 1mm or so. Because the metal shouldn't rely bend wile water-cuting. It doesn't heat up or anything. Only possible way this could happen is when you use Material that has high stress on it.

But I'm sure you'll be able to work out these bends its just a pain ^^
Looking forward on further progress

Offline mobbo

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 14:47:42 »
What an awesome project. Can't wait to see the progress/finished product.
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Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 15:24:23 »
Nice to see u come along  :thumb: looks great but that bend is unfortunate. How did this happen? Didnt you order everything to be straight like giving them a max lift in the middle of 1mm or so. Because the metal shouldn't rely bend wile water-cuting. It doesn't heat up or anything. Only possible way this could happen is when you use Material that has high stress on it.

But I'm sure you'll be able to work out these bends its just a pain ^^
Looking forward on further progress
just because plate / sheet tends to have some bow in it in general. I'm sure it could have been minimized just by rotating my parts on the sheet but depending on what else was cut out on that sheet it could cause more waste. The way every one reacts to it kind of makes me question myself on not contacting bigbluesaw about it but I really don't think they would do anything about it.

Offline invariance

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 18:36:35 »
It's the nature of OCD on here  ;) :))

I imagine you will have screws down the length of that top plate to affix it to the chassis so it will flatten out then.
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Offline e996

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 19:08:02 »
this is fantastic - awesome idea!!!

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 01 June 2016, 19:34:11 »
this is fantastic - awesome idea!!!
I stole the idea from another member that wanted to do it before me but I saw no progress on his so I decided to make it my self

It's the nature of OCD on here  ;) :))

I imagine you will have screws down the length of that top plate to affix it to the chassis so it will flatten out then.

Saddly I have not thought that far a head. If it was steel I would weld it but since it's aluminum and I don't have a tig welder I'm not sure that I'm going to do. I don't really want screw holes in the top.
« Last Edit: Wed, 01 June 2016, 20:42:19 by Charger »

Offline ProCarpet

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 02 June 2016, 14:10:28 »
Nice to see u come along  :thumb: looks great but that bend is unfortunate. How did this happen? Didnt you order everything to be straight like giving them a max lift in the middle of 1mm or so. Because the metal shouldn't rely bend wile water-cuting. It doesn't heat up or anything. Only possible way this could happen is when you use Material that has high stress on it.

But I'm sure you'll be able to work out these bends its just a pain ^^
Looking forward on further progress
just because plate / sheet tends to have some bow in it in general. I'm sure it could have been minimized just by rotating my parts on the sheet but depending on what else was cut out on that sheet it could cause more waste. The way every one reacts to it kind of makes me question myself on not contacting bigbluesaw about it but I really don't think they would do anything about it.
Don't get me wrong. They probably won't do anything about it, but if you specificaly order it straight or define it in the drawings you sent them (parallel symbol or such) they would have had to use another metal. I can say for sure but the 0.5x0.5m material i often used or even longer was not even close to be bent that much.
But i lasercut my backplate myself and it bent also like your material but because of the heat inducted. Some careful bending and it was straight.
Note: I personally never worked outeside my country so i dont know about the standarts in your country or what to expect so don't take my word for everything, I say it would have been possible to make these partes with less bend especialy with watercuting, but i have no clue what your standarts are like or what machine there using so i could be comepletly wrong and what you got is perfectly fine. (not that it isnt how it is you just have to straighten it out manualy) 

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 02 June 2016, 15:16:43 »

Don't get me wrong. They probably won't do anything about it, but if you specificaly order it straight or define it in the drawings you sent them (parallel symbol or such) they would have had to use another metal. I can say for sure but the 0.5x0.5m material i often used or even longer was not even close to be bent that much.
But i lasercut my backplate myself and it bent also like your material but because of the heat inducted. Some careful bending and it was straight.
Note: I personally never worked outeside my country so i dont know about the standarts in your country or what to expect so don't take my word for everything, I say it would have been possible to make these partes with less bend especialy with watercuting, but i have no clue what your standarts are like or what machine there using so i could be comepletly wrong and what you got is perfectly fine. (not that it isnt how it is you just have to straighten it out manualy)
only sent a 2d drawing so I think it is safe to assume it would be flat but I know of no for me to have told them to make it flat and it isn't like I was paying for something to be precision machined just water jet cut.

Offline MajorKoos

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 00:49:44 »

This is such an awesome looking project.

How about gluing it together with a high tensile strength metal epoxy to stick some metal corner and L-brackets inside and using clamps to hold it all together while it sets?

Offline ProCarpet

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 06:26:09 »
Yeah a 2D drawing with out any measuerments wont do the trick. You would need to make a tecincal drawing and specifiy stuff. But this would result in higher cost. You would have needet to put this sympel on the drawing and specifiy its flatnes
For straigthening it out you could try to get some stress out of the sheet with heating it up. Use a torch on the convex side of the sheet and heat it carefully, take care not to melt it or deform it. (not guaranteed to work)

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Fri, 03 June 2016, 07:59:57 »
Yeah a 2D drawing with out any measuerments wont do the trick. You would need to make a tecincal drawing and specifiy stuff. But this would result in higher cost. You would have needet to put this sympel on the drawing and specifiy its flatnes
Show Image

For straigthening it out you could try to get some stress out of the sheet with heating it up. Use a torch on the convex side of the sheet and heat it carefully, take care not to melt it or deform it. (not guaranteed to work)
ya bigbluesaw just has an online price quote system where I just upload a dxf and never talk to anyone when ordering... Just the way I like it lol

Im trying to easy way of just bending it beyond flat to try to fix it but really it seems to just be adding more bends into it but getting it at least flatter overall so should be less spring back when attaching it. I would probably be doing it differently but I'm a 45 minute drive from all my tools and I have not really had time to go work on stuff yet.

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 10 June 2016, 22:02:40 »
I had a little time to work on the keyboard so now I can put the stabilizers and enter key in the keyboard.

I had to take the plate to the mill to make up for me being cheap and just getting the plate cut out of 1/8 inch aluminum rather then the correct thickness stainless




and checking how its starting to look with caps on


I was hoping to get more done but I had to work on my car rather than the keyboard

Offline Data

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 19:37:33 »
Nice milling. Looks good.

Have you figured out how to join the pieces yet?

Offline MajorKoos

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 20:09:43 »
I definitely think this is the most original keyboard build on GH at present.
It's going to be big and bulky, but that's half the point.
It should take both hands to move around!


Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 20:26:55 »
Nice milling. Looks good.

Have you figured out how to join the pieces yet?

it may involve some jb weld or just some welding unless I just say f it and screw it in all together. I realized I want another plate between the top and the switch plate so I need to make that as well now since I'm not going to have any more parts water jet for it and I already have the metal just sitting around.

I definitely think this is the most original keyboard build on GH at present.
It's going to be big and bulky, but that's half the point.
It should take both hands to move around!
ya its point isn't really to be the smallest most practical keyboard around. I already have small down since I'm typing on a thin %40 I'm as it is but its also far from practical. I'm not sure If I could really say I have a practical keyboard.

Offline Data

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 20:33:00 »
it may involve some jb weld or just some welding unless I just say f it and screw it in all together. I realized I want another plate between the top and the switch plate so I need to make that as well now since I'm not going to have any more parts water jet for it and I already have the metal just sitting around.

Shame you don't have use of a brake.  You could have shaped the sides to fit together nicely -- one of your reference screengrabs shows one side screwed into the other.  Then you could use the top handles as nuts and fit long-ish screws through the top, plate, and sides to hold it all together.

Offline csmertx

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 20:36:18 »
Have you put any more thought into the keycaps? Looks like you're using some vintage caps as you work, but I'm wondering if that is what you envision for the end result.
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Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 11 June 2016, 21:14:13 »

Shame you don't have use of a brake.  You could have shaped the sides to fit together nicely -- one of your reference screengrabs shows one side screwed into the other.  Then you could use the top handles as nuts and fit long-ish screws through the top, plate, and sides to hold it all together.
ya... ya no metal brake... Well I do kind of have 2 and my brother works in a sheet metal shop...  The base will be screwed together with visible screws on all sides rather then just the 2 sides. I may end up remaking the base later if I don't like how it turns out. I could just make it out of one strip and bend it if I wanted it just wouldn't end up with sharp corners which is why I milled corner blocks that the side pieces will screw into.


Have you put any more thought into the keycaps? Looks like you're using some vintage caps as you work, but I'm wondering if that is what you envision for the end result.
I have always planned to uses dsa blanks from signature plastic but I had to buy a parts keyboard to get the big ass enter and the 10u space bar because they don't make those so I may end up having to paint them or paint all the keycaps to make them match in color. I just have not bought the keycaps because I don't have the money at the moment i have to wait a few more weeks before ordering them.

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 30 June 2016, 21:54:28 »
I had a bit of time today to work on the keyboard so I drilled and tapped some holes so I could put the base together but I will probably be changing the screws. I just put it together with that I had on hand but I think it is going to have countersunk oval head phillips screws when it is done

I bought a cheap harbor freight drill press just so I wouldn't have to drive for an hour just to drill a few holes. Its table is crap but it works better then I thought it would lol




I also tested my paint choice and I think its a bit to green so looks like I'm going to be trying a different color when I get a chance.

Offline kingyachan

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 01 July 2016, 01:07:11 »
This is incredible, I love it!

Offline csmertx

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 01 July 2016, 06:00:43 »
Shiny bevels  :eek:
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Offline MajorKoos

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 01 July 2016, 17:03:06 »
It's going to be a tank when you're done with it :)
I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 12:55:26 »
I made a bit more progress on my keyboard.

the 3 top plates


showing them stacked


then started to drill and tap a few more holes in the layer that goes between the top and the switch plate and clearance holes in the switch plate


and here it is just partly screwed together (and a little just sitting together lol) but starting to look like a keyboard




I messed up my cad drawing for the switch plate so the switches were not centered in it which made laying out screw holes a bit of an annoying problem and I ended up slightly off so I just need to re-drill the clearance holes slightly larger to let me adjust it.
« Last Edit: Sun, 03 July 2016, 18:28:13 by Charger »

Offline StickyBlueJuice

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 13:27:18 »
This is looking really spectacular so far!
What a great and original idea.

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #43 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 13:38:29 »
So surreal to see that keyboard come to life. I hope you have clicky switches in mind :D
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Offline Moistgun

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #44 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 13:41:00 »
Will you be typing on it with your feet?

Offline Data

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #45 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 17:43:01 »
I like this more every time I see it.  It's coming together nicely.

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 03 July 2016, 22:24:08 »
This is looking really spectacular so far!
What a great and original idea.
I took the idea from some one else that never made it so not so original lol

So surreal to see that keyboard come to life. I hope you have clicky switches in mind :D
Well I was going to use vintage blacks but now I wonder if I should use some blues or greens... I guess I'm going to have to rewatch cowboy bebop to see how the keyboard sounds lol

Will you be typing on it with your feet?
hopefully not but you never know for sure lol

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 22:36:47 »
So I got some different screws for the base and decided to screw all 3 of the top plates together so I drilled and tapped 6 holes in the top plate but I cant put them all together until I get longer screws for them.

Here are the old screws vs the new oval head screws


new screws

Offline MajorKoos

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 22:59:22 »
It looks like you'll have quite a bit of room in there afterwards to put all manner of things.
Have you given any thoughts to a fitting payload?

Offline Charger

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Re: Radical Edward Keyboard
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 06 July 2016, 23:38:29 »
It looks like you'll have quite a bit of room in there afterwards to put all manner of things.
Have you given any thoughts to a fitting payload?
no I have not really thought about that but I have thought about cutting a hole in an ikea desktop for it if that counts for anything lol