Author Topic: JAC's F-AT mod-restore  (Read 3430 times)

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Offline ander

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JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« on: Wed, 25 April 2018, 23:44:55 »
IBM Model F AT Customized & Rebuilt, Xwhatsit, Buckling Spring Keyboard




















At $385 plus (modest) shipping, few of us could snap up something like this on a whim. But I'm counting it as a Great Find because, well, it's so awesome.

I happen to know it's the work of GH member just_add_coffee. I can't imagine how many hours he had to put into this—but I'm guessing that, even at this price, he's probably not making much more than minimum wage.  :?)

Now, I know some IBM purists are going to see this and say (or at least think), "Not authentic! All that color? And backlighting a Model F? Sacrilege!" And so on.

Personally, though, I love what he's done. It's relatively restrained—we've all seen much wilder mods—and shows wit and class, IMHO. The textured paint is a nice retro look. And he's even included a color-coordinated cable (or CCC, as we say in the keeb community).

Sorry, purists, but I'm impressed. If you aren't as enthusiastic as I am, you're welcome to move along to the next topic.

Okay, I'll stop babbling now, and may take a mild sedative.
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 26 April 2018, 06:42:18 »
Nice work. I have one of these all set to put back together but for a set of springs - lot_lizard's project vacuumed up the available supply and I have not found replacements for my rusted ones.
Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. "Real power is fear. It's all about strength. Never show weakness. You've always got to be strong. Don't be bullied. There is no choice.
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Online orihalcon

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 26 April 2018, 08:24:37 »
Agreed. A lot of careful work clearly went into this.  I did the Model M spacebar/Alt Mod to exactly one AT Model F for someone who really wanted it on an AT that they were buying from me.  It turned out fine, but it's not a mod that I get excited to do because of the potential for error.  Loved using the finished product though!  Having someone do it who has done it multiple times and knows what mistakes to avoid and has their technique down is a huge plus. Definitely digging the orange as well!

Offline ScottPaladin

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 26 April 2018, 10:47:45 »
That is a really beautiful board. Kudos to just_add_coffee for doing what can be extremely tricky to pull off. It's not precisely my taste, but the quality of his work is readily apparent.  :thumb:


Offline 1391406

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 26 April 2018, 20:22:20 »
I can respect the effort that went into this, though I would've much preferred a full restore with ANSI and USB connectivity sans the color and texture mods.
Unicomp Classic | Chicony KB-5181 (Monterey Blues) | IBM Model M (1391401) | IBM XT Model F | IBM AT Model F | Dell AT101W | 122-key IBM Model F
IBM Model M13 | Apple Extended Keyboard | Apple Extended Keyboard II | MTEK K104 | NTC KB-6251/2 | Realforce 87U | Realforce 104U | Type Heaven

Offline ag36

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 09 May 2018, 16:13:48 »
I can respect the effort that went into this, though I would've much preferred a full restore with ANSI and USB connectivity sans the color and texture mods.

Strongly agreed, would buy it without the colour in a heartbeat.
Model M*5, SSK*4, M13 black*1, Model F XT*1, AT*1 F107*1, Unicomp*1, 3278 *1, Leopold FC750R*2, 980M*2 FC980C*1 Filco majestouch 2 TKL*1, Cooler Master MasterKeys S PBT*1, Uniqey Q100*2, Ducky pocket*1, KBD75*2, KBD19X*2, HHKB pro 2*1, Type-S*1 Topre Realforce RGB*1, 108 all 30g*1, numpad*1, 87U*1 Dell AT101W*2, Alps64*2, V80 matias quiet click*2, Quiet liner *1, WYSE ASCII *1

Offline just_add_coffee

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 10 May 2018, 12:54:48 »
Strongly agreed, would buy it without the colour in a heartbeat.

I do commissions also and I can make the keyboard look as stock as you want it.  Some people like the colors, some don't.  Tastes vary.  News at 11.

But the unprotected metal of IBM keyboards, whether the board is a beamspring, Model M, or Model F, will rust again.  It's simply a matter of time and chemistry.  The more rust that accumulates, the less metal that remains.  Modern material technology has given us access to better paints and varnishes than IBM had available in the 1980s; but even so, the painted metal will probably start to succumb to rust and corrosion within two decades or so. 

The vinyl wrap that I do gives the metal of these keyboards an additional layer of protection that should prevent it from ever rusting.  In the year 2068, someone should be able to remove the vinyl wrap and paint, and the barrel plate or beamspring chassis should be completely intact, without the rust and missing metal that has been devoured that rust.

So please don't let mere color choices obfuscate the fact that my rebuilt keyboards are over-engineered and intended to be the most durable and wonderful-to-use keyboards around.

Offline Wazrach

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 11 May 2018, 06:58:11 »
That's really gorgeous. I bought a very similar F AT off just_add_coffee a few days ago, and I'm dying to get my hands on it!

Offline ag36

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 11 May 2018, 12:01:06 »
Strongly agreed, would buy it without the colour in a heartbeat.

I do commissions also and I can make the keyboard look as stock as you want it.  Some people like the colors, some don't.  Tastes vary.  News at 11.

But the unprotected metal of IBM keyboards, whether the board is a beamspring, Model M, or Model F, will rust again.  It's simply a matter of time and chemistry.  The more rust that accumulates, the less metal that remains.  Modern material technology has given us access to better paints and varnishes than IBM had available in the 1980s; but even so, the painted metal will probably start to succumb to rust and corrosion within two decades or so. 

The vinyl wrap that I do gives the metal of these keyboards an additional layer of protection that should prevent it from ever rusting.  In the year 2068, someone should be able to remove the vinyl wrap and paint, and the barrel plate or beamspring chassis should be completely intact, without the rust and missing metal that has been devoured that rust.

So please don't let mere color choices obfuscate the fact that my rebuilt keyboards are over-engineered and intended to be the most durable and wonderful-to-use keyboards around.

I see what you mean, might order matty gray sort of darker colour from you in the future. Beautiful work by the way, I just overall prefer them to look a bit quieter so I like the texture but not the orange colour(I guess it look great with bright coloured room and table, which I don't have).
Model M*5, SSK*4, M13 black*1, Model F XT*1, AT*1 F107*1, Unicomp*1, 3278 *1, Leopold FC750R*2, 980M*2 FC980C*1 Filco majestouch 2 TKL*1, Cooler Master MasterKeys S PBT*1, Uniqey Q100*2, Ducky pocket*1, KBD75*2, KBD19X*2, HHKB pro 2*1, Type-S*1 Topre Realforce RGB*1, 108 all 30g*1, numpad*1, 87U*1 Dell AT101W*2, Alps64*2, V80 matias quiet click*2, Quiet liner *1, WYSE ASCII *1

Offline ander

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Re: JAC's F-AT mod-restore
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 12 May 2018, 04:20:24 »
Well, guys, obviously people have different tastes—and if you're a creative type like JAC and you take on a project like this, you have to make choices. But it's good to know that someone so talented is so accommodating, too, for people with specific things in mind.
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