Monday, January 30, 2012

Steampunk Keyboard

A few years ago, I fell in love with Datamancer's epic steampunk keyboard mods.  I decided that I needed one of these for myself, so I decided to take a stab at my own version.  I bought a regular keyboard from Wal-Mart  and set to work.

One of the first thing I did was snip the skirts off of all the keys. I had purchased a large lot of typewriter keys on eBay, which I intended to cut flat on the back and epoxy to the posts of the old keys. Unfortunately, I didn't have the proper equipment to do that, so I ended up having to cut grooves into the posts that the backs of the typewriter keys could fit into.

Since the keys were all rather rusted, I sanded off the rust and spray painted the backs of all the keys a uniform colour. 

I made the faceplate for the keyboard out of a nubbly faux leather.  I cut a rectangular piece of the faux leather roughly the size of the board and used a pair of cuticle scissors to cut out holes that corresponded to the posts on the keyboard.

I then stretched the faceplate over the frame of the keyboard and glued it down to the top half of the frame.

After the glue keeping the faceplate down had dried, I glued the backs of the typewriter keys onto the keyboard posts with e6000.  The glue proved to be very strong, and the keyboard is still going strong now, 3 years after I first built it.

I printed out some antique lettering to put into the key backs and applied them to the new keys.

I then put the glass back into the keys and put the rings back onto the rims.

I bought some wooden trim at Joann's (of all places) to use to frame out the board.

I cut the trim to size, and glued it on with e6000, bungee cording it on while the glue dried completely.

Once the glue had dried, I gold leafed the wood and added a filigree jewelry piece to be the space bar.

I added some amber coloured gems over the Scroll Lock, Cap Lock, and Number Lock lights, and added brass filigree pieces to frame each light.

I also added filigree scrollwork to the corners of the board to finish it off.

The keyboard is fully functional, and I actually use it every day. I would like to make another keyboard in the future, but until then, this one is still going strong.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Year of the Prop

Hello, all! This is the future home of my (the Mistress of Disguise) prop blog. I'll be limiting this blog to large prop builds only, the costume stuff itself will stay over on my main blog. I'm going to try and keep this as one post per prop so that you can see all the steps in one place, instead of having the process spread out over several posts.
My first build is going to be starting up soon, and is either going to be a Cardassian phaser rifle from Star Trek, or a Silurian gun from Doctor Who.
For other costume stuff, including my full portfolio, check out my main site, I'll see you soon!