I’m just guessing on the stage, since I have yet to get a concept of how many stages are involved in this experiment! But here are some photos of the progress so far. What I’ve done, first, was to pull the keys off of a Microsoft Natural (ergonomic keyboard) that I had on hand. These are the style keyboards I use at work, so I had several of them hanging around that weren’t in use. At home, I use a laptop – and that’s kinda making it odd, me building keyboards that I won’t be using 😀
Once you pop off the keys, you’ve exposed a few avenues to the innards, so I had to be careful when spray painting the case. I didn’t want to take it completely apart, since with these keyboards that results in a lot of bits falling around and a complete destruction of the unit. I couldn’t be sure putting it back together would result in a functioning keyboard, so what I did was tape over the important bits, and spray the main case with a granite spray paint. Really odd stuff, and it’s still drying, but the overall look isn’t all that bad.
It’s taking some time to dry, so I brought it in from the garage and hope it’s touchable by this evening. I need to put the pegs back in place before I can pick stones for the keys. I’m finding that more of a challenge than I expected due to the size and shape. I can’t let the rocks hit each other, obviously, so the letter keys have to be pretty smallish, but some function keys such as Enter and Tab and the Space Bar can be larger, and in an odd shape. Here were a few experiments before I cut the rest of the skirts off, with a few rocks simply set in place to test sizes.
I also found, and you can see in the photos above, that simply cutting off the skirting wasn’t going to cut it – there’s still too much plastic showing around the rocks. So it was back to the drawing board, or Dremel, and more plastic came off.
So that’s where the Stoneage Keyboard stands right now. I’m still waiting for paint to dry, still fussing about what stones to use, still worried that I’ll have trouble fitting the rocks in place – and still coming up with wild notions for future keyboards 😀
And if you think this is easy – just look at my choices for the Space Bar ! I can’t decide.
But I’m leaning toward #3 😀