Wooden retro keyboard build

[phirzcol] sent us this cool step by step build of a retro looking keyboard, Inspired by [Von Slatt] and his work. [phirzcol] starts with a standard keyboard and removes the keys. He steams some wood to wrap the keyboard, then finishes it off nicely. The process of making the keys looks pretty grueling. Each key has 4 parts which have to be hand cut and assembled. A blue accent light is a nice touch as well.  The keyboard looks pretty good, but we’d like to try typing on it for a while to see how usable it is.  If it looks like too much effort, you can actually buy it on ebay.


  1. jim says:

    i’m not a massive fan of steampunk. if i spent a $100 on this, i’d be wishing i had an unmodified, good quality keyboard instead

  2. adam says:

    Not to bad to type on. the keys have a nice feel to them like a clear coat wooden bar (same stuff in the keys.) It does take some adjustment as it is not as ergonomic as the original. The keys have to touchable sharp edges.

  3. Sodiaf says:

    I love Steampunk.. my next project is going to be very much like this.. :)

  4. jim says:

    fair enough. guess i just like ready made stuff too much

  5. Ent says:

    “fair enough. guess i just like ready made stuff too much”

    Then why are you here on this of all sites?

  6. jcl236 says:

    not that this one isn’t nice I think this one is better and better instructions on building it,


  7. kyle007 says:

    @jcl236 -nice-
    I immediately thought of the Steampunkworkshop. It is because of Jake von Slatt’s Work with the steam punk work shop and his in-depth instructional videos and projects is why I bought a drill press and tap and die set and have started tinkering away.

    @phirzcol nice work and great intractable

  8. phirzcol says:

    without a doubt Von Slatt has an incredible record for his work. just look on make to see his newest creation. I have far fewer tools at my disposal and a clickety keyboard was simply not availible.

  9. jim says:


    ok, let me put it another way: “if i can buy a product that works well, all the better for me.” i do not consider customizing keyboards to be hacking, nor do i consider the $10 keyboard it’s based on to be a product that works well. i was just trying to be polite, is all

  10. captain obvious says:

    Maybe this serves as much as a piece of art as a functional item. That would be congruent with the steampunk ideal.

    Sure, this may not be as comfortable as any other $100 keyboard, but then again when buying art and/or style function falls by the wayside. Look at the corsets and other Victorian era clothing they wear. Very little practicality there.

    Is this a good example of a $100 keyboard? Probably not. Is this a good example of a $100 piece hand crafted art that is also functional? Absolutely.

  11. kurf says:

    I just see this as something only a rich geek would want.

  12. phirzcol says:

    ok so two hacks are in it at to ps2 cord change. not an adapter and the removal of the numlock led for replacement with one in the over key light

  13. Zephironi says:

    i likes it!!! but when i make mine, im gonna strip down an 40’s typewriter for the keys. that should cut 60 hours off the build.

  14. -hero says:

    nah i ws going to make a typematrix type keyboard, i had the codes figured out with a controller and all but it just lost steam and i decided that i was being stupid trying to do something purely for it’s physical appeal
    although my interest WAS genuinely based on typing more efficiently at first, it quickly turned into how flat, squarish, metallic, etc. i could make it.
    i’m not a very motivated person


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