Recycled Steampunk Keyboards

Steampunk has a very strong green element to it. From guerrilla gardening to rescuing antiques to repurpose them. Today’s post features some amazing Steampunk keyboard mods, all of them created from the bits and pieces of what was once junk in an article from 1800recycling, a website dedicated to all things recycling.

May of these mods will be familiar to many of you, but to see them all in one place with a mini tale on the creation of each keyboard is really neat. Fair warning, though: the article is very image heavy and many be a burden on slow or spotty connections.

All these impressive mods makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s like falling in love with Steampunk and the Maker Ethic all over again.

The Writing Ball

Last week’s post about the Analytical Engine got me thinking more about old-timey computing. Keyboards tend to be a popular item for Steampunks to modify, and that makes sense because so much of how the Steampunk community keeps in contact is through computers, keyboards, and the internet.

If I didn’t have my traditional QWERTY keyboard before me at this very moment, you might think that today’s blog post would be doomed, but, fair reader, you’d be wrong.

It turns out there were a number of different keyboard versions as typing became more popular and integrated into our culture. The QWERTY board eventually prevailed because it actually slowed down typists who were typing so fast that they were jamming up their typewriters.

This is a keyboard, however, that is built for speed

And totally Steampunk!

This is a 1867 Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, and it’s actually a period piece, not a Steampunk design, but it certainly looks like the sort of thing modern Steampunks would create just for the sake of being different. But this odd keyboard is built of more that just aesthetics, it’s ergonomic, and the keys are placed in such a fashion as to maximize the typist’s speed.

Relearning my typing skills just might be worth it if I could type on something like this!

Miss Betsy’s Steampunk Keyboard

Steampunk is a subculture which is united by the internet. Without it, many of us would be delving into our steam-driven worlds in solitude unaware of the subculture that so completely embraces your love of corsets and Sci-Fi.

It is of little wonder, then, that the keyboard should play a major role in the lives of Steampunks. It’s a key mode through which we communicate and should, by any good Steampunk rationale, be properly Steampunked so as to inspire Steampunk brilliance.  And perhaps, for some strange reason, Jake Von Slatt’s keyboard did not quite meet your aesthetic needs. Allow me then, to introduce an impressive alternative to the Von Slatt keyboard, Ms. Betsy’s Steampunk Keyboard.

Fantastic. And just different enough from the Von Slatt keyboard for a different, though still decidedly Steampunk look. I really like the red velvet wrist rest and the copper tubing at the top.

The instructions to make this keyboard are on Instructables, one of my favorite sites for all things DIY. Many thanks to my friend for sending me the link to this keyboard. He always manages to find things I don’t online. He’s like an internet ninja.

If you like Miss Betsy’s keyboard, take a look at her Steampunk mouse Instructable for the perfect new accessory to your Steampunked computer.

Do It Yourself Keyboard

One of the things I love about Steampunk is its firm footing in the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement. I enjoy the concept of being able to do a variety of things and create items that one can truly call his or her own.

Today, I’m presenting you all Jake Von Slatt’s website where, among a plethora of Steampunk inspired inventions, he lays out step by step instructions to make your own Steampunk inspired keyboard.

This is a great idea for those of you using desktop computers who are looking for a good modding project. Be aware, though, this project is not for the faint of heart. There is some considerable work that goes into making this keyboard, but be assured that the results are entirely worth the effort. Fortunately, Jake von Slatt provides many pictures and videos to guide you through the entire process.

Happy modding, dear readers!