Author Topic: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?  (Read 321 times)

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:38:04 am »
My favourite KB is 10-15 years old, an electromechanical Acer of generous size with the three keypads, alpha, positioning and numeric. It's getting a bit geriatric now, though, and although only one shift key and the space bar are prone to sticking down, some of the other keys are occasionally a bit slow to return, so that I produce more typos than I used to.

Is there any way I can lube or otherwise service it? Preferably risk-free.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 10:04:13 am »
Furniture polish. Preferably some which has silicone in it.
Work the stuff in, and then blow out the residue using compressed air - from a can, if needs be.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 10:33:48 am »
Might be worth prising an unimportant key off to see what the mechanism is. Use unimportant because it could be attached by ping-fuckits, have plastic lugs that are now terminally brittle, or the disassembled parts just do not look like they'll ever go back together again.

Stickiness could be caused by a number of things, including sticky stuff. Keyboards (other than the Z88 keyboard) are magnets for grim stuff...
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2019, 11:49:49 am »
The Z88 only avoids it on a technicality; it being made of grim stuff.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2019, 01:34:51 pm »
Might be worth prising an unimportant key off to see what the mechanism is. Use unimportant because it could be attached by ping-fuckits, have plastic lugs that are now terminally brittle, or the disassembled parts just do not look like they'll ever go back together again.

Stickiness could be caused by a number of things, including sticky stuff. Keyboards (other than the Z88 keyboard) are magnets for grim stuff...

Scroll Lock came out OK, and the mech beneath appears to be enclosed in a flexible plastic capsule.  Had a gander under the left Shift key and the space key. You could plant potatoes in there. The key stalks go through a hard plastic backing and the "capsules" might be the tops of dome switches: hard to say.

I'll brush some silicone lube onto the shafts of the sticky keys. Might work.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 02:01:38 pm »
Out of curiosity, are you left handed?

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2019, 02:13:27 pm »
Nope. Self-taught touch typing with self-taught errors: I've never used the right shift key.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2019, 02:36:16 pm »
Likewise, I'm self taught with self-taught errors.
I'm right handed and would never consider using the right shift key.
I, perhaps, made the incorrect assumption that (on Jaded's advice) your removal of 'unimportant' keys, meant that the left shift key was such.
Clearly not.
As you were  :)

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2019, 03:24:42 pm »
Anyway, removing the hair'n'fluff mattress from the lower rank of keys + shift/caps lock did absolutely nothing. I put a very little lube on the  key-stalks but that did the same.

Looking through the holes the key-stalks go through, I'd say it was a dome-switch board. I'd have expected the membrane to fail a lot sooner.

Heh - while the label on the underside says "Made in China", a moulding in the plastic under the keys says "Brazil".
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 03:40:43 pm »
Likewise, I'm self taught with self-taught errors.
I'm right handed and would never consider using the right shift key.

I'm right-handed and seem to mostly use the right shift key with my little finger.

Although my left shift key does get used, as I have capslock mapped to both shift keys pressed simultaneously.  The capslock key is mapped to compose, which is occasionally useful in its own right, and means that you don't accidentally hit capslock mid sentence ND BE LEGALLY OBLIGED TO STATE THAT YOU COULD MURDER A CURRY.[1]

ETA: Thinking about it more, I do also use left shift for modifiers:  ctrl-shift and so one.


[1] Pratchett, Pt. and Kirby, J. (1991). Mort. London: Victor Gollancz in association with Colin Smythe.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2019, 04:43:49 pm »
Likewise, I'm self taught with self-taught errors.
I'm right handed and would never consider using the right shift key.

I'm right-handed and seem to mostly use the right shift key with my little finger.

Although my left shift key does get used, as I have capslock mapped to both shift keys pressed simultaneously.  The capslock key is mapped to compose, which is occasionally useful in its own right, and means that you don't accidentally hit capslock mid sentence ND BE LEGALLY OBLIGED TO STATE THAT YOU COULD MURDER A CURRY.[1]

ETA: Thinking about it more, I do also use left shift for modifiers:  ctrl-shift and so one.


[1] Pratchett, Pt. and Kirby, J. (1991). Mort. London: Victor Gollancz in association with Colin Smythe.
You're just weird  :-*

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Any chance of lubing a keyboard?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2019, 04:56:08 pm »
Since we're in the territory of weird, left- & right-shift take me back to programming in machine-code, wherewith I once wrote a Backus-Naur style syntax analyser for building cocktails.
Où sont les merguez d'antan ?