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Modding your Keyboards Palm Rest.

post #1 of 2
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I wrote this as an article as well, but figured more people would see it here that might be interested.

Tired of that vinyl palm rest getting sweaty during a heated battle? Well you can do something about it!

Using the material of your choice you can recover that palm rest to match your rig, your computer chair, or anything you'd like.

For this write up I'll be using a Logitech K305, which shares the same basic assembly as most every other keyboard that logitech produces. This guide can also be used as a guideline for modding keyboards from other manufacturers.

The first thing you're going to have to do is get the under tray off. On the K305 there are 16 Black 3/8" screws that have to be removed to get the tray off.

CRW-9230.jpg

After you've got the bottom tray removed you'll have to remove the palm rest from the top piece. Several buttons may also come off as they don't snap in. We'll cover how to reinstall these later.

The top piece ready to have the palm rest removed:
CRW-9231.jpg

With the top piece flipped over we're going to remove the 1/4" silver screws you see in the photo. The screw that holds the Logitech badge on also has to be removed as well in order to remove the palm rest.
CRW-9232.jpg
CRW-9234.jpg

Now we have the palm rest removed:
CRW-9233.jpg

I personally put the screws back in to the threaded area they screw in to so they don't get lost. I've also used a magnetic tray. What ever you use, be careful not to loose these!
CRW-9235.jpg

Once we've got the palm rest off we want to remove the vinyl covering. When doing this, as with any mod, patience is important. There are two things we're trying to avoid here. The first being that sometimes glue gets between the foam and the vinyl, and we're trying to leave the foam in tact so it's important that we don't tear any off if possible. The second being the fact that we're going to use the existing fabric as a template for it's replacement.

Find a section you can free from the plastic and start peeling the material off there. You may find that cutting the glue that squeezed out of the edges on the back of the plastic helps to free it.
CRW-9236.jpg

Once you get to the point where a major part of the vinyl has come loose, you can start peeling it off carefully. Some areas well still need a little bit of attention.
CRW-9237.jpg

When we get the vinyl off the tray it should look similar to the photo below. Hopefully very little, if any foam has been removed in the process.
CRW-9238.jpg

Once we've got the material off we want to flatten it out by ironing it so we an easily make a template. While this isn't completely necessary it makes the task a lot easier.
CRW-9239.jpg

All flattened out
CRW-9241.jpg

The next thing we're going to do is trace the pattern out on to our new fabric. For my keyboard I used Toray Ultrasuede. Toray is the company responsible for the creation of Alcantra microsuede. They still own Alcantra and now sell it under it's own name as Alcantra S.p.A. Both Alcantra and Ultrasuede are a version of synthetic suede created by Miyoshi Okamoto, an employee at Toray in the early 70's. Today both products are used in the automotive and yacht industry, as well as fashion and interior design. Both are highly resistant to stains and discoloration which make them ideal for use on a keyboard where skin oils often build up.

CRW-9244.jpg
CRW-9242.jpg

To trace the pattern on to your new fabric you want to place both pieces face down with the original on top of the piece to be cut. If you trace on to the front, any area that isn't cut off will show your markings. Depending on the color of your fabric you may want to use white fabric pencil or a black fabric pencil. I only use a white fabric pencil, so for this I used an ebony pencil used for drawing.

CRW-9243.jpg

After you mark the piece you'll want to cut it out. Be sure to mark the areas where relief cuts are to be made so the fabric can wrap around the piece.

CRW-9245.jpg
CRW-9246.jpg
CRW-9248.jpg

Adhering fabric to plastic can be a real pain. Being a huge 3M fan I wanted to find one of their products that would suit my needs. After a bit of searching I found their Scotch brand Maximum Strength Adhesive. This will work for bonding just about anything to anything, and that includes your finger to what ever it is you're working on, so be sure to wear gloves! It's strength is pretty apparent by the fumes it kicks out also, so working in a well ventilated area or wearing a respirator is definitely recommended.

CRW-9254.jpg

You're going to want to make sure the plastic you're trying to adhere the fabric to is free of as much debris as possible. I used 220 grit 3M sandpaper to scrub off left over glue residue and some small pieces of fabric.

After you've got the area clean you'll want to make a bead around the adhering surface. Let this dry for about five minutes. This will make sure that the next coat can bond to something strong enough to keep the fabric from pulling off during heavy use. After adhesive has dried you're going to start attaching the fabric to the plastic piece. This is going to require patience, tedious work, and possibly some strong drinks. Start off by lining up your fabric with the plastic piece. You want to first attach the longest straight area. On the K305 this is the area that follows the bottom row of keys.

CRW-9256.jpg

After this area is adhered and has had a few minutes to set you're going to find the area that is closest to this edge on the opposite side and adhere there. We're trying to make sure that the fabric is stretched from the narrowest section to the thickest section, and from the middle to the out side edge. This helps prevent any loose area's in the fabric. Once everything is adhered give it a little while to cure. When done the piece will look similar to the photo below.

CRW-9257.jpg

Once it's had time to cure go ahead and reassemble your keyboard in the opposite of how it came apart. If you use the 3M adhesive I used by the time you've had a break and are ready to put the keyboard back together the glue will be dry enough for reassembly,

The new piece setting next to the piece to be replaced
CRW-9258.jpg

And finally, the new piece installed!
CRW-9260.jpg

Feel free to ask any questions at all regarding wrapping your keyboard, either here or in PM. I'll be happy to help you.

Happy modding,
-ne0h
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The Hammer
(11 items)
 
Silent Death
(18 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3930K  Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 UD5 EVGA GTX680 4GB 32GB Geil Evo Veloce 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 Series 512GB Asus BW-12B1ST Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
PowerCaseAudio
PC Power and Cooling Silencer MKII 950W Lian Li PC-100 Asus Xonar Essence  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 4.0Ghz 24/7 @ 1.4v ASUS M4A88TD-V Asus NVidia GTX 1060 6GB 8GB OCZ Gold DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Intel 530 Cherryville  1x320GB WD Black 1x150GB WD Raptor 1x160GB WD Caviar 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Writemaster Thermaltake V1 With Noctua NF-P12 Windows 7 Home Premium X64 19" and 23" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Antec HCG-750W Lian Li PC-100 Logitech G9x +28g 
Mouse PadAudio
Mionex Propus 380 Onboard Realtek HD :( > 3.5mm to RCA> Pioneer ... 
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post #2 of 2
Crafty mod there, I like it. Rep for you. I don't have any keyboards with detachable wrist rests but I might try it in the future.
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Skylake Work Box
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i3 6100 ASRock H170M-ITX/DL LGA 1151 MSI 970 Gaming Ballistix Sport LT 8GB 288-Pin DDR4  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 850  Cooler Master GeminII M4 *nix, Windows 10 BenQ 32"  
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair 430 Cooler Master Elite 130 Schitt Stack modi/magni 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3 4130 Supermicro MBD-SLL-F-O uATX Crucial CT102472BD160B jbods 
OSMonitorPowerCase
FreeNAS IPMI Seasonig G Series SSR-450  Fractal Design R4 
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