10 really cool steampunk keyboard mods

Updated: When Victorian-era fantasy design meets technology, it ends in a creative explosion of polished brass and exposed mechanisms known simply as steampunk.

Our colleagues over at MusicRadar searched the far corners of the internet to find 39 amazing steampunk computers, and we feel compelled to share just one aspect of the modded-peripherals on display: keyboards.

Leaving aside the copper mice, wooden monitors and even an engraved Mac Mini, here are the 10 best steampunk keyboards we've ever seen… with bigger pictures so you can actually see what we're talking about.

10. The Wooden Keyboard
Let's kick off with something beautiful in its simplicity: a wooden keyboard with handmade typewriter digits. Here's a step-by-step Instructables guide so you can make one for yourself.

9. The Steamputer
On first inspection, Bikeridinguitarplayinfool's emerald green mod looks rather garish, but the clockwork detail on the keyboard works wonders. There's even a matching wireless mouse and monitor…

8. The Aviator
The next six entries were all created by the talented Mr Datamancer. "The Aviator features a brushed aluminum frame, a black felt faceplate, and 'jewel'-styled LEDs reminiscent of an old airplane instrument panel."

7. The Archbishop
"It features a wooden faceplate in a red mahogany stain, a polished brass frame with quatrefoil designs in the side, and keys in a fancy cursive font."

6. The Sojourner
"This keyboard is crafted in polished brass, then artificially tarnished. The slightly weathered keys are electroplated in brass and are quite striking against the aged leather faceplate and parchment key inserts."

5. The Industrial
"The frame is dirty aluminum and the 'feet' are made from old transmission planetary gears cut in half. The faceplate is an aluminum mesh and the keys are made of hex nuts. The LEDs are hollowed-out round light bulbs mounted in a threaded holder."

4. The Baron Of Cyprus
"It features a polished copper frame, chrome keys, and polished copper key inserts. The main letter and number keys (A-Z, 1-0) are polished copper charms with engraved lettering."

3. The Datamancer Ergo
"This keyboard began its life as a very rare IBM Model M-15 split ergonomic keyboard. [It features] some elegant, feminine design features such as violet LEDs, an acanthus-leaf pattern etched into the brass, and a soft burgundy wrist pad."

2. The Paradox Keyboard
A mini USB Keyboard, vintage typewriter keys, hand carved wooden space bar and "functional coloured LED indicator lights" for "caps lock, number lock and scroll lock activation." It comes complete with a 24" widescreen Samsung LCD monitor.

1. The Steampunk Workshop original
Inspiration for some of the above designs stem from Jake Von Slatt's Steampunk Workshop original. This one started life as an IBM Model M keyboard – some sheets of brass, felt and a handful of typewriter keys later…

For more cool mods check out 39 amazing steampunk computer mods over on MusicRadar.com.


Like this article? Then check out 10 ugliest PC mods ever

Sign up for the free weekly TechRadar newsletter
Get tech news delivered straight to your inbox. Register for the free TechRadar newsletter and stay on top of the week's biggest stories and product releases. Sign up at http://www.techradar.com/register

Follow TechRadar on Twitter

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.