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Author Topic: Typewriter Buttons and how to make your own!  (Read 16848 times)
Ironman
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« on: July 18, 2008, 09:02:32 am »

Hi, I've tried to get hold of some old typewriter buttons, each time I've seen them i get outbid or theres letters missing.
So i decide to look into how to make my own!
I've attached a picture of the first set that i have made, these will be used on my cellphone (Parlez-Phone) , if you think they are OK , ill post the full instructions on how to do it.
So far these have cost me £4.00 and i still have enough parts left for another 8. ( which by the looks of it i will have to make!)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Commander Obadiah
Zeppelin Captain
*****
New Zealand New Zealand


Gatherer of Misguided Inventions


« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 09:09:22 am »

Those look fantastic sir, how did you manage them?

Commander C. Obadiah
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Outa_Spaceman
Guest
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 10:15:08 am »

Hmmmm....
Typewriter buttons...
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ironwood
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 01:33:50 pm »

They look really good.  Please post the instructions.
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R. Douglas Johnson
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Scotland Scotland


Playwright, programmer & maker of text adventures

rdouglasjohnson
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 01:55:58 pm »

These do look lovely! You've got the likeness down perfectly, and the advantage is that you can make your own labels - no irritating punctuation where it shouldn't be, etc.

I got mine (http://www.versificator.co.uk/misc/ibm-20080713.jpg) by just finding some old typewriters and prying the keys off - typewriters turn up for about a fiver in junk shops, those not-quite-antiques shops, if you know the sort I mean - or auction sales. Some of mine were got for me by family members who run a second-hand bookshop and therefore go to a lot of auctions, just by having a word with the auctioneer - typewriters fetch almost nothing so it's often not worth selling them when they turn up in house lots. The keys come off with pliers and patience, but you have to be careful, especially if they have glass tops.

Using them on one's mobile telephone is a great idea! Unfortunately my own phone keypad is far too fiddly to attempt anything similar.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 01:58:05 pm by R. Douglas Johnson » Logged

popuptoaster
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


What? Where?


« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 01:57:24 pm »

I was thinking about this the other day, i was gonna have a look at shirt buttons in the dress makers shop in town next time i went past, figured some paint and a circle of something to cover up the holes for thread in the middle could work.
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Loidor
Guest
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 02:11:46 pm »

So, for us in need of making typewriter buttons... I'd love to see the instructions =)
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Ironman
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2008, 09:49:27 am »

Ok once ive done the shopping to day, down at the local Bazzar is hal return and try to create a narrative one the subject.
Theyve actually come out ok.
Should hopefullly have them in situe on the Telephony device later as well.
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Outa_Spaceman
Guest
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2008, 02:13:13 pm »

Ok once ive done the shopping to day, down at the local Bazzar is hal return and try to create a narrative one the subject.
Theyve actually come out ok.
Should hopefullly have them in situe on the Telephony device later as well.

A way of producing typewriter keys, without savaging old typewriters, would probably confer sainthood on you... Cheesy
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Angus D. Murphy
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France France


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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2008, 08:41:55 pm »

Ok once ive done the shopping to day, down at the local Bazzar is hal return and try to create a narrative one the subject.
Theyve actually come out ok.
Should hopefullly have them in situe on the Telephony device later as well.

A way of producing typewriter keys, without savaging old typewriters, would probably confer sainthood on you... Cheesy

Cutting up old typerwriters is something I just can't do. A bit like cutting a book to make a box. It'd have to be a very, very bad book.
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Benzworth
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States

Gravatar


« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2008, 04:49:14 am »

Yes, instructions please.

Buttons of that style could be QUITE useful in several projects I have in mind.
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Ironman
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2008, 11:45:01 am »

OK as requested. there actually easier than they look to make, i did do a nice pamphlet on Photoshop buts its about 22 meg and wont resize.
anyway


Ladies and gentlemen,
I proudly present the formal constructional information you require

Caution! Wash your hands are using Fimo or Sculpty
Parts list
 Fimo or for our Colonial colleges Sculpty, either black or ivory
 Brass rings (16mm or 5/8") as many as required
 A copper pipe olive 15mm our tube with a id of 15mm
 MDF block with a 16mm hole in (5/8")
 Small rolling pin or similar device
 wooden dowel or similar slightly smaller than the OD of the ring
 a baking tray
 a cooker preheated to 110c or 230f

ITEMS READY FOR USE.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

1. roll out Fimo or Sculpty to about 4mm thick 5/32", then using the pipe olive cutout your fimo disc's

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2. drop the fimo disk into the mdf hole and place the ring on top

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

3. press the ring with the stick into the fimo (gently)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

4. lift the fromer and push the button through.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

5.thats basically it, now place on a baking tray and cook them for 30 minutes

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

once they've been made paint your number/ letter on, i tried to get some letraset rub on transfers of the right size and in white but typically they didn't have the ones i wanted, so ill have to look out for something else.
hope this has been usefull.

this is what I'm using them on My Parlez Phone from the cellphone link, and it does work, just got to finish the microphone horn and get some new replacement switches that i broke.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


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elShoggotho
Guest
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2008, 01:10:46 pm »

Two questions.

1. Would it be feasible to use waterslide transfers? It would be great, I still have some inkjet waterslide stuff to print them myself.

2. Milliput/Green Stuff, paint yourself? I don't want to soil kitchen and oven with the fimo stench..
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Arcturon the hobo
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2008, 01:13:27 pm »

I'd say greenstuff/milliput would work, it may be best to use enamel paint to get the glossy finish.
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Outa_Spaceman
Guest
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 01:54:38 pm »

I've been using Dovecraft Crystal Effects for lettering...
These are my current favorites:
http://cuddlybuddly.com/products/1135/dovecraft-crystal-effects-alphabet-circle-blue
or in black:
http://cuddlybuddly.com/products/1136/dovecraft-crystal-effects-alphabet-circle-black
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 02:07:34 pm by Outa_Spaceman » Logged
Ironman
Gunner
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United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2008, 09:32:58 pm »

Hi didnt get any of the Fimo Stink , youve probably been over cooking it, if thats the case ventilate the kitchen well, i think its a form of vynl so the fumes could be nasty if to much is inhailed.
Anyway other ideas are always good, i just used fimo as ive used loads for maquettes when i was doing film stuff.

OSM i take it you go to squires for those?
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Outa_Spaceman
Guest
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2008, 10:44:56 pm »

I haven't seen them in Squires...
Though I suspect they'd be able to supply...
I have mine delivered y'know.... Wink
I've got some spares...
I'll bob 'em through your door...
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Commander Obadiah
Zeppelin Captain
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New Zealand New Zealand


Gatherer of Misguided Inventions


« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2008, 08:26:54 am »

Thankyou most kindly, Mr Ironman.

Commander C. Obadiah
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elShoggotho
Guest
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2008, 08:54:11 am »

I'd say greenstuff/milliput would work, it may be best to use enamel paint to get the glossy finish.
Acrylic paints, as always. Glossy varnish over the stickers afterwards.
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Hektor Plasm
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


All-Round Oddfellow.


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2008, 07:19:41 pm »

How about using letter/number punches as used for metals to emboss the fimo before cooking; then apply a contrasting colour with a fine brush to fill in.  The font is a bit basic, but maybe there are other sources (John Bull printing Set??) of suitable letters that may be used to impress into the buttons?

HP
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Smaggers
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2008, 08:48:42 pm »

A letterpress typeset would be good for that if you can find someone with one.
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Ann Ominous
Guest
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2008, 06:36:15 am »

You can use rubber stamps to emboss Fimo/Sculpey as well.  I have several of those old "make your own stamp" sets, the kind with individual characters plus holder to mount them in. The individual letters are all small enough to fit on a key.  I believe they're still easy to find.

...

Heck, I  guess you could just use the stamp to stamp the letter on the key after it was baked, too...
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Ironman
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2008, 03:54:47 pm »

I tired the stickers that Outa_Spaceman dropped round for me last night, and they dropped right into the ring beautifully, will photo and post.
Thanks Outa_Spaceman your a hero!
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splatman
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States



« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2008, 06:24:02 am »

Embossing the keys sounds great. It lets you "braille" the keys if you have to/like to type in the dark. Emboss them deep enough, and you can fill the impressions part-way with white paint or similar, while keeping that tactile aspect.
Give it a Splat!
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Ironman
Gunner
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Engineer Zacharia Glass


« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2008, 07:29:35 am »

That sounds good actually, you could put glow in the dark fimo into  the embossed marks once its cooked and re cook it.
Maybe ill have a go, ill pop down our wonderous Leeside tools, and maybe spend a small fortune on the interesting stuff they have there.
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