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Re-purposing or scratch building to emulate old typewriter style button / keys

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  • Re-purposing or scratch building to emulate old typewriter style button / keys

    What I want to do, is EITHER;

    Find an actual old typewriter I can cannibalise or make the keys myself or find something that looks the same that I can alter slightly...
    I'm looking for this kind of look, with the buttons being slightly convex and with the rounded edging:


    I will probably have to make them myself as I need to make 3 buttons- 1 is probably more or less the same diameter as the keys (1.6cm), but the other 2 are 3.5cm diameter.

    I'm thinking if I need to make them myself, I could maybe do them in FIMO or something... What do you think?

  • #2
    I had an idea to use actual clothes buttons - if I can find the right size and shape that is ... :/
    Tried a local upholstery and sewing shop down the road but neither of them had anything suitable...


    • #3
      If you can find the blanks you can easily stamp the letters using distress ink and age the paper and then fill the blanks with crystal effects/glossy accents type product. Hope that helps?


      • #4
        Yeah - that's what I was thinking... Just need to find the right sizes!


        • #5
          It would probably be cheaper to make them yourself, since Steampunk grew in popularity the prices of everything that might be "steampunked" have gone up. That's bandwagons for you.
          I've pondered the question my self as a practising steampunk, so have many others, as I was reading this though a thought occurred to me, brass cup washers! Know the ones I mean?

          If you think you can do a thing or if you think you can't you will be right. Henry Ford


          • #6
            I'm not sure I know what you mean... I know normal everyday washers, but "cup washers"...? I'll google them in a second.
            Anyway - I actually managed to find a button of the right size (I still however need to find a matching one lol)

            Here's how it looked yesterday:

            So NOW my question moves on to - what would be the best thing to use to produce like a glass-like sheen ... ?
            I was thinking some sort of epoxy, but I've had difficulties with that in the past- plus I want it to be nice and smooth and even.
            Maybe some sort of "water effects" like I've used in model making?
            Last edited by danboldy; 10-08-2013, 11:05 AM. Reason: Wrong picture uploaded


            • #7
              I use Crystal effects or glossy accents


              • #8
                Thanks - I've not heard of either of those; where are they available from?


                • #9
                  You could use quartz or plastic cabachons. These are domed clear oval shapes. Popular in Victorian times for rings or pendants. In my search for resin instructions I found everything but including cabachons.