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Remove letters from the keyboard

Posted on 2007-11-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
This might sound like a bit of an obscure question, but I have an old Dell Latitude, and I'm looking for a clean way to remove the letters off some of the keys.

I'm sure I could remove the key and sand the sucker off but I'm looking for something that will leave the key looking a little nicer.

Is there maybe some chemical or technique I can use to remove the letters and leave the rest of the keyboard intact?
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Question by:Frosty555
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kylealanhale earned 1000 total points
ID: 20303514
Ha.. yeah, that is an odd question.  On my laptop the letters are very thin decals, so I could just peel or scrape them off if I wanted to.  Good luck!
if (letters != decals) {
    sander.use();
}

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by:chafer
ID: 20303527
Strange question, but you might try acetone.  Just don't use too much or you will melt your keys.
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by:rindi
ID: 20303611
Why don't you just leave the current letters on the keys and instead use stickers to cover them?
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by:nobus
ID: 20303835
good idea from rindi, but you would want plastic covered stickers; otherwise the'll use  / and / or fade
Learning to type blind can be an option too
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by:Handy Holder
ID: 20303883
Does it have an external keyboard port you can use?
www.daskeyboard.com
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by:Frosty555
ID: 20313071
The DasKeyboard was exactly my inspiration for this little project ;) I wanted the equivalent of a daskeyboard but internal on my laptop.

Stickers are okay but I'm sure they will rub off and look ugly :P The tactile feel of stickers under my fingers won't  be great either.

Acetone is nailpolish remover right? a number of places I went to said to beware of that because it can damage the keys . but perhaps it is just a matter of how *long* you leave it on.

I've bought a few "replacement keys"  for a few dollars that I can test on, i'll let you know how it goes when they arrive in the mail.
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by:chafer
ID: 20313197
Nail polish remover is diluted acetone and they are right that extensive use will damage the keys.  However, if you are careful you may be able to remove just the lettering.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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by:rindi
ID: 20313294
I've been using stickers previously to make a Spanish keyboard from a German one. We were able to buy these stickers ready made, they were good quality and not just "Self made". I just don't remember where we got them from. Acetone in my point of view is too strong, it'll make they keys look terrible.
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by:Frosty555
ID: 20344369
Okay well.... I chickened out on the nailpolish remover / acetone. Everywhere I looked I saw forums with people saying not to do that....

But I sanded them. And while my first few were a bit scratchy, I used a finer grit sandpaper on a couple others and they look pretty good.

Laptop keys are quite flat, not like regular keyboard keys I had to wrap the sandpaper around my finger and rub the key that way.

Aw well, it looks okay. It's obvious I sanded the keys but it looks okay and feels okay.

Thanks everyone!
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