Cleaning Out My IBM Model M Keyboard

I received the 7/32″ x 75mm Nut Driver I ordered specifically to open up my IBM Model M Keyboard, so went ahead and started stripping it apart.

There are 4 screws on the back which you need to use the Nut Driver for. The top cover then separates from the rest of the keyboard, exposing a metal-backed base plate that sits on the lower part of the keyboard. There’s a little circuit board and then … the keys.

Each key consists of two parts … a key “cap” which has the key details imprinted on it, that comes off from the key base. I guess this lets you re-arrange the letters on your keyboard should you so choose. The key bases can also be pried off the base plate with some slight leverage, where you can see the famous “buckling spring”.

I removed all the keycaps and most of the key bases and soaked them in soapy water. There was some dirt on the base plate that didn’t want to come off. So I decided to use some water and a brush to clean it. Since I didn’t remove all the key bases, I had a tough time reaching some parts, which led me to the next “great” idea …. let’s run some water over the base plate — that would get to those hard to reach places.

That failed miserably of course … some water seeped into the key mechanism within the base plate itself, and when I assembled the whole thing back together the keys did not respond at all … !

A bit more surfing youtube indicated that this is a normal thing that happens when water gets into your keyboard, and it needs to be really dried out. I mean Really Really Dried Out. I left it on the shelf of my car’s rear windscreen for A WEEK.

Luckily … when put together after that … everything worked fine again!

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This post was originally published publicly on Google+ at 2011-07-19 00:34:03+0800

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