Secret Keyboard Hack!

Computers, mice & keyboards are everywhere nowadays. So why not hack one? The keyboards look innocent - well, most of them....

Most of us don't use the small numeric keypad, which houses the num lock button. So, might as well put it to good use - turn it into a small, quick, concealed & secure place to store items.

This hack takes about 30 mins to perform, and requires basic skill. I suggest you use a spare keyboard if you don't know what you are doing.

Go to the end of the instructable to see how to lock the compartment!!

Big shoutout & thanks to Kipkay, who did a video on it - See above!)

Check out his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kipkay

Hope you enjoy the hack!

Step 1: Take it apart!

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Firstly we want to open it up. So flip the keyboard over and remove all of the screws & put them somewhere safe - we need them later. On some keyboards the screws may be hidden behind rubber stoppers.

Now you should get 2 parts - the bottom of the keyboard plus some transparent film, and the top with all the keys, and a thin rubber film. Move the rubber film onto the bottom of the keyboard - So it looks like picture 3.


Some of your keys may fall out. Mine were made in a way so that they couldnt simply drop out - the only direction they could move was in and out (like when they were being pressed)..


Step 2: Glue!

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Now its time to glue the keys in place.

Firstly, you want to prop the keyboard up, so that the keys look like they aren't being pressed. It'l attract attention if all the keys are stuck in the pressed position.

Now, take out the glue. As you can see in the picture, i used SuperGlue first. However, I ran out of superglue, and also the superglue packet i used didn't work, so I had to result to the traditional hot glue gun.

WARNING: DON'T PUT HOT GLUE ON UNSET SUPERGLUE - It really stinks and the fumes makes your eyes sting.

Apply the glue to all of the Num Lock keypad, except the Delete key! The delete key will be used as a quick release to help you get the keypad out of keyboard.


Step 3: Cut the Rubber

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
A relatively simple task now - Cut the rubber to make space for your storage.

Draw a line down the edge of the num lock keypad, and cut with a pair of scissors.
Don't cut the transparent film/membrane as the circuit flows through these points to enable the other keys to work.

Step 4: Smooth the surface & cover with paper

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
To let the different layers in your keyboard stay in the same place, there are small notches on the plastic case.

We want to get rid of them, so take your pliers and pull away the small things which stick out. There was a big hole which the screw went through, so i just used a knife to flatten that too!

Now its all flat, we want to get a piece of A4 paper to cover the part of the rubber film we just cut off. This is just for aesthetics, but also stops you from accidentally pressing the keys.

Step 5: Cut out the cover

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Now its time to cut out the cover.

I started off with a normal modelling knife, but i figured you needed something better. I only had access to a dremel (no power tools), so i used the rotary cutting bit on the dremel to cut it out.

Try and follow the red line template when cutting it out (I had to draw it freehand, so the lines a bit wobbly,) but try and cut straight :P

Once your done, file/pick off the small flakes of plastic, and sand the corners a little so that the key unit fits nicely in the hole you just made.

Step 6: Finish the back of the key pad

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Now, grab the remaining piece of A4 paper, and cut it just smaller than the size of the keypad. Make a hole for both the back of the Delete key, and the screw hole. Now, using normal sellotape, tape the paper onto the back of the keypad. This will make a nicer finish.

Now you want to cut the tip off a pencil, or small wooden rod. You want to glue this into the delete key so that it is flush with the paper when the delete key is in its normal position, and so that it sticks out when you press the key down. This will help you lift up the keypad.

Finally check that the keypad fits back nicely and doesnt brush the edges

Step 7: Close up

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
A rather simple step...


Just put the keyboard back together, by putting the screws back.

Wait, you've got 1 screw left? Keep that for the next step ;)

Step 8: How to use it, and lock it!

Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Secret Keyboard Hack!
Use it like a normal keyboard. All the buttons work, apart from the num lock section, but i'm sure you hardly ever use it anyway!

Go store some money in there - put a handful of notes in there and nobody will notice. Its great if you got something small on you which you need to put away quickly.

However, there is a super secret locking mechanism on it - remember that left over screw from before? Place your money in the compartment, and put the keypad over it. Now turn over the keyboard, and screw it in!
Now that'l stop people from easily opening it!


If you like it, please favorite and vote up for the contests. I'l be happy to hear any comments, suggestions & feedback in the comments!!

Good luck, makers!
 
 

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