Wp 34s awaiting overlay.


Just for the record,

Prior to Eric producing his overlays, I have tried a couple of tools to produce a Blanknut 30b.

Some findings:

- Avoid aceton (or similar solvent) as it will soften the key plastic and leave an ugly uneven surface.

- Dremel: avoid steel brushes (too harsh) and speeds beyond 6k rpm: this will heat the plastic and you get the above final result.

--> I have used a brass brush at 5k rpm and a LOT of patience.

--> Avoid ugly white decals like the ones I used because I was in a hurry.

As said above, this is just for the record because I expect Eric's overlay to look way better.

Anyway a couple of pics:

and all of them: here.




Bonjour Etienne,

très interessante. I expect the overlay staying excellently between the keys. Let's see how good it will perform on them. Maybe we'll return to your (and Pauli's) experience working on the keys directly. Thanks for sharing.



Here's mine. I have since "moved" some of the stickers slightly so it looks even better.

Edited: 13 June 2011, 12:25 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Still the wrong division symbol and the Las-Vegas-style prefixes ... :-/ Blue could be a bit lighter, the alpha letters on the keyplate a bit darker, and green contain more yellow. Just check SVN, please. Looking forward to the next lot of overlays :-)


I believe Eric plans to continue using the division symbol on his overlays with no plans to change to /.

Colors may be adjusted, sure.


Still the wrong division symbol and the Las-Vegas-style prefixes ... :-/ Blue could be a bit lighter, the alpha letters on the keyplate a bit darker, and green contain more yellow. Just check SVN, please. Looking forward to the next lot of overlays :-)

It's the right division symbol in my opinion, so I am keeping it.

It's hard to judge color from a photo. Do realize that it is likely that Gene's photo does not contain specific colorspace information, his camera probably is not color calibrated, and your monitor may not be color calibrated, and unless all three match it won't do you any good to judge colors. You'll get some sample overlays in the mail soon.

However, I will say that due to limitations of printers, you're not going to get the same colors out of the printer that you see on the screen. In particular, the colors won't be as bright.



Yes Eric; the current division sign is correct because that's the one that's on my 41.
My computer shows each color a bit more pastel, the black less black and the white a bit less white - than the colors on your real overlay.



I don't understand why you continue to tolerate Walter's attitude. If I were you, I'd change projects and try recouping the cost of my die cutter by producing 41CL overlays.

I for one would pay handsomely for, say, a 41Z overlay.

Mark Hardman


Bad attitude or almost maniacal attention to detail? Without the latter the 34s wouldn't have come out half the calculator it has.

Wouldn't it be possible to please everyone by including one extra key sticker with the other division symbol?

Two extra key stickers would include that and a comma for a decimal to really make everyone happy.

- Pauli


I for one would pay handsomely for, say, a 41Z overlay.

Both HP 41 and HP 48 overlays are in the works. They will be slightly more expensive than the 20b/30b overlays, though, for various reasons, mainly due to the significantly increased labor cost and slightly increased consumable cost in producing them. Basically what I do is I use the adhesive vinyl of the 20b/30b overlays, but then I stick it on card stock to make it stiff (so it doesn't pop out of the slots), and cut the keys out entirely rather than just going through the top surface

But yes, I can make any overlay you want. Send me a scan/picture/drawing/whatever of the 41Z overlay and I will make you a replica in July. $8 shipped. Is this it? If so, it looks like it just consists of a regular 41 overlay plus a sticker for the Z key.



Hi Eric, I should send you the latest / greatest 41Z overlay BMP, as it has some little changes from the one posted. Pls. send me your email address to nowake92atgmaildotcom and I´ll proceed.

Needless to say I´m also interested in having a couple of those ' and another for the SandMath, BTW.



Come on, Mark, the wp34s isn't your baby, is it? And we do - as other parents do - want our baby looking cute. Anyway, an obelus on the division key is a logical inconsistency as explained before.



Overlays arrived.

One applied so far and it is much better than the one I made (which was a right pain to get off & I suspect these will be too). Went on quite easily and looks great.

- Pauli


Hi Eric:

I got my overlays but haven't installed them yet. I've been thinking what's the easiest way to put the overlay on once and not have to reapply it to get it centered on my 30b buttons. I'm thinking of cutting out all the button overlays and remove the bottom row of backing to expose the adhesive and put a slight bow in the overlay. Then, turning the calculator upside down, place the upper half of the overlay on the 30b and center it over the keys. When I'm satisfied, smooth down the bottom of the overlay using a pencil eraser to anchor it to the calculator. Then peel off the rest of the backing and finish sticking it down. The remove the backing on the individual buttons and stick them down separately.

Now that I have the overlays, it will take some time to cut out the button labels. If you think this installation procedure will work, would you consider punching the button overlays through the backing cover for easier removal and putting a seam in the backing so part of it can be removed easily for aligning and setting the overlay? I will try to install mine this weekend to see how it works. I'm glad I bought four of them in case I screw up.


Edited: 16 June 2011, 12:35 p.m.


No need to punch out the buttons separately. Just peel the main part of the overlay off the backing. It's relatively stiff but still will bow a bit. Let it sag down in the middle and stick that part down first. Slowly lower it onto the area around the 7-8-9 keys or the row above and make sure it's perfectly centered around the keys. Let it fall once it is. Then work your way up and down the rows, pushing the overlay down one row at a time. If it seems a little misaligned, if you are very careful you might be able to pull it up and try again, but instead you could maybe very carefully stretch the overlay (if it's coming short) to better fit around the keys. You have no more than about a half millimeter of clearance, so you have to get it just right.

Once you've done the overlay, the keys will be simple. I used a tweezers so I could better see what I was doing (to make sure they weren't crooked) and so I wouldn't reduce the effectiveness of the adhesive with oil from my fingers, but some have reported success with their fingers as well.


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