Repairing HP98x0 keyboard bezels



#2

I'm currently restoring an HP9830. My aim is to have a working machine to use, not a museum piece, but equally I don't make unnecessary changes, and when I do fit 'foreign' parts, I don't modify other parts of the machine. An example of this is that there was a missing keycap. In my (overstocked) junk box I founf a keycap for the same type of Cherry keyswitch, but it's a bit shorter. I've fitted that for the moment, if I ever get the right one I can fit it with no problems as I didn't have to modify the switch in the calculator.
Anyway, one of the problems was that the plastic keyboard bezel was shattered in one corner -- this seems to be a common problem with the 98x0 machines as the plastic uses goes very brittle with age.
I've found a way to repair this so that it's strong enough to use and doesn't look too bad.
You use dichloromethane (sold in good model shops over here under the brand name 'Plastic Weld') to disolve the plastic and stick the bits together. Use a brush to run a little along the edge of each piece, then fit them together. Then run a little more solvent into the crack.
After sticking all the parts together, take a piece of thin cloth -- I am not sure what I used -- it was an offcut, and cut it to fit over the back of the broken area. Brush more slovent onto the back of that, and then force it into the plastic so that the fibres get embedded in the softened plastic. Let it all dry.
Then clean up the outside of the bezel with fine wet-n-dry 'sandpaper'.
The result is not very pretty, but it sure beats a large hole in the keyboard.


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