Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh Brother, I'm Gonna Dye

I passed on this one at first, but after very little convincing, it came home in the end, as I'm sure you knew it would. But now, there's a twist.
Brother Correction 7
Inspired by Alpha-Smartie Vance Fry, I'm going to try my hand at giving this old Brother a makeover. You can sort of tell from my photo: some of that yellow is the color scheme and some... well, some is not. It could be tobacco, or age, or a combination of both.

I considered trying my hand at mixing up a batch of Retr0Bright to bleach the colors back into newness, but honestly, I have no desire to do this. That yellow... that brown... it's time for it to go.

There's not a lot of color choices available in off-the-shelf vinyl dyes -- I could also choose black, beige, or a buffed silver -- but looking at those red keys got me thinking that this little machine wants more than a life of blah. So, red it shall be. Take a good long look, because that color scheme is going to dye.


D. Loon said...

Man if I keep staring at that my collar is gonna grow out all pointy, my moustache and sideburns are gonna get all bulky and I'll go home to find our car transformed into one of those boats, the same color.

Olivander said...

Hm. I was unfamiliar with vinyl dye 'til now. Might be a good alternative to spray paint for a couple of my typers. But most of the ones I want to repaint are housed in metal, not plastic.

mpclemens said...

@CStanford: I keep hearing "wacka-chicka-wacka-chicka" every time I pop the case open.

@Olivander: case modders use the stuff, I guess. There's a polymer in the paint that allows the dye to seep into the plastic. I wouldn't use this on any precious treasures, but a $3 Brother seems just about right.

Monda said...

I'm watching this process closely. mister. Sweet, Sweet Connie needs a new 'do, so tell me EVERYTHING.

mpclemens said...

A proper shucking certainly is important. The Brother is held together by exactly four screws, right through the feet, and with those removed the works lift out. It's the easiest disassembly I've ever done.

Removing the badges was a little trickier, but tips on the flickr AlphaSmart group pointed me towards using a hair-dryer to soften up the glue enough to get a knife blade under them and pry them up. The big aluminum plate along the front is now a bit bent up, but I was not expecting perfection. Masking to protect it may have been a better idea, but the dye is reported quite drippy and prone to seep, and I'd rather have a slightly dinged name plate than one with red edges.

I'll get some before/during/after shots of the process. This is supposed to be our last dry weekend, so I've got a date with a spray can this weekend.

Elizabeth H. said...

I would *so* like to try something like this on my Neo, if I could get over the fear of disassembling the thing. I think I'd leave the keyboard as-is, but it'd be fun to color the rest of it something more cheerful than dark green.

Somehow I doubt I'll ever get up the courage to do such a thing, but nonetheless, I'm watching this whole process with fascination....

mpclemens said...

Be brave, LFP! Here's some inspiring photos to egg you on. And you can always post there for tips on opening up your Neo. I had to pop open all of our Pros to update the backup battery inside. Just take care to not rip any wires out of the circuit boards and you should be good.

Elizabeth H. said...

Just take care to not rip any wires out of the circuit boards and you should be good.

Er...yeah. That's the part that scares me.

Maybe I'll wait until after NaNo when the 3000s start being more readily available and inexpensive again, and start my experimenting with one of those.

deek said...

I just looked at those links...saw the grey AS3K...very cool!!!

I am now seriously thinking about a dye job, as I really don't like the translucent blue-green color I have now.

I'd like it to pop, maybe like a lime green!!! No subtlety for me:)