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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My former (now wife's) MacBook (late-2008 aluminium) and my current late-2011 MacBook Pro both have seriously worn out keyboards. The W, E, R, T, A, S, D, C, I, O, N, M and left Command keys are just transparent plastic circles with black borders XX)

Anyone want to recommend a source for replacement keys? Maybe something not so plain as the original black ones? I rarely do video editing, so a Final Cut keyset, while colourful, is not going to be particularly useful to me.

Lazerwood Industries sells this kit for stick-on wooden keys ($40USD):



They have sets for multiple languages, desktops and MacBook Pro models... though I'd be wary of using these for fear of them damaging the screen on the laptop. Plus, you lose the backlight effect on the keys.

Here's a source for original key replacements, but - man - $4.95/key? Maybe I should just find a trashed MBP on eBay... I have about 15 keys that should be replaced... $75 at that shop....

Thoughts?
 

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The $4.95/key seems to be the going price and at that price one could pickup a whole new keyboard.

If you have a Sally Anne or recycling place close by you may luck out and find a kaput MB that's heading out that you could purchase or maybe even some Mac service shop.

I bought a set of super-sticky peel and stick characters for a lady many years ago but I sure can't find a trace of them anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
NFtoBC - good link, thanks. The ProTouch Visual Assist ($24.95) looks like a good bet. Some of the products on that page and at the other link are for transparent covers, which won't help me since the letters have worn off of my keys already. A skin that provides the characters is probably the cheapest way to go. My only concern is from having purchased a keyboard protection skin some years ago - a silicone overlay - that I found rather uncomfortable on which to type. But - $25 isn't a lot to risk to see if it will do the job.

pm-r - sadly, still stuck in Mexico, and not much of a parts playground here. It would be a bit of an excess to have to purchase an entire laptop - even one with, say, a shattered screen - just to harvest the keys... but that may also be the easiest route.

I really like the laser-cut wood keys I posted above, but it's a shame they're peel-and-stick. they'd be great as actual key replacements, but the reason they haven't gone that route is probably because they'd be too fragile for sustained use...

Thanks for the suggestions, all.
 

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FWIW I too wear the keys out on my 15" MBP. Since I trade every second year, it is only an issue for about six months during that time. Why Apple cannot make keys that stand up to a lot of use is beyond me. My daughter gave me one of those silicone skins for Christmas and that lasted about two weeks. I just could not type with the darn thing in place. Have you thought about getting an Apple bluetooth keyboard and touchpad and setting them in front of the keyboard? That would work for now and into the future. Not an ideal solution, but perhaps an alternative?
 

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keycap only kits are available...not sure about how available they'd be in mexico but the possibility does exist...
 

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CubaMark, how good are you with a fine tip permanent paint maker? Not the cheap wear away markers.

Or for maybe a better appearance method, a proper sheet of LETRASET TRANSFERS in an appropriate font and add a protective clear coat.

Letraset - Product Inforamtion : Transfer Lettering

We used to use them for some outdoor signs on waterproof paper and then their exterior fixative/protection spray years ago and they often lasted for years.

They're sure thin enough so your fingers wouldn't notice, and easy enough to reapply if they did wear off. And a pretty affordable price as well.

Should be something close to match in their examples:

http://www.letraset.com/InformationPages/PRODUCT/RDL-Chart-Lrg.jpg

http://www.letraset.com/InformationPages/PRODUCT/A5Lettering-Sheets.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
broad: keycap-only kits - I've done a few cursory searches, but haven't found complete kits... just the rather expensive "by the key" parts providers.

pm-r: Good tips. Will follow up on those...
 

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broad: keycap-only kits - I've done a few cursory searches, but haven't found complete kits... just the rather expensive "by the key" parts providers.

pm-r: Good tips. Will follow up on those...
Have you tried calling your local AASP? I'm sure there are a couple in Mexico. The AASPs I know here all keep busted keyboards beyond the desk, and replace key caps for free if they have them.
 

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you need to figure out which of the two top cases you have on your 2011...the difference is in the arrangement of the little plastic strut that holds the key to the top case. pop one off if you can (any letter key should pop off carefully from the lower left corner) and take a picture and i can tell you which one you need. your nearest AASP should be able to order you one and ship it to you...i don't believe it'll fall under the category of parts that can't be sold to an end user.

your wifes machine might use the same struts or it might not...take a pic of it too if you can...technically the keycap kits aren't sold for her machine but you can probably use one of the ones intended for a later model laptop.

just get in there as close as you can and take pics of the white strut with enough detail i can see.
 
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