The G80-1800 restoration process

(Long posting inside)

Decided to create this topic exactly due to the fact I’m not the most knowledgeable guy on restauration.
Due to the COVID lockdown measures and the less-fortunate continuity of my professional career, I decided to spend my time with something which would actually keep me involved on something productive.

Keeping it short, I got my hands onto a batch of G80-1851’s, black and white, having production years ranging from 1999 to 2006. Since I am not that used to ISO layouts, I would want to fit these keyboards with some pcb which would allow me to have an ANSI layout and eventually QMK (which isn’t that much of a requirement but hey…)

So, workplan is to restore these 2 white (well, not that white) top cases, considering that the bottom cases are surprisingly clean.
Only downside was that out of all the 1800’s I got my hands on, all of them had the Lauer-Fischer logo scratched, while my black boards, have it untouched (visible on the 3rd photo).

1 - This is the oldest board out of all 4 I have with me. Unsurprisingly, the top left logo removal operation seemed to have been done on a dificult day. Besides that scratching (or carving?) the color isn’t that bad, when compared to this one:

2- You can see that the logo removal operation was done on a way more zen mode, yet, board seems way darker when compared with the previous.

With this one, I tried some cleaning sinking it on warm water and denture tablets for about 5 hours, took it out, cleaned, and didn’t notice any change on tone.

3- Regarding keycaps, same method as before was used, I considered the end result quite good as it can be seen before on a black 1800.

I recognise I might have screwed up on any step, so my idea with this post would be to not only share the restoration log but also to get tips/ideas from users which might’ve had better restoration experiences to share.



Awesome boards to restore! I just picked up a Cherry G80-3949 with the plans of putting a QMK replacement PCB I have for G80-1XXX/3XXX boards, unfortunately Cherry changed the modern G80-3XXX cases & the PCB was not compatible. So I’m just gonna mod up the switches & stabs in it since it thankfully had surprisingly smooth silent blacks in it!

Anyways some tips for your restorations. The cases that had the top left branding scraped off are good candidates for a sand, prime, & paint job to cover up the scuff. Also look into retrobrighting for de-yellowing cases, it is very effective bringing the whites back out of yellowed ABS. Then the 2 things you could do to get ANSI layout on those boards like you want want it. Is to buy a G80-1800 with ANSI layout & just transplanting the plate/PCB assemblies between the two. Alternatively TKC offers QMK compatible PCBs for G80-1800 cases every once in a while since the TKC 1800 was their flagship product back in the day.

Honestly though it looks you did a damn fine job working with what you had to restore the black board! If you need any other advice restoring vintage keebs feel free to PM me on here. I’m not gonna claim I’m some vintage guru, but I do have a good bit of experience restoring vintage or OEM boards. So I should be able to help you out with the processes & procuring parts if you need help there. Anyways everything you’ve shown here looks pretty good & we’re always glad to have more people who are truly into all facets of the hobby here! Keep up the good work & GL with with projects man! :metal:

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Thanks for your feedback. Ended up learning a lot in just a couple of paragraphs!!!

On the restoration side, if I end up not getting these cases up to the tone I wish them to have, I might probably try and do some work towards getting the scuffs properly covered and go for either an NCR or Goupil paint job. Always loved the tones of those boards.

Getting ANSI “donor” boards where I’m at now is quite delicate - Majority of them are located in the US and most cases would have more expensive shipping costs rather than the goods themselves.
(The lowest shipping rates I got until now were between $62 on DHL Express, $99 on FedEx and $84 on USPS. I’m not sure if there’s any “covid fee” here.)

I did consider TKC along with the Leeku L3 since they are the only boards I know to be OOB and QMK capable, however not only are they out of stock but I’d also face the same issues with shipping costs as the previously explained.
As of now, what I’ll probably do once I finish restoring these cases will be to either get about 5 of the below pcb’s, based on the feedback I’ve been capturing:

Both support OG bottom row layouts as far as I’ve read and would require minimal case modding to get it fully functional.

I will definitely PM you on this!!


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