Using a tumbler to get rid of shine on ABS keycaps?

I was searching for some ways to remove shine on ABS plastic, and I found there was a vibratory tumbler that’s used to even-out the surface of various materials.
Has anyone tried this?
Logically, I’m assuming that the medium inside the tumbler has to be weaker than the ABS plastic so it doesn’t completely destroy it.
Any ideas?

I’d imagine a tumbler with a medium I it would have the opposite effect you’re looking for. Anytime I’ve ever heard of a tumbler being used for something, it was to smooth the surface.

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The only thing I’ve seen are things like Ripster’s sandblasting setup that can definitely get rid of shine, but also destroy your keycap if you’re not careful.

How much time do you want to spend fighting shine though? Shine is an inevitability on ABS keycaps so I figure it’s not always worth the effort unless you’re trying to restore a set to “display condition”.


Oh wow that imgur link… no offense, but that is a complete hack-job :joy:
I was entirely avoiding sand-blasting because it’s manually done and it’s overall inconsistent.
Well, I don’t know if I’ll call it fighting… I consider it preserving.
Guess I’ll have to embark on my own adventure to figure things out.
Thank you.


My big worry with a tumbler is that you’ll just wear out all of the edges and round them out on keycaps.

Funny enough, most resources online are for the exact opposite thing you’re looking for.

Let us know if you find out a good way to deal with shine! :slight_smile:


Ripster is a complete hack, but we have to appreciate his… crude keyboard science and how it has led to the knowledge we have today. He also is part of the reason the subreddit is so big, so we have to vilify him for that too. /s


I’ve considered a casing tumbler before for just this. I’ve seen some shined caps in my time around boards and even an “incorrect” trip through a tumbler would improve them.

For good results though, it’s all about getting every bit of the setup tested and nailed down. Masking off important bits like the stem, timing the duration in the tumbler, right medium type and intensity, additional compounds if necessary, etc. Honestly, if I still had that set of Monkey floating around and access to a tumbler I’d have tried it by now.