The Art of the Bodge

The secret to bodge jobs: adhesive

Thinking back to my white Alps64 build, it was a good introduction not only to custom keyboards, but to bodge jobs. Much like the British Leyland in the 1970’s, sometimes you really only need to get things to “good enough”. Sometimes in order to make something happen you’ve got to do a bodge job.

do a bodge job

The following is gonna look pretty rough, but it serves its purpose.

Alps spacebar with dowel

Unlike Cherry and MX mount boards, Alps boards only have one option for stabilizers. Alps style stabs are much like Costar. They’re crisp, but at the expense of overall…well…stability.

On original Alps boards, you had the wire stabs, snap in to latches on the plate. You also had a 2nd stabilizer, a dowel that fit into a correctly sized plunger, for lack of a better work. The wire stab succeeded in keeping the spacebar at the same vertical height, the plunger stab succeeded in keeping one side of the spacebar from twisting forward as force was applied to the other (usually right) side.


Trouble is, modern-day Alps keycaps sets aren’t designed with this in mind. For that matter, the only stab mounts on these keycaps sets are MX mount!

When I build my Orange Alps64 I used modern-day caps, and subsequently wasn’t pleased with how the spacebar performed. Cue the music!

First I harvested the plunger from a donor board I had lying about and installed it in the Orange Alps64’s plate(pictured above). Next, I took a spacebar from that same donor board, and set about removing its dowel with the use of my flush clippers.

Dowel removed from donor spacebar

My next victim was the new spacebar. The MX-mount had to be extracted (so that it didn’t interfere with the newly installed plunger). I then took a large amount E6000 industrial adhesive (forgive me, I didn’t have epoxy handy) and bodged the plunger on and left it to cure over night.

Bodge Job 1

Bodge Job 2

It looks really rough, but conveniently like most bodge-jobs, it can’t be seen during everyday usage. The newly-bodged spacebar performs beautifully. Now I’ll just need to source a vintage plunger and Alps spacebar to harvest from when I build my Blue Alps64.

Typed on Orange Alps64

Dialogue & Discussion