Apple - Sanding off a MacBook's sharp edges

I posted this DIY solution to the Apple Discussions thread here as well with a bit more "story line" as this isn't the place for that.

I created a vinyl wrap for the front edge with some sort of "padding" under just the corner! This is just a prototype and I intend to have my wife use her Cameo to cut a custom design for the vinyl wraps.

Prototype Here you can see that the vinyl is very thin and adds almost no thickness to the wrist area: Razor thin You can see the slight padding I have under the vinyl that just wraps the edge. For this "prototype" I just cut about a 1/4 inch strip of a paper towel. I used a "towel" type paper towel, not that harsh rough stuff. I had Viva brand on hand: Padding It's not impacting closing the MacBook at all as you can see here: Closed Tight I've used this for 2 days now working for approx 12 hours each day and I have no more harsh edge lines on my wrist. And she happened to have some scrap black vinyl that happens to match the keyboard perfectly. Looks pretty sweet. Of course I could find a brushed or just aluminum color so they would virtually be unnoticable.

Also, these are completely removeable without leaving any residue. If there is any left, it's very minor and removed by just slight rubbing of the residue. This is the same vinyl used for signs or crafts.

I may have my wife cut these on her Cameo with the theme of the OS releases. Lion (would have been) lion paws, Mavericks will be waves and Yosemite will be silhouettes of El Capitan and maybe Sentinel Rock. But who knows, maybe they will be flames or something else fun. We'll see.

Here are some alternatives that you could consider:

  1. Silicone case that wraps around to the keyboard - see this macrumors thread. Note: it's a bit dated (2007), so not sure if they still sell these types of ccases/covers anymore.
  2. Guard strip - example from Amazon here. Product description indicates that the main purpose is to address the issue of sharp edges for the MBP. Something like that probably fits the bill perfectly.
  3. Wrist rest (foam/leather) - example from Amazon here. The rest may be able to put enough distance between your wrists and the edge.

Caveat: I don't have any problem with the edge, so I've never used any of these products. But one of these might address your comfort without necessitating the filing down of your MBP's edge, which would probably hurt its resale value.

A dremel type grinder would work for both. You'd want to mask off the case so you know when you're chewing too far into the top case. A guide or jig to hold the grinding wheel stationary would be better since you'd be less likely to go too far into the battery for example on the Polycarbonite model.

If you are dead set against changing your ergonomics so your wrists never know whether the edge is sharp or beveled, I would get help from someone in a machine shop that has experience with grinding. They will have practiced on many other items and likely have far better technique. The tools to both cut and polish polycarbonate and aluminum are different, but knowing how to clamp down the mac and use a metal file properly would come in handy - especially if the shop has the tools and clamps needed and you only have to supply the patient and perhaps the finishing abrasive and social lubricant to get the job done.

If you are going to go the DIY route, emery board might be better and less risky and you can control the amount of material that is removed over time. Start with that, even on the aluminum and work up to a metal file if needed.

You'll want a fine emery board to polish things either way, but do try to get a scrap case to test on before you start (or at least get a quote to replace the part should you like the modified case worse than the new edge.)


Macbook Pro