Toolmongers lucky enough to have a computer in their shop (whether for CNC, CAD, simple word processing, or to satisfy that Twitter addiction) have probably gotten crap in the board at some point. If you’ve ever wrestled with an aluminum chip stuck under your spacebar or tried to type with fingers doused in 5W-30, you probably know what I’m going on about.
You can keep your keyboard intact with a plastic overlay, but those tend to get really nasty over time, and finding one to match your specific keyboard may be a struggle. But Adesso has a cheaper solution: the waterproof, fully-sealed AKB-230. We see them a lot at the auto repair shop or the steel shop. Those guys swear by them.
At $23, it’s priced reasonably, even if you probably can’t write an email in the Marianas trench. Dust and contaminants are no problem, since there are no recesses for crud to fall into. It’s flexible enough to roll into a neat cylinder, which is a useless feature for shop use, but it does make the board very portable if need arises. If the sucker gets dirty, all it takes is a spritz of Simple Green to give it that new-rubber luster.