Wooden teeth for your USB keyboard

wooden-keyboard

We just got an ergonomic keyboard for the first time and absolutely love it. But the look of this keyboard hack has us second guessing ourselves. [Will Pretend] pulled off an absolutely stunning wooden retrofit for his USB keyboard. Be warned, his project log includes 175 photos, and most of them have captions.

He started off by taking apart the original USB keyboard to see what he was working with. Before digging in to the valuable wood stock he cut test pieces using some thin MDF. But once he had a clear plan to get to the end of the project it was full stem ahead.

The keys are not simple Chicklet style overlays, they have depth like you would expect to find on low-grade plastic peripherals. This was accomplished by milling each key, then sending them through the laser cutter to each the letter on top.

Take some time to make your way through the entire project (here’s a thumbnail layout if you get frustrated). Unfortunately [Will] says he doesn’t actually use the keyboard because of grains catching and the keys move around a bit too much. But it does work.

Comments

  1. “The keys are not simple Chicklet style overlays, they have depth like you would expect to find on low-grade plastic peripherals.”

    You’re calling a touch typists dream keyboard low grade and that HELISH chicklet keyboard design. >.>

    • Mike Szczys says:

      I’m just pointing out that a $5 keyboard has keys with depth, not making a judgement call on which are better.

      • John says:

        Very expensive keyboards also have keys with depth.

      • Keys with depth are better.
        Flat keys that don’t move are worst.
        I especially feel sorry for those people who bang at the keyboard while typing. A keyboard that does not respond, as in flat keyboards will do a lot of damage to their fingers and hands. Unfortunately, the idiot designers who think that motionless keyboards are the coolest hippest thing since evolution was theorized will end up disabling untold minions of hammer typist.

    • M4CGYV3R says:

      If ‘Chicklet Keys’ are those mostly-obscured keys like the Mac laptops have, then they can go straight to hell and die. Worst keyboard I have ever used. Cherry bombs for the win.

  2. fartface says:

    Flat keys are for people that have zero clue. Chicklet keyboards are complete garbage.

  3. Now if this was a replacement set of caps for a mech board I’d be impressed, the fact he did this for a simple membrane keyboard is more impressive, but it is the keyboard equivilent of polishing a turd.

    • Velli says:

      I’d rather have a beautiful shining turd though, wouldn’t you?

      This is a neat little style upgrade. Yes it’s cosmetic, but at least he didn’t just glue some gears on it.

  4. wulfman says:

    This was accomplished by milling each key, then sending them through the laser cutter to each the letter on top.

    Almost EVERY new post is flawed with typos. Who proofreads these posts ?

    Etch the letter on top maybe?

    Do not rely on spel chekers for your profesional websiet.

  5. I want my toy back says:

    Awesome… i’ve been building a wooden case for my PC too
    Is it for sale ?

  6. Blue Footed Booby says:

    I can touch type faster on chicklet keys than on a traditional keyboard. Am I weird, hackaday? Should I feel ashamed?

  7. supershwa says:

    *Spelling police!*

    Chiclet, not ChicKlet ;p

  8. Oren Beck says:

    Lighten up with the slams, Eh?

    Yeah- the finished story or device may have a rough edge about it- But the IDEAS and LESSONS are why many of us consider HaD worth reading.

    I found this wooden keyboard hack WELL Worthy for showing several many pitfalls we all can avoid as Will already made them so we don’t have to.

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