When a neighbor decided to cut down a walnut tree, [voluhar] decided to make something of the wood. The result was this custom keyboard that combines wood and metal in a lovely and functional package.
Walnut is a wood with a rich heritage in consumer electronics. Back in the early days of TV, huge console sets were built into solid walnut cabinets and proudly displayed along with the other fine furnishings in a home. [voluhar]’s keyboard captures a little of that spirit while retaining all the functionality you’d expect. From the custom PCB to the engraved aluminum key caps, it looks like every part was machined with a CNC router. The keyboard sports satisfyingly clicky Cherry MX switches, and a few cleverly positioned LEDs provide subtle feedback on the state of the locking keys. As for the imperfections in the walnut case, we think it just adds to the charm and warmth of the finished product, which would look great on any desktop.
Wood has appeared in a couple of custom keyboards that we’ve featured before, like this all-wood version. But if you want the retro look without the wood, you could always try a keyboard built out of a typewriter.
7 thoughts on “Walnut Windfall Winds Up In Custom Keyboard”
Wow, that’s nice.
Walnut windfall winds up in wood-worked Wang clone?
Reminds me of something. Sol Terminal Computer?
It does, now that you mention it. But didn’t the Sol terminal have wood ends and a metal panel?
Why yes – yes it did:
The SOL did have walnut sides, they were a particular height because they were supposedly made from offcuts from a company that produced rifle stocks. As such the S-100 backplane was pretty packed together. I have one I’m currently restoring and it’s probably my favourite S-100 computer, that being said I wouldn’t say no to an IMSAI 8080 or Altair 8800 but there’s no wood!
The last mass consumer furniture made out of solid walnut were reed organs and such made in the late 1800’s. Veneer and core has been used ever since, cores are now particle board instead of poplar. It’s hard to make something as big as a table top or a cabinet side out of glued up solid lumber. Seasons change and it splits. I hope this piece of walnut was cured slowly and well. I just pitched much such into the truck to dump. Allen, Conn, Hammond, and a lot of pianos too. They don’t make it like that anymore. All midwest hardwoods.
I wish that more of these Hackaday “articles” were actual ARTICLES, and not just stubs leading to a video somewhere.
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