If You Can’t Buy The Keyboard You Want, Build It Instead

The great thing about being a maker is that when the market fails to meet your needs, you can strike out on your own. [GuzziGuy] did just that, building a bespoke mechanical keyboard that’s stylish to boot.

The aim was to create a keyboard well suited to working without a mouse, and with a keypad on the opposite side to suit a left-hander’s predilections. The case consists of an aluminium top plate with an attractive walnut base, both cut on a Workbee CNC machine. Keycaps are sourced from YDMK and Amazon, with the parts chosen giving the build a striking early 1980s workstation look.

The keys are handwired to a series of DuPont connectors for easy disassembly. These hook up to an Elite-C controller, a USB-C remix of the popular Arduino Pro Micro. Based on the ATmega32U4, it’s got native USB HID functionality, making it perfect for keyboard builds.

The fit and finish is what really makes this project, going to show that a few hours well spent on the CNC can turn you out a beautiful project. As far as mechanical keyboards go, your imagination really is the limit!

11 thoughts on “If You Can’t Buy The Keyboard You Want, Build It Instead

  1. I’m left-handed and I find the standard keyboard ok for my typing needs and fps games : mouse on the left, leaves the right-hand for the numeric keypad.
    Also may use the ctrl+insert / ctrl+delete instead of ctrl+c / ctrl+v more easily with the right-hand.

    TBH I can also use the kbd+mouse the same way a right-handed person does but with less ease.

    1. same here mouse on left right = arrows, page functions and the numerics along with 1/3rd ish of the letters part of the keyboard without moving my wrist, meanwhile the dominant hand that shows the most dexterity is using the mouse where one might have to click a pixel at a moments notice.

      Besides, lets face it, its freaking 2019 a computer without a mouse died out like 25 years ago, you can try to be all CLI 1337 baller hackers style, but if one’s computer has USB-C, you have a mouse, quit being a poser.

      1. Having started with Dos 2.1, I used to be all about the command line. But, eh, whatever. I only open a cmd window or powershell for very specific things that need to be done with them. When everything off the Start menu is only 2 clicks away… I don’t see why anyone says that menu is “clumsy” or “awkward”. Just need to be able to move a mouse or trackball accurately. Oh, and install Open-Shell, and set it to classic with two columns mode.

      2. Sounds like us lefties have it sorted, gotta feel sorry for the right handed, having to share page/arrows/mouse/numeric keypad with one hand. I do prefer the ‘proper’ layout of the page/arrow keys though. Newer keyboards seem to be breaking that.

        1. I’m roughly ambidextrous, leaning toward one hand or the other for certain tasks. It does now occur to me that I wouldn’t mind having a left handed mouse for my left hand. I can mouse, arrow, page, numpad, and type all keys with either hand on either half of my keyboard which is quite… handy.

  2. I mean, to each his own, but there’s not much handedness with keyboards, both hands get tasked with the same motoric challanges. Not like, say, a guitar, where there’s two different things happening and one hand might be better suited for one of those things than the other.

    1. I have a separate 10-key USB pad on the left of my keyboard, for keying numbers during CAD without removing my right hand from the mouse.

      You’re right, there needs to be a backspace (and a delete) there as well. I use the TAB and ESC on the main keyboard all the time

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