Thinnest Keyboard Uses Cherry DIY Doubleshot Method

As with any other community, it takes all kinds to make the keyboard world go ’round. Some like them thicc — more backing for the clacking and all — but some like them sleek and prefer the slimmest possible keyboard. For now and the foreseeable future, the go-to method for making whisper-thin keebs is to use Kailh Choc switches, because that’s about all that’s out there.

But chocs aren’t for everyone, and there are plenty of die-hard Cherry fans out there that want it both ways. Being one among them, [Khmel] set about designing the lowest-profile possible keyboard (and caps) that uses standard Cherry-sized keyswitches. Shut up and take your money? Well, okay, but the case and keycap files are all available on Thingiverse, so.

The whole video is great, and at less than 2½ minutes long, it’s definitely worth your time. There are a few little gems of wisdom sprinkled throughout, like printing keycaps standing up on their backsides (like where they would have a little flash dot if they were factory-molded). This gives them a nice texture thanks to the layer lines. But the real reason we’re here today is this DIY method for making doubleshot keycaps with little fuss that [Khmel] just tosses out there toward the end.

Trust us, there’s a piece of glass there.

Traditionally, doubleshot keycaps are made with two layers of plastic — one for the legend, and one for the rest. This produces a quite durable keycap and (used to be the norm), but the expensive process gave way to laser-etched and pad-printed keycap legends in the ’90s. [Khmel] was able to fake the look by printing legends at 0.25 layer height and then fusing each one to its respective keycap by laying a thin piece of glass (think microscope slide) on top and applying a soldering iron for a few seconds. Classy!

Tweezing tiny legends not really your kind of tedium? Here’s a method for DIY waterslide decals instead.

Continue reading “Thinnest Keyboard Uses Cherry DIY Doubleshot Method”

Finally, an ortho split keyboard with two Enter keys.

All Aboard! The Railroad Keyboard Is Now Serving Open Sourceville

Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it, and that goes for keyboard designs as much as it does the dessert cart. The Railroad is [DiplomacyPunIn10Did]’s first keyboard design, believe it or not. And, well, we like what we see. Good thing it’s open-source, eh?

While we personally don’t normally go for straight-up ortholinear keyboards, this one looks split enough to be comfortable. We love that there is both an ISO Enter and a regular-sized Return, although we might put another Enter on the left side if it were our keyboard. That’s the beauty of this whole open-source keyboard thing, though. I could assign any number of those animal-capped keys to Enter. Another plus is that The Railroad uses semi-normal keycap sets, with none of this 1.25u nonsense of certain split keyboards.

All the files and the BOM are available on GitHub under a Creative Commons license. This represents JLCPCB’s max length, by the way. [DiplomacyPunIn10Did] wanted to add a num pad, but it would have made it too long. Since the pictures are so big, we put our hands up to the screen to test it out. Those innermost 1u thumb keys look like they’re placed just far enough in toward the space bars that they wouldn’t cause strain, but it’s hard to know for sure without trying a real one. (Darn you, global shortages and shipping delays!)

Yep, there are all kinds of ways to make a keyboard your own. We’ve even seen an all-wood keyboard that uses Scrabble tiles for keycaps.