Author Topic: Leather Ducky, you're the one!  (Read 3374 times)

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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« on: Sat, 02 June 2012, 14:47:58 »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 52124[/ATTACH]
What is that? DasKeyboard? Why are there numbers, then?

Take a closer look, those aren't ABS keycaps:
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 52125[/ATTACH]

PETAtards, no need to get disgusted! Please click here for your safe exit!

As much as I love my Cherry Browns, the truth is that typing on them all day is the same banging-your-fingers-on-hard-plastic experience that any 12₪ keyboard tourtures one with. Sure, the _bottom_ of the stroke is much improved, but what about the top, and what about the way down? The whole way down all I do is dream of pleasures of the flesh, so today I made that dream a reality. That's right, flesh on my buttonplank. Flesh.

This wasn't my first time. However, that keyboard was a worn out rubber dome keyboard and I only enleathered the home row. This time, I've done all the alphas except F and J so that I could feel my way around. I'll get around to the rest of the alpha block next week I hope. I hardly ever touch any of the other keys (VIM and Vimperator user, with ESC remapped to CapsLock), so I won't bother with those.

So, how does it feel? It feels like leather. The keys are soft, and the pressure of pressing the keys is distributed much more evenly across the fingertip. The top of the stroke is much more gentle, with no sudden bang of soft finger hitting hard keycap. By the time the Cherry Brown registers a keypress there is already 55 grams of force pushing on the leather and it is completely compressed, so the tactile feel of the key is completely transmitted to the user. I also put on of the keycaps on a Cherry Blue just to see how it feels. Oh, wow! If Blues were to register at 30 grams instead of 60 I'd swap them in a minute at any price. The combination of the leather and the Blue tactile click is like the combination of a V8 and dual exhaust. Like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Like the combination of maple syrup and autoasphyxiation. Er, forget about that last one.

Offline 1391401

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 02 June 2012, 15:17:14 »
Looks awesome!  Have you conditioned the leather in case of rain?

I know you mentioned feel, but how does the leather affect sound?  I notice sound can be affected by using a different keycap nevermind a leather-bound one!
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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 02 June 2012, 23:34:43 »
I haven't conditioned the leather but if rain falls on my keyboard then the leather keycaps won't be my only problem!

The sound has surprisingly not changed much. The Blues are a bit muted but the Browns sound the same. I just now tried bottoming out, it is muffled just a tiny bit.

Online fohat.digs

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 08:58:03 »
Oh, boy, how I wish Ripster was here to comment on this one.
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Offline Enki

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 09:08:39 »
iMav might as well start a Fetish Keyboards forum right now.  This is the future we are seeing, people.

Personally, I prefer latex.
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Offline keyboardlover

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 12:26:18 »
Quote from: fohat.digs;607797
Oh, boy, how I wish Ripster was here to comment on this one.

This Mod has been officially reddited!

"I'm looking for a keyboard that says...'Dad likes leather!'"

[video=youtube;pZr8bbKxYrE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZr8bbKxYrE[/video]

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 13:55:13 »
Quote from: fohat.digs;607797
Oh, boy, how I wish Ripster was here to comment on this one.


Wh-what? I disappear for a month and all the character of GH gets sucked out?

Ripster could provoke people, but so what? He was one of the most helpful people on this board, if not _the_ most helpful. Stallman is a PR disaster, but he is good enough at what he does that the FSF doesn't kick him out. Ulrich is a jerk, but Metallica still keeps him around. Syd Barret was tripping but Pink Floyd, well... all right forget about that last one.

Seriously, though, don't people have enough problems in real life that they can just ignore internet bullies? Especially when that bully turns around and helps you in a way that literally nobody else can? So what if Ripster was arrogant and boisterous? He was helpful, and he knew a lot.

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 13:57:33 »
Quote from: Enki;607806
iMav might as well start a Fetish Keyboards forum right now.  This is the future we are seeing, people.

Personally, I prefer latex.

I did the keycaps of my MS Ergonomic 4000 in latex. It was great for a few months, but when the summer came the latex started melting. I had to peel it all off and redo it with rubber coating. The rubber lasted until I junked the keyboard, though, it was much more durable but not as soft as the latex. I'll see if I can dig up any pictures.

Offline keyboardlover

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 05 June 2012, 15:20:30 »
Quote from: dotancohen
Seriously, though, don't people have enough problems in real life that they can just ignore internet bullies? Especially when that bully turns around and helps you in a way that literally nobody else can? So what if Ripster was arrogant and boisterous? He was helpful, and he knew a lot.

Let's just say he was a habitual line-stepper. Not smart to consistently piss off the admin.

More info here.

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 14 June 2012, 11:28:36 »
If anyone is still reading, I found a picture of the MS 4000 with Latex-covered keycaps:
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 52896[/ATTACH]

Other things to note on that keyboard: Nice big gel cushions epoxied to the wrist wrest, a few notches sawed into some keys and other strategic places to let my fingers navigate the keyboard without looking at it, and the upside-down Scroll Lock key serving as Enter. That last one is actually the reason that I junked the keyboard: off-center keypresses wouldn't register and I would have to bang my fingers on the wider keys. With Enter I just got fed up and put a smaller key on it, but when Caps Lock (remapped to Esc) and Shift started giving me the same problems, I retired the buttonplank.
« Last Edit: Thu, 14 June 2012, 11:33:05 by dotancohen »

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 15 June 2012, 22:09:35 »
Dot-

Leather topped key caps. I know you have some extreme RSI....I'm fascinated with the leather toppers. I'm curious about what you used and what you feel could improve the experience:
-type of leather...full grain, split, etc.
-thickness
-any other details

I'm thinking of this on a Kinesis Advantage with browns or red switches. If someone does not have RSI, do you feel it improves the typing experience?
« Last Edit: Sat, 16 June 2012, 11:16:58 by input nirvana »
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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 01:03:02 »
I don't think that the leather helps with RSI at all. Rather, my big problem is sensitive fingertips so I do whatever I can to reduce the pressure on them. Tony Iommi would love my keyboards!

I doubt that the type of leather would matter, and I don't really know much about different types anyway. Anything soft, even fake leather, is better than tapping on hard plastic all day. The leather that I used has a sponge backing, I'll upload a photo closeup of it. In regards to thickness, I would suppose if thicker is softer then thicker is better. If not then I don't know! I'll see if I can get my hands on other leathers to try, though.

If you or anybody else wants, I am junking the older rubber dome leather keyboard. I can send to you one of the keycaps to feel. It won't sit on a Cherry stem, but it might sit on other rubber dome keyboards that you may have access to. Or you can send to me a Cherry cap and I'll attach the leather to that. My address is here: Dotan Cohen.

I can say after a few days of typing on this thing that the experience is completely different. Seriously, I feel like the condom has come off and I really can feel the keyboard anew. It is simply a pleasure to touch, and instead of trying to shy away from typing I find myself actually looking forward to it.

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 01:12:51 »
Quote from: dotancohen;615313
I can say after a few days of typing on this thing that the experience is completely different. Seriously, I feel like the condom has come off and I really can feel the keyboard anew. It is simply a pleasure to touch, and instead of trying to shy away from typing I find myself actually looking forward to it.

I'm sold.

If I can see a pretty decent pic or two....I'll hop on over to an arts and crafts store or some little hot freaky hippie artist to hook me up with one or two pieces for a couple key caps to try it on. If it feels like you say for others in addition to you....it could be kind of a big deal. But I can see maybe some downsides as well.

I'm intrigued with the depleted uranium as well.....
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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 01:33:26 »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 53055[/ATTACH]

This is the back of one of the leather strips. It can be seen that the leather is rather thin, but there is a sponge backing. The strip is 2.5 * 1.25 cm and I strip about 0.5 cm of sponge from each end to attack to the keycap. The next time that I do this, I will strip a thin strip of sponge off of the leading edge of the keycap for aesthetic reasons (the yellow sponge can easily be seen from the front of the keyboard and looks ugly). The leather strap is attacked to the keycap by a small bead of wood glue on the part where the sponge has been removed, holding on to the side of the keycaps. I tried many different types of glue and epoxies, wood glue works best as it is easy to work with, holds fine, and cleans up easily. You will get glue on the wrong side of the leather during the process of wrapping the keycap in rubber bands while the glue dries, so the fact that wood glue cleans up with a wet cotton swab is very important.

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 01:53:48 »
Wow, this looks involved.
So it's not even about the leather itself as much as it is about the soft backing that compliments it. Interesting...I didn't get that from before.

Here is a question: What about leather only, just on the top surface of the key....like a top on a top? Would that cause any problems? It would be less about tender fingertips, but more about feel....does that make sense? Any perk just from that viewpoint?
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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 11:09:02 »
Yes, you are right. There are two advantages to this mod: 1) The terrific feel of the leather, and 2) The shock absorption properties of the sponge. I myself didn't really think about the differences in those two aspects.

I highly recommend getting both advantages if possible. You could do with just the leather, but the shock absorption is real nice. Especially on the occasional bottom-out, almost all the excessive force goes into compressing the sponge further, instead of compressing your own flesh.

It turns out that none of the art places that I visited had leather with the sponge backing. I'll try a furniture supply place next. This leather I took from an electric back massager that sits on top of an office chair. I suppose that if the only leather available has no sponge, then any thin sponge or similar could be added. You might find the sponge used as a packing material or even as a small air filter (as in a vacuum cleaner).

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #16 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 11:23:18 »
I understand what you are saying about the sponge material. If I put some thought into it, I'm sure I can figure out what type of material would produce a certain type of result. I suppose many things 'could' be used...neoprene, memory foam, etc.

Maybe an experiment or two. I'm very interested in this...I think it might be epic. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time, effort, cash or resources to putter around with it. If I can around to do at least get 2 keys with a leather application, then I can have a foothold for following up with the Full Monty. LOL

......pic of the DU key caps???
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Offline Zamorph

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 18:18:32 »
I like this mod :).

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 19:18:54 »
I can't tell for sure, but I think it's synthetic leather that you're using.
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Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 17 June 2012, 22:28:56 »
I have a little artist friend that indicated she has a couple actual 'animal hides' and we can try to cut and see what might work on a couple key caps. That might be a little over the top, but I'm going to check this out....this could be very interesting.
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Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 18 June 2012, 01:52:31 »
Actually, I think that Input Nirvana is right. This does seem to be synthetic leather. It's just as well, though.

If you want one of the "leatherized" keycaps off the experimental rubber dome board to give it a feel and see how the material holds, I'll happily send it your way. PM me.

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 18 June 2012, 01:53:38 »
Actually, neoprene might be even better than leather for this mod. Now I must find an old wetsuit!

Online Input Nirvana

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 20 June 2012, 00:11:07 »
Neoprene? Interesting idea...not very sanitary and I think fingers would not glide too well from key to key....just a thought. But the thinnest 1mm might work.

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Offline limmy

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 20 June 2012, 02:00:26 »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neoprene-rubber-sponge-pad-mat-sheet-strip-1-16-thick-/220837329644

I bought the above rubber sheet and I like it so far. It is 1/16in(1.59mm) thick and it feels pretty nice. It feels a bit warm to touch though.

It was originally bought to dampen some pinging sound and to be used as rubber feet under keyboards. So far it served its purpose pretty well.

I tried to use them for couple of other applications.
1. I cut it to little strips and used double-sided tape to put it on my mouse. They are taped on the sides and on the buttons. The side strip gives me good grip of the mouse and the top strip gives a nice cushion when I click.
2. Put little strips under Topre stabilized keys, and they work pretty well as sound reducer and shock absorber.

So far $5 well spent!

There are thinner sheets available(not on ebay), but they are a bit pricy. $10 a sheet and plus shipping.
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/rubber-sheets-and-strips/rubber/raw-materials/ecatalog/N-c1z?Ndr=basedimid10071&contextPath=Grainger&sst=subset

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 20 June 2012, 02:34:46 »
I'm thinking that the thicker stuff might be preferable. Put 50 grams on it and see how far it compresses: you want the one that is thinnest but not completely compressed at 50 grams (button keypress). Perhaps a bit of neoprene under the leather would be best for both shock absorption and feel.

Limmy, would you mind sending to me a small sample of the neoprene? I could buy it on eBay but it you have some small scraps that would save money and time! My address is here:
http://dotancohen.com/eng/contact_info.html
« Last Edit: Sun, 24 June 2012, 05:19:33 by dotancohen »

Offline dotancohen

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Leather Ducky, you're the one!
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 24 June 2012, 05:20:37 »
I just got my hands on some sheets of the sponge backing if anybody wants any. It can be glued to the back of leather to add impact-absorbing properties.