Author Topic: Got wood?  (Read 1325 times)

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Offline dn

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Got wood?
« on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 23:27:36 »
Hello GH!

"There is little else as beautiful, tactile, luxurious and engaging to the senses as a fine timber. Why not experience this beauty everyday?" :)
- dn

I will be creating some wooden keycaps in the near future and they will be available on GH and through www.techkeys.us as well as www.originativeco.com. I joined GH yesterday arvo, had the idea in the car on the way home and posted about it. As a result I have received a lot of encouragement to say the least!

My goal is to make them stunning in the simplest way possible. I will not be marking them up exorbitantly and I will do my absolute best to offer them at the best price I physically can. I will be hand crafting them in my own workshop that I set-up last year in my backyard shed (equipped with lots of expensive machinery) and I am also a member of a major woodworking club as well as a Monash University student with access to specialised machinery, laser cutters, 3d printers and cnc machines.

This is my first attempt to create something on a commercial scale (as I am still a student) but I hope to learn as much as I can from this experience, and hope you enjoy my bespoke creations!

This is what I had in mind in the car yesterday (when the idea was born) - I will probabaly make an esc key (or spacebar) to start with (as recommended by a GH user) and the plan is to eventually offer full sets. A large range of finishes (aka, luxurious ultra high-gloss (glass-like) clear coating, satin finish, natural, French polished, matte or gloss paint and so on) and various options will be available (laser engraving is optional, etc). All custom orders are welcome!

Some wood samples I was thinking about:

12686-0 12690-1 12704-2 12706-3
12707-4 12709-5 12711-6



Pictured below is what they will probably look like without ANY surface finishing (ie: RAW wood). like (these are KSM keycaps I have posted for reference only).



I intend on making them in the Cherry keycap profile initially and the first batch will be for Cherry MX keycaps (to keep it simple). Also, I appreciate input from the community on this!

Note: It will be a while before I update you on this as i need to get ready for uni semester and re-assemble my workshop after I had a dedicated 42 AMP power supply installed recently.

Please give me time and post your comments here rather than pm!

THANKS!



Edit: I am aiming for SIMPLICITY above all else through production, and hence I will be able to offer them at the best price physically possible.

I will most likely offer standard finishes as the base and optional extras (such as engraving, laser printing, carving, custom finishes and ultra premium finishes etc) at an additional (and fair) cost according to material and labour costs.
« Last Edit: Thu, 31 January 2013, 07:29:54 by dn »
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Online Halverson

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 23:32:36 »
Just awesome! Would love a wooden spacebar to pound on :) If you're wondering what kind of wood...lignum vitae/verwood!
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Online JPG

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 23:33:21 »
Maybe a spacebar? I am not that much of a wood fan myself, but if I had to have one key made of wood I think it would be a spacebar.

That or a full set haha! or maybe only the G and H.
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Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 30 January 2013, 23:42:30 »
Maybe a spacebar? I am not that much of a wood fan myself, but if I had to have one key made of wood I think it would be a spacebar.

That or a full set haha! or maybe only the G and H.

That would be cool indeed!
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline olaph

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 00:15:35 »
Love those grains! Would front laser engraving be a possibility? Stealth wood? =D

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:10:52 »
Cool, another woodpecker in da house! So far only Beast had been the wood man.

Did you seriously hand carved those one by one to make the whole set?

Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:28:17 »
Cool, another woodpecker in da house! So far only Beast had been the wood man.

Did you seriously hand carved those one by one to make the whole set?

The reference images are from a Taiwanese company called KSM I found during my research yesterday. I will be hand making each key individually an a production line-esque fashion and I will be able to produce what you see in those pictures with appropriate jigs which I plan to develop as part of the manufacturing process (to achieve repeatable consistency).
« Last Edit: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:53:42 by dn »
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:32:30 »
They're still made one by one, so I'm guessing price won't be so cheap. Does it come with lifetime warranty against shine and fire?

I kid of course  ^-^ . I'd probably pick up a set if they can be done on Colmak layout, depending on price of course.

Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:37:07 »
They're still made one by one, so I'm guessing price won't be so cheap. Does it come with lifetime warranty against shine and fire?

I kid of course  ^-^ . I'd probably pick up a set if they can be done on Colmak layout, depending on price of course.

As I initally mentioned, I am aiming for SIMPLICITY above all else through production, and hence I will be able to offer them at the best price physically possible.

I will most likely offer standard finishes as the base and optional extras (such as engraving, laser printing, carving, custom finishes and ultra premium finishes etc) at an additional (and fair) cost according to material and labour costs.
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 01:41:18 »
They're still made one by one, so I'm guessing price won't be so cheap. Does it come with lifetime warranty against shine and fire?

I kid of course  ^-^ . I'd probably pick up a set if they can be done on Colmak layout, depending on price of course.

As I am new here, I don't know what you would even expect to pay per key, but I will eventually know what my total cost per key is for each option and that will obviously dictate the price.

What would you expect keys like this to cost? Say for a premium quality single key and / or a complete set?
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline durainello

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 02:26:45 »
Make only 50 pieces and price them $100 each, trust me it will sell and see the resale value goes up.  :))
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Offline MattBuzzy

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 05:46:34 »
I "wood"  :rolleyes: be after a full 104 or 87 set depending the price for which they can be made.

What would I expect to pay.. that is hard to say, being hand made is a lot of labor. I could easily see them going for $5 per key.

What could I afford to pay is another question entirely.

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 05:49:24 »
Do you plan to make one for buckling spring?
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Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 06:31:01 »
Do you plan to make one for buckling spring?

The initial release will be for Cherry MX key switches, however, I will do any custom orders.

If you can send me a sample key (or the key you want made in wood) I can clone it for you - I just need some physical or blueprint-type reference.

How does that sound?
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Online inteli722

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 08:05:54 »
Custom carved keycaps... that would be amazing. I could use a few keycaps above the invert-T keys on my phantom... :)
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Offline fohat.digs

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 08:33:01 »
Do you plan to make one for buckling spring?

The initial release will be for Cherry MX key switches, however, I will do any custom orders.

If you can send me a sample key (or the key you want made in wood) I can clone it for you - I just need some physical or blueprint-type reference.

How does that sound?


Naturally, we buckling spring enthusiasts are left out of all the good stuff.

I think that the "clip on" aspect of the keycaps would be pretty well impossible, but with stems being so plentiful and cheap, a simple square cavity back for glue-on would be exceptionally easy.

I would gladly trade a dozen stems for one glue-on cap.
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Offline eviltobz

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 15:59:15 »
(Attachment Link)
phwoar! as a guitar player and wannabe luthier I love me some wood, and that just looks like the best thing ever :)

I'm considering a diy Ergodox case made from wood, and those sort of keycaps would obviously be perfect.

Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 31 January 2013, 19:19:45 »
(Attachment Link)
phwoar! as a guitar player and wannabe luthier I love me some wood, and that just looks like the best thing ever :)

I'm considering a diy Ergodox case made from wood, and those sort of keycaps would obviously be perfect.

Haha good to hear! I am actually starting a luthier business with my mate from school we are currently in the design phase :)

We are called TGM Customs (The Guitar Men)


I love wood!!!!!!
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline dn

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 18 February 2013, 21:27:54 »
update:

my workshop will be producing prototypes within the month - is anyone willing to provide me with a reference diagram for the preferred layout and key profile (i assume cherry profile (mx switch of course))

or a physical set i can measure and use as a reference (would be really awesome!)

thanks
7G owner :)

PS: I'm looking for a PBT blank full set for my 7G!

Offline Lunartuna

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 18 February 2013, 21:33:34 »
Probably should make some of each profile, they will sell regardless. Cherry is popular but some people will want OEM or SP profile as well.

You could probably get a cheap novelty cap of each profile and go from there. Techkeys has cherry and SP profile caps. Wasdkeyboards singles for OEM.
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Offline eviltobz

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 19 February 2013, 01:53:41 »
awesome :) can't wait to see them.

Offline Strelok

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 19 February 2013, 07:54:55 »
You should make the Cherry keycaps out of... Cherry.

Offline eviltobz

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Re: Got wood?
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 19 February 2013, 08:05:08 »
then we'll need to find a sculpter who can make alps keycaps out of chunks of the alps ;)