Author Topic: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard  (Read 7450 times)

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Offline kurplop

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The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 08:00:35 »
Not long ago I decided it was time to design a keyboard that would meet my specific anatomical needs after an accident last year which left me short-fingered.

It was made to be used with an iPad, so small and light was a priority and I could ditch my beloved Slim-blade this time because of the the iOS framework.

The design is asymmetrical to reflect my modified fingers and the footprint is over 2" narrower and just a 1/4" deeper than an Apple wireless.
172907-0

It is actually lower than the Apple!
172909-1

Pretty low for a mechanical keyboard.
172911-2

I call it The Simple Gimp because of its easy construction and its intended user.
172913-3

Using standard Cherry ML switches and caps, the absence of any tenting, and straightforward construction, made The Gimp go together super fast.

I'm curious, has anyone else made or modified their keyboard to meet their special needs?

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 08:03:48 »
Amazing as always.

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Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 08:07:07 »
Thanks.
I forgot to mention that it isn't done yet. The PCB is made but not soldered up and after some clean-up work on the aluminum, I will anodize and dye the body.

Online TalkingTree

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 08:17:49 »
That's really good looking. Will you show how it's made (when it is) under the hood?
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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 08:29:27 »
That's really good looking. Will you show how it's made (when it is) under the hood?

Seconded. Great to see new projects from kurplop
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Offline hoggy

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 13:41:05 »
Wow.  Always a delight to see these.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 22:48:55 »
I should be able to finish this up pretty quickly. When I do I'll post more pictures showing the internal works. It was a bit of a challenge to fit this into such a small and shallow space. The body is just 0.4" thick and 0.625" to the top of the caps.

Offline ideus

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 10 July 2017, 23:01:28 »
It's really nice. Please show us it in its finished condition.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 16 July 2017, 17:51:36 »
A few more pictures. I anodized the aluminum but wasn't happy with the dye saturation so I Cerakoted it with "titanium". The color turned out more bronze than the grayish tint it had the last time I shot titanium. I'm not sure if I like the combination. In the end I may dye the keycaps.
173467-0
 
I wrapped the bottom aluminum cover with faux leather vinyl to create a soft surface for the underside .
173469-1

The countersunk screws are set deeper than the fabric to prevent scratching tabletops.
173471-2

Not much left to do. Switches soldered in. Just have to solder some jumpers and SMD diodes, plus the controller.

I posted this in the Ergonomic section because I wanted it to be more about the ergo considerations than the build itself. Every design is a compromise in some way. In order to keep the size and weight as travel friendly as possible, I chose to sacrifice any tenting—I know from experience that the extra bulk from the tenting is enough to discourage regular use.

I skewed the columns 25º to make up for the hands being so close together. My other keyboards are 15-18º but have a trackball separating the halves.

All of the keycaps are single units because I wanted to keep everything within reach.

The Gimp has 55 keys which I think is a good balance between keeping the unit small for both travel and easy reach from home position, and still not having to rely too heavily on other layers.

I tried to keep most of the key mapping similar to my other boards to reduce the amount of retraining I'll need.

As with my other boards, vertical columns staggered to reflect natural finger positioning and many thumb keys to avoid overusing my outside fingers.

I use Cherry ML switches for the 0.70" spacing and 3mm total travel.

A couple more pics to compare its size to an iPad 9.7".
173473-3173475-4

« Last Edit: Tue, 18 July 2017, 05:36:44 by kurplop »

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 16:58:08 »
I was thinking about how I was going to keep the iPad, the Gimp, and accessories all together. The laptop bags were much bigger than necessary. I ended up finding a large Bible/book cover which was just the right size. I butchered up an old binder to create a stiff framework and will wrap it with black vinyl.
173877-0

Being connected via USB made it necessary to make provisions for cord management. The cutouts for the usb cord and Apple Pencil should keep things safe but handy.
173879-1

I made some scoops in the walnut for easy removal of the parts. The wood and leather bag is just to contain the components, not to be used in its operation. The iPad is easily removed and will be used most of the time without the Gimp or the bag but it will be nice to be able to do serious typing when necessary. As you can tell, I haven't finished gluing up all of the parts to  the bag yet. The binder and walnut will be permanently glued to the case so I want to do more testing to get everything right before I commit to it.

173881-2

And here is what it looks like closed up. The charger and cords fit in the outer pockets (the pockets are empty in the picture).

173883-3

The weight of everything loaded is about 5 pounds. I may hollow out the underside of the walnut to drop the weight a half a pound or so but it's not too heavy as it is.

I've put off finishing up the soldering because my eyes haven't been up for the task but I hope to have it running soon.






« Last Edit: Sun, 23 July 2017, 17:26:49 by kurplop »

Offline hoggy

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 17:04:28 »
I was thinking about how I was going to keep the iPad, the Gimp, and accessories all together. The laptop bags were much bigger than necessary. I ended up finding a large Bible/book cover which was just the right size. I butchered up an old binder to create a stiff framework and will wrap it with black vinyl.
(Attachment Link)

Being connected via USB made it necessary to make provisions for cord management. The cutouts for the usb cord and iPencil should keep things safe but handy.
(Attachment Link)

I made some scoops in the walnut for easy removal of the parts. The wood and leather bag is just to contain the components, not to be used in its operation. The iPad is easily removed and will be used most of the time without the Gimp or the bag but it will be nice to be able to do serious typing when necessary. As you can tell, I haven't finished gluing up all of the parts to  the bag yet. The binder and walnut will be permanently glued to the case so I want to do more testing to get everything right before I commit to it.

(Attachment Link)

And here is what it looks like closed up. The charger and cords fit in the outer pockets (the pockets are empty in the picture).

(Attachment Link)

The weight of everything loaded is about 5 pounds. I may hollow out the underside of the walnut to drop the weight a half a pound or so but it's not too heavy as it is.

I've put off finishing up the soldering because my eyes haven't been up for the task but I hope to have it running soon.
I'm just speechless.  Very elegant.
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 17:06:02 »
I'm just speechless.  Very elegant.

Very nice of you to say that. Thanks.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 17:19:57 »
Absolutely stunning. Will you explain how you arranged the modifiers and function keys?
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 17:33:35 »
Absolutely stunning. Will you explain how you arranged the modifiers and function keys?

Thanks. This is a fairly recent mapping but may change slightly.
 * key mappinhg for the GImp.pdf (817.34 kB - downloaded 56 times.)

I will probably always feel like the computer noob, not knowing a lot of shortcuts and more efficient ways of doing things. Let me know if something doesn't seem right.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 18:02:11 »
I will probably always feel like the computer noob, not knowing a lot of shortcuts and more efficient ways of doing things. Let me know if something doesn't seem right.
Everything looks well conceived, I would just add a Print Screen key on the letter P but I don't know if it's the same on MacOS.
On my 60% boards, I usually use the left hand for navigation and the right one for the virtual numpad. Since your keys are non staggered, a right hand virtual numpad, if you even need one, would be easy to achieve and use. As for the left hand, I use WASD for arrows, Q for Home, E for End and Z and C for Page up and down, but since your Z is else that would be awkward.
I urge to ask, why you have two C keys?
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 21 July 2017, 22:20:25 »
I will probably always feel like the computer noob, not knowing a lot of shortcuts and more efficient ways of doing things. Let me know if something doesn't seem right.
Everything looks well conceived, I would just add a Print Screen key on the letter P but I don't know if it's the same on MacOS.
On my 60% boards, I usually use the left hand for navigation and the right one for the virtual numpad. Since your keys are non staggered, a right hand virtual numpad, if you even need one, would be easy to achieve and use. As for the left hand, I use WASD for arrows, Q for Home, E for End and Z and C for Page up and down, but since your Z is else that would be awkward.
I urge to ask, why you have two C keys?


Thanks for the input. I will definitely give your suggestions some thought. Good idea about the print screen on the P. I have embedded numbers on one of my other boards (the Alumaplop) and I never used them so I decided against them on this one. Because of an accident that has caused some limitations on my left hand, I decided to go heavy on left thumb modifiers and right hand functions. It has worked well for me with the arrows on earlier boards in the IJKL locations. The center C is for mouse click.

Unfortunately, I have gotten into the habit of not using all of my fingers on my left hand. Now that I have more sensitivity in my three injured fingers I hope to retrain my left hand to use a more conventional touch typing style.

On another subject: Some may have noticed the missing cap and the broken stem stuck in the switch. The cap was an early cast I had made for the Alumaplop before I began reinforcing the tiny stems with wire from a paper clip that I cast into the resin. The broken stem is confirmation that the reinforcing was a good idea.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 22 July 2017, 02:20:46 »
I'm liking every single bit of this project, layout, metal case, wooden frame, carry bag. That's a really masterful job. I'll be sure to vote for this one in the KOTM as soon as it happens.
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 08:19:59 »
Just a few more pictures as I put everything together for the last time (sure).

The underside of the shell shows the depression necessary to fit the teensy within the very shallow body. Also there's a groove along the top right to allow clearance for the cable. Some of the screw post sides got clipped a bit in order to fit the switches. It took a lot of maneuvering to get everything to fit in such a small form.
175618-0

Mounting the Teensy upside down on the PCB saved another 1/8" in height.
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After dropping in the PCB, a 1/32" sheet of rubber is laid on to protect the circuitry and tightly sandwich the PCB in place.
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A piece of plastic is used to further isolate and insulate the wiring from the aluminum bottom plate.
175622-3



I was sweating out how I would compile the easy AVR firmware but as soon as I put out a request for help, Talking Tree rose to the occasion and took care of it for me. Big thanks to him.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 08:24:47 »
KOTY 2017. No doubt.
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Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 08:30:34 »
I guess I should include these too.

I never got around to making a hole to access the Teensy switch so I drilled a small one through the bottom plate and vinyl.
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I tapped out the hole to accept a 2mm flathead screw to protect the breach in the vinyl but countersinking into the thin aluminum plate ended up removing the threading anyways. Hopefully, the adhesive will keep the vinyl from loosening.
175630-1

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 08:40:48 »
Projects like this is what makes this forum worth coming to. :thumb:

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 09:45:20 »
Wow, crazy impressive.

"I'm the Simple Gimp,
The geekhack pimp,
The upvotes fight for my delight
I'm the grand master of these custom keys
That shock the eyes
Of the young lay-dees"
I'm back.

Espresso machine overhaul: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78261.0

Carbon Fiber keyboard base: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54825

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 10:32:44 »
Wow, crazy impressive.

"I'm the Simple Gimp,
The geekhack pimp,
The upvotes fight for my delight
I'm the grand master of these custom keys
That shock the eyes
Of the young lay-dees"

Is there a tune I can sing that to or should it simply be recited at my next beatnik meeting?

Either way, thanks for your artistic expression.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 10:36:00 »
Wow, crazy impressive.

"I'm the Simple Gimp,
The geekhack pimp,
The upvotes fight for my delight
I'm the grand master of these custom keys
That shock the eyes
Of the young lay-dees"

Is there a tune I can sing that to or should it simply be recited at my next beatnik meeting?

Either way, thanks for your artistic expression.

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I'm back.

Espresso machine overhaul: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78261.0

Carbon Fiber keyboard base: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54825

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 10:36:30 »
By the way: on the scale, keyboard enthusiasts are just one step above model railroaders for impressing the opposite sex.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 11 August 2017, 14:52:06 »
Very cool project and wonderful construction.  I love that elegant leather backing.
Let me know if any software updates are necessary to bring this project to fruition, I want to see it succeed.

Offline consolation

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 14 August 2017, 16:22:48 »
Kudos to you, real craftsmanship...

How did you form the metal cover, did you use mandril / arbor? I would be very keen to read about your technique for shaping metal.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Mon, 14 August 2017, 16:34:04 »
Really like what you did with the wooden keyboard holder/leather bag. Thinking back on what you said regarding attracting the opposite sex as a keyboard enthusiast--that thought doesn't bother me a bit. Always a pleasure to see new updates :)
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Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 14 August 2017, 19:17:51 »
Very cool project and wonderful construction.  I love that elegant leather backing.
Let me know if any software updates are necessary to bring this project to fruition, I want to see it succeed.

Thanks. I've always enjoyed your keyboard builds as well. I may have to pick your brain about the firmware. I hesitate because of my unfamiliarity with the programming nomenclature makes it hard to accurately describe what I've done and where I'm having trouble. I'll let you know if I can't un-stump myself.

Kudos to you, real craftsmanship...

How did you form the metal cover, did you use mandril / arbor? I would be very keen to read about your technique for shaping metal.

Thanks. This keyboard went together very easily because, for the first time, I was working on a flat plane because this keyboard isn't tented. I have a manual mill and besides simple straight milling, I used annular cutters to make the screw posts and indexed the arc centers to a rotary table center and milled as I spun the table. See my Planet 6 video below for some of the processes in action. I was able to mill the two aluminum pieces in about six hours, while I probably spent hundreds, shaping P6.


Really like what you did with the wooden keyboard holder/leather bag.

Thanks. I'm happy with how the bag came together; more pictures to come soon. I think I mulled over how I was going to make it more than the keyboard itself. I considered—bending up a hinged aluminum case, actually sewing up a leather bag from scratch, making a 100% wooden case and several other hybrids of the former. Finding a bag that was the right size solved so many issues.


 Thinking back on what you said regarding attracting the opposite sex as a keyboard enthusiast--that thought doesn't bother me a bit. Always a pleasure to see new updates :)
I hope no-one took that as an insult. One thing about certain hobbies and interests is they are obviously enjoyed solely for the enrichment of the enthusiast with no other motives. There's a kind of purity in that. A young buck seeking the affections of a tender doe, would be better off getting the flashy car, a stylish wardrobe, be involved in the current popular cause, and learning interpersonal skills. The beauty in pursuing lesser esteemed interests lay in the fact that we do them because we truly have a passion for them.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 14:52:12 »
kurplop, have you figured out the firmware?
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 18:51:44 »
I'm embarrassed to say, no.  I came down with shingles and it put me out of commission for about three weeks. I'm so backed up with work that I haven't had the free time to get back to it. I'll PM you the shots you requested soon. Thanks for your willingness to help.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 01 September 2017, 03:06:44 »
Thanks for your willingness to help.
Don't mention. I wanna see this board working as much as you do.
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 09 October 2017, 13:14:04 »
Nice tap wrench :)

Offline ideus

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 09 October 2017, 14:26:12 »
"Easy construction" really?


Kudos on the results you achieved; but, do not think that its built was easy. Or, in any case, easy related with your other more complex projects, but not for the average Joe.

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 09 October 2017, 14:35:12 »
"Easy construction" really?


Kudos on the results you achieved; but, do not think that its built was easy. Or, in any case, easy related with your other more complex projects, but not for the average Joe.
In case you haven't noticed, it's kurplop. He's like Tenser, Bigby, Melf, Mordenkainen and several other wizards mixed together.
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline Tiramisuu

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 09 October 2017, 15:22:51 »
Which mill are you using to do your work?   I have started down the path of saving for a desktop CNC and playing with 360 Fusion.  A bit overkill for keyboard cases but addictive nonetheless.     The idea of using a manual mill removes a lot of challenges but most of the affordable minimills I have found are  too small and the ones that are large enough end up being as much or more than building a 750mm^2 openbuilds c-beam CNC router and I am finding the things you can do with 360Fusion exciting.

Am I fooling myself when I am thinking that a 900W or 1.5KW spindles run gently on a desktop CNC Router could do an adequate job on keyboard cases and also allow me to build up to more complex pieces?

Keyboard error F1 to continue.

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Offline ideus

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 09 October 2017, 16:00:07 »
"Easy construction" really?


Kudos on the results you achieved; but, do not think that its built was easy. Or, in any case, easy related with your other more complex projects, but not for the average Joe.
In case you haven't noticed, it's kurplop. He's like Tenser, Bigby, Melf, Mordenkainen and several other wizards mixed together.

That's my point exactly: It is a simple project for someone with the machines, skills, tools, time and resources. Meaningless term for most mere mortals.
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 October 2017, 16:03:30 by ideus »

Offline tufty

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 10 October 2017, 13:18:18 »
Which mill are you using to do your work?
IIRC, Kurplop is using a manual mill with DRO.

If you have space, and especially if you have 3 phase power, you can often pick up a second hand mill with a metric shedload of tooling for far less than you'd think.  You learn far more with manual tools than you'll ever learn with a CNC setup, and the skills you learn are directly applicable to CNC machining.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 05:55:20 »
Nice tap wrench :)

Starrett envy?

Which mill are you using to do your work?
IIRC, Kurplop is using a manual mill with DRO.

If you have space, and especially if you have 3 phase power, you can often pick up a second hand mill with a metric shedload of tooling for far less than you'd think.  You learn far more with manual tools than you'll ever learn with a CNC setup, and the skills you learn are directly applicable to CNC machining.

Tufty, thanks for covering for me in my absence. I couldn't have said it better myself. Good to see your still around. I really appreciated your expertise in the past.

Which mill are you using to do your work?   I have started down the path of saving for a desktop CNC and playing with 360 Fusion.  A bit overkill for keyboard cases but addictive nonetheless.     The idea of using a manual mill removes a lot of challenges but most of the affordable minimills I have found are  too small and the ones that are large enough end up being as much or more than building a 750mm^2 openbuilds c-beam CNC router and I am finding the things you can do with 360Fusion exciting.

Am I fooling myself when I am thinking that a 900W or 1.5KW spindles run gently on a desktop CNC Router could do an adequate job on keyboard cases and also allow me to build up to more complex pieces?



Learning to use any mill will have its challenges. Because of my background working with construction and woodworking tools, learning to use a manual mill made sense to me. It also seemed more versatile if I had to alter parts. There are several things that would be easier on a cnc mill. Even on this project, setting up for the radiuses had the potential for disaster because of the many steps involved in set up and the number of calc's involved (at least for an amateur).I paid about $2800 for my used mill plus another $600 for a DRO. I bought it from a dealer. Sometimes owners will sell them for much less. The mill has an old Kent body with a fairly new Acra head. It is 3 phase 3HP with speeds ranging from about 100 to 4500rpm.
Certainly not a desktop unit. This one looks more at home in the shop than in the office.
179996-0


If you have the time and money, learning a little machining, manual or CNC, is fun and adds to your repertoire of skills. Having only a manual mill, I'm not best to advise you on a desktop CNC mill but I think I can safely say that although power equals speed, many of the cuts you will make on a keyboard will use very small end mills and power won't be an issue. Frame rigidity is probably more important. 900 watts translates to around 1.5 HP  which should be plenty for your needs. I sometimes ponder the absurdity of having a 2000 pound beast spinning an end mill that isn't much bigger than one of my wife's sewing needles!

If you buy a mill, just keep in mind, the costs don't end there. Bits, clamps, measuring tools, lubricants, jigs, mill vises, rotary tables, and who knows what else, will test your bank account. A CNC mill may not require as many accessories but you've been warned!!

"Easy construction" really?


Kudos on the results you achieved; but, do not think that its built was easy. Or, in any case, easy related with your other more complex projects, but not for the average Joe.
In case you haven't noticed, it's kurplop. He's like Tenser, Bigby, Melf, Mordenkainen and several other wizards mixed together.

You're right. When I said simple I was comparing it to my last projects. Adding the tenting and compound curves increase the set up and head scratching by a factor of about 100. So much of what seems difficult is based on our backgrounds. I was raised in a time when shop classes were a regular part of Jr High and High School. I also had a father who would try to fix anything rather than call a repairman. Today young people have been exposed to digital technology since birth and that seems natural to them. Ducks quack and cows moo.

Thanks everyone for reviving this thread. No, I haven't got The Gimp working yet. Urgent personal and business demands have distracted me. I decided I needed to ignore it for a while until I get caught up. I'm currently in the middle of a kitchen remodel and have a shop full of half finished cabinets that I need to give my full creative attention to.

Offline ideus

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 07:23:48 »
As your motto says: "The hero we don't deserve".

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 08:37:17 »
You can thank Ming for that title.

Offline ideus

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 10:38:00 »
You can thank Ming for that title.

It sounds meaningful, the craftsmanship of your projects, makes you an outlier between us, that we are keyboard users, more than makers.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 11:07:33 »
It had more to do with a GH contribution I made several years ago but I appreciate your version.

Online TalkingTree

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 11 October 2017, 14:06:03 »
It had more to do with a GH contribution I made several years ago
Assuming it was a financial contribution and considering that the website clearly needs money to run, I can see where Ming's comment comes from, but to us me front-end users your greatest contribution is sharing your outstanding builds.
My projects: Skipad, Toad.

Offline tufty

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 14:03:10 »
I sometimes ponder the absurdity of having a 2000 pound beast spinning an end mill that isn't much bigger than one of my wife's sewing needles!

Power isn't everything.  A cheap CNC benchtop machine is only as good as its worst part, and that's the ****ty aluminium extrusions the thing's made from.  With CNC, you don't have your hands on the wheels, you can't feel when it's struggling, when you're working against the machine.  When that starts happening (blunt cutters & overambitious cuts spring to mind as good candidates) you're going to ruin your piece, tooling, and maybe even machine.  You might be spinning tiny cutters in your 2 tonne behemoth, but you're doing so in a largely chatter and vibration free environment.  Doing the same cuts with a flippy floppy piece of chinesium is likely to result in a "truncated" cutter, not to mention high velocity shards of tungsten carbide.  I'd go so far as to say that any benchtop CNC machine you buy that isn't costing you well over 10K is probably a waste of money for anything harder than aluminium, and it's gonna have a hard time even with alu if you want to do anything serious.  It ain't gonna have the mass or rigidity needed for anything more.

Here's a *super* cheap mill being tested but an aluminium extrusion gantry type machine isn't going to be much better :

Money far better spent on a second hand manual machine, IMO.  But what do I know?  I'm just a luddite.  Hell, my lathe doesn't even cut threads.

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #45 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 14:11:18 »
It had more to do with a GH contribution I made several years ago
Assuming it was a financial contribution and considering that the website clearly needs money to run, I can see where Ming's comment comes from, but to us me front-end users your greatest contribution is sharing your outstanding builds.
Thanks for saying that. It means a lot to me that I have been a help in the community. I’ve seen a quite a few generous people here who have offered their skills to others for nothing more than the joy of helping. Geekhack may not be the biggest or most technically sophisticated keyboard site but it is certainly the most friendly and welcoming.

I think we have a great mix of craftsmen, artists, electronics and coding people, as well as users, enthusiasts, and fanatics. As I near the end of my search for a better input device, I keep coming back here because of the people.

Offline Trente

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 19:28:53 »
Both this Gimp and the planet 6 looks unbelievably amazing, really impressed by the craftsmanship

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #47 on: Sat, 14 October 2017, 05:11:39 »
Tufty, I'd seen that video a few months ago and cringed when I saw that it the major parts were made out of such a brittle plastic. I think that it's important to know what you intend to do with such a tool before you buy. Light engraving and milling in wood may be well accomplished with such a product (but maybe not). I suspect that when they skimp on materials they probably also pay little attention to quality control, backlash, and tolerances; three things even more important with the machining of small parts with finer details. Nevertheless, it is all about the users needs.

You make an important point about the feedback that you get with a manual machine. With experience, you can feel how much you can push feed rate and can detect when a dull or clogged bit needs to be addressed. On the other hand, a good knowledge of appropriate feed/speed rates combined with a machine that can automatically regulate them, can theoretically maintain better consistency. Being a fellow luddite, I just prefer the hands on approach. It makes me feel like I'm actually making the part instead of just ordering it.

Both this Gimp and the planet 6 looks unbelievably amazing, really impressed by the craftsmanship

Thanks for saying that. I have no regrets spending so much time and money making my keyboards. In addition to it being a creative outlet, I've learned a quite a bit about keyboards, ergonomics, and machining. I've also learned a little bit about electronics and a tiny bit about programing (at least enough to know that I'll leave that to others).

Spoiler alert!!!

After finishing Planet 6, I flashed the firmware and found a few glitches in it. I'm guessing just a short or open circuit somewhere. I was so tired of working on it that I set it aside and haven't touched it since. I did the same to the Gimp a month ago and fear the same apathy has set in.
Part of the reason for the disinterest is that I've been doing so little CAD work lately, I haven't had the need for the features I built into P6. More than that, I still love the AlumaPlop for most of my desktop needs and, without the CAD demands, P6 was just forgotten. A few days ago, I was playing around with it and realized that I had forgotten how much I liked it. Everything about it: the feel, the location of all the buttons around the ball and especially the sound and action of the switches.

The Gimp is a different story. I think it just has a simple short in the system that I just don't have the emotional energy to track down right now. I'm actually excited to start using it but can't work up the motivation to crack it open to fix it. I'm in the middle of a big job and have several personal obligations that have to take precedence over my obsessions.

There. My confession is complete. I'm not the hero you don't deserve. I'm a fraud. I should be pelted with pad printed keycaps, wrapped in a membrane, and force fed rubber domes until I go kurplop.   :) :-[ :( ;D

 

Online metalliqaz

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #48 on: Sun, 22 October 2017, 18:50:59 »
I have no regrets spending so much time and money making my keyboards. In addition to it being a creative outlet, I've learned a quite a bit about keyboards, ergonomics, and machining. I've also learned a little bit about electronics and a tiny bit about programing (at least enough to know that I'll leave that to others).

Man, this is so much like me that I could have been the one that said it. Except that I could code all day and it's the machining that confounds me.  ;)

Offline kurplop

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Re: The Simple Gimp-A mini ergo keyboard
« Reply #49 on: Sun, 22 October 2017, 19:10:30 »
I have no regrets spending so much time and money making my keyboards. In addition to it being a creative outlet, I've learned a quite a bit about keyboards, ergonomics, and machining. I've also learned a little bit about electronics and a tiny bit about programing (at least enough to know that I'll leave that to others).

Man, this is so much like me that I could have been the one that said it. Except that I could code all day and it's the machining that confounds me.  ;)


Hah! I guess every Yin has its Yang. Much respect to you for all you've contributed to the community.