Author Topic: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (Final Prototype + TW Hinoki Edition Pics)  (Read 13056 times)

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Offline roffelsaur

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[Thermally Modified Acacia Wood Edition]


[Taiwanese Hinoki Epoxy Edition, fully finished. Requires some minor adjustments]


Discord Link
IC Form

0.   Table of Contents
1.   Short Intro
2.   Why Wood?
3.   Why Project gwŷdd?
4.   Project Journey So Far
5.   Material Talk
6.   Bonus Material Config
7.   Who Will Enjoy This Board?
8.   Plate Options
9.   Specifications
10.   Layout Support
11.   Gallery
12.   What’s Included?
13.   Pricing
14.   Credits and Special Thanks
15.   Current Progress (Updates)
16.   Changelog


TL;DR For Simon
Wood is an obnoxiously difficult material to make a non-tray mount keyboard out of. It was a very silly idea but I hope I've managed to overcome the material limits and machining challenges to share with everyone this passion project of mine. Grown, designed and machined in Taiwan, the gwŷdd65 is a gasket mount wooden keyboard that represents 14 months of development (so far) and a board that I hope many other wood-lovers and keyboard hobbyists around the world will enjoy <3


1. Short Intro
Hi everyone! I’ve been a long-time enjoyer of mechanical keyboards but only really dove into custom keyboards roughly when the QK65 arrived on the scene. Since then, I’ve truly enjoyed my time as a part of the community, witnessing beautiful projects come to life as well as interacting with fellow keeb-enjoyers (though mainly just lurking on geekhack). I’ve lived and worked in a couple of countries around the world but currently reside in Taiwan :)

I’d also like to take the opportunity to mention a good friend, Masje, who was incredibly instrumental in the progression of this project. He got involved pretty early on in the project while I was still in the exploratory and feasibility stage, providing a fantastic source of information, comradery and just generally being a great guy to have discussions with and bounce ideas off of. The design of the board was also largely handled by him after I received guidance from the materials side of things. I couldn’t have asked for a better collaborator for this project :D

2. Why Wood?
More
At the end of 2021 my family and I decided to move out of a major city to live in a more rural town in Taiwan. The proximity to nature – in particular the surrounding forests – in combination with the storied legacy of woodworking in the small town we now reside in and lastly the rise of woodworking channels on YouTube, inspired me to bring more wooden products into my life. For me, a well-machined metal product conveys a sense of advanced, high-precision technology, whereas a well-made wooden product conveys a sense of quality and timelessness.


3. Why Project gwŷdd?
More
I wanted to find some ready-made wooden keyboards that would fulfil my desire to have that earthy feel and allow me to feel closer to nature. Sadly, most of the wooden boards I found didn’t hit the mark for me. Most of the existing wooden keyboards were tray-mount, which provided a typing feel and experience that was too stiff for me (side note – later on in the project I totally understood why most mass-produced wooden boards are tray mount, it’s just way easier to machine and more stable than other mounting methods).

During my search, I came across a major issue that wooden keyboards seemed to face, which was the eventual warping, boating and twisting that would in some cases inevitably compromise the usability of the board.

With these factors in mind, I sought to make a wooden keyboard for myself that would –
1)   Feel great to type on
2)   Find some way to overcome the inherent “playful nature” of wood
3)   Have fantastic acoustic qualities

In addition to these objectives, I wanted to be able to share such a creation with hobby enthusiasts and enjoyers around the world, so some factor of production at scale was necessary. This almost instantly ruled out making the board by hand, as the high cost of labour and time meant that a hand-made board could never really be done at scale to meet realistic delivery timelines. If this project makes it to GB, I expect shipping to occur in 3 months or less, unless there's some delay with the logistics of non-case components. That is to say, nailing production down and resolving any issues encountered has always been a primary focus of this project. It's easy to make a prototype but hard to make that scale into production.


4. Project Journey So Far
More
This project is approximately 14 months in the works now. It has been an incredibly rewarding, fulfilling and challenging experience so far. I essentially started off knowing almost nothing about woodworking, forestry or the relevant ecosystems. I was quite new to the hobby then too, so I had to read up and learn a lot about keyboard design choices and their outcomes. Thankfully, I’ve had previous experience in exploring fields which are unknown to me, so I was able to eventually find the right people who could help and educate me on the wood material side of things. The same went for the keyboard side of things, with many of the OGs in the hobby being very willing to share their experience and knowledge with me. For that, I am eternally grateful and thank you all for these informative sessions and input, you know who you are :)

The journey so far has not been smooth sailing and without hiccups, of course. The initial challenge was approaching woodworking establishments and trying to ask them for help on something like this, because most of them knew next to nothing about custom mechanical keyboards and the requirements. The average age of the business owners being about 50-60 years old didn’t really help either. Quite a few of them just looked at me with bewildered eyes: “you wanna make that thing *points at keyboard*, out of wood???”

Getting a manufacturer that was able to machine the wood was another struggle and has accounted for most of the time spent on the project since February 2023. It’s not easy finding a manufacturer that’s willing to entertain you for a low MoQ project and also try something completely new. Due to the gasket mount requirement, we were in fact pushing some boundaries in terms of material tolerance and design choices as neither the wood supplier or CNC workshops were sure that it was even possible. Through iterative prototyping and design refinements, though, we were finally able to get to where we are today.


5. Material Talk
More
I had originally wanted to use Taiwanese Hinoki, a wood that holds a legendary status in Taiwan as being one of our national treasures. However, after carefully considering many aspects including sustainability, legitimate sourcing of the wood, variance in wood quality and overall stability and performance as a keyboard, I ultimately had to pivot to a more stable material, Thermally Modified Acacia Confusa, otherwise known as Formosa Acacia or Formosan Koa.

Acacia Confusa has an appearance similar to the coveted Hawaiian Koa and there are rumours that some of the trees in the eastern parts of Taiwan (around Taitung) are actually long-lost relatives of the Hawaiian Koa, however these claims haven’t been proven yet and simply make for a good story. In any case, expect to see some great wood grain and chatoyance, where the wood has below-surface gem-like reflective qualities that change depending on the angle of the light striking it.

There are many resources detailing what the Thermal Modification process is, but in a nutshell the wood is treated with heat (180C and above) in a vacuumed chamber to remove moisture and carbohydrates (residual sugars) from the wood. This also collapses some of the cell structures and thus makes the wood more dense, shrinking the wood by approximately 10%. Uneven moisture in the wood is what contributes to the majority of the warping, boating and “playful nature” of wood. It is something that most woodworkers have to find ways to mitigate if they want to craft a wooden product that stands the test of time. In addition to this, carbohydrates left over in the wood are what attracts living organisms, such as fungi, bacteria and insects. Thermally Modified Wood overcomes both these issues by removing the moisture and carbohydrates.

So what does this mean for our keyboard? We should expect way less movement in the wood after the board has been produced, increased resilience against temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as any wood-consuming organisms. There are some scientific studies and data available on this over here if you like to read that sort of thing.


6. Bonus Material Config


More
I’ll be doing a very small run of epoxy + Taiwanese Hinoki material cases, between 5-10 units. The costs (both monetary and time-wise) to produce just the epoxy + wood material are exorbitant and so I do not foresee these ever being feasible for a large-scale run.

This particular material choice fulfils my original goal of using Taiwanese Hinoki, however it is reinforced by the strength of epoxy. It also uses pieces of wood that by themselves could no longer be utilised for larger furniture or products, so it is a fantastic way to make use of wood that would otherwise have been discarded.

This version’s PCB will also have some bottom-facing LEDs that could be utilised to create some ambience or lighting effects. We’ll have an idea of how good this looks once we receive our prototypes for this version.


7. Who Will Enjoy This Board?
More
I will, obviously, but I imagine anyone else who has a love for string instruments or wooden products for their warm to the touch and earthy qualities will appreciate this board. We’re still exploring the acoustic qualities of the board but we’re hoping for a warmer tone when compared to metallic boards.


8. Plate Options


More
One of the goals of the project was to achieve a pleasant bouncy typing experience with a wooden board, so we’ve opted for a leaf spring plate to work together with the gasket mount. The plate material for this will be FR4.

For those who prefer a firmer typing experience and a different sound profile, we’ll have a PC/POM/ALU (tbd) version, which may have a thickness of up to 3mm, but this requires further testing before we settle on the final choice for the second configuration option.


9. Specifications
-   Case Angle: 9
-   Material: Thermally Modified Acacia Confusa
-   Mount type: gasket strip.
-   Weight: Approx. 510g unbuilt, 875g built, wrist rest 336g
-   Effective Front Height: 22.5mm
-   Screws: 8x M3 (4x 30mm, 4x 14mm), 2x M2 (5mm)
-   PCB configs: Soldered (6.25u + 7u, ANSI + ISO), Hotswap (6.25u, ANSI)
-   Feet: 8x Geonworks W1-AT Silicone Feet (black)
-   Customised Hard Carrying Case that fits the keyboard and wrist rest will be included.

10. Layout Support


(Note, this is for solder only. Hotswap will only have one configuration available, which is ANSI + 6.25u bottom row and stepped capslock)

11. Gallery

Renders
More



Physical Prototypes (v4.2) Taiwanese Hinoki Epoxy Edition, raw and requires finishing
More







Physical Prototypes (v4.1) and PCB (v2.0)
More








I don't have an exploded layout render :( this is the closest you'll get: Please don't newspaper me Simon


Previous Prototypes (v4.0)
More






This version most resembles our current progress and was a major development in getting the dimensions of the case down. Here we start seeing a bigger forehead appear and narrower side bezels. The typing angle on this prototype is a meme-worthy 6.9 degrees so the board looks flatter in general with less internal cavity space. I personally like steeper boards so we changed this to 9 degrees for the next prototype.



Previous Prototypes (v3.1)
More


We initially messed around with some ideas of "sound vents/ports" at the rear of the case to allow for sound to be projected out of the board. This type of acoustic adventure would require a lot more work to make feasible so we had to forego it for the scope of this project. In future? I imagine the shape and positioning of the sound vents could, in theory, make some sort of acoustic difference. Perhaps shaping the cavity to build resonance like how musical instruments do, could be a thing? I'd love to just get a sound map of the vibrations inside the case to understand more about this.

The dorky-looking proportions are due to the initial guidance provided by the woodworkers (5cm additional bezels on the left and right sides to counteract potential warping and also edge grain weakness).


Previous Prototypes (v2.x)
(to be uploaded later)

12. What's Included?
I wanted to make sure that the final package included everything that I, as a consumer, would want in it. It was fairly challenging assembling all the components that I wanted as a first-time maker but I eventually found my way. Here it is:

-   Keyboard case (bottom base + top frame)
-   Wrist rest
-   M3 and M2 screws required for assembly + some additional (in case you lose any)
-   PCB - 1.6mm thickness, QMK/VIAL compatible. Default is solder for maximum layout support, hotswap requires add-on purchase.
-   USB-C daughterboard
-   Plate (choice of FR4 leafspring OR one of [PC/POM/ALU] to be confirmed. Add-on purchases should be available if you like more than one plate to mess around with)
-   12 adhesive gasket strips (60A or 70A, tbc) for each plate purchased (will probably include some extras)
-   Geonworks W1-AT Silicone Feet (black), again will include some extras
-   30ml Natural Wax Polish (for any future maintenance you’d like to perform on the wood, it's a pretty easy process)
-   EVA Hard Carrying Case, customised to hold not only the case but the wrist rest too.

13. Pricing
$380-$420 MoQ 50, soft cap around 200 units to ensure a realistic delivery timeline (3 months) and also to allow for any post-GB follow-up that may be required.

Taiwanese Hinoki Epoxy version likely to be $650+ due to the greatly increased base cost of the materials involved. 5-10 units, most likely a raffle.

14. Credits and Special Thanks
Masje (collaborator and good friend)
blacksimon (keeb education, feedback, a good keyboard friend (usually))
gok (maker experience, feedback, super nice guy)
baul (maker experience, feedback, the ultimate sweetheart)
corbett (feedback and good dude)
just.hymn (renders and awesome person)

To you, the reader, if you've made it this far: thank you very much! This project has been an obsession of mine for over a year now and I'm so grateful it's reached the stage that it has. If this project interests you in any way, please do consider dropping by and saying hi on the discord server, or filling out the IC Form. Cheers :D

15. Current Progress (Updates)
The prototype photos you see are v4.1. We're moving on to v4.20 :thumb: which we believe should be the final version. This will feature an updated wrist rest slope as the 9 degree slope of the v4.1 was too steep and somewhat uncomfortable to use. Final tweaking and keycaps clearance will also be done in this final iteration.

Blacksimon IC review

16. Changelog

28 Aug: Feedback heard loud and clear. Will be adding split backspace support to the soldered version.
13 Sep: Should be getting our next round of prototypes within the week. The first attempt at the Hinoki Epoxy board went well but sadly experienced some chipping off of epoxy during the screw hole drilling step (RIP $$$). We have one more set of the material to hopefully get it right and establish a proof of concept for that particular material.

Also, updated soldered layout image.

14 Nov: Original wrist rest angle was aesthetically pleasing but fell short functionally. Adjusted wrist rest slope and greatly improved usability. Internal fitment woes have finally been resolved (there goes a few more prototypes T_T) and keycap corner interference issues have been address. Fitment is looking great, prototype looks finalised and ready for production, hooray :D

Discord Link
IC Form


« Last Edit: Sun, 26 November 2023, 12:12:03 by roffelsaur »

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: gwŷdd65 - Wood Gasket Mount with Leaf Spring Plate
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 21 August 2023, 15:10:03 »
Reserved post.

Offline Photekq

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Re: gwŷdd65 - Wood Gasket Mount with Leaf Spring Plate
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 21 August 2023, 15:16:59 »
It looks lovely! I've gotta ask - how did you land on a Welsh name?
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Offline roffelsaur

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Re: gwŷdd65 - Wood Gasket Mount with Leaf Spring Plate
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 21 August 2023, 15:37:53 »
It looks lovely! I've gotta ask - how did you land on a Welsh name?

Thanks! I was looking up the etymology of the word "wood" and the word "gwŷdd" showed up as one of sources: "Old English wudu, from a Germanic word related to Welsh gwŷdd ‘trees’."

P.S. I fixed up the images, I'm sorry if you had to see the mess just now :P
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 August 2023, 06:08:03 by roffelsaur »

Offline DirtyGingy

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Re: gwŷdd65 - Wood Gasket Mount with Leaf Spring Plate
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 21 August 2023, 21:42:23 »
A solid PCB and plate? You have my attention

Offline paulgali

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 02:08:46 »
LETS GOOOO! Really excited to see this after so long in the works

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 04:49:09 »
A solid PCB and plate? You have my attention

Thanks! I must have missed the air plate and per-key flex cut memo xD

LETS GOOOO! Really excited to see this after so long in the works

Thanks baul, you're a source of inspiration to keep at it even when the going gets tough :)

Offline Rhienfo

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 09:45:04 »
What a lovely project. Glad to see different materials for cases being done, especially in different mounting styles that isn't just tray mount which I just realised were the only wood cases made after you said that in the thread. Also the IC is a great read and I don't have to ask for ekh or the weight which saves me time lol. GLWIC

Offline PlayBox

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 10:31:40 »
A solid PCB and plate? You have my attention

Thanks! I must have missed the air plate and per-key flex cut memo xD

LETS GOOOO! Really excited to see this after so long in the works

Thanks baul, you're a source of inspiration to keep at it even when the going gets tough :)
that's good that you didn't add any weird flex cuts to this because they are so stupid

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propably sent from my amazon kindle 10th gen

Offline ToFuMaNiA

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 10:55:30 »
Any typing test?
Interested in the sound of the board

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 11:46:16 »
What a lovely project. Glad to see different materials for cases being done, especially in different mounting styles that isn't just tray mount which I just realised were the only wood cases made after you said that in the thread. Also the IC is a great read and I don't have to ask for ekh or the weight which saves me time lol. GLWIC

Thanks for the kind words! Yep, this project really was borne out of the fact that most wooden keyboards are tray mount. I wanted something bouncy and more importantly, felt consistent across the board. I believe I've achieved that here, but will be verifying results with others later on :)

that's good that you didn't add any weird flex cuts to this because they are so stupid

Preference is a thing but when going for acoustics you really want a PCB without flex cuts. We're hoping the sound tuning portion of the testing goes well. Will report back soon!

Any typing test?
Interested in the sound of the board

Once we receive our (hopefully) final proto in the next 2 or so weeks, we'll be putting it through the paces with different plate configs. For the non leaf spring plate config, we will need to decide on a thickness and also material. At that point we should have some preliminary typing tests to upload here.

Is there any particular sound profile you hope the board will produce? Personally I would love to hear a warm, deep sound coming from the wood, but we'll have to see which configuration can best steer us towards that outcome :)
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 August 2023, 11:49:22 by roffelsaur »

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 14:48:30 »
I'm sure you've thought about this, but just passing info along in case you hadn't. 

I currently own 5 wooden cases.  1 tray mount from a long time ago on KBDFans, 2 tray mounts from a user on reddit, 1 tray mount with resin from FNCTL.co, and 1 prototype of the new o-ring wood and resin (bakeneko style) mount from FNCTL.co

I also had 2 additional tray mount boards from a group buy... I honestly cannot remember the name of the company that ran them.  I believe they were out of Indonesia.

Long story short... they all move over time.  The one from KBDFans took about 4 years to start warping/shrinking.  I can't get most plates in it anymore, but I have an FR4 plate that is pretty slim around the edges that fits.  The ones from the US, on reddit, have not shrunk much, but have both warped and no longer sit flat on a solid surface.  They work okay on a thick desk mat, thought, and that's what I use. The 2 from FNCTL.co have slight curvature already.  I actually had to send the bekeneko style one back to him to have the inner area enlarged because it was rubbing on the edge of the keycaps.  And that wasn't the case when he mailed it to me.  The 2 from Indonesia were a complete lost cause.  They were both fine when they got here.  By week 2, neither of them could even fit a PCB.  The inner routed area had shrunk by at least 3mm   

So, yes, you'll probably want to make sure the wood is very well dried and sealed.  But just shipping it to an area with different humidity is going to have consequences.  I am not a professinaol woodworker, so I don't know how you get around that.

Just some things to consider. I love wood cases, but I don't know how to make one that is lasting
« Last Edit: Tue, 22 August 2023, 14:52:17 by pixelpusher »

Offline 51p50x

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 22 August 2023, 17:37:04 »
Looks really good, I've always liked the wood appearance in a keyboard case but I haven't tried any. GLWIC and GL with your project.

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 23 August 2023, 01:15:06 »
I'm sure you've thought about this, but just passing info along in case you hadn't. 

I currently own 5 wooden cases.  1 tray mount from a long time ago on KBDFans, 2 tray mounts from a user on reddit, 1 tray mount with resin from FNCTL.co, and 1 prototype of the new o-ring wood and resin (bakeneko style) mount from FNCTL.co

I also had 2 additional tray mount boards from a group buy... I honestly cannot remember the name of the company that ran them.  I believe they were out of Indonesia.

Long story short... they all move over time.  The one from KBDFans took about 4 years to start warping/shrinking.  I can't get most plates in it anymore, but I have an FR4 plate that is pretty slim around the edges that fits.  The ones from the US, on reddit, have not shrunk much, but have both warped and no longer sit flat on a solid surface.  They work okay on a thick desk mat, thought, and that's what I use. The 2 from FNCTL.co have slight curvature already.  I actually had to send the bekeneko style one back to him to have the inner area enlarged because it was rubbing on the edge of the keycaps.  And that wasn't the case when he mailed it to me.  The 2 from Indonesia were a complete lost cause.  They were both fine when they got here.  By week 2, neither of them could even fit a PCB.  The inner routed area had shrunk by at least 3mm   

So, yes, you'll probably want to make sure the wood is very well dried and sealed.  But just shipping it to an area with different humidity is going to have consequences.  I am not a professinaol woodworker, so I don't know how you get around that.

Just some things to consider. I love wood cases, but I don't know how to make one that is lasting

Hello there, thanks for sharing your experience with wooden keyboards and valid concerns (which I totally agree with)! What you stated is the sort of experience I've read online about wooden keyboards in general, but you seem to have it pretty bad, presumably (if your location is still there) because Tennessee has humid, subtropical weather?

In any case, movement in wood is something that every woodworker I've spoken to over the last year or so has told me about. It's essentially the imbalance of water content within the wood and outside of the wood. The larger the delta, the more movement you're gonna be seeing, when the water content moves out or into the wood. This is one of the major reasons I opted for a thermally-modified material in the end, as described in the IC under "Material Talk". The process was heavily focused by Finland-funded research in the 1990's to increase the durability and usability of their many soft woods for outdoor usage. That is to say, the thermal modification process helps make soft, bendy wood into hard, sturdy material that can withstand temperature and humidity fluctuations (think snow + melt in the winter versus warm summer sun for their outdoor patio or outdoor paneling usage).

There is of course a cost to this, as does every interaction in the universe. The wood shrinks by about 10%, losing volume, and is generally more brittle than its original counterpart, though this is only a pain in the ass when machining or cutting, not so much an issue for the end user.

While I think that thermal modification can't entirely eliminate movement in wood (scientifically speaking), it should alleviate and drastically reduce the amount of movement that can happen. This is as mentioned previously due to the removal of moisture and carbohydrates from the wood, in addition to the collapsing of certain cellular structures within the wood, which reduce its tendency to want to absorb more moisture.

It's super humid where I stay here in Taiwan (it's very humid in all of Taiwan generally speaking), so I think it's a great test bed for the stability of thermally modified wood. That said, the earliest prototype I have with this material is only about 6 months old, which means I sadly don't have data that extends into the years right now xD

I hope that in the coming rounds of testing/reviews I can send these to different parts of the world and see if crazy temperature/humidity swings affect the wood. If it doesn't, then we should hopefully be good for the majority of use cases!

Hope that helps provide some insight into my choice of the material and confidence (thus far) in its performance :)

Looks really good, I've always liked the wood appearance in a keyboard case but I haven't tried any. GLWIC and GL with your project.

Thank you very much, hopefully this is a board you'll get to try out one day too! Cheers :D
« Last Edit: Wed, 23 August 2023, 01:20:13 by roffelsaur »

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 23 August 2023, 07:57:00 »
Yes, I am in Tennessee which is very hot with high humidity.

I like your project and I wish you the best of luck moving forward. 

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 24 August 2023, 11:40:49 »
Yes, I am in Tennessee which is very hot with high humidity.

I like your project and I wish you the best of luck moving forward.

Thank you! I hope to report back with positive results and that you may experience one of these boards at some point in the future :)

Cheers

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 26 August 2023, 06:11:00 »
Updated initial post with some additional comments, as well as some images of previous prototypes v4.0 and v3.1

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 27 August 2023, 23:34:40 »
Feedback heard loud and clear. Will be adding split backspace support to the soldered version!

Offline Vescovo Alessio

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 28 August 2023, 07:46:41 »
I was surprised to read that no one of the seven wooden cases bought by Pixelpusher survived, and that they lasted from two weeks to a maximum of 4 years… Because I had publicly hypothesized a duration of 5 to 10 years but apparently I was optimistic!

Basically you should understand that it's time to stop with the classic American approach of: «There must be a way to bend Nature to my will» (= I do the case in thermo-treated wood) and also: «We have to do it by spending as little as possible so I can buy many and many keyboard!». Well, such keyboards as I imagined are doomed to self-destruct and will soon disappear from human history. Instead, Stradivari's violins handmade in Italy more than 300 years ago are still perfect today (and have a value up to 20 million euros). Wood is a living material, you can do what you want but only if it allows. I asked myself before to construct my keyboard: «How is the way to get my work strong to survive the fury of the centuries?». I carefully observed many historical wooden made things and then decided to use the construction technique of the Olivetti typewriters table, which are still perfect after a hundred years. But I understand that the other people who make wooden keyboards today haven't asked this question yet...

Thermo-treated wood is a rather recent technology developed mainly by companies in northern Europe to make their coniferous woods more durable for outdoor use or in a humid environment such as a Steam Room, a swimming pool, etc. It makes me laugh to read on the websites of the thermowood producer that it is a thousand-year history product, just because the Vikings burned wood poles superficially before putting them into the fields. My grandfather does it too: it's a completely different process. So like all materials and processes with less than 100 years of history behind them, you have to be very careful about their usage attitude. Personally I don't think heat-treated wood could be the definitive solution that will allow this mechanical keyboard to survive over the centuries, but I hope it will give it at least those 5-10 years lifetime in order you are be able to use it satisfactorily before throwing it away or discarding because bended or cracked.
« Last Edit: Mon, 28 August 2023, 12:26:38 by Vescovo Alessio »
My mechanical keyboard project topic: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=121064.0

Offline Tye

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 30 August 2023, 15:40:52 »
This looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see it up-close some day.
It's been fun watching your design evolve from a distance. You're in the final stretch! I'm so happy to see this happening.
« Last Edit: Wed, 30 August 2023, 15:43:39 by Tye »

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 30 August 2023, 18:24:00 »
Lol i wish this wasn't a 65
Thanks for making this , I was denied to make keyboards in wood because designs is too curved and will warp, your design is much better and I am happy with your progress
treeleaf64: https://discord.gg/rbUjtsRG6P

This is the cat and pat!!!!!!!!

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 31 August 2023, 02:52:46 »
Lol i wish this wasn't a 65
Thanks for making this , I was denied to make keyboards in wood because designs is too curved and will warp, your design is much better and I am happy with your progress


Thank you! What's your preferred layout, would a TKL interest you? :P

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 31 August 2023, 05:14:14 »
This looks gorgeous! I can't wait to see it up-close some day.
It's been fun watching your design evolve from a distance. You're in the final stretch! I'm so happy to see this happening.

Thanks for the kind words Tye! I'm sure it won't be too much longer :)

Offline treeleaf64

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 31 August 2023, 09:07:46 »
Lol i wish this wasn't a 65
Thanks for making this , I was denied to make keyboards in wood because designs is too curved and will warp, your design is much better and I am happy with your progress


Thank you! What's your preferred layout, would a TKL interest you? :p

Yes , please Contact and Rontact the treeleaf on discord , @flowerpetal32
treeleaf64: https://discord.gg/rbUjtsRG6P

This is the cat and pat!!!!!!!!

Offline ELE.WORKS

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 31 August 2023, 09:32:28 »

Will the wood split if it gets too wet

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 31 August 2023, 10:43:26 »

Yes , please Contact and Rontact the treeleaf on discord , @flowerpetal32

Sure thing, I'll probably be posting a new IC when the time comes though, so hopefully you'll see it again then :)


Will the wood split if it gets too wet

Wood shouldn't be splitting when it gets too wet, it's usually when it's too dry that it will split. Wet wood would swell and bulge due to the intake of water.

Thankfully, our thermally modified material has very poor water absorption, or in other words very resistant to humidity fluctuations in the surrounding air, so we shouldn't be seeing much movement of the wood especially after the finishing has been applied. It's very humid here in Taiwan and we haven't seen the wood change much after exposure (I've been bringing it around to different locations so that it is exposed to both high humidity outside as well as controlled humidity inside), so it looks promising.

Hope that helps shed some light on the matter! Feel free to join the discord if you'd like to have more wood talk ;)

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 - Can a Wood Keyboard Go Hard?
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 13 September 2023, 14:46:43 »
13 Sep: Should be getting our next round of prototypes within the week. The first attempt at the Hinoki Epoxy board went well but sadly experienced some chipping off of epoxy during the screw hole drilling step (RIP $$$). We have one more set of the material to hopefully get it right and establish a proof of concept for that particular material.

Also, updated soldered layout image.

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (TW Hinoki Epoxy Edition Update)
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 22 September 2023, 04:18:30 »
Adding some photos of the raw, unfinished Taiwanese Hinoki Epoxy Edition. This needs to get sanded to an even higher grit and then have some finishing applied then polished. Some underglow LEDs on the PCB should help the build come to life :)

Physical Prototypes (v4.2) Taiwanese Hinoki Epoxy Edition, raw and requires finishing





Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (TW Hinoki Epoxy Edition Update)
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 24 September 2023, 14:46:26 »
That looks great  :thumb:

Offline Space_Case88

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (TW Hinoki Epoxy Edition Update)
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 06 November 2023, 13:50:06 »
really hope that this project comes through. I'm super interested.

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (TW Hinoki Epoxy Edition Update)
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 08 November 2023, 11:01:41 »
really hope that this project comes through. I'm super interested.

Typing on the new prototype, will have more to share very soon :)

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (TW Hinoki Epoxy Edition Update)
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 14 November 2023, 08:56:15 »
Final Prototype Photos:







Laser engraving needs some positional adjustment. The internal one (not shown) needs to be finalised as well, will share more pics once that's been done :)

Offline roffelsaur

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (Final Prototype + TW Hinoki Edition Pics)
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 26 November 2023, 11:00:11 »
Here's the TW Hinoki Epoxy edition, fully finished in all its glory :D

This is still a prototype so the logo placement and size will need some further adjustments. The final version will also have the channels underneath the wrist removed, so it should be one smooth surface below. Hope y'all like what you see :)




« Last Edit: Sun, 26 November 2023, 11:03:19 by roffelsaur »

Offline PrizeOcelot5911

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Re: [IC] gwŷdd65 Wooden Keyboard (Final Prototype + TW Hinoki Edition Pics)
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 27 November 2023, 03:33:45 »
This is the first time I have seen the upper and lower covers of a keyboard made of wood. Although I don't think it looks very good, it is definitely creative, especially since the wood has textures such as growth rings. :cool: