Author Topic: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches  (Read 12531 times)

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Offline lutchbu

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[IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 18:48:53 »
Hi geekhack!
Two weeks ago I posted on reddit about a little piece of brass I machined to fix the old stemmed BOX switches I have. I also made a v2 out of steel.

Reddit post v1: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/9p2ay5/i_present_to_you_the_stemshaver/
Reddit post v2: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/9p97bd/stemshaver_v2_adventures_in_metal/
Imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/zgmJw6z

This got some attention and lots of people told me they'd be interested in buying one, so here we are...

IC Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdqCEiw2psQEP_6m0DztjzyczzvGgwjO_JBK3t7tdOsohNagw/viewform

If there are any questions, feel free to get in touch but it's the first time I'm doing something like this, so please be gentle. ;)


frequently asked questions


Price
Material costs are low. I don't know for sure but probably under 0.5 USD. The expensive part is my time and the machining. It took me about an hour to make the first one.
To explain my current manufacturing steps a bit:
  • cutting stock to length
  • milling the slots
  • grinding the bevels and deburring
  • fine tuning the distance between the cutting edges to 1.25mm by hand sanding the inside faces of the tool The new version does not require this anymore.


Shipping
I'm in the EU and I plan to ship worldwide if we get that far. The tool is small, this should keep the shipping costs fairly low. Current estimate is 8-10 USD tracked and insured up to ~40 USD. No promises though.

Durability
It turns out there are lots of you with several hundred switches they'd like to fix. This rises the reasonable question if the tool will hold up/stay sharp for that many switches, especially the brass version.
I don't think the sharpness will be a problem. Even if the shaver blunts it could easily be resharpened with some fine grit sandpaper and a flat surface. However, I am a bit concerned about the cutting edges bending apart. While the tool wouldn't become unusable, it would become less effective, requiring multiple applications per stem or application at an angle, which in turn would require more care by the user. The new version should not have this problem.
BUT, to be honest I don't know and this is all speculation on my part.

How to use it
Ideally, you push it on the stem in the right orientation, pull it off and you're done. I would recommend testing the fit every few switches and adjusting the tool or your technique accordingly to produce the desired tightness.

Short video of me using the tool:


UPDATE 2


New version:

In this version the sides of the x-axis are closed. This should prevent the prongs from deforming but is a bit more difficult to machine.

I also made prototypes of the regular and deluxe version.
Regular:


Deluxe:


more pictures here: https://imgur.com/a/wnLvcYB

The next step is to send a few stemshavers out for testing.




Changelog:
2018-11-01: added FAQ
2018-11-11: added Update 2, updated FAQ
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 November 2018, 19:44:09 by lutchbu »

Online cijanzen

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 18:49:36 »
Want one!


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Online LightningXI

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 18:58:04 »
I'd be interested as well. Gotta make use of allll of these switches I have lying around in the corner of shame.

Online pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 19:21:34 »
About 1000 switches that need fixing.  I’d take one or two
:)

Offline ReverbSlush

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 19:26:58 »
IN.  I need to fix my switches.  stuck using PBT on a super nice board right now.

Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 19:29:59 »
I'm interested, but I have questions before filling out the form.

1. Can you do a render of sorts of your deluxe tool idea? It can be potato, I'm just having trouble visualizing what you mean.

2. About how long does it take you to mill one, what's the likelihood of mistakes and do-overs, and what is the per-tool metal cost? I want to know a little more before suggesting a price.

3. I have around 700 of the first-gen box switches to shave. Do you think brass would stay sharp through that many?

Thanks for running this! It'll be a life saver.

Offline abrahamstechnology

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 20:55:12 »
Interested as heck!!!!

Offline Starius

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 21:07:58 »
I'm definitely interested as well.
I have a lot of unused Box switches stocked up. 
I had been considering trying to sell them, but if this tool works - I would rather try this first rather than completely offloading my stock. 

Online euphxenos

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 21:50:19 »
I'm interested.  I don't think we know enough about your time and costs to be able to suggest a price for you.

Offline ExuDeCandomble

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 21:52:08 »
Registering my interest in this thing!

Online audax989

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 21:56:55 »
IC filled out. would love to have my SA on Navies again.

Offline donutcat

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 23:23:02 »
If you're looking for people to do some early testing for feedback, I've got about 700 Jades to test on.

Offline Mcnos

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 31 October 2018, 23:37:15 »
Interested. Even though I'm not that into box anymore. There's not much that's unique
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Offline sevenseacat

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 00:55:52 »
Interested. Even though I'm not that into box anymore. There's not much that's unique

If you like clicky switches, there isn't much to compare them with...

Offline Eggplant

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 01:00:57 »
I'm very interested!

Offline portbaron

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 01:27:36 »
I'll try it
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Offline _ODIN_

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 03:08:00 »
I am in

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Offline Kerasan

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 04:00:46 »
PVD Coating pls  :)) :)) :))

KMK Labs.

Offline funderburker

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 04:08:13 »
This is really cool, would definitely think of buying one if I had a lot of Box switches.

Offline Darknight00z

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 10:19:03 »
In for one

Offline realxmlforce

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 12:34:22 »
In for one too. And some thing to protect the stem shaver from corrosion would be nice. I guess that is what the pvd coating demand is for?


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Offline Techno Trousers

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 14:03:00 »
What's the coating about? Like what you see on some knives, where it's coated except for the cutting edge?

Offline macken

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 16:32:01 »
This will come in handy. Interested!

Offline dead_pixel_design

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 16:50:28 »
Interested

Offline voight-kampff

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 17:02:07 »
Personally I can live withoult a coating. It should work, should shave the stems.
It is a tool used for let's say for a year. Then all the box stems will be the new ones, and the old ones will be shawed.


Online Acereconkeys

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 17:13:40 »
Interested. Seems like a useful tool to have.
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Online Starston3

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 17:20:26 »
Yep... sign me up.

Online pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 17:37:35 »
Since every time I see this topic I misread it as either “steamshaver” or “steambeaver”, can we call it that?   Maybe the stem beaver? Thx
:)

Online cijanzen

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 18:58:48 »
Since every time I see this topic I misread it as either “steamshaver” or “steambeaver”, can we call it that?   Maybe the stem beaver? Thx

Heh, I like Stem Beaver. +1

Offline Zuology

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:02:38 »
How about calling it the Boxcutter? Wordplay/pun requirement satisfied without bordering on lewd, conveys what it does.
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Online Acereconkeys

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:03:00 »
I too love the name stem beaver.
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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:04:26 »
How about calling it the Boxcutter? Wordplay/pun requirement satisfied without bordering on lewd, conveys what it does.

Beavers aren’t lewd. They’re literally animals that chew down trees. But I do like box cutter as well.

Offline dead_pixel_design

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:22:45 »
Damn... Boxcutter is good...

Offline lutchbu

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:26:58 »
Hi, I just updated the 1. post addressing frequently asked questions and comments

I'm interested, but I have questions before filling out the form.

1. Can you do a render of sorts of your deluxe tool idea? It can be potato, I'm just having trouble visualizing what you mean.

2. About how long does it take you to mill one, what's the likelihood of mistakes and do-overs, and what is the per-tool metal cost? I want to know a little more before suggesting a price.

3. I have around 700 of the first-gen box switches to shave. Do you think brass would stay sharp through that many?

Thanks for running this! It'll be a life saver.
I don't have render at the moment, just an idea in my head. ;) I'll try to make some prototypes soon.

PVD Coating pls  :)) :)) :))

KMK Labs.
In for one too. And some thing to protect the stem shaver from corrosion would be nice. I guess that is what the pvd coating demand is for?
What's the coating about? Like what you see on some knives, where it's coated except for the cutting edge?
Please keep in mind that every manufacturing step added will drive up cost. I could oil the steel version but that would be a mess.


Since every time I see this topic I misread it as either “steamshaver” or “steambeaver”, can we call it that?   Maybe the stem beaver? Thx
Heh, I like Stem Beaver. +1
How about calling it the Boxcutter? Wordplay/pun requirement satisfied without bordering on lewd, conveys what it does.
I like both names. :) Maybe we'll get a rebrand for the GB.

Offline GigaFlop

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:47:54 »
I marked myself as down for this. I'm on a Tada68 with old Box Jades, and one of my low value caps is cracked. I've got a set of Mitolet on the way, and am scared :(

Offline onefivenine

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 19:54:17 »
Shoot I’ll use this on mx clears
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Offline Zuology

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 20:15:34 »
Beavers aren’t lewd. They’re literally animals that chew down trees. But I do like box cutter as well.

My mind is just dirty and went to the lewd side (shave + beaver + box/stem), so I tried to temper it for non-sick-f*cks by adding "bordering on" :D
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Online pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 01 November 2018, 21:15:58 »
Box beaver.  There.  Super lude, super awesome. 
:)

Offline abrahamstechnology

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #38 on: Fri, 02 November 2018, 16:12:38 »
(deleted)
« Last Edit: Fri, 02 November 2018, 18:49:43 by abrahamstechnology »

Offline lendflat

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 02 November 2018, 16:14:19 »
Can you explain how this tool actually works??

Offline dead_pixel_design

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 02 November 2018, 16:35:51 »
Can you explain how this tool actually works??

OG box stems have little ridges on the side that can break caps, this cuts them off

Offline bluesclera

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 02 November 2018, 16:40:33 »
thanks, was wondering also.

Offline dario

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #42 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 02:58:00 »
Hey OP, what do you think would your tool work with Nexus ALPS to MX stem equally well? Turns out, they need some shaving too.

Offline funderburker

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 05:28:06 »
How about calling it the Boxcutter? Wordplay/pun requirement satisfied without bordering on lewd, conveys what it does.

"Box cutter" sounds good and with just the right amount of pun.  :thumb:

Offline Starius

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #44 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 07:43:15 »
How about calling it the Boxcutter? Wordplay/pun requirement satisfied without bordering on lewd, conveys what it does.

"Box cutter" sounds good and with just the right amount of pun.  :thumb:

I'm fond of that one myself. ;)

Offline azeria

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #45 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 12:26:38 »
so down

Offline azharkh

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #46 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 19:53:35 »
in 100%.

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Online PikaJoyce

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #47 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 21:11:32 »
I'd be interested in getting one of these for future box switches I may end up getting :)

Offline dead_pixel_design

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #48 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 22:29:57 »
I was going to sell my Box Jades because it wasn't worth risking caps, but if I can pick up a Boxcutter, depending on the price, that would be awesome!

Offline BigBlackThock

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Re: [IC] Stemshaver - a tool to fix BOX switches
« Reply #49 on: Sat, 03 November 2018, 22:48:13 »
I keep hearing people refer to OG and first generation box switches as if this is no longer an issue. I have been told the exact opposite by several people. Do I need this if I buy new box switches or not?