The cardboard keyboard case

The cardboard keyboard case

How much does a custom keyboard cost?

That is one of the most common questions I’m asked. There’s definitely a lot of interest around DIY keyboards and the main concerns are: 1) the technical/practical aspects, 2) costs.

Sometimes you just want to try an idea you have in your mind but you are not sure it is really going to work. Building a prototype may end up in the $150-200 range, but big part of the budget goes into the case.

Trying to cut prototyping expenses I wanted to test the feasibility of a cardboard case. Is it stiff enough? Do the switches fit nicely? Is the keyboard actually usable? Let’s go find out.

Continue reading…

WhiteFox take two!

WhiteFox take two!

You never know when a WhiteFox is going to strike! Stealthy and deadly she comes unexpected and hits with no mercy.

Honestly I myself wasn’t expecting her for another couple of months, but –you know– you can’t really tell her what to do. She comes and goes when she wants.

So, I’m pretty happy to let you know that the WhiteFox is available again on MassDrop.

How does round 2 differs from the initial release?

Continue reading…

About ownership of keycap sets

I feel that I failed to explain why I care so much about the work I’ve done for Granite. Many new members of the community haven’t witnessed the creation of the set and the argument about intellectual property of a keycap set comes out every now and then.

Please do understand that the following is my personal opinion, likely a copyright lawyer would see things very differently.

Continue reading…

The future of Granite

The future of Granite

UPDATE: Granite in currently on sale on PimpMyKeyboard.

Honestly, I had enough of Granite. We had four uber successful batches, everybody got a chance to grab a set by now but it seems I have no control over Granite after all. It lives a life of its own.

There’s still too much interest around the two-shades-of-gray keycaps and many are eager to take advantage of the success of this set. At the point where I thought we could have moved on to the next project I’ve been basically blackmailed: either I run more or someone else will. It already happened to other of my works and I don’t want Granite to pop up on Alibaba with some shady bootleg name (Graneat? Cranite?) and poor overall quality.

Continue reading…

How to build your WhiteFox

How to build your WhiteFox

I just got a final sample of the WhiteFox and it’s simply fantastic. The barebone kits will start shipping in a few days and I’m so excited to get your feedback. I hope you’ll like it as much as I do, it has been a long and exhausting endeavor but it was totally worth it!

Assembling the WhiteFox is easy but there are a couple of things you should be aware of so I compiled this quick how-to guide that will bring you to a safe build. Even if you are an experienced DIYer you might find some interesting pointers, so give this a quick read anyway. Let’s get started!

Continue reading…

The many faces of Granite

The many faces of Granite

Granite Round 4 has finally started shipping to its final destinations, I’ve already seen some nice pictures and I’m glad people are enjoying it.

During the last few years we had quite some iterations of this set and I never took the time to catalog all the keycaps that have been produced. So, it took me some digging into the many backups but I can ultimately show you all the Granite keys that left the Signature Plastics factory lane (excluding blanks) with a good 99% approximation.

Beware! Lots of pictures inside.

Continue reading…

Topre to Cherry MX adapter

Topre to Cherry MX adapter

It’s hardly a novelty now but I actually started working on a Topre to Cherry MX adapter back in 2014. The NovaTouch was not a thing yet and no 3D model for the slider/converter was available at the time.

It’s an incredibly simple model and I’m by no means a 3D expert, but anyway I hope you can make good use of it. Please note that everything is released under a Creative Common license, you are free to use and modify the models as long as you give credit and re-share under the same license.

Continue reading…

WhiteFox: the making of

WhiteFox: the making of

The WhiteFox is the first A-grade mechanical keyboard I designed to be commercially available to the public.

In the last few years I worked on many iterations of the same compact layout and the WhiteFox is the result of the experience grown during a journey that actually started in 2013.

The WhiteFox

My first experiment was the SteelBeauty: a lovingly hand wired solid piece of steel powered by a Teensy development board.

Continue reading…

Granite Elven kit explained

Granite Elven kit explained

Granite Round 4 includes a geeky new kit called “Elven Tongue“. It was gestating in my head since a couple of years now and today finally comes to life thanks to the Granite keycaps set success.

First of all a quick note about the terminology. Is it Elfish, Elvish, Elven, Elfic or what? This –I’m sure– is one of those topics fantasy-fans love to argue about.

Of course the Granite kit is based on Tolkien’s work. Tolkien references to the languages of elves as “Elvish” (with a “v”) but uses Elven in every other occasion. I didn’t want to use a term that directly connected to the Middle Earth (eg: Sindarin) so “Elven Tongue” seemed a good idea.

Now to the nerd talk.

Continue reading…

Granite turns 4!

Granite turns 4!

When I first released the Granite set a few years ago I never would have thought I would have seen a Round 4.

I actually wanted to make the first round a limited edition –like all of my designs– but I’ve been accused of being selfish and if the community wanted more I should have let ’em.

So we had Round 2 and it sold twice what the first round did. Again, I thought the world had enough, but boy I was wrong! I was basically receiving a message on Reddit, Geekhack or Deskthority every other day about running the set again.

I reluctantly agreed on Round 3, sure that nobody would have cared about Granite anymore. Round 3 sold even more than the previous run. I’m pretty sure I said Round 3 would have been the last one, not because I didn’t want more, but because I thought the interest on gray keycaps was gone for good. Apparently I was wrong again.

So I’m glad to announce the forth round of Granite. I won’t say that this will be the last one, but I’d like to concentrate on something new for the next time.

Continue reading…