I’ve been toying with the idea of a ~4.5mm thick plate.
I know others have done this but I haven’t seen a lot of information and/or progress. There are not a lot of custom keyboards with extra thick plates.
Why are there no more fat plates? I suspect because there are a few elements in the way.
The main reason I wanted to try to make this work is because of weight. An extra thick plate can increase the weight of a 40% keyboard by around 400 grams (0.88lb).
The second reason would be stiffness, although I’m not yet convinced about having a super solid keyboar. We’ll see.
So here is my custom plate journey:
I started by using the DXF file provided by The Van Keyboards for the MiniVan Rev. 3 PCB in their site.
The plate was cut in 4.76 mm thick (0.1875 inches) Stainless Steel.
The main challenges of this oversized plate were:
- Stabilizers: The DXF file is designed to accommodate PCB stabs. PCB stabs will not fit between the plate and the PCB unless the plate, or the design, is modified. Plate mounted stabs will also not work on this design.
- Switches sitting: Because the plate is thicker, the clips on the top and bottom of the switch will not sit securely in the plate. I.e. the switches will not click when you first install them.
Here is the plate:
I decided to use plate mounted stabilizers, so I modified the plate to accept those. I had to remove some of the material at the bottom of the stab holes, here is a comparison of how much was removed:
I also carved two notches on all the switch holes, top and bottom, so the switches clip and sit snug:
I am debating whether these notches are needed or not. The switches sit properly without the notches anyway. I guess if you are planning on using hotites to change your switches often, then the notches make a bit of sense. If you are not planning on changing switches, then the notches are an overkill.
Now I need a case. I was only able to get the PCB.
Does anyone have a MiniVan case I can buy?
Yes, I saw the KUMO Kickstarter and yes I already joined. I was hoping to get this project done this year.
(This is my first post on Keebtalk!)