Hey, I'm Mike. I make wood caps that don't suck

Hey there. I’m Mike aka mountainblocks. I make hardwood keycaps in my garage and sell them on mountainblocks.com.

I kind of blundered into the mechanical keyboard community in a roundabout way. Two years ago I had just bought a house and finally had a garage to work in, so I bought a CNC mill since I finally had a decent place to run one. I messed around with it for a while and had fun, but ended up at a loss for what to make with it after a while. My brother tuned me in to r/mk and suggested I try to make wood keycaps. I was hooked right away. I was loving all of the custom boards I was seeing and it seemed like a good project to work on in my spare time.

I learned pretty quickly that wood stems suck. From reading about wood caps that other makers had sold and from my own experience I figured out that wood is just too brittle and inconsistent to hold up to the stress put on an MX stem. I tried to combat this by coating the stems in epoxy and it worked fairly well, but it was painstaking work and I still had too many break in testing to keep selling them. I took a break for several months before I finally came to the realization that I was going to have bite the bullet and learn resin casting and start making plastic stems if I was going to make legit wood keycaps. It’s taken a lot of trial and error and a ton of failure, but I’ve finally worked out a process for making fine hardwood keycaps with cast resin stems.

The first mech board I bought was a Rosewill RK-9000V2 with Cherry browns. I remember thinking that $80 was a lot to spend on a keyboard (awwww). I ended up putting SA Ice Caps on it and I still use it at work. Since then I’ve bought a Tada68 with Gateron browns, a WASD V2 with MOD-M’s, and another Tada68 with 62g Zealios. These were all fully assembled. It took me a while to realize that you had to build them yourself for all the benefits of lubing and modifying the stabs. The first and so far only board I’ve put together myself is a UT47 with MOD-M’s and a full set of walnut DSA keycaps. I’m now in several group buys for PCB’s and keycap sets with plans for many builds to come. I have gone down the rabbit hole and firmly wedged myself in with my beer gut. I love this shit. <3

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Welcome here! One day I hope to pickup a few walnut keys from you.

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That walnut spacebar looks clean !

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Always loved the look of your spacebars! Hoping to see some Alps mount caps in the future :wink:

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Thank you! I would love to sell you some caps. :grinning:

I appreciate that. Development of Alps stems is stalled for now until I get an Alps board with Cherry stabs so I can properly test them. It’ll happen some day though!

Thanks Huey! Just wait till you feel one! :wink:

Any plans for Cherry profile soon? hehe

Love my caps! I need to still gold or silver leaf one and add a thin resin coat to see how it looks. The wood grain is quite nice on its own though.

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Yep. I’ve been working on it for the last couple of weeks. I’ve been struggling a bit to adapt the sanding process I developed for DSA and SA to the flat surfaces and sharper angles of Cherry, but I’m getting there!

Thanks so much for your support! <3
Also congrats on your case business. People really seem to be digging your work!