Mistakes you make that make you facepalm

So, here’s a (hopefully) fun topic: what mistakes do you make that you know you should have learned by now?

Let me give an example… Tonight I ordered a whole bunch of switches, and I ordered 80 of each of them because I was thinking about building out my 71-key keyboards.

However, I quite a few TKL and 98 key keyboards sitting around here that I would like to re-build as well. So, I won’t be able to use any of these batches of switches to build out those keyboards until I order more.

But, it gets worse, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. In fact, most of the switches I have here I don’t have enough to build out a 98 key keyboard…despite having several of them sitting around for 2+ months.


Ooo, my favorite. When I need to solder the pin headers to the MCU on the top-side, but forget and put them on the bottom.

I usually have to step a way for a bit after that.


I once started putting switches in a Kara’s PCB without the plate (they’re not optional). Nothing like that sort of smooth brain moment (and pulling 20 or so switches) to keep you humble.


Oh I can imagine that… All that soldering time, then have de-solder, flip it over, and re-solder it… Ooof.

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For the longest time I always got confused which way certain stabs should go in. I know now, but I’ve brainfarted on live stream builds before and it was always embarrassing lol


Keeb goofs I have made exactly once:

  • That time I placed my coffee very poorly

  • Soldering a control board down in the wrong position and not realizing until the last joint (they suddenly resemble a millipede)

  • Pulling a stab wire from a soldered keeb

A goof that took a while for me to realize was a goof, after doing it a few times:

  • Using too firm a material to shim loose fits between keycaps and switches or stabs resulting in cracked stems (plastic wrap and bag shreds bad, PTFE thread tape good)

Everyone who uses a computer learns this lesson eventually. :wink:


I just made one of those


Adding to my embarrassment with another that I just remembered. I ruined more than a handful of switches in my early days of lubing and filming switches by putting the top housing back on backwards. I inadvertently made the smoothest switch of all time but that’s because my mistake resulted in the leaf being ripped out when I tried to correct it.


rip… literally


this one always hurts


Oh man,

  • soldering an ortho board only to realize the screw holes on the plate aren’t symmetrical (friction fit that one with plumbing gaskets)

  • destroying a pcb trying to desolder a pro micro for the first time (wire cutters were a bad idea)

  • soldering switches before the microcontroller… pain

  • buying more keyboards than I have time to build 🥲


What? you mean 5+ kits sitting around is a bad idea? :wink:

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Changing all the footprints on a PCB but forgetting 2.

  • Screwing in stabilizers before I put the stem in
  • Assembling the whole board before testing it… inevitably I miss random switch pins
  • Forgetting to detach the daughter board before moving the PCB
  • Trying to save money by buying switches for a 60% then wanting to use them for a TKL
  • Buying vintage shit that I will totally restore or repurpose, then it collects dust in my closet
  • Forgetting to clean my desoldering gun which causes a gloop of solder to puke out
  • De/soldering with no pants -highly related to the previous point (^:

Totally where I started this thread after realizing I bought 5 sets of switches, all of them in groups of 80… Not considering I have two TKL’s and a 98-key here that I should build.

This sounds like something I will do in the future. I’ve done that with other hobbies. (In fact, I still have an Edison Diamond Disc player sitting in my basement that needs to be restored.)

Taking notes for a future mistake to avoid… :grin:


After being used to building 60% boards, I forgot to put in a stabilizer in a TKL I was building (R Shift vs my normal split R Shift). It was completely built…


ouchie. I’ve done similar. Nothing like desoldering a board before you even get to type on it.

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Learning what ESD was for the first time. $#@! that sucked.

What’s worse was having to wait the two weeks for a new PCB and having to look at my facepalm everyday until it arrived. Humbling.


Yep. I got lucky - my board only reset and managed not to get fried, but I was worried there for a minute. I heard the SNAP! and saw the LEDs go dark - it was then I realized that it might be a good idea to save the aluminum case keebs for the warm months. My love of flannel probably doesn’t help.

RE: ESD protection - I’ve heard some boards have some kind of this, but I’ve also heard… well not much good in terms of effectiveness. The board I ESD’d was a KBD67 v3 (KBD67 mkii pcb in an aluminum sandwich case) - that PCB comes with a little mesh-covered pad that’s supposed to be used between the PCB and case for ESD protection, but I remember reading that people actually had worse issues with the thing in place, so I didn’t use it. Granted it’s a sample size of one, but hey - my PCB survived a shock without it. :man_shrugging: