After lots of thinking and not so much doing, I’m finally moving ahead with my first custom-designed, from-scratch keyboard build. I wanted to go with something familiar-yet-new, and actually useful day-to-day, so I’ve set out to replace the ANSI TKL on my home desk.
I’m a fan of vertical columns but wanted to keep the layout somewhat accessible to other people who might be using my desk as well, so I tried to keep the layout as ANSI-like as possible. After a few iterations, I ended up with this:
I ended up moving three keys (grey in the picture) - I think += will be fine, but I’m a little more nervous about the location of the braces for programming. Time will tell I suppose… One thought would be to use a space-cadet-style shift for the square braces, move the curlies onto a single key, and set the key on R5 back to Menu.
Thankfully that can all be changed later in software - what can’t be changed is the plate:
This is just the result of plugging the layout’s KLE data into the swillkb plate builder and adding some mounting holes. My plan for now is to get the plate cut in 1.5mm stainless steel and leave it at that… No case or PCB for now. I’m just going to use M4 screws secured with nuts to hold the plate above the desk, and hand-wire the matrix to a Teensy that will sit loose (!). This is probably not a long-term solution, but given that this is my first build I want to strip away extraneous aspects and put all of my focus into the fundamentals. Once I have a working keyboard I’ll think about a case…
I plan to order the plate from
Sculpteo LaserGist Big Blue Saw but haven’t pulled the trigger yet, so if you see any rookie mistakes or other potential issues with it, please let me know…