Stabilizer Types for Custom Plate

I’m working on making a custom board. I’ll be milling out a wooden case as well as an acrylic plate for the switches/stabs. I’m going to be handwiring the board so obviously there will be no PCB to mount to.

This is my first build and I’ve been looking into it for a while but haven’t been able to come to a certain conclusion yet. What type of stabilizer can I use for this build? Obviously plate mount Costar or Cherry would work, but I know people generally prefer Cherry to Costar and plate mount Cherry stabs are hard to find and relatively expensive. Is it possible to design the plate in such a way that I can use PCB mount stabs even without a PCB (preferably without just hot gluing them in place or similar)?

I’ve also found listings for GMK screw-in stabs which list them as “Compatible with both PCB and plate mount” but I’ve seen comments online saying screw-ins only work for PCB mounts.

Was wondering if anyone could provide some clarification. Again, I know that normally PCB mount stabs don’t work on plate mount boards but since I’m designing and milling my plate custom does that change anything?

Thanks for any advice or info.

In theory you could use PCB mount stabs if you could have them mounted on some sort of riser so they would be the appropriate height/distance from the plate.

In case of confusion:
Plate Mounted Stabilizers: The stabilizers attach to the plate. (Can only work on keyboards with plates that can fit the plate mounted stabilizers)
PCB Mounted Stabilizers: The stabilizers attach to the PCB. (Can fit on keyboards that allow for plate mounted stabilizers if there is room on the PCB to mount the stabilizers. CANNOT fit onto the plate).

Usually in this case, plate mounted stabilizers would be a cheaper option than engineering a way to make PCB mount stabilizers to work without a PCB.

Actually, PCB mount stabs almost always work on any keyboard where Plate Mount stabilizers work assuming there are locations on the PCB to mount the stabilisers.

GMK Screw-in stabilizers are PCB mounted stabilizers. This means they mount onto the PCB. Like I mentioned before, keyboards that have plate mounted stabilzers can work with PCB mount stabilizers if they have mounting points on the PCB.

I think your best bet would be making your plate work with cherry plate mounted stabilizers unless you want to make some kind of standoffs that jut out from the bottom of your case to support the PCB mounted stabilizers.

Awesome thank you so much for all that info, that really summarized and solidified all the info I had been looking around at.

I’ll just pick up some cherry plate mount stabs and go with that.


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