Using diamond paste to polish switches

Hello, lurked this thread a few months ago. Recently, I just made a switch actuator with parts off Banggood and a 3d printer (all credits to Don on the Board Podcast) and remembered this thread. I’m going to be receiving some Gateron Ink Blacks v2 soon, and will probably try using some diamond paste on a few of the switches that are on the scratchy side. If I end up doing it, I’ll send my results here.

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Which massage gun did u use?

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Just finished comparing my Hyperglides after breaking them in. I have a group of brand new, unused switches, a group that has been broken in with about 10,000 actuations without diamond paste, and a group that has been broken in with 10k actuations with diamond paste.

Both sets that have been broken in feel significantly smoother than the ones that haven’t been broken in. Between the two sets that were broken in, the diamond paste feels noticeably smoother, but not as significant as the difference between the stock switches versus the 10k w/o paste. What was more significant was the difference in sound. Ignoring the spring ping that I had, the 10k w/o paste had a more scratchy sound when compared with the 10k w/ paste.

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Unexpected but I guess any improvement is good.

Just a hunch, but it could just be diminishing returns and the diamond paste just helps polish the switches faster rather than smoother.

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So I just polished a handful of Hyperglides with 0.5µm diamond paste and a break-in machine for around 30hrs. I might’ve overdid it though because I can feel some stick-slip. Is over polished switches a thing?

30 hours is way too long. When I polish manually, it takes a day or two but actual polishing time put together is no more than handful of hours at much lower speed than break-in machine.

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I’m reviving a kind of old thread, but do you have a recommended method of polishing Hyperglides blacks? Also, I can’t seem to find one in this long thread- is there a guide on how exactly to polish switches?

This thread is more a journal of what I did. Methods and results are still IMO at explorative stage, meaning it’s too early to write a guide (and I’m lazy), so take what you can from what read. Better yet, you can write a guide from what you learned from here and everyone wins. :slight_smile:

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If only I had the time and money to test everything out and write up a full guide… I assume you’re in a similar situation haha

I guess I’ll wait a few months and keep breaking in my Hyperglides the normal way until results/long term effects are more conclusive.

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Polishing them as-is is going to take months, possibly even years, and still end up unevenly polished due to uneven use of keys.

Of all the methods I tried, very first method using 0.5 micron diamond-paste worked most reliably so I can recommend that. Heck, I’m typing this message using them and they’re very nice.

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I took @donpark’s advice and polished a batch of Hyperglides with a combination of 0.5mm diamond paste and toothpaste. They’re ultrasonically cleaned and sitting on my desk disassembled awaiting lubing and filming. The initial results are promising but I’m happy to write up something more thorough when I have the time to get them reassembled.

This is entirely anecdotal but the wear that I see on them looks remarkably similar to that of the vintage Blacks that I have. Extremely worn vints look remarkably similar to examples of over-polished switches elsewhere in this thread, too. Those two things give me reason to believe that this really is a solid method. I’ll report back when I get my batch reassembled.

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That sounds great, thanks for the responses. The only thing I’m worried about is that it will affect the switch’s longevity, but hopefully I can still use it for at least a solid year. If I don’t want to spend extra money on an ultrasonic cleaner, what would you say is an alternative option for cleaning the switches?

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I also use 0.5micron diamond paste from amazon. I think Don suggested earlier in this thread: I use waterpik/water flosser + old toothbrush or like to clean each housing part one by one. Just have to be careful not to be too rough with the leaf when brushing/flossing. Quite time consuming (also can get messy) but the results are worth it. Have done two sets of blacks. Definitely something I have to make up my mind to do and set aside time.

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As @catHat mentioned, you can use waterpik or just water and a small brush to remove the paste. Some extra tips:

  1. Soak the switches in warm water for a while to give paste time to loosen.
  2. Applying paste on the stem will end up in the hole, making it difficult to remove without meticulous brushing or waterpik so either be prepared to commit or skip applying paste on the stem legs.

i gave this a try this week. read through the whole thread a few times and took bits and pieces from contributions by donpark, treeleaf, and others. i feel like this is a low effort project with high payoff. and i’m pretty lazy lol.

overall, i’m satisfied with the results. i have a batch of prevail epsilons stock (though factory lubed), which are full nylon housing with the jwk p3 stems. i would say that my batch of hyperglides post polishing were a hair scratchier than stock epsilons, but on par with stock epsilons after lubing and filming in terms of smoothness.

procedure was this:

  1. went with the 0.5 micron grit that was linked earlier in the thread.
  2. painted some on, undiluted, onto the stems.
  3. loosely followed treeleafs guide and did some grinding of the stem in the bottom housing, and then put the top housing on and continued grinding. about ~1.5 min a switch probably in total.
  4. put them in a hotswap board and just pressed on the keys while watching tv. did this for maybe an hour.
  5. typed on them normally for another hour.
  6. cleaned the parts with ultrasonic cleaner (used denture tabs, as suggested in here). i have a small cheap one from amazon. did two rounds of 9 min (in between switch out water and new tab) for stem and bottom housing each, one for top housings. had to dig some paste out, especially where i accidentally got some paste onto the stem pole. but i’d say 95% of the paste came off with this.
  7. let them dry overnight.
  8. assembled and enjoying them right now.
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I like low effort high payoff. How long did this take you?

this is going to be a very rough estimate.

for applying the paste, taking into account the manual grinding, the opening switches, painting, all that–let’s say 2.5 min/switch on average. i did 90x, so 225 min or 3hrs 45 min, conservatively.

breaking in manually, another 2hrs. but maybe i didnt really need this. or it could have been shorter. i didnt want to do too little and end up with a bad outcome after going through cleaning.

cleaning 9min x5, lets say another 15 min lost to changing water and laying everything out to dry. so an hour. it probably could have been shorter cycles. i kind of set it and forgot about it and went to do other chores.

lubing/filming, i did while watching selling sunset, so it was much slower than usual, but usually would be maybe 45/hour. so let’s say 2 hours.

overall, yeah it’s going to take longer than your normal lube/film job. but it was considerably less than a month’s worth of breaking in manually or using one of those break in machines.

i guess the low effort here is that almost every part of it, it was easy repetitive tasks for the most part and i tend to do those while watching tv anyway since i need something to do with my hands.

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Welcome to the Switch Polisher gang! :slight_smile:

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Once I figure out what my perfect linear spring is, I will join the diamond paste party haha

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