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Mechanical Keyboards – Part 3: Final Build!

Things don’t always go according to plan. In my mind I thought I would have my keycaps by now, but due to COVID the original keycaps I ordered last August were put on a longer delay than expected. Original production time was 28 weeks & they still haven’t shipped as of this post. But alas, I ordered an in-stock set of great quality PBT keycaps. They feel crisp and excellent to type on. These are still temporary as I will probably order a slightly fancier set of ePBT or CRP pbt caps in the future and an eventual GMK set. They’re plain Black on White and look nice on the final build, which you can see an example of.

As with most things in this hobby, there are long wait times. And as a result, this project took well over a year to complete. I think that it helps rein in the hyper-fixations because it takes so long to actually receive your product, so by the time everything comes together it seems you’re less likely to be impulsive the next time because the excitement has time to die down (although there still remains anticipation for your board). But now that all of the parts have come together I’m happy I built my first custom mechanical keyboard. It is hard for me to spend so much money on one thing, but the experience of typing on this thing feels well worth the wait and well worth the price. Although I had this built on stream because I don’t have the proper tools ( I also don’t currently have my own desk so having it built was more convenient), I still recommend the hobby to anyone; and I hope to personally build my own next time around.

Final Pictures:

Price Breakdown:

Keycaps: $60 – original planned GMK Ishtar keycaps were $145

Custom Cable: $85

Board (+ Foam): $415

Switches: $70

(lube was provided by builders and I didn’t use switch film on these because the Holy Panda switches have tight housings)

I think there are plenty of reasons to build your own custom mechanical keyboard if you can justify the price (you don’t have to start out on the higher end of the price range like me, there are excellent components at cheaper prices) and the time. With thousands of combinations of boards, plates, switches, lube, etc. you’ll be sure to find the right fit. Testing what you like is super important, too, since this this is an entirely personal preference endeavor (so why not make it your own?). I couldn’t get a reliable type test so here is a link to the full build and a sample type test from Mechs on Deck.

The typing experience all together seems well worth it to me, and I can’t wait to make this 65% my dedicated thesis-writing machine.

Incoming Updates From When The Space80: Apollo Group Buy Goes LIVE! I really want to pair the Beige/ Milky Cream board with the upcoming ePBT Rin or the GMK Botanical (whenever the 2nd round GB is live).

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