Article no. 2

CUSTOM
KEYBOARDS

Tools You Need - Article #2

If you’ve ever asked yourself, how do I build my own custom mechanical keyboard, I have some info for you to get started based on my personal experiences in the hobby! If you’ve read the first article, you should have an idea about the basics, but let’s talk about the tools you need before you build.

Learn more below.

Intro

Today we are covering some common tools that I personally use when modding and building a board depends on what you want to do. For the sake of covering everything in an easy-to-digest manner, I’ll lightly touch on everything and provide as many details links as possible!

Hi, my name is Alex.  I build keyboards. In fact, I build them on live Twitch.  If you ever have a question that we don't cover in these articles, feel free to ask while I'm live! 

Thanks!

The Tools I Recommend

Common tools I use when modding and building a board depends on what you want to do. For the sake of covering everything in an easy to digest manner, I’ll lightly touch on everything in order of what you’d need to do first.

First and foremost, to disassemble the keyboard kit, you’ll need a precision screwdriver kit. I like this one iFixit Kit. That kit will cover almost all your needs (at least from all the different boards I’ve done).

Lubing switches, you’ll need a switch opener, a brush, and lube! For more info on how to lube your switches, check out my video here. You can pick up these items for a whole bunch of vendors depending on where you live. Again I definitely recommend checking out my Vendor List.

Once you’re done with these, you’ll need to lube your stabs, these items overlap with switches. The only thing you’ll need is a pair of clippers to potentially clip some legs off the stabs. This depends on what set of stabilizers you purchased.

Now to solder in your switches, you’ll need a few things. Soldering iron and solder. And what I’m also going to very much encourage is to also pick up a switch puller and a solder sucker. The latter will be used in case you make an error with the soldering in of your switches.  For more info on how to solder, there are lots of great videos on YouTube for more info.

Yellow Switch Puller Image from RAMA WORKS

Low Key Orthochu and Yellow Inks.

Lubricant & a KBDFans Switch Opener.

Below I’ll list a popular soldering iron and other materials that you can get off amazon. Please solder in a well-ventilated area as breathing in these fumes is hazardous. 

  • Ts100 soldering iron – A popular choice if you plan on making a few boards. 
  • 60/40 Rosin Core Solder – This flows well and heats evenly.
  • Switch Puller – A great durable option
  • Clipper – Solid and reliable choice
  • Size 1 Brush – My personal favorite brush
  • Switch Opener – My favorite switch opener
  • Lube – There are plenty of sites with lubes, I recommend finding a vendor in your region to order from. Remember that there are a lot of different lubes that work with switches.
  • Optional – Solder mat! I love using these to keep everything clean and organized.
  • Optional – a 4 pronged jewel holder can also aid in holding your switches stems when lubing! I also recommend picking up a part of tweezers if you don’t already have a set.

FTC Disclosure: Amazon links provided are linked to my Amazon Affiliate account & support the channel at no extra cost to you.

Okay, so that’s the basic set of tools I recommend! In our next session of this series, we will be talking about two things, modding your switches and stabilizers, as well as the nature of group buys. I hope everyone is finding this useful.

Thanks!

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