I remember where I first fell into the mechanical keyboard rabbit-hole. I had watched a youtube video review about a Das keyboard and it had mechanical switches. Remembering my crusty old Dell keyboard I wondered if one of these “mechanical keyboards” could bring that feel back. After saving up and buying one I was really happy with how typing felt on a quality keyboard. Checking around the internet trying to find out about putting my own keycaps on my Das I stumbled onto the forum at geekhack.org and I guess the rest is history.
I love computers, and I always have. Since I was young I spent a lot of time working, playing, and learning on them. I also found that I was fond of computer peripherals and devices. Over the years I had built up a collection of keyboards and mice because I was always looking for something better as an input device. I actually dug out that old “foam and foil” Dell keyboard because it had large clicky keys on it. I had noticed that modern keyboards had tiny cheap chicklet keys and were just not well made. Typing mistakes or gaming was just not very good on them. Lets face it, we spend plenty of time on our computers, so getting the best possible experience from the main way we interface with it is important. We were spoiled in the early days when keyboards were built to last with steel and mechanical switches. Now we are headed back in that direction after dealing with the cheap 5 dollar keyboards we all had in the early 2000’s. Plus the hobby really grows on you and is lots of fun.
I started dabbling with custom keyboard builds at first and learning everything I could about mechanical keyboards. I even found artisan keys there, and was suprised how much fun and how awesome some of these little pieces of art for your keycaps were! After a year or so I had built my first mechanical keyboard, and was learning how to make my own artisan keycap sculpts. I called my caps “Lootkeys“. I also met some great people from the community and started along my way building, collecting, collaborating and sharing my work with others.
Unfortunately I eventually had to move from where I was living and lost my workspace, so creating artisan sculpts was put on hiatus. These were early days when there was maybe 10 or so artisan makers and really just Bro Caps and Clack Factory making really popular raffled off caps. So making these keys was a trial and error process, and secrets to crafting keys were hard to come by as some kept methods close to their vests. Thankfully now there are plentiful resources for beginners to artisans and every other part of keyboard creation. It was a really enjoyable time and I had a lot of fun sculpting keys and learning how to cast them.
In current day, the hobby seems to have exploded into the mainstream. I am amazed at how many vendors of everything from custom stabilizers, springs and switches to cables and keycaps and everything in between are out there now. We used to make our own switch openers out of paperclips, now there are many tools to do almost anything you want with your mechanical. I am happy that there is so much choice out there now and so many artists making amazing things for what I always considered a ‘niche’ hobby. The only thing that has not changed is that this hobby still lightens your wallet. But it never feels like a rip-off, because you are getting rare and quality stuff and in most cases get what you paid for.
So this site is going to be my place to vent about projects, group buys, ideas, artisans, post reviews of products and anything else I feel like saying. I also want to use it as a space to facilitate trades and selling items, as well as cataloging my modest collection. I don’t really consider myself a collector of anything but artisans, but over time I have accumulated a lot of stuff! I also plan on eventually making my artisan keys again, and this can be a place to document that as well.
I also have a lot of other hobbies and interests, such as Python programming, sim racing, 3d printing, and many computer subjects. Thanks for reading this and getting to know me and my site. Feel free to contact me or leave comments because I am always happy to learn and share this hobby with anyone and everyone who enjoys it.