Build Your Own Mechanical Keyboard Project, Part 2: Assembly

By | November 19, 2020

We have previously discussed in detail the components required to build our own keyboards and expect the whole project to become uncomfortable. Today we are going to go through the assembly process so that you can transform your component stack into a working board.

There are some things you can do to make it easier. The first thing is to make sure that you follow the above in the correct order.

Your stabilizer cannot be installed above the plate, and your switch cannot be installed below unless you want to exercise the solder sucker.

Installing stabilizers

The stabilizer is very easy to install. Align the tongs with the appropriate holes in the PCB and push them straight in, although orientation is important.

The plain end of the stabilizer needs to go into larger PCB holes, while the ends with clips have to go into smaller holes. If you set it up in a different way, they will not exist.

First, mount it in the larger hole, then press the other side and install the stabilizer into the smaller hole. You may have to apply some pressure to close the clips together.

Before soldering, it should be noted that the stabilizer factory is not lubricated.

This means that it may be slightly noisy. But this can be reduced by applying a little lubricant to the contact points. WASD sells silicone lubricants for a few dollars.

Align and coordinate

When you try to position all the switches at once, it can be difficult to connect the pads with the PCB. For correct alignment and to keep the sheet level on all sides, first install all 4 corner switches and solder them.

You can also mount the bottom row and test it to fit your keypad. The bottom row usually has a variety of location options that accommodate a variety of space bar and customizer settings. The assembly now needs to be mixed only once and it is better to remove the entire row.

Before you solder anything, make sure your soldering iron is heated and be sure to clean and moisten the tip. Using a small amount of soldering tip will increase the conductivity and speed up the soldering process, thus protecting your PCB.

Each joint should not take more than a few seconds. Do not allow the tip to press against the plate for a long time. By doing this the pad may rise above the PCB, but clean the tip with a damp sponge and then scrub it on a clean surface.

The only time you can touch the soldering iron tip is when you are soldering. For strong solder joints, heat the switch pads and terminals while feeding solder from the opposite side.

Your solder contains a chemical cleaning agent called flux that cannot function without touching the soldering surface. A good solder joint will not bubble and have a nice shine.

Final assembly and push-button installation

If you have used a screwdriver before, the last step of the assembly process should be quite easy. Hopefully, you have dropped some screws that are used to protect the PCB somewhere in the case, by this point, they will simply disappear.

Simply place the assembled board in the case and tighten the screws. In most cases there will be 5 mounting points, but your PCB may only have 4.

This is normal, four screws will still hold the board firmly. The last thing is to install your keycaps. Press each one firmly on all your stalk switches, and you’re done.

By following this guide, you will find something unique that is made for you according to your imagination and taste, something which is not on the shelf.

Recognition as big gaming brands and adoption of mechanical keyboards pushed the mainstream. But what if I told you that each part of the keyboard is customizable? If you are not making any compromises, then the time may come to create your own.