Custom Mechanical Keyboard


Sooo I have been talking about building a custom keyboard from scratch for the longest time, and finally put the order in during quarantine. I chose a Ten Key Less (TKL) layout, hot swappable PCB, and Gateron Brown switches. I will link the exact parts/ stores I ordered from below. The total for my keyboard was around $170, but it did take almost two months for all the parts to ship. Overall, I am very happy with the final build :) finished product


Step 1 - Order

Do you research on what size/ layout/ switches/ etc that you want for your keyboard and place orders for those parts. Essentially, there are six components you need: Case, PCB, Switches, Mounting Plate, Stabilizers, and Keycaps. This is a really good tutorial to follow along.

Step 2 - Check

When the parts arrive, you first have to check that there are no defects. Specifically, there are softwares that either come with the PCB or can be found online, used to check that the PCB is printed properly. If everything looks good, you can move on to building the keyboard.

Step 3 - Build

1) Separate case into top case and bottom case

2) Assemble stabilizers (tutorial here)

3) Insert stabilizers into PCB (if yours are PCB mounted too)

4) Align plate on top of PCB Step4

5) Insert switches into plate and PCB Step5

6) Check that switches are inserted properly using keyboard testing software

7) Place assembled PCB into bottom case

8) Cover the top case and click into place

9) Cap the switches with keycaps Step6

10) Completion!! Step10


PCB/Case/Plate/Stabilizer: XD87 Hot Swappable PCB Kit 3 PCB front PCB back Case Plate Stabilizers

Switches: Gateron Brown switches Switches

Keycaps: 104 Key Translucent PBT Keycaps Keycaps

Lube: GPL205 G2 and GPL105 G0

LED: Long Pin Hot Plug Hot Swap Sip Socket leds led with transparent keycaps


The process of building my keyboard was a little trickier than I imagined. For example, mounting the stabilizers into my PCB took a lot of force and honestly hurt my fingers. Having the hot swappable PCB definitely made the process easier, so I highly recommend choosing a hot swappable PCB if you are building a custom mechanical keyboard for the first time. It avoids the need to saulder and is more lenient with mistakes.

Basically, I now have a very expensive hobby because building mechanical keyboards from scratch is honestly more expensive then buying pre-built ones. However, there is something so satisfying about using products that you designed, built, and cultivated. I am hoping to build two more keyboards in the near future (one that is not hot swappable and one that is a 60% size). As well, I am hoping to film a sick video for the next keyboard I build.

Version 2 Upgrades

Board: GMMK Pro

Switches: Glorious Panda switches glorious pandas

Keycaps: Shiba Inu Keycap Set XDA Profile PBT DYE-Sub Japanese Keycaps keycaps keycaps

Deskmat: Alberta Desk Mat

Wrist rest: Glorious padded keyboard wrist rest TKL

Final product

new keeb new keeb

The addiction continues...

Compact Acrylic Keyboard

Akko Akko

Keyboard: Akko ACR 64

Switches: EG Aqua King V3 Water King 55g

Keycaps: 104 Key Translucent PBT Keycaps

Wireless TKL Keyboard


Keyboard: Epomaker Skyloong GK87S

Switches: Gateron Yellow 50gf

Keycaps: ePBT Soju

Deskmat: ePBT Soju

blank keycaps Keycaps: Blank Thick PBT OEM

Original TKL Keyboard

honey keycaps

Keyboard: XD87 TKL

Switches: Akko CS Matcha 50gf

Keycaps: Honey Milk PBT XDA