After my second Ursa inspired keyboard was finished and I wasn’t completely satisfied with the bulky look I decided to leave fabric and go back to a material I’ve worked with a bit more, wood. Also my newest PCBs had arrived a while back and I was eager to use them. I’ve also gotten some LOTR themed keycaps, more specifically the dwarvish set from Drop. So I started on the third iteration of the original design idea form Andreas Chlupka.

Main body

So I started with getting some oak planks and gluing them together to get a piece large enough, and then the CNC made most of the work. I also added an engraving in the wood that I filled with epoxy.

For the wood to get a more rugged look I treated it with Caustic Soda, not sure what happened but it looked like it ate away the Lignin and that coloured the wood. The change was quite drastic, before the treatment the wood was almost white.

The effect diminished some after washing it several times, but I’m really happy with the end result. It looks suitable dwarfish to match the keycaps.


This version was too wide even for my Ender 5 plus, so I had to print it in two pieces and glue them together. I first used superglue on the edges and then added some fiberglass and epoxy to make sure that it wouldn’t split.

My first intention was for it to be copper-coloured, but for some reason wouldn’t the paint dry and stick properly. Might been to moist or cold in my garage but after several weeks of trying it to work I gave up. While I sanded it down again I thought that the sanded look, with several overlaying colours looked quite nice. A bit rough and worn, just like the rest.

Cover plate

To get a snug nice fit against the keycaps I got a 2mm thick copper plate that also got the CNC treatment. It was the first time I cut metal on my small CNC but it went smooth as anything else.

I experimented with oxidizing copper and tried it on the plate but I wasn’t satisfied with the look. It was to flat and “perfect” as it was and didn’t match the ruggedness with the rest. So I read up on etching copper and got some Iron-3-Chloride, and it was a lot better. But for it to really look used I had to treat the copper with Sulphur of Liver, which really made it look grimy.

For the USB cable I made my own braided cable that matched the rest of the case. I started with a standard old cable that I had laying around and cut one end of it. After I threaded some brown paracord over the boring white plastic cable I added a standard 3.5mm TRRS plug in the keyboard end.

I’m really happy with the end result, and even if there is some minor adjustments for the next build this is probably my favorite so far. Now I just need to get used to that extra column.