I’ve changed up my strategy for casting keys. Since I’m still struggling with air pockets at the base of the keys, I’m casting fewer keys per day to focus on technique. I still have low success rate but produced some great casts recently.

all together now

forest cat

star key

green dome

I’m hopeful that I’ll solve the air pockets problem (maybe with the help of a pressure pot). Stay tuned!

The unfortunately large air holes are back. I’d resolved them a few weeks into key casting but for some reason they’re returned. While I figure this out, I’m making some highly experimental keys.

full bloom technicolor

I also borrowed Harry’s keyboard for to cast some OEM keys. It’s a little hard to capture in photographs, but they do have legends.

turkish delight

legends

When I first saw a koi pond keycap by Jelly Key, I was amazed. I’d never considered keycaps could be anything other than single color plastic. I was suddenly open to all the possibilities. Think of a cat keycap! Or a dim sum keycap! Although I have some experience 3D modeling on a computer, I lack finesse with physical crafts, and never pursued making my own keycaps.

When COVID ramped up, and forced me to give up aviation, I needed a new hobby. Around that time, one of my friends started machining his own mechanical keyboard plates. That was the final push to send me ordering all sorts of key casting supplies.

I learned the basics from Youtube. Since I don’t have strong physical intuition, I did a lot of trial and error experiments. I still don’t have a great success rate yet, but I’ll keep iterating. I’ll write a separate post on everything I’ve learned.

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll see I went from single color keys to two layers of color to embedded cat key. Right now I’m experimenting with alcohol inks and mica powder. Alcohol inks can give you the watery effect in koi pond keys. Mica powder gives a metallic shine. After I’m able to reproduce the effects I want, I’ll apply them to embedded shapes.

In the meantime, check enjoy these progress photos

cold water

sea scale