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Beamspring switch lubrication

Posted: 06 Oct 2020, 20:22
by Weezer
I recently noticed that my beamspring makes a clicking/pinging noise a second or two after some switches are pressed.

Taking a closer look, I've isolated the noise to the flyplate adjusting 1-2 seconds after I've already released the switch. Doesn't affect the performance of the keyboard at all, but it got me wondering what, if any lube I should be using to lubricate this area of the switch to prevent wear?

I have been using Liquid Wrench L512 for the plastic pieces of the switch, but I have noticed that on lubed switches, even though they're smoother overall, they also seem slightly mushier, like the lube is sticking ever so slightly. It's not as good as a clean, unlubed beamspring, but it's better than one that was very scratchy beforehand.

How do you guys lubricate beamsprings?

Re: Beamspring switch lubrication

Posted: 06 Oct 2020, 22:11
by xxhellfirexx
The sound of metal shifting is normal as the beamsprings are under pressure. I sometimes hear this when I am not pressing any keys.

As for adding lube, I do not see the point. Even the scratchiest beamspring switch is as smooth as the best Fujitsu leafspring switches. Lube also affects the key feel as you saw.

Re: Beamspring switch lubrication

Posted: 06 Oct 2020, 23:17
by Weezer
Hey so I should clarify. I normally would not lube them but on the particular keyboard I was referring to, the switches are very scratchy, even after a deep cleaning, because the keyboard had been used in a warehouse setting, was stored in the dirt and also was covered in a whole jar of rubber cement :lol:

So I was experimenting with a fix for this. I had gotten the idea for the lube I used from this thread: viewtopic.php?p=417427

I was just wondering about the metal tab where the flyplate connects in particular because the metal pinging brought my attention to it and it seems like the place where the most tension is in the switch, so I was hoping to protect against wear in this spot. I do agree that lubed vs not lubed, a nice beamspring with no lube feels better.

Re: Beamspring switch lubrication

Posted: 10 Oct 2020, 23:02
by SneakyRobb
The beamspring uses a cylinder slider versus the more square ones of alps/cherry/ This means that the actual friction contact of the slider and housing has a very low contact point, leading to low friction. Major friction point would be the barrel housings rail guides for the slider inside.

The interface of flyspring to capacitive element is friction fit and iirc according to ibm patent should last the full 100mil+ keypresses of the switch. The movement at this location is the flex of the flyspring down onto the angled triangle corners of the capacitive element. I would recommend against lubing this area. It would be like lubing your breaks. Once friction fit it shouldn't move or be able to move.

For the mushy feel, its kind of weird but the beamspring is similar to the mx blue where the hysteresis moment of the switch comes not from the beamspring snap, but from the plastic flyplate snapping up and hitting the plastic housing/slider. Plastic on plastic. So any lube on the friction fit area could dampen that moment. You can test this by holding just the slider/flyspring in hand and snapping it. It is not as loud.

If your beamspring to flyspring area has friction it might be good to investigate some kind of rust inhibiting metal metal lubricant but tbh even the worst beamspring keyboards recovered always seem to have the actual beamspring intact and not rusted.

I would investigate trying to smooth the housing rail channels and the slider legs first before trying anything else. Smooth meaning inspect and clean.

The plastic should be reasonably slick itself. Do you have photos of switch insides? Curious to see. Regardless Hope to help.