[Photos] Hand made wooden key pullers

nubbinator

31 May 2013, 03:27

I've recently been playing around with my lathe and have taken to making myself some wooden key pullers since I've always wanted one. Right now they're in various states of finish, but I wanted to show them off.

The first finished key puller. Walnut with Danish oil and satin polyurethane finish. Custom wire anchored into the handle:

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Birch, top middle two natural Danish oil, third one down from top boiled linseed oil, the other three unfinished:

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Maple, top natural Danish oil, bottom three unfinished:

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take

31 May 2013, 03:31

looking good man. i'd say my favorite is the first unfinished one from the second pic. simple = best, imo.

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002
Topre Enthusiast

31 May 2013, 04:47

These are pretty cool! I like the boiled linseed oil one and the unfinished one on the right on the second pic.
You planning on selling them?

nubbinator

31 May 2013, 04:53

002 wrote:These are pretty cool! I like the boiled linseed oil one and the unfinished one on the right on the second pic.
You planning on selling them?
You like the two that remind me of lightsabers.

I have a for sale thread started with the one I have done so far and will add the other ones later. They should range from ~$15-22+ shipping and I'll also be selling some custom male USB A to USB mini B cables at around $15-25 depending on length and sleeving.

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calavera

31 May 2013, 08:34

Like the first one the best, but I would even simplify it more on that one even. Second one from the third pic might be the most ergonomic since it would help with grip...not sure if you really need that much grip but nonetheless. haha

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Elrick

31 May 2013, 10:27

nubbinator wrote: You like the two that remind me of lightsabers.
Definitely reminded me of a Lightsaber. You should lathe some that look like Annakin's and/or Kenobi's models.

I would buy them immediately :D .

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cookie

31 May 2013, 10:59

I like the first one, but I have to admit that I wouldn't pay 15$ + Shipping for a Keycap Puller.
I Usually store them in my drawer, really nice work though!

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webwit
Wild Duck

31 May 2013, 13:07

My gf says they are too small.

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Jmneuv

31 May 2013, 13:16

Hehe ~.~

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ne0phyte
Toast.

31 May 2013, 14:03

webwit wrote:My gf says they are too small.
It was only a matter of time. Took longer than I expected, though.

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Muirium
µ

31 May 2013, 14:14

How are you anchoring the wire loops inside the handle?

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cookie

31 May 2013, 14:15

ne0phyte wrote:
webwit wrote:My gf says they are too small.
It was only a matter of time. Took longer than I expected, though.
Right now I am realizing how obvious that was hahaha :D

Findecanor

31 May 2013, 15:36

Elrick wrote:Definitely reminded me of a Lightsaber. You should lathe some that look like Annakin's and/or Kenobi's models.
Anakins and Obi-Wan Kenobi's own lightsabers are too difficult to make accurately with just a lathe. You would need to mill some details.
However, I think that the ones that Anakin and Obi-Wan were handed in the arena in Episode 2 and used to battle Count Dooku with would be good candidates. The first one posted definitely remind me of one of those.

I have blueprints and hundreds of megabytes of pictures of lightsabres. If you want some emailed to you, just send me a PM with your address and which designs that you are interested in.

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Muirium
µ

31 May 2013, 15:45

Findecanor wrote:I have blueprints and hundreds of megabytes of pictures of lightsabres. If you want some emailed to you, just send me a PM with your address and which designs that you are interested in.
Only makes sense people are into light sabres here. They are a human input device!

Just one whose output is ideally human shishkebab.

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Peter

31 May 2013, 17:03

cookie wrote:
ne0phyte wrote:
webwit wrote:My gf says they are too small.
It was only a matter of time. Took longer than I expected, though.
Right now I am realizing how obvious that was hahaha :D
Nice wood !!
( sorry, I couldn't get off ripsters track :) )

Seriously; I think they all look great and 22$ for a handmade quality-tool is cheap !
In fact, it may be TO cheap for some people !

If it wasn't for the 160DKR customs-processing fee,
+ 60DKR for each additional line (including the specified shipping-cost !!)
and the 25% sales-tax on the entire invoice.. I would order a few ..

nubbinator

31 May 2013, 19:05

calavera wrote:Like the first one the best, but I would even simplify it more on that one even. Second one from the third pic might be the most ergonomic since it would help with grip...not sure if you really need that much grip but nonetheless. haha
It's actually one of the less ergonomic ones. It's okay if you hold it like a pencil, but several of the others are much more ergonomic.
cookie wrote:I like the first one, but I have to admit that I wouldn't pay 15$ + Shipping for a Keycap Puller.
I Usually store them in my drawer, really nice work though!
Fair enough, but most key cap pullers are also really cheap plastic or plastic and wire pieces. I figured a little more was fair for a unique, hand made key cap puller.

Muirium wrote:How are you anchoring the wire loops inside the handle?
I can't give away all my secrets, can I? I will say that it's very secure.
Peter wrote: Nice wood !!
( sorry, I couldn't get off ripsters track :) )

Seriously; I think they all look great and 22$ for a handmade quality-tool is cheap !
In fact, it may be TO cheap for some people !

If it wasn't for the 160DKR customs-processing fee,
+ 60DKR for each additional line (including the specified shipping-cost !!)
and the 25% sales-tax on the entire invoice.. I would order a few ..
Thanks. And on the pricing, I wanted to cover my expenses and make a little money on it, but also make it so that it's not prohibitively expensive. I'm not a wealthy man, so I wanted to make it so that other people who were in similar financial circumstances could afford something nice. I would go even cheaper and make them all $15 if it weren't for the time involved and the materials costs.

Yeah, Denmark is killer on the taxes.

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Peter

31 May 2013, 19:33

This is a no-brainer space-cadet test :

Would you rather spend 99,99USD on THIS :

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OR on THIS :
goddamnoverpriceCRAP.JPG
goddamnoverpriceCRAP.JPG (77.42 KiB) Viewed 1701 times
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clack-Factory-S ... 7675.l2557

Like You, I am not a wealthy man..
There is nothing wrong in making a profit on your own work, skills and/or initiative .

Nice wood-work, nor nice wood, comes cheap, check out what the Japanese spend on a nice Go-board :
http://www.kiseido.com/go_equipment.htm

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webwit
Wild Duck

31 May 2013, 22:13

Looks the same to me, both hand made, both designs by their creators. The Vader key would have been harder because it needs to fit precise dimensions.

nubbinator

31 May 2013, 22:41

webwit wrote:Looks the same to me, both hand made, both designs by their creators. The Vader key would have been harder because it needs to fit precise dimensions.
I've played with making key caps too. The "precise dimensions" part is damn easy in mold making if you're working off of a reference key cap like I'm sure CC did. If you make the entire thing from scratch, it's not the easiest. The hardest part of making a key cap mold is the carving of your model and making sure it fits in the allotted space. From there, it's pretty easy to make the cap if you've got access to the tooling. If it were made of metal instead of plastic, I would agree with you though. I've tried some metal casting and have more plans for it in the future and it's tough to get metal perfect without some very expensive equipment. Even then, you still have to worry about shrinkage.

Having played with both, I wouldn't say one is "harder" than the other, just that they both offer different challenges when making them.

I think a better comparison on price would be Mimic cables and other cables like that. Mimic cables cost $30 from techkeys.us. I've made custom USB cables (some of my works in progress) and they take far less time than the key cap puller and have a lower materials cost (each 6' cable costs ~$7-9 with nice sleeving and ~$4-5 with paracord), yet people are generally willing to pay that higher price for them.

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webwit
Wild Duck

31 May 2013, 23:03

nubbinator wrote:The hardest part of making a key cap mold is the carving of your model and making sure it fits in the allotted space.
This. The clack keys look like keys, with an integrated design. The Asian knock-offs look like random objects connected to key stems. It's not easy to design a Vader key and wrap it around these limited dimensions, and make it look right like both a Vader and a key cap. It probably involved different prototype molds to get it right.
From there, it's pretty easy to make the cap if you've got access to the tooling.
Click clack's exact production methods are unknown, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve tooling so you could make a million of them, and everything evolves around his own made molds.

Anyway, I'm sure you two are guys who recognize and appreciate each others ability to actually create stuff, and that it takes skill, time and effort.

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cookie

03 Jun 2013, 17:09

@webwitt: is your avatar a duck flying from right to left or is it a crocodile flying from left to right? :D
Sorry for offtopic but I found that quite funny :)

@Edit: Holy shit! 100 Bugs for a vader keycap??? NOWAY!

nubbinator

04 Jun 2013, 01:13

webwit wrote:
nubbinator wrote:The hardest part of making a key cap mold is the carving of your model and making sure it fits in the allotted space.
This. The clack keys look like keys, with an integrated design. The Asian knock-offs look like random objects connected to key stems. It's not easy to design a Vader key and wrap it around these limited dimensions, and make it look right like both a Vader and a key cap. It probably involved different prototype molds to get it right.
From there, it's pretty easy to make the cap if you've got access to the tooling.
Click clack's exact production methods are unknown, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve tooling so you could make a million of them, and everything evolves around his own made molds.

Anyway, I'm sure you two are guys who recognize and appreciate each others ability to actually create stuff, and that it takes skill, time and effort.

Like I said, I've done molds and prototyping. It's pretty easy to get everything right with some cheap silicon molds and make sure all your dimensions are right. From there, you've got the tooling, a couple hundred dollars for an injection mold that will last you thousand of caps and the machine (homemade or legitimate) for plastic injection molding. No one knows how CC does it exactly, but the how to is pretty obvious.

I have a ton of respect for him and his work and the amount of care and QC he puts into it. I don't have the artistic ability to carve it, but the process is pretty straight forward.

Like I said, I respect CC and all the other artisans, I just wanted to point out that these are more time intensive to make per unit than a key cap, hence why I was saying Mimic and Paranoid cables are better parallels for price than a CC. Given that they are more time intensive and are more costly in materials than those cables, I was trying to point out that $15-22 is actually really cheap for what you get.
Last edited by nubbinator on 04 Jun 2013, 04:49, edited 1 time in total.

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webwit
Wild Duck

04 Jun 2013, 01:45

Your objects may take longer per unit in production, but you don't have to make molds. Also if you have been following clickclack from the beginning, he invested a massive amount of time into experimenting, getting it right. He doesn't just knock 'em out.

Kinda reminded me of this quote (source):
They think writers and artists "just knock it out" but we don't...not really. And even when it seems like we do, it's because of a lifetime of developing whatever skills we bring to each project. My best pal, Sergio Aragonés, once was selling some sketches he'd done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.

"How long did it take you to draw that?" he asked.

"About a half-hour," Sergio answered.

The man was horrified: "You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour's work?"

Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, "You're not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You're paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that."
Anyway, I think you're right your objects are cheap for hand work.

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mbodrov

08 Jun 2013, 09:38

Nice work! Having access to a lathe certainly opens up possibilities.

I made something similar in my CNC class quite a while back:
P1040745_s.jpg
Mystery tool
P1040745_s.jpg (47.71 KiB) Viewed 1456 times
Here, the loop is held with a metal cap salvaged from junk (a mechanical pencil part probably, I don't remember), which is not so well suited for mass production.

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