This weekend I spent pretty much only building my custom 65% mechanical keyboard. I used the NK65 v2 AluminumCase with Hotswap PCB in Midnight Purple, Glorious Panda Tactile Switches and the NicePBT Sugarplum Keycaps by CannonKeys!
Why should you build a custom mechanical keyboard?
I’ve briefly gone into detail on my website, which also covers more details of each part I’ve chosen. The main reason why you might want to build a mechanical keyboard is that you want to have something that is completely personalised by you. Furthermore, you choose exactly how each switch press feels, the aesthetic, case, and how you want your desk setup to look.
Parts I used for my build
- NovelKeys NK65 Aluminium in Midnight Purple: https://andi.yt/nk65
- NicePBT Sugarplum by CannonKeys: https://andi.yt/sugarplum
- Glorious Panda Switches: https://andi.yt/glorious-panda
- Coiled USB-C cable with Lemo by KrisCables: https://andi.yt/kriscables
Everything starts with choosing your case for your build. It defines which size your mechanical keyboard will be, how the main aesthetic looks and most importantly how the switches sound due to the material used.
For my build I took the NK65 v2 Aluminum case because it features a Hotswap PCB in Midnight Purple.
A Hotswap PCB allows you to easily install the switches without needing to solder. Also if you want to disassemble your keyboard later down the line, it’s no problem. You only need a switch puller to remove the switches and you can then either swap the switches or mod them!
My choice of switches
I picked out the Glorious panda switches. Primarily since I am a huge fan of tactile switches for typing and programming. Unlubed they already have a very nice sound in my opinion.
Lubing the glorious panda switches
But after my first video the responses and feedback were to definitely try lubing… which I finally ended up doing! For the lube I chose Krytox GPL 205g0, as it’s highly recommended by custom mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. If you can’t find it in stock, a good alternative to it can be the Glorious G-Lube. I’ve also ordered for my next build, but haven’t tried out yet.
Once you’ve got your keyboard case and switches you know exactly the layout, size and how many keycaps you need. Choosing keycaps is in my opinion the hardest part, especially if you are not sure what kind of aesthetic you are going for.
My recommendation is to browse the subreddit /r/mk and discover if you find a keycap set which you enjoy, or to simply discover some keycap sets by browsing online stores such as CandyKeys which also host group-buys for GMK and other popular keycap sets.
Custom mechanical keyboard cables
Another part of building your own keyboard is further customising your desk with a braided, coiled or quick-connect custom cable. You can either build one yourself, by following a great tutorial by a forum member, or purchase a handmade built-to-order cable.
If you are in the EU, I can only recommend the cable maker KrisCables. Each cable is handmade locally in Europe and they carefully craft each cable with the highest standards and quality. You can configure your very own one of a kind personalised custom coiled cable with the cable-configurator on the website.
If you’re unsure the cable with match your keycaps, you can use the search on the website to browse for your keycap set and find cables that match.
What’s also great is that in case you have any questions while choosing your cable or need help you can join the discord community or message directly via email or instagram. Furthermore, the store is located in Portugal and offers shipping at low costs to all of Europe.
Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoyed my post about my adventure in building a custom keyboard. I really enjoyed the entire process around it, and while it can be confusing sometimes it’s definitely worth all the time and effort you put into it.