Fort Collins Creator Hub

Keyboard Project Advice

  • 11 Mar 2019 11:57 AM
    Message # 7210652
    Deleted user

    Hello everyone!

    I'm currently building a few keyboards for myself, and it's now time to start building the case and plate. The only problem is that I have limited hardware experience, so I'm hoping to draw on some collective knowledge here to see how best to proceed.

    For the keyboard plate, the popular material choices are aluminum/steel, wood, or acrylic. I know that the laser cutter would be a good choice if I went with a wooden build, but I'd really prefer metal. My question is this: which machine would be the best choice for this type of build?

    For the case, I want to build something out of aluminum, and I assume the CNC machine is the best choice. After building, I want to anodize the aluminum. It involves a good size tub of acid solution, and I don't recall the safety guidelines mentioning projects like this. Has anyone ever done something similar at the hub before, or should I do this part of the project elsewhere?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!


  • 11 Mar 2019 5:15 PM
    Reply # 7213702 on 7210652
    Steve Undy (Administrator)

    Yes, a CNC machine would be best for metal, but our CNC router really only can do softer materials. It would also be possible to do this on one of the manual mills we have - but that is beyond my skill set at this point.

    I'm sorry, but I don't have much experience with anodization. If it does require the use of a large quantity of acid, I'd only be comfortable with that at the Hub if it was done outside.

    Last modified: 11 Mar 2019 5:16 PM | Steve Undy (Administrator)
  • 11 Mar 2019 7:24 PM
    Reply # 7213917 on 7210652
    Deleted user

    I see. I'll have to check out the manual mill then.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • 11 Mar 2019 7:35 PM
    Reply # 7213925 on 7210652
    Steve Undy (Administrator)

    I would also seriously look at doing this with acrylic. It's super easy to cut with the laser cutter and is available in a variety of colors.

  • 11 Mar 2019 7:54 PM
    Reply # 7213971 on 7210652
    Deleted user

    Right. I wanted to challenge myself and do something with metal, but if it means the difference between finishing the project or not, the choice is pretty easy. I'll have to give it some thought.

  • 27 Mar 2019 6:16 AM
    Reply # 7247287 on 7210652

    Reading this a bit late... but am I understanding correctly that the CNC can't cut aluminum? 

    Justin if you do end up using the mill, Bob Adame is an excellent resource.

  • 27 Mar 2019 9:41 AM
    Reply # 7247606 on 7210652
    Steve Undy (Administrator)

    It's designed to cut wood, not metal. You might be able to cut aluminum, but all bets would be off and I'm not sure how Jeff or Dave would feel about doing that.

    Jeff, if you are listening, can you comment?

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