Incidentally I ended up redesigning these to have four feet, and improved the finishing instructions to add more stability.
I just came across this post, since I had never really read the manual and just applied the center bar and started using it right away. I really dislike the octo feet since they’re kind of really thick and make the keyboard too high for me to use comfortably. Looking at the post here, it seems like the major point is providing support for the keyboard’s weight, so if I place a small box or a piece of cloth under each half, is that enough to avoid this potential issue? I’d be really disappointed if I had to end up using the keyboard flat just so I would avoid damaging it, especially since it’s nowhere near obvious that using the center bar must be done in conjunction with the octo feet (even the product photos on the main page don’t show this as necessary)
I support mine with a small paper medicine box that I had lying around on my desk and happens to be just the right size. No flex, excellent support.
It seems pretty easy to miss the warning or to downplay it even if you do see it, yeah. Maybe for future manufacturing rubs there should be an easily-removed warning sticker applied to the tenting bar that ensures that anyone who uses it is aware? Like:
Using this tenting bar without adequate support for the keyboard halves will damage your enclosures.
See the product manual for more information.
And then the manual could include some pictures of the damage, the warranty warning, and some alternatives to the octo stand.
So, I’ve had my tented center bar supported pretty much the entire time I’ve been using the keyboard (first with a couple pads of sticky notes stacked to the right height, now with some ersatz feet glued on) and I can now see some bowing of the wood. Based on that I don’t think I’d say that supporting the center bar is enough to prevent warping. I guess I’ll see about printing some supports for the threaded mounts at the public library.
Argh, sorry to hear that. That’s a bummer, it sounds like I’ll have to use them flat them since I don’t have access to a 3D printer or woodworking tools. Really disappointed that something so basic is overlooked in something that costs this much.
It’s not overlooked, it’s more that the keyboard.io folks had to make a determination about what would be the most generally-useful thing and they’re a small manufacturer working with a billion moving parts of suppliers.
I do wish the default tenting stands were a bit better but they were clearly designing for broadly-useful rather than handling a specific use case. As jesse said earlier in this thread they tried coming up with a better solution for the tented joiner with built-in supports but it wasn’t a good experience, and I’m glad they moved forward on producing the product rather than succumbing to even more delays than they’d already been inflicted with.
Also, mechanical keyboards are expensive to make and produce especially at this scale.
This is why we chose to add the tripod mounts on the bottom centers of the two halves of the keyboard. Mounting the keyboard on something using those mounts should not cause the weight of the combined keyboard to pull the whole thing down. There are numerous third-party tripod mount accessories that can get you all sorts of angle and position options.
It has to be supported at the same angle it would be if you were using the stands.
Do you have a link to one of these third-party ones that could act as a substitute? I couldn’t find one that is short enough (the closest I could find is a 2" one, which is still too high) Other than using them flat, I’d probably just stuff enough paper or cloth scraps until the entire hollow space below the keyboard was filled up if I really wanted to keep tenting them, but I’ll probably just end up using them flat if it’s so troublesome.
Eh, I kinda still want to use them on the table, though. I’m not trying to mount them on my armrests or anything like that. (Basically like how the product is displayed on the actual product page in tented configuration, minus the octopus stands…)
Using just the base plate of a tripod with a ball joint might work if I can find one that’s the exact right height. If not, I’ll just go with a box under each keyboard half to support the center section and stuff paper and bits till it doesn’t have any unsupported weight.
You might also be able to find a couple of wedge-shaped blocks of wood. At some point, if things ever calm down, I want to try to offer some one-angle wooden stands that fit with the rest of the keyboard and get the bottom edge closer to the table.
To the best of my ability to do that, I’d say it is. Before I came up with a solution for feet I experimented with different thicknesses of paper coasters and stacks of sticky notes, and during those experiments any incorrect height of the center bar was easily determined because of the creaking noise the center bar made if it was stressed while typing.
My ersatz feet are actually segments of wine cork that I cut a little long, attached with hot glue, and then filed down a little at a time until the whole assembly was stable and the attachment to the center bar seemed neutral, neither held too high (outer feet not making secure contact with the desk surface) nor too low (the whole thing seeming “sprung” against the center bar).
Long story short: observations are consistent with the tented center bar being supported at the right height, neither too high nor too low. The bowing isn’t significant (at least not yet) but it is observable to the naked eye and can be confirmed with a straight edge.
And TBH this leveling process seemed much easier than trying to align the octopod stands, which sure seemed like a cool idea before I tried to use them. Without the center bar the two halves of the keyboard regularly separated from each other and had to be pushed back together; with the center bar I never felt like I was getting the stands at the right angle. Using the tented center bar and supporting it from underneath seemed like the best solution for my desk height and preferences, but the bowing I’m seeing now would indicate otherwise.
So I’m not exactly proud of my craftsmanship, but I just used the foam that came with the Keyboardio packaging:
Is this enough support?
I wouldn’t rely on it long term. The foam will start to compress. As is, type on it, if the center bar flexes, then it’s supporting some of the strain, and you might deform your case over time.
Whelp. Well, I might just take a stack of A4 paper and cut that down to size then. Should be denser.
I’ve McGuyver’d some stands using “carpenter’s wedges” from my local hardware store. They’re hard black plastic wedges with a suitable angle. I’ve glued 3 of them together for each side, drilled a hole for a bolt that fits the tripod mount, and attached some adhesive non-slip pads to stop it sliding on the desk.
I don’t have my keyboard connected using the center bar.
For the curious, here are the wedges that I used: https://www.bunnings.com.au/builders-edge-22mm-black-builders-wedge-10-pack_p1141694
They don’t cover the entire underside of each keyboard half, but I suspect the coverage isn’t too far different to the octo-feet, and I figure that if they’re attached to the tripod mount they’re likely to be supportive in the right spot.
That’s a lot more elegant than what I ended up doing:
- https://www.amazon.com/Clean-Clear-Absorbing-Sheets-Count/dp/B003V57Q5I?th=1 (I had these lying around)
- Plastic packaging was triangular and wedge-shaped.
- I have spare tape and post-it notes lying around as well.
- The result: https://imgur.com/a/d3mgVG6
So far, seems to work surprisingly well. But thanks for linking the setup.
Thanks Tom A,
I’ll be picking 6 of those wedges up…