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Clipping Stabilizers

On unclipped stabilizers (such as those that arrive in a prebuilt, or from Cherry), there may be two bendy looking legs on the bottom of the stem. If you look at them, you’ll notice how it appears they’d absorb the impact on landing on a PCB. To avoid that, clip the bendy parts off with a set of flush cutters, or nail clippers if you are missing flush cutters. If there is no bendy part, there is nothing to clip.

a diagram showing the bendy parts of a stabilizer stem to clip

Assembling Stabilizers

There are many guides to assemble stabilizers. Please consult either these guides here, or start using your favorite search engine. MachineAbuse’s stabilizer assembly handbook

issey83’s video guide to stabilizer assembly and common mistakes

Lubing Stabilizers

Taeha explains stabilizer lubing

Syringe injection of lube into stabilizer via Alexotos

Holee mod

  • lol
    • lmao

Balancing Stabilizer Wires

This is a tuning technique that perfects stabilizers for people who can intuit it, and endlessly aggravates newbies.


Lubing Switches

Switch lubing is a very holistic activity. There is no specific good way to lube switches, as everyone competent in switch lubing develops a method that works good for them. It is in your best interests to see how many different people lube, read their explanations and justifications, and combine what makes sense to you.

editor’s note: Personally, I load a brush with just a touch of grease and then wiping off as much excess on my lube jar lid as I can, brushing each rail on the bottom housing 3 times each, alternating as I go, wiping whatever’s left on the leaf (for linears). I heavily paint the end of the spring that touches the bottom housing, insert the spring into the bottom housing, and then lube the stem by loading the brush with a little grease, wiping off as much excess as I can onto the lid again, depositing as much grease as I can on the rails of the stem, applying that over the rails, then the sides of the stem, then maybe the stem legs for linears. Maybe I do too little. Maybe I should be hitting the top housing. Maybe I should be spending a bunch of money on an ultrasonic and industrial degreaser to remove factory lube instead of just mixing it in with the Krytox/Tribosys. Whatever.

issey83's guide to switch lube locations

Awalkerstop shows off where switch friction occurs

u/GreyLooper’s EXCELLENT guide to lubing switches

Kokaloo explains his method, pt. 1

Kokaloo explains his method, pt. 2

Dealing with leaf ping

  • Leaf ping is different from spring ping and is typically only an issue with medium-high strength tactile switches
  • Typically, a bump with a sharp and high strength will have more noise than one with a rounder and lower strength.
  • When the bump in the stem of the switch passes through the leaf spring in the switch, it is possible that the leaf spring will resonate just like how a spring would.
  • Switches such as Glorious Pandas are known to have this issue. (example of Glorious Panda Pinging) Fixing Leaf Ping
  • It is impossible to completely eliminate the noise from the tactile bump, but usually you can do something about the pinging

  • You can lube the leaf of the switch, the goal in doing this is that the lube will absorb some of the vibrations produced by the tactile bump
  • Either you can lube where the bump of the switch and leaves touch or you can also lube behind/top of the leaf, just be careful as you don’t want to get lube in the area where the two part of the leaves connect

  • Leaf Shroud Mod: Similar effect to lubing the leaf of the switch, you’re going to need scraps of a “soft” switch film such as deskeys, look here to see how to do it

Opening switches on the cheap

issey83 using a 4 pin top to open another switch

Busted hotswap

If you didn’t shear a socket off by inserting a switch without supporting it, follow this video.

Remove factory lube?

Hey, you know all those warnings about how you should only handle Krytox/Tribosys products with gloves and a drop shield because they are extremely resistant to solvents? Yeah, soap and water isn’t going to completely clean off the factory lubricant off your switches. You can either

  • Lube lightly over and spread around an uneven lube application, or
  • Get an ultrasonic cleaner, and an industrial degreaser like Vertrel XF.

Trying to wash off factory lube with hand soap and water is copium. Get real.

Deal with north facing switches with Cherry profile keycaps?

  • Stem washers to prevent the keycap from sitting all the way down the crucifix.
    • Issey has some recommendations for washer sizes [here]
    • Payson makes a few you can buy from Taobao or Shopee.

Suggesting “get long pole switches” isn’t one I agree with totally. It is not the fact that a stem pole is long that saves a switch from north-facing interference, but the reduction in travel that an especially long stem pole implies, and in many cases, travel is not reduced enough. In the below table, I run the paper test on switches with a key from row 3 of some Domikey Cherry-profile set. Shamb provides information about how the paper test is used to determine if a switch experiences housing collision here. Domikey makes keycaps with around 1.3mm-1.4mm wall thickness, comparable to GMK or JTK.

“Long pole”/”Special” switch Est. key travel Result
Gateron Oil King1 3.9mm Fail
Tecsee Diamond/Oreo/Ruby/Sapphire 3.8mm Fail
Durock POM 3.7mm Fail
Tecsee Carrot/Techno Violet 3.5mm Fail
JWK Quartz v2 3.5mm Fail
Tecsee Ice Candy (Nylon stem) 3.5mm Pass
Outemu/Gazzew Boba U4T/LT 3.1mm Pass2
Outemu/Gazzew U4/Bobagum ~3.1mm3 Pass2
JWK & Rebult Penyu ~2.9mm Pass2
Tecsee Purple Panda 3.0mm Pass

1: Youtubers claims that these have a special top housing to prevent north-facing interference. Maybe with thinner caps, but not these, dude.

2: Barely passes paper test: some resistance on pulling paper out, but paper does not tear

3: Compression on silicone dampener makes defining where key travel stops a bit vague

In short, trying to use long pole switches to save a cheap north-facing board is copium more often than not.