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How to Foam Mod a Keyboard

How to Foam Mod a Keyboard

Foam modification is an excellent choice to consider if you’re seeking for a method to reduce the volume of the sound produced by your keyboard.

If you already have a custom keeb, keycaps, and lubed Holy Pandas (mmmmmmmm silky! ), but you’re trying to level up even more, here are some suggestions: It is time to get up to speed as quickly as possible on how to foam mod a keyboard.

What is foam modding, and WHY should you foam mod your keyboard?

The process of putting foam on top of or below the keycaps of your keyboard in order to reduce noise and vibrations caused by typing is referred to as “foam modding.”

Simple, yes?

You can get the foam at any home improvement or hardware shop (or ordered on Amazon). It is not very costly, and it helps improve the sound that keyboards produce.

In some instances, the enhancements to the sound are rather noticeable, whilst in others, the change may not even be audible to the naked ear.

ALSO, you may improve the feel of your keyboard by adding foam.

Keyboards that have been foam modified provide more cushioning for your keystrokes and are also heavier, giving the impression of greater luxury.

What foam types work best for foam mods?

Let’s look at how to dampen keyboard noise with various materials.

Packing foam

How to Foam Mod a Keyboard

This is the foam that is placed inside of boxes to protect the contents during transportation. It is simple to cut into forms, is affordable, and is rather thin.

This foam can be purchased at a very reasonable price at any local hardware or craft shop in your area. Some people choose to use it because it is easy to see through, which allows the lights on their keyboard to be seen clearly even when it is placed on top of foam.

Our grade?

MEH. There are alternative solutions available that are similarly affordable and, most likely, superior.

Neoprene foam

This foam is often found in wetsuits because of its ability to absorb water and keep divers warm; nevertheless, it is also quite effective in reducing the amount of noise produced by mechanical keyboards.

Because it is more dense than packing foam, you will need a hobby knife (X-Acto or craft knives are wonderful options) that is very sharp in order to cut it into shapes that will fit.

We recommend getting it on Amazon because of the competitive pricing there.

Our grade? YASS! It is inexpensive, it will make your keyboard seem more stylish, and it will do an excellent job of absorbing sound.

Lining foam

This kind of foam was developed expressly for the purpose of sound dampening, and it is often used in the lining of shelves and other pieces of furniture.

Just make sure that you DO NOT get the inner foam that is perforated. These will have a lower sound absorption capacity than the foam that does not have holes.

Lining foam is thin, making it simple to cut with an X-Acto or hobby knife; in addition, it is simple to track down on websites like Amazon, Lowe’s, and Home Depot, among others.

Our grade? YASS again! It’s not expensive, it’s simple to locate, it performs really well, and it’s not expensive.

Sorbothane

Okay, a significant number of keeb geeks insist that this is the very greatest thing.

However, this kind of foam may be rather expensive (it is sometimes known as a “gelly” or a “gelly pad”), and it is often more difficult to locate. It is most likely that you will have to buy this foam from an internet retailer.

Our grade? YASS with a three-point asterisk Sound is effectively muffled by the use of sorbothane foam… However, the cost is rather high. (and is it really that much superior to using liner foam or Neoperne? The answer is no, in our opinion.

If you’ve already chosen your foam, then let’s get started on this thing.

Foam Alternatives for Keyboard

How to Install Foam Into Mechanical Keyboards

Alrighty then, let’s have a look at the steps involved in putting foam into your board, shall we?

First, grab the tools you’ll need.

You’ll need…

  • your sound-absorbent foam and a hobby knife
  • A tough surface that you don’t mind being cut on, if that makes sense. A craft table or board, preferably one purchased from Hobby Lobby or somewhere similar.

Please refrain from destroying the table in the kitchen.

Secondly, take apart your keyboard!

You will need to take off all of the keycaps, but it’s possible that the actual switches won’t need to be taken off at all! This will depend greatly on the keyboard that you use.

In the case of my RK84, for instance, I did not need to take the switches out. I used a very little screwdriver to detach the printed circuit board from the keyboard casing, which was linked to the switches.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any concerns about how this procedure works, or if you are unsure how your keyboard is constructed and have any other queries about it.

Put the PCB and other components to the side, and let’s get started on the foam!

Next up, you’ll need to cut and/or resize your foam pieces in order to fit your keyboard.

It should not be too difficult if the foam you are working with is thin and see-through, like neoprene or packing foam. Simply cut out a form that corresponds to the dimensions of the space under the keycap to which you would want to add sound dampening foam.

Also, you are free to NOT have one large piece of foam in there, but rather to break up your foam to fit the various rows of your keyboard or other elements of your case. This is an option that you have.

To line the bottom row of my RK84, for instance, I chopped foam into smaller pieces and glued them together. Then I added one more row of foam on top of the printed circuit board (PCB).

Should I glue my foam to my case?

NO As long as the foam is not protruding from the keycap itself, there is no need to glue it in. Sound dampening may usually be achieved by simply placing a piece of foam beneath each key, and this won’t move or warp during typical typing sessions.

How much foam should I put in the keyboard?

How much sound dampening do you need? That depends on the foam and how much you’re going for! One layer of foam is sufficient if it is thick (I suggest 1/8 inch). It’s possible that two layers of sorbothane foam or liner might be more effective.
Once all of your components have been cut to the correct dimensions, you’re ready to begin.
Organize them in a container!
To ensure a snug fit, place a piece of foam beneath each keycap. Add a bit more foam if necessary, but be cautious not to overdo it, since this foam may move about when typing if there is too much of it in one place.

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