Aluminum Case for Cooler Master TKL boards (r2.5)
Aluminum Case for Cooler Master TKL boards (r2.5)
The ultimate case for your Cooler Master mechanical keyboard.
After the very successful first two rounds of these cases, dubbed by many folks "the Norbatouch case," it turns out that folks seem to be really into them. So, after a barrage of friendly requests, I've decided to offer them one more time. :)
These CNC aluminum cases are for Cooler Master "Tenkeyless"/TKL (i.e., no numpad) keyboards. They allow you to replace the stock injection-molded ABS plastic case with a hefty, beautiful custom-machined aluminum housing.
These cases are custom designed to fit only the following Cooler Master TKL models:
It seems like CoolerMaster is standardizing on making all their new TKL boards with these identical plates, so these cases may also prove forward-compatible.
This is a "group buy," ending midnight 10 September. Your case will be specifically manufactured for you in the finish of your choice. The cases will ship in small batches of approximately 20 each over the autumn and winter of this year (2017), as they're manufactured. First come first served, so do not tarry. ;)
Bead-blasted and anodized
- Aerospace Aluminum a silver-colored finish similar to those on Apple products
- Tactical Black a pure black dye
Bespoke powder-coat finishes
- Retro Refrigerator (overwhelming community favorite from r2) a sort of green-shifted powder blue—medium gloss with no texture
- Enigma Black a gentle textured black, reminiscent of 1940s-era electronics
- Royal Wrinkle a more aggressive black wrinkle texture, similar to vintage Royal typewriters
- Galaxy console a textured finish which complements the forthcoming Galaxy Class keyset from Roddenberry.com
- Space Station White a pure white
- Monte Carlo Red an aggressive red wrinkle coat designed to evoke the finish on Ferrari engine blocks
- Venice beach a totally-not-messing-around hot pink
- Astrophysical purple a dark purple with silver metallic specks
- Enigma gray a steel gray, flat/no-gloss, medium texture
Riser feet now included at no extra charge
If you prefer to use your keyboard with a slope, screw-in feet are now included in this group buy at no extra charge (a $15 add-on in the last group buy). They raise the keyboard's angle to approximately that of the stock CoolerMaster case (when its own flip-out feet are not deployed).
How they're made
These cases are being machined in the high-tech hub of China: Shenzhen, the "Silicon Valley of hardware." They are made by a company I have worked with on numerous projects in the past, so I can vouch that they know their trade very well. The cases will be CNC machined in enormous vertical mills that ensure high rigidity, which is very important to a good final finish. They are then meticulously deburred and hand-finished according to the finish you choose. They are made with a combination of very high-tech production methods and some very skilled hand work as well.
Here's a video I made on the round-one production process:
Power coat finishes are applied by an expert shop in Silicon Valley. I went through about ten different providers, in the USA and China, before settling on this as the highest-quality workshop.
How the group buy works
A group buy means a bunch of enthusiasts are pooling orders together to make something happen that would be impossible otherwise. I'm acting as designer, vendor, and logistics support, but we're all sharing a bit of risk and uncertainty in terms of when the final cases will arrive at our doorsteps. As always, I'll keep everyone updated throughout the process if there are any delays or hiccups. (As you can see by reading the GeekHack thread, previous rounds have gone well, and I always take great care to make sure everyone is happy with that they get.)
When you place your order, your card will be charged immediately and this will order your keyboard and reserve your place in the fulfillment line. You can always change your shipping address later if you move before your case ships.
Manufacturing time: experience in the past two group buys has shown that vendors always over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to delivery times, so I'm going to roughly estimate "late fall, early winter." I can only ask for patience and understanding as I keep nudging both the machine shop and finishing vendors to get our cases out the door as soon as possible. I always prioritize quality over speed.
Fees are automatically calculated based on roughly how much it actually costs to ship to your country. A fast shipping method will be used (most often FedEx/UPS and DHL). In the last round, participants all over the world got their cases in less than a week from carrier pickup.
And, since I know people will ask: I apologize, but I can't under-declare the price paid for your case. Previous experience has shown that it can cause more risk and trouble for you the buyer than it's probably worth. I'm truly sorry. Action item: write your elected representatives and lobby for free trade. :)
This group buy is for the a case only. Keyboard plate, PCB, and keycaps not included (the ones shown in the photos are for illustration purposes only). Since this is a made-to-order item, sales are final.
This is an after-market modification that requires invalidating your warranty to install; you do this at your own risk.
Feel free to email me using the address at the bottom of this page, or follow along in the discussion thread at GeekHack.