Introduction: Aluminium Teflon Coated Mouse Pad for Optical Mice

Picture of Aluminium Teflon Coated Mouse Pad for Optical Mice

Hey, this is my first Instructable so I hope I didn't mess it up to bad! Let me know how ! did!

I recently got a new desk and and I had a lot of trouble with my optical mouse and its not functioning with the surface.

I did a lot of research and found that new optical mice work very well on Teflon coated materials. Immediately I bolted up the stairs and grabbed my mothers T-Fal frying pan.  Upon trying it out i realized how responsive and precise the mouse was now reacting (not to mention the Teflon pads of the mouse on the Teflon top is slick as butter) . After looking at some Teflon pads online i thought... "hey, there expensive.... imma build one of those." The next day I stopped at Wal-mart an picked up a Teflon Coated pan.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Materials: Any Teflon Coated pan really. I used a two burner skillet cause I wanted something fairly large.

This cost me about $25

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools

-A cutting device: I used a hand grinder with a cutoff wheel attached, but you could use a jigsaw, or maybe a Dremel.
-A Metre stick, yard stick, or ruler.
-A pencil
-An old knife
-A bastard file
-Some sandpaper
-A sink with soapy water

Step 3: Marking Out What Size Pad You Want

Picture of Marking Out What Size Pad You Want

Use the Metre stick and pencil to mark out the size of the mouse pad you want. your probably better off doing this on the bottom of the pan so you can see the pencil better while cutting. Actually.. your probably better of not using a pencil at all, that all I had at the time so grab a Sharpie instead!

Step 4: Cutting It Out

Picture of Cutting It Out

Cut across your lines using your cutting device. this will leave you with very rough and very sharp so be careful while handling.

Step 5: Scraping, Filing and Sanding

Picture of Scraping, Filing and Sanding

Use your old knife (and I stress old, cause it'll be pretty dull when your done with it) and scrape all the rough frayed metal from the edges of the board.

Next use your bastard and file the edges semi-smooth. make them so there not  sharp any more just rough.

Finally take your sand paper and give the edges a good going over. After this they should be smooth as a baby's bottom.

Step 6: The Most Important Step: Give It a Nice Relaxing Bath.

Picture of The Most Important Step: Give It a Nice Relaxing Bath.

The entire process of cutting, scraping, filing and sanding will leave the mouse pad in an absolute mess of metal dust and debris.

In order keep the Teflon topcoat in good shape and to keep from ruining the entire project....

We must wash!

Just rinse all the the big metal filing off of the board first, then emerge the whole thing down into soapy water. Give it a quick rinse again then towel dry.

Step 7: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Hooray! you now have your new Teflon coated mouse pad!

Now! MOUSE! MOUSE like never MOUSED before!


MatthewO1 (author)2015-03-01

Next time buy something like this (€ 6.5 in Italy):

no work to do... maybe just 4 little rubber feets.

KnitPrincess (author)2014-05-03

Great idea! I live in a dorm so I couldn't really cut the teflon pan, so instead I bought a toaster sized cookie sheet and flattened it using my text books! Works great!

catmen (author)2011-08-21

I have the same mouse!

Hayabusa1337 (author)2010-02-05

is that blood on that piece of wood next to the saw? in the first picture?

Alphonsus (author)Hayabusa13372010-02-05

No don't worry its not! that's wood stain from my father refinishing an antique chair!

Aburame Shino (author)Alphonsus2010-02-06

 Haha, yeah, he's right. That was from me refinishing some chair.

Alphonsus... I am your father!

Alphonsus (author)Aburame Shino2010-02-06

dad you like naruto..? thats a little odd for a man in his late 50's isint it?

wait 15 on your profile.... are you sure your my dad? i want a dna test

Aburame Shino (author)Alphonsus2010-04-04

Your mother is actually a fourteen-year-old Australian living in Portugal. Bwahaha.

frollard (author)Aburame Shino2010-02-06

"He told me enough; he told me you killed him"!

Aburame Shino (author)frollard2010-02-06

 Mr. Aburame, candlestick, workshop. Bwahahahaha!

reptilezs (author)2010-02-07

carbide tipped wood cutting blades cut aluminum very easily

pedla (author)reptilezs2010-02-20

If you forget the fact that wood cutting blades have a lot less teeth so they tend to bite into ali rather than cut through it. A hacksaw will also cut wood BUT just use the correct tool and you will avoid stuffups and hopefully injuries. OK. Worksafe.

newbeak (author)2010-02-07

Sorry to be negative,but I just use the surface of my computer desk,which is off-white in colour. I was using a pad,but found that my optical mouse worked fine without it..

srhadaham (author)newbeak2010-02-10

some of us require a little more precision

Carmelite (author)2010-02-10

 whoahhhh.... that grinder is really dangerous
You should replace it with one that has a guard for cutoff disks. That way when the disk breaks, you won't end up with shards of hardened sand inside of you

Luke401 (author)2010-02-10

Couldn't you also use any solid surface and apply teflon spray? Teflon spray warningsTeflon info,  and you can buy the teflon sheets here, or at ebay.

dchall8 (author)2010-02-04
Tape-structable (author)dchall82010-02-09

Wow! Much cheaper than the skillet he bought, and already in shape.

Pretty large, so it could double as a laptop tray, and mouse pad?

omnibot (author)dchall82010-02-04

Oooohh, well spotted.

PeterParker (author)omnibot2010-02-09

Yes, however that cookie sheet is 17"x14", bit of a large mousepad. Easier to shape down to size though I suppose.

acornman (author)2010-02-09

I am not sure what you mean by "pan" in the UK this would be like a skillet. Surely it would be cheaper and easier to buy a teflon coated Baking Sheet .These come with a nice safe edge all round and in small sizes . No cutting or work required ....use as is.

blopez (author)2010-02-07

you can buy teflon cookie sheets (IKEA has one for $6.99) that look just like your finished product. No cutting required.

Phoghat (author)blopez2010-02-08

You did some nice work and I don't want to pee on your parade but he's right,

Bobthemonkey (author)Phoghat2010-02-08

Unfortunately, while that look almost exactly like the final product produced in this instructable, the picture gives no sense of scale. The pan linked to in the previous post has dimensions of 43 X 35 cm (17" X 14" for all you non-metric folks). In other words, it is roughly the size of an actual cookie sheet, not a mousepad, so it would not work very well for the purposes stated in this instructable. Just thought I would point that out.


dchall8 (author)2010-02-08

Thanks for the idea here.  I looked at Wal-Mart for something like the Ikea cookie sheet but all they have is "jelly roll pans," the ones with the rim around like you started with.  What I bought was a regular, white, plastic (polypropylene) cutting board.  I got the 8.5x11-inch one for less than $4.  I've tried it on 3 mice and it works very nicely.  One of my mice has drag issues but works great on the poly cutting board.  The cutting board is, of course, much thicker than yours.  The cutting board is so slippery I might have to put something under it to hold it still. 

Lightally (author)2010-02-05

An interesting idea, but in my northern climate it would be too freakin' cold to use an aluminum mouse's cold enough hanging onto the mouse during the winter months nevermind running it on an aluminum surface!

n0ukf (author)Lightally2010-02-05

You could do what we do in northern Minnesota... turn on the furnace. ;)

ac-dc (author)n0ukf2010-02-07

Funny, yet true.

Seems like another instructable... USB heated teflon coated mouse pad.  Shouldn't be too hard either, put feet on the pad to raise it off the desk a quarter inch then epoxy 4 x 10 ohm, 2W resistors to the bottom in a 2 series x 2 parallel configuration for 10 ohms (500mA from 5V USB power) total, add USB connector and a couple wires.

Or turn on the furnace.  ;)

jumpfroggy (author)ac-dc2010-02-07

Instead of resistors, would be better to use small 30 AWG gauge wire.  There's an instructable on here about doing juts that for jackets/motorcycle clothing.  This would be more even heating that resistors, just run a line around the edge, or a few loops where your palm will rest.

Metal objects tend to feel colder even at room temp, since they suck heat away from your body faster than less-conductive materials.  So even in a warm house, a heated aluminum mouse pad might not be a bad idea.

ac-dc (author)jumpfroggy2010-02-07

While in theory that sounds nice, in practice that would require over 38 feet of 30 gauge wire, and a more involved method of attaching, thermally conducting that heat.  I suppose you could cannibalize the wire from an abandoned transformer's windings but otherwise a spool of wire and enough thermally conductive epoxy to 'sink it all will cost quite a bit more than 4 resistors and a small dab of epoxy each.

4 resistors would do the job ok, remember it is the bottom of a frying pan/etc, meant to conduct heat itself so all you need to do is put the 4 resistors 33%/66% across and down from the edge of the pad.

On the other hand if you really want to use wire, nichrome heating element wire would be more manageable than plain copper wire., much shorter, smaller, less hassle heatsinking it, but it is still more expensive than 4 resistors.

There's no need to make things harder than they are for some idealized purpose.  "Good enough" is a great place to be.

ac-dc (author)ac-dc2010-02-07

Oops, there's a typo in my post above.  It would require over 48 feet, not 38 feet of wire.

Alphonsus (author)ac-dc2010-02-08

it really doesn't need to be heated! its a little cold at first but within minutes its all warmed up

ac-dc (author)jumpfroggy2010-02-07

On the other hand, if you didn't have resistors or nichrome wire but you did have a few dozen feet of 30 gauge wire and a big tub of epoxy lying in front of you already, might as well use it unless you were going to shop somewhere selling the resistors soon, and yet you use up something, the wire and epoxy, that inherently had more value someone had to pay for.

Alphonsus (author)Lightally2010-02-05

I live in Canada on the east cost, it was minus 25 (Celsius) here last week and I had no troubles with mine being cold!

johnnybgood91 (author)2010-02-07

why didnt you just buy a teflon sill pat that use for bakeing.

danlab (author)johnnybgood912010-02-07

"sill pats" aren't teflon, they are silicone (not silicon) with fibre glass reinforcement.

arpruss (author)2010-02-07

One can also buy a 0.060" bondable 12x12 teflon sheet on amazon for $12 (or thinner for less), and then use contact cement or, better, epoxy to attach it to a mouse pad, or some smooth plywood, or one's desk.

Flyinseamnky (author)2010-02-07

Nice! But why did you keep the back lip on it? Why not cut it flat, and perhaps chisle and sand a pit of the same size and width as your mousepad into the desk to inlay it into your desk? i want to do it now!

shanmugammpl (author)2010-02-07

 I remember using a Teflon "spray" from a compressed canister maybe that'd be a cheaper alternative and you can use the teflon for other purposes too!

gnomesrule_42 (author)2010-02-07

 Just a hint using some kind of greasy product in the filing stage will protect the teflon and trap any filings that come off during the process this should come off with the "bath" you give it later hope this helps :D

pinkston32 (author)2010-02-07

Wait, the mouse in the picture (MX Revolution) is a fancy laser mouse. Turn it upside-down and it says "Performance Laser". They track on practically anything except a few shiny surfaces like glass.

MaXoR (author)2010-02-04

This is a good instructable. I have a question however, is that metal shiny enough to create jitters, or tracking when the side of the mouse is slightly lifted off the pad?

I know with a glossy finish counter top (Veneer over particle board), that my optical mouse will track, and also looses it's precision to an extent during design sessions in Photoshop, or Adobe Flash.

Let me know if you have any comment on this.

Alphonsus (author)MaXoR2010-02-05

I just tried it out, there was still perfect responsiveness when I lifted the mouse  off the pad about 3mm... after that it just stopped working all toghether.

MaXoR (author)Alphonsus2010-02-06

Thanks a lot for actually doing a test of it. I am very intrigued indeed......

Good design, better look. Simple, clean, and obviously functional.

Entropy512 (author)MaXoR2010-02-05

The Pan has a Teflon (not shiny) coating on the mousing side.

trike road poet (author)2010-02-05

I made an outstanding optical mouse pad by simply getting one of those cheap plastic cutting sheets, and lightly running a sanding block with 600 grit sand paper over the surface.  The mico scratches are easy seen by the optical system and the mouse slides over the sheet easily. 
The pad was heated with my wife's hair dryer while on the desk and the sheet lost all tendency to curl.  Flat, thin, slick and CHEAP!

Eileenes (author)2010-02-05

Wow, that was a lot of work for a cookie sheet with rough edges!  Did you know they sell teflon coated cookie sheets at the dollar tree? 

The best optical mouse pad I've found is a faded, dark, woven cotton napkin. 

adaminc (author)2010-02-05

You should buy a can of Rocker Guard (for Rocker Panels), an aerosol rubber, and coat the bottom and the edges with rubber!

Wop2k (author)2010-02-05

Hi nice idea! Next time you make one (or simply cut metal) you could tape it with masking tape to prevent scratching!

wupme (author)2010-02-04

A good tip to get clean edges when using a jigsaw.
Clamp the Metal between two pieces of wood and cut through all those 3 layers the same time. It keeps the metal from deforming.

And now i have to blame YOU for making me buy teflon pan.....

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