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Picture of Wooden mice by AlestRukov
You need CAD software, a CNC milling machine (you can rent time on it), a lot of spare time and even more persistence.

I don’t like plastic. Instead, I like nature and that’s why I have developed and now produce wooden mice. They are beautiful, pleasant to hold in your hand and make your hand less sweaty. 
I managed to obtain a decent result only after five years of work in my spare time. For already more than 4 years I have been using mice of my own production.  During this time, I had to develop new electronic stuff twice to keep up with the times and not lag behind progress.
 
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Step 1:

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Everything started with handicrafts. In these models, I used stuff from conventional mice.
These experiments resulted in the understanding of the impossibility of making a normally working mouse using manual technologies. It also became obvious that I would have to develop my own electronics to suit my housing without trying to adapt it to the borrowed stuff.  The maximum that one can produce with handicraft technologies is a single capricious specimen that will be worse than a conventional plastic mouse. This did not satisfy me and I got down to serious work.

Step 2:

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After plasticine experiments, prototypes were made on a 3D printer. First, to test ergonomics. Then, after correction, to test the ability to assemble the structure.

Step 3:

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After testing the structure, I got down to the most serious part. I chose the design in which the mouse buttons and housing made a whole.  This is, at first sight, an easy solution in plastic but an extremely complicated engineering task when you use wood. Button press force must be standard, while the wooden part must sustainably and safely return to its original place. Let’s add here the factors of the anisotropicity of wood, the influence of humidity changes on the dimensions of parts and the different density of wood species. There is no engineering software capable of calculating such structure. That’s why I had to search for the solution experimentally. It took approximately a year, but I managed to find the solution. In terms of clicking, my mouse is not different from a conventional one. 

Photos of incorrect solutions to the clicking problem.

Step 4:

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During this time, the housing has undergone many changes. They are not superficially visible but improve the structure seriously. This is a photo of 8 generations (in fact, there were many more of them).

Step 5:


This is the process of housing milling with the milling machine.

Step 6:

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Simultaneously, I worked on the electronics. It would be stupid to simply copy standard models, a unique mouse required unique functionality. I like to listen to music during work and phone calls make me change the volume. That’s why my mouse allows me to do this in a very convenient and easy way. You only need to press the right button (left one for left-handers) and rotate the wheel. Wheel up to turn up music, wheel down to turn it down. This function is integrated into the electronics of the mouse,  that’s why it works on any computer and doesn’t require installation of drivers and doesn’t interfere with other programs.

Photo of 8 generations of electronic stuff (in fact, there were many more of them).

Step 7:

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I made a wire mouse because of its higher durability and because I didn’t want to place another electromagnetic radiation source on my desk. At the same time, I wanted to avoid the problem of a tangling and inconvenient cable. That’s why I came up with the idea and ordered a cable with special characteristics of stiffness and manageability. On the one hand, the cable is soft.   On the other hand, it can be conveniently positioned on the desk. 
It absolutely doesn’t bother you during work.

Step 8:

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The long development time allowed me many experiments with mouse coating. I didn’t want to use chemical-based varnishes and make a mouse surface similar to plastic. I wanted to preserve the sensation of live wood in hand. On the other hand, I had to ensure extremely resistant coating because the mouse is used under the most rigorous conditions. It is constantly in hand, it is influenced by friction, sweat and skin fat. After long experiments, I managed to develop the coating technology. I applied a flax oil based composition and carnauba wax. The coating technology is very time-consuming because of the necessity of intermediate dryings and takes from two weeks to one month depending on wood species.  The result is a durable and beautiful coating that develops individual features after long-term usage of the mouse – it darkens in places with increased contact with human hand.  This does not take from its beauty but rather decorates it and adds individuality.

This is the photo of the mouse that has been used for more than 4 year in everyday office work. The coating is not renewed intentionally. The mouse is wiped with conventional wipes for consumer electronics, which has a bad influence on the coating. It’s better to use special wipes for wood with a natural coating.

Step 9: Wooden mice by Alest Rukov

Picture of Wooden mice by Alest Rukov
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At the end, I want to show you photos of different mouse models. They differ only by wood species. Several red wood types and black wood (Ebony) were used.
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elliotnash1 month ago

Looks really smooth and stylish. Eventough not packed with all kinds of buttons for different purposes, I'd certainly chose this mouse over any high tech one any day.

alcurb8 months ago

Beautiful work. I particularly like the red finish depicted in the first photo.

I looked at your web site and found that the mouse is insanely expensive but I suppose that is because you make them in very small quantities and they are uniquely a piece of art.

I have an idea of possible solution for those of us who are lacking CNC machines, is to slice them up into layers in a CAD program, print the templates, and cut the layers out of thin sheets of wood. Then glue the layers and sand the stepped surfaces to a smooth finish. The result would be a striped finish mouse, but I think it would look super cool. I think a huge challenge would be creating the thin portions needed for the buttons. Those of you who are experienced woodworkers, do you think that idea would work?

Another ideal would be to print them in a 3D printer using wood filament. However, you would not get the nice wood-grain pattern.

nerd74731 year ago
hey this was a neat idea
These are to die for, I can't stand all the plastic either!

Do you sell them, like, on eBay or anything? They look like a major money maker!

HEY! My hands are totally too huge for most mice, can you adjust the size of the mouse and make one that is 35% wider and longer?
AlestRukov (author)  pddonovan20113 years ago
Yes, I can make the mouse a 35% wider and longer. But it may take several months. It's not so easy to do, have to change the design.
MAN! Has it been a year already?!? WOW! Say listen, if you are still making mice. Figure out the cost of a huge mouse for my huge hand and tell me what it costs. I may just go for it. My Other question is, can you adapt any mouse under this wooden beauty? If not, don't worry, I am still interested, but if you do I want to send you my mouse to have a look see!!
AlestRukov (author)  pddonovan20111 year ago
Hi! Yes, I can do it
Send me email: info@alestrukov.com or alestrukov@gmail.com
AlestRukov (author)  pddonovan20111 year ago
Hi! Yes, I can do it
Send me email: info@alestrukov.com or alestrukov@gmail.com
Fish2252 years ago
What ? No wireless meeses ? Very nice job Brudda...Gourgeous ...wish I had a CNC
grgbpm2 years ago
amazing work
good idea.
gera2293 years ago
I came here in hopes of learning how to use a 3 Axis CNC machine to mill complex components like these.

I want to know a step by step process so I have an idea and would know that it is possible to create my own parts.

Is your CNC Milling machine a 3 axis machine? Or is it a 4 or 5 axis? Does it have a rotational axis?
AlestRukov (author)  gera2293 years ago
3 axis.
The problem is not in the CNC machine
Problem in the design. Very hard to make everything work.
Hey, I really do want to see a complete video on how you milled it. Thanks.
AlestRukov (author)  gera2293 years ago
The complete process of milling the mouse occupies nearly the whole day.
I do not have this video
Okay, are there any step by step instructions of the most important parts to it? Rather than showing the entire process maybe show just a little bit of it so I can get the concept?
AlestRukov (author)  gera2293 years ago
I have no any detailed instructions. Make this manual is very difficult. The development took several years. A lot of the subtleties and details. My goal not to tell you how to do it. My goal was to say that this is possible.
You do not need to tell me how to do the mouse, but how you used the CNC machine to cut out the part. You do not need to show dimension and can actually show me how to set this up. It's up to you, however.

I wanted to know because I want to be able to make complex parts with my own CNC machine, not the mouse, but something else.

Thanks.
AlestRukov (author)  gera2293 years ago
I do not understand that you can not do on the CNC machine.
You can ask a specific question?
On a 3 axis CNC machine you are only able to cut 2.5D meaning it only cuts the top part of the object you are cutting and that's the part that is 3D, while the bottom is flat.

How did you manage to cut the bottom part of the object accurately? Did you flip it around? How did you align it if so?
AlestRukov (author)  gera2293 years ago
If I understand your question, it is very simple.
Have you watched the video with milling process?
See picture, please.
ARmilling.jpg
ironman01043 years ago
I think this is wonderful. Anyone who does not have access to a CNC milling machine can use a Jig saw and sander. Yes it will take time to sand it some but I have built items like this with just a jewlers saw and a sander. So it could be done with simple tools but his mouse is made wonderfully.
zackatron3 years ago
are these up for sale?
http://www.alestrukov.com/

they are up for sale and since i would like one especially
for the volume function, which is very clever and i found his site
but blimey... prices range from 800 to 1200 Holy S#!t
Housedog Arghus3 years ago
Holy Crap! I thought you were kidding, until I went there myself. They are beautiful, but seriously?
Arghus Housedog3 years ago
dead serious,
i would pay a maximum 50 euro wired,
i guess but no more than that,
80 if wireless but that's it..
geovatt3 years ago
This is a nice demonstration "what i did", now do you wanna buy it.
but this is not an instructable.
AlestRukov (author)  geovatt3 years ago
You are right. This is not the instructable.
I was invited to this resource. My project is the industrial production and its hard to do in the Instructable format .
But looking at it, the other people may be a similar idea. I wrote my story to everyone could see the potential problems.
Your honesty is awesome.
Your mice rock.
I need to make a cordless one with copper buttons, you have inspired me.
I will post a pic once it is complete.
sconner13 years ago
I like the way wax finished wood gathers an antique patina look over time and use. Handsome.
JoeAconite3 years ago
A thin fabric sheath to the cord would give it a further retro look.
There's fabric insulated wire that is reproduced specifically for restoration of old tube radios and appliance cords. This could be used to cover the wire of one's mouse.
I want 1 there so awesome
AlestRukov (author)  GENERALCHAOS3 years ago
welcome to www.alestrukov.com :)
if 1 Disappear idk where it whent k ???? ........... XD
AlestRukov (author) 3 years ago
I want to thank everyone for the appreciation of my work.
Sorry, do I not thank everyone personally. I dont want to increase the number of posts without useful information.
qquuiinn3 years ago
Can you please, please, please post schematic files of the electronics. I am looking into a similar project
AlestRukov (author)  qquuiinn3 years ago
You will be much easier to take the standard schematic from the manufacturer of the optical sensor and modify it to your liking.
Alest, as a professional woodworker, carver, and amateur maker I have to comment on your work.However, considering the comments that have already been posted, there is not much that I can add except: I WANT! I WANT! I WANT!
thanks:)
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