Introduction: Wooden Mice by AlestRukov

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.

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

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.


shcho (author)2017-05-16

Thank you for presentation but i hope to hear more specific instruction process.

I understand you did experiment for long time for wooden mice. I want to see your record of experiment hard.

jeffc61 (author)2016-08-01

Since there aren't any "instructions" and you refuse to share any specifics about wooden mice, why is it on this site? It sounds like you have perfected your process so you might want to consider kickstarter or go fund me or similar sites. You have a great looking product and I'm pretty sure you could sell them. But we are just a bunch of DIYers here that like to tinker and get ideas off of each other. If I woke up in your shoes in the morning I would take a look at crowd funding web sites. You really have a good looking product.

AlestRukov (author)jeffc612016-08-01

Thanks you for your appreciation. Here they were at the request of the editor, I understand that this is not DIY product.
I've been selling these mouse on its website (alestrukov.kom), but now they are out of date. The second generation will be wireless, with wireless charging.
I'll do it later, now I have many other projects.

adrian.palusinski (author)2016-07-12

It's more of an advert than an instructable.

ТвинкБ (author)2016-07-10

Пост из разряда "как нарисовать сову"! Где модели мышек? 3Дшные, где схема электроники с платой и прошивкой?

AlestRukov (author)ТвинкБ2016-07-11

Там же, где и ключи от квартиры где деньги лежат)

Пост попросили сделать редакторы instructables. Сделать эту мышку одному без профессионального инструмента и знаний слишком сложно

ТвинкБ (author)AlestRukov2016-07-11

Извеняйте, но я лично помню ваш "пост" на хабре про все те-же мышки(деревянные) - там он был в РАЗЫ информативней ;)
На всякий случай, если вы вдруг страдаете склярозом:

AlestRukov (author)ТвинкБ2016-07-11

Это не мой пост на Хабре) это пост моего последователя.

там в комментариях по alestrukov (это я). И обратите внимание на дизайн
мышки, проблемами зрения не страдаете?) Мой более информативный пост
(точнее посты) можно прочитать в моем ЖЖ.

Dawsie (author)2016-07-11

I never found the instructions on how you make the mouse. I love them but this is just a story not instructions on how to make one myself :-/

They are very nice and I have been playing with the idea of coating mine with a wood for some time now but you have made the whole mouse with wood :-)

It would be nice for step by step on how to make the mouse but it looks like you have used a milling machine to do the work rather than making them by hand.

Maggs♍️ (author)2016-07-11

This isn't an instructable; more of a brief description of the trial and error process. There isn't anything here that tells you how to make it and it reads as a glossy ad. I am pretty sure this site is supposed to be instructive, not whatever this is. That being said, they are beautifully made and it would be great if the instructions would be added.

rvail136 (author)2016-07-10

I'm a cabinetmaker...and I could probably duplicate your work...but why would I. You have mastered the task! I'd love to purchase one of my own. Are you marketing them? You might think seriously about that. I'm sure you could easily sell them through Amazon, or on Ebay, I'd buy one!.

AlestRukov (author)rvail1362016-07-11

Repeat this work is very difficult with hand tools. The required accuracy can be achieved only with CNC machine.

Mice is more expensive than you think. See:

rvail136 (author)AlestRukov2016-07-11

I don't doubt you for one minute. My point was merely that I could probably replicate it, but it would both cost far more, and take more effort than it was really worth.

Patrik (author)2016-07-10

Nice work.

And now you're going to give us all the instructions for how to build one of these mice for ourselves, right? After all, that is what Instructables is all about...

AlestRukov (author)Patrik2016-07-11

no, sorry. It's very difficult. I'll take too much time and effort to write accurate and detailed instructions. It's a big job, it is difficult to put in the instructions, too many subtleties.

jstewman (author)Patrik2016-07-10

pull the casing off your normal mouse and make your own casing?

nandalek (author)2016-07-10

Alex would you share your'e stl's for the mouse and the circuits ?

Id really like to make one ( got the cnc)

AlestRukov (author)nandalek2016-07-11

no, sorry.

WouterZ (author)2016-07-10

This is a infomercial, not an intructable. Nice work though

AlestRukov (author)WouterZ2016-07-11


mxx (author)2016-07-10

Amazing! But not all of us have sophisticated machinery like you. I wonder if an experienced woodworker whould be able to make something similar with more traditional tools?

AlestRukov (author)mxx2016-07-11

Thanks, but the required accuracy can be achieved only with CNC machine.

rvail136 (author)mxx2016-07-10

Certainly, but it would be cost prohibitive. The machinery makes it affordable. I'd say by traditional hand tools, I could do it in 40-50 hours (@ $25 hr, that gets expensive), which is why I asked if he was marketing them!

fuzzjp (author)2016-07-11

This isn't really an instructable at all. He barely discusses any of the actual design and pretty much just advertises the mice he "makes".

DejayRezme (author)2016-07-10

Wow amazing! Have you thought of or tried stabilized wood? You suspend the wood in a vacuum chamber below a special resin and then let the air pressure press the resin back into the wood. That way it becomes very stable towards moisture etc. But my guess is you want it as natural as possible :)

My dream mouse would have to have 3 separate buttons for three fingers (ring finger can easily press the middle mouse button like the G600). And ideally a touch pad or trackball instead of a wheel for 2D scrolling.

AlestRukov (author)DejayRezme2016-07-11

Yes, only natural wood without stabilization.
For precision geometry selected breed of red and black wood. They are stable in a natural state.

Natalina (author)2016-06-24

This is amazing, beautiful work.

YesItsMeJimmy (author)2016-06-20

Absolutely beautiful works of art! I would love one of those mice. I wish I could build one like that too but I do not have the machines and if I tried to do so by hand, it would not be pretty comparatively.

AlestRukov (author)YesItsMeJimmy2016-06-20


elliotnash (author)2015-06-18

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.

alcurb (author)2014-11-07

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.

nerd7473 (author)2014-01-10

hey this was a neat idea

pddonovan2011 (author)2012-06-01

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)pddonovan20112012-06-04

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.

pddonovan2011 (author)AlestRukov2013-09-01

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)pddonovan20112013-09-23

Hi! Yes, I can do it
Send me email: or

AlestRukov (author)pddonovan20112013-09-23

Hi! Yes, I can do it
Send me email: or

Fish225 (author)2013-01-25

What ? No wireless meeses ? Very nice job Brudda...Gourgeous ...wish I had a CNC

grgbpm (author)2012-11-26

amazing work

kvangpedchun (author)2012-06-19

good idea.

gera229 (author)2012-05-31

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)gera2292012-06-04

3 axis.
The problem is not in the CNC machine
Problem in the design. Very hard to make everything work.

gera229 (author)AlestRukov2012-06-04

Hey, I really do want to see a complete video on how you milled it. Thanks.

AlestRukov (author)gera2292012-06-08

The complete process of milling the mouse occupies nearly the whole day.
I do not have this video

gera229 (author)AlestRukov2012-06-08

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)gera2292012-06-17

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.

gera229 (author)AlestRukov2012-06-17

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.


AlestRukov (author)gera2292012-06-18

I do not understand that you can not do on the CNC machine.
You can ask a specific question?

gera229 (author)AlestRukov2012-06-18

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)gera2292012-06-18

If I understand your question, it is very simple.
Have you watched the video with milling process?
See picture, please.

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