Wooden Mice by AlestRukov

Introduction: 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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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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    96 Discussions


    1 year ago

    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.

    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.

    1 reply

    Thanks you for your appreciation. Here they were at the request of the instructables.com 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.

    It's more of an advert than an instructable.

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

    3 replies

    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

    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: https://m.habrahabr.ru/post/161539/

    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.


    2 years ago

    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.

    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.

    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!.

    2 replies

    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: www.alestrukov.com/shop

    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.


    2 years ago

    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...

    2 replies

    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.

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

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

    Id really like to make one ( got the cnc)

    1 reply

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

    1 reply