UPDATE, 10/6/2020:

I found a better option! For ~$10 USD, you can find this on Amazon:

round, thin silicone mat (x2)

This is a very thin silicone mat (two actually) that offers a lot more friction and is easier to live with. And as a bonus can be used with multiple keys. You can easily cut it with scissors and shapes to whatever dimensions you want. I have left it alone for now and just put the round disc on the desktop where it stays put as well as anything on it.

This works crazy well. Below is the original post. I still use the below for some cases, like portable ops.

Ever had a key that slides on the desk surface? Even if you aren’t banging out code with an iron fist, sometimes a little bit of dust under the feet of a key is all it takes. And even with keys that already have clear bumpers, you can have the key slide when it doesn’t stick that well to a particular surface. Yes, sure, you can use chewing gum (yuck) or play-doh, but neither is terribly appealing. When you set your key up with minimal gaps, it isn’t enjoyable if the key moves under your fingers.

Without permanently altering the key, how can you prevent this?

The pictures above show my Begali Expedition (yes, with customized blue anodized paddles). As you can see, the key does come with clear bumpers already. And for whatever reason, sometimes on this wooden desk, the key slides just a little. Although I may hold the key occasionally, I prefer not to have to grasp the base of the key with one hand while using the other to send code.

And I don’t want to modify the key in a way that I can’t undo without leaving a mark.

Instead of semi-permanently attaching bumper pads to the key as I had initially planned, I found something else that works surprisingly well: take two larger diameter clear bumper pads and stick the adhesive sides together. You now have a removable solution to the problem.

  • key won’t slide (yay)
  • no permanent changes to the key
  • reusable across keys
  • can be cleaned easily if necessary

If you want to try this yourself, you should get bumper “discs” that are wide (at least 3/4″) and shallow unless you want to lift the key itself for some reason. The increased height of the key meant I don’t touch the upper quarter of the paddles as much as somewhere just above the middle. Perfect.

Bonus? If you leave a heavy enough key sitting on these “discs” for a while, the feet of the key adhere slightly to the “discs,” and you can even pick the key up and move it without them falling off.

I think this qualifies as success! Ok, fine, I’m still gently holding the key with my left hand while sending, but no longer a death grip and there’s another reason for it. But that will have to wait for now.


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