Lubing Cherry type stabilizers

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LevelSteam
Nov 28, 20178028 VIEWS
I've noticed that a lot of people in the K-Type discussions have been taking issues with the stabilizers the board ships with. Mainly that they're loud or squeaky. Since I recently got one of the boards myself, I figured I'd throw together this little tutorial about how to lube your stabilizers to help reduce noise and improve feel. Please keep in mind that this isn't strictly limited to the K-Type, and applies to all Cherry type stabilizers. It is, however, much easier to do on the K-Type since the switches can be removed without having to de/re-solder them. Oh, and I do apologize for the terrible lighting in these pictures. I threw this together in my living room while watching my kids.
First of all, you need to remove the keycaps themselves. I'd also recommend removing the caps in the immediate area around the stabilized keys, just to give you some extra room to work with. Since we're on the subject of removing the stabilized keys, be extra careful with them. Occasionally the stabilizers on a new board can fit into the keycaps somewhat tightly, and applying too much force can break them. Using the included wire puller, simply rock the cap back and forth while gently pulling on it and it will pop loose without issue.
I'm using a tube of silicone grease that I picked up a couple years ago from WASD Keyboards, and wearing gloves because this stuff can be messy.

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Now that your caps are off, before the stabilizers can be removed and properly lubed, you'll need to pull the switches. Use the switch removal tool bundled with the board to remove said switches by grabbing them at the top and bottom of the switch with the pullers metal prongs, give it a bit of a squeeze, and gently lift up. You don't want to dig in too much with the puller or you'll risk scratching your plate.

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Once those are out we can move on to removing the stabs. Each one has a small clip at the top, and pulling this with your fingernail while 'lifting' the housing toward you in the same motion will unclip it from the plate.

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Once they're free like in the above picture, the entire stabilizer assembly can be rolled toward you, with the bar coming out through the large rectangular hole.

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After the stabs are free, you'll want to lube them in two key places. The first is in the joint area that the bar rests in, here-

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The bars are simply clipped in with tension, so you can pop them loose, squeeze a little lube onto a toothpick (a little goes a long way), apply it to that area, and clip it back down.
The second area is a little trickier to do unless you want to take apart your stabilizer, but I didn't, because I'm lazy :p Anyway, you need to get the lube between the MX mount (center) and the housing itself (sides), here-

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To do this, I just held on to the stem of the mount with some tweezers, pulled upward against gravity, and applied a bit of the lube with the toothpick. The movement of the stabilizer while typing will spread it around even more later.
And that's all there is to it! From there simply put your stabilizers back in, clip them down, reseat your switches (you won't need the tool this time), and put your keycaps back on. I do this with all my stabilizers, and while it doesn't eliminate all of the noise, it does cut down on it quite a bit. Enjoy, and I hope this helped! : )

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liorsa01
26
Oct 30, 2018
do you have to remove the stabilizer? it's not possible to just lube them when they are on the PCB?
LevelSteam
Oct 30, 2018
You don't have to, but in the case of the K-Type they lift right out so it was easier to remove them to show the spots you need to apply the lube to. It's also easier to apply the grease to all of those points before mounting the stabilizer on the PCB or plate. If your stabilizer is already in place you can always remove the keycap, use tweezers to lift the slider by the cruciform portions on the top, and lube the sides of each part of the slider. Without removing the stabilizer assembly or lubing it before you install it, it'll be difficult to apply the grease to the area where the bar clips into the bracket itself as well.
bhgemini
13
Mar 3, 2018
Thank you so much. Doing this now to my board. This helped a lot.
gasmaskdude
78
Nov 28, 2017
I dont think i would try this, but i like the post.