Wooden Mice

It’s obvious why a mouse should be wooden: holding a natural, warm wood is just so much nicer than plastic. And together with the keyboard, it is an essential component of the computer world: a good mouse will never go out of style.

Your everyday stuff should be quality and you should love using them. That’s why AlestRukov mice were designed - it just feels so good holding them.

Planned obsolescence is not in them. They are durable and ready for the long haul. All AlestRukov mice carry a 5 year warranty and lifetime guarantee.

Electronic part
The mouse is a USB device. Depending on the user’s actions, the mouse identifies the function needed and sends corresponding signals to the computer. No special drivers or additional software are used – it is a pure hardware-based solution.

More than 10 generations of electronics have been created alongside the progress of sensing probes and operating procedures. At the moment, an exemplar of a wireless mouse with a wireless battery charger is under development. It will be used in the ARdock charging station. In the pictures below, you can see a few generations of these electronics.

Form-making
After many hours of trying to find the best shape, I had a usual mouse at first blush. As a matter of fact, mice made exactly for the user’s hand are the worst in terms of comfort and convenience. The first 15 minutes of bliss quickly turn to torture. The hand in the same position becomes numb, and the long work – impossible.

I then developed a shape that allowed working with diverse grips. The front corners are in the shape of horns, which are convenient to press with splayed fingers. There is also an undercut area for finger grips.

The prototypes I got confirmed usability and highlighted several defects in the design.

Cable for mouse
The wired mouse exemplar was chosen because of drawbacks in communication technology with the computer and absence of a wireless battery charger at that time (2004-2005). However, the available cables on the market absolutely did not satisfy the task at hand - the frequent tangling of the standard cable seriously disturbed the user’s experience.

To solve this, I experimented with the ratio of flexibility/ductility of the cable, and designed one specifically for the mouse. It allows for a natural working experience and neither tangles nor changes its position. It is thin: the diameter of 2.6 mm can be in braids of three design types.

The easiest way to illustrate the difference between the AlestRukov cable and the rest would be through checking it out in a video. In the video clips below Logitech, Microsoft and AlestRukov mice cables are presented. The AlestRukov cable is easy to distinguish because it is red.

Wooden casing
The main difficulty in the production of the AlestRukov wooden mouse casing is that the wooden detail is the very spring for clicking - there is nothing else. A reliable and easy click requires a highly accurate production. It took about a year of experiments to get it right. You can see in the pictures below several unsuccessful ways of solving this problem.

Ultimately, I completed the task successfully. At the same time, I had polished up the design and geometry of the casing. You can see a few generations of mouse casings in the pictures below. They look alike, but in fact they are very different.

Mouse production
The mouse casing is produced from three solid bars of fine wood (red or black wood) on a 3D milling machine with CNC. The final grinding and polishing are conducted manually.

Mice covering
The duration of the project allowed for testing different models of mice coverings in real practice. The covering based on linseed oil and special additives showed the best resistance to tactile sensations on natural wood. The process of coating the wood is very long. Depending on the type of wood, it can take anywhere from a week to a month. For the final coating, carnauba wax is applied.

As a result, the covering is resistant, easily renewable and, above all, it allows the wood to breath. It’s is not a varnish that can turn wood into plastic - the coating leaves the wood natural.

This is how a four-year mouse looks. It is still actively used in the office. For all this time, the coating has not been renewed - as a matter of fact, it was a little bit ruined by a cleaning substance!

Details
Mouse feet are made of red teflon and match the cable. Fixing screws are gold-filled to prevent oxidation during long-term exploitation.

Facts about production

  • Production of each mouse requires:
    1. 3 months to 1 year for the material preparation (natural finish drying);
    2. 1 day for producing the parts on the 3D-milling CNC machine;
    3. 3 to 4 weeks for coating.
  • The parts of a casing are produced from solid wood.
  • Certified fine wood is used from renewable plantations. Production, usage and recycling of AlestRukov mice do not damage the environment.

Please, see the pictures of the mice made of different wood species in the Shop.

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