Install 1/8in Probe

When installing the PCB bracket, use the 1/8in probe.

In the Bantam Tools Software, click on the Jog icon. In the Tool Install dialog, select the 1/8in Diameter Probe from the list.

If you don't have a 1/8in probe, you can use the 1/8in flat end mill. Install the 1/8in flat end mill upside down so the blunt flat tip touches the bed.

Locate PCB Bracket

In the Bantam Tools software, click on the Initial Setup tab. Under the Brackets and Accessories section, click on the LOCATE button under the PCB Bracket title.

Read and follow the Locate Bracket dialog.

Remove any material from the spoil board. Wipe the surface down with a paper towel and alcohol.

Proceed to install the PCB bracket onto the spoil board.

Install PCB Bracket

The PCB bracket for the Bantam Tools PCB milling machine uses 3x M3 screws to secure it to the spoil board.

Place the PCB bracket over the spoil board and line up the mounting holes. Use an M3 wrench to fasten and secure the bracket to the spoil board.

When installation is complete, proceed to click the NEXT button in the Locate Bracket dialog window.

Probe Bracket

The spindle will lower and probe the various edges of the PCB bracket with the 1/8in probe.

Secure Fixture to Spoil Board

Use double-sided nitto tape to secure the fixture to the spoil board.

Use several strips of tape to cover the bottom surface of the fixture.

Place the fixture onto the spoil board with the lower left corner lined up with the PCB bracket.

Firmly apply pressure to secure the fixture to the spoil board.

Install Tape on Fixture

Lay down two strips of double-sided NITTO tape on the top surface of fixture. Reference the image for best placement.

This tape is necessary for securing the bottom keycaps to the fixture. Without the tape, the keycaps will lift during the top side milling process.

Install Keycaps

Place the bottom keycaps onto the fixture.

Firmly apply pressure to each of the keycaps to secure them to the fixture.

Install 1/16in Tool

In the Bantam Tools software, Click on the JOG icon. In the Jog Milling Bed dialog window, click on the Install Tool button.

Get the 1/16in flat end mill tool ready to install.

This will be used to mill all of the tops of the keycaps. 

Setup GCode for Top Keycaps

In the Bantam Tools software, click on the Initial Setup icon.

Click the OPEN button and select the GCode file for the top keycaps.

Under the GCode file section, click on the dropdown menu and select the 1/16in flat end mill from list.

Material Offset

Click on the Material Setup icon. Under the material placement section, update the Z input under the Material Offset Z section. Enter 5.4mm into the text box.

Ensure the Align To Spoil Board section is set the LEFT.

Mill Top Keycaps

When ready, click on the Summary Run Job icon. Under the top keycap GCode file, click the Mill Single File button.

 

Remove Top Keycaps

Apply alcohol to the top surface of the tape.

Allow the alcohol to soak into the tape to soften up the adhesive.

Use a palette knife or spatula to remove the keycaps from the fixture.

Gently slide the palette knife or spatula underneath the keycaps.

Take care and be cautious when removing keycaps from the fixture. Be careful not to break the keycaps when removing from the fixture.

Test Keycaps with Switches

Use 220 grit sand paper to remove any excess and smooth out the bottom surface of the keycaps.

Test fit the keycaps by press fitting them onto a Kailh Box mechanical key switch.

Finish Keycaps

Optionally use a finish or stain to the finish your keycaps.

Congrats! You have successfully milled Keycaps out of wood.

Now you can install them onto your favorite keyboard or macropad.

This guide was first published on Aug 30, 2021. It was last updated on Aug 30, 2021.

This page (Mill Top Keycaps) was last updated on May 13, 2022.

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