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Ergonomic mouse

My mouse hand has begun to show symptoms. My pinky got very sore after a day’s work because it was in a funny position against the table all the time. I looked up ergonomic mouse solutions, but they all cost 30e+ and cheapest ones weren’t even worth of considering. The more expensive ones, the kind I could have considered of buying cost 70e+. These prices are crazy since it shouldn’t cost more to manufacture an ergonomic mouse than a regular mouse. Why aren’t all mice ergonomic? Again, I thought I’d “make” the thing myself. I really doubt that a mass produced mouse could ever beat a mouse made just for your hand.

Here’s some pictures of the finished product and construction pictures:

The construction goes as follows:

1. Wrap your mouse into house hold plastic. This will protect it from moisture.

2. Get or make some paper mass. I had a big bag of it for house insulation purposes, but it can be made by ripping newspaper into small pieces. Paper mass is a nice material for this project, because it’s light and easily available.

3. Wet the paper mass in a bowl. At this point you can add about 50% of white glue to the water. I didn’t, but I did aply white glue afterwards. The glue will bind the paper mass and it’ll be more durable.

4. Put the mouse on some movable plate, on house hold plastic. (I didn’t but you should. I moved the mass on a plate afterwards.) Shape the paper mass around it using your hand as a mold. See that your fingers reach the buttons and your hand is in a good position. A good position is when the hand is a bit tilted (that is the principle of “vertical” mice, the hand is in handshaking position). The hand doesn’t have to be completely vertical, though. As long as it doesn’t feel “twisted” i.e. it’s feeling relaxed when you’re holding the mouse on the table.

You can shape the paper mass easily. Just squeeze it to mold it and if there’s too much in one place, take it off and if there’s too little, put some more.

At the end the paper mass should be squeezed pretty dense and the most of the water should have been squeezed out. If you didn’t put glue in the water to begin with, you can make a 50%-50% water-glue solution now and wet the paper mass with it.

NOTE: Don’t pour the water-glue solution to the drain but instead dry it with toilet paper and put in the trash. If you have a habit of pouring large amounts of solidifying liquids to the drain, eventually it will get clogged, and that will be EXPENSIVE.

5. Let the paper mass get stiff for a few hours. At some point the paper mass is stiff enough so that you can carefully pull out the mouse. Then you can put some newspaper balls to replace the mouse and hold the “roof” that goes over the mouse. Then you can stick the plate on which the mass is lying to microwave oven on the lowest level (“keep warm” or “defrost”) for 15-20 minutes at a time, to speed up the drying. Check the mass after a few minutes in the microwave, though, so that you don’t fry it and your microwave. I suppose you can stick it in a regular oven too, at about 50C. Or if you have time, just wait for a few days.

6. After the mass is completely dry, test the mouse. Stick the mouse inside the mass. At this point you can still return to the step 4, if you’re not happy.

7. Finish the mass. Sand down the worst edges and apply the finishing of your desire. I just stuck the mass inside my wife’s old pantyhose. This also made the mouse slippery and slide easily on my (plastic) mouse pad. If you have a fabric mouse pad, you can cover the underneath of the mouse with plastic, e.g. packing tape or such (I’ll leave it to you to experiment). I suppose you could also spray some silicone or spackle on it and cover it with some stretching fabric, but take into account that silicone and spackle are quite heavy materials, thus your mouse will be heavier also. You don’t necessarily have to attach the mouse inside the mass if the mass is tight enough around the mouse. But I suppose you could use some double sided tape or some strips of bicycle inner tire between the mouse and mass.

EXTRA:

I also taped my mouse pad to the table, because I really hate it if the mouse pad moves around. The tape also made it more slippery.

Then I screwed an elbow rest to my table, so that I wouldn’t have to reach to the mouse. (By the way, computer elbow rests cost 90e+ if you buy them and this one took me only 10 minutes to make…)

I had to get a wrist rest for the mouse already a few years ago but now the mouse supports also the wrist. I moved the wrist rest backwards under my elbow – feels really good.

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