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.


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.


Help the wolves

There are only 140 wolves in Finland and the Finnish government is still giving permits to shoot them. Poaching is another considerable threat. In Lapland there is no breeding population and still the reindeer breeders lobby to kill the last remaining wolves. This is how things are in the land of Santa Claus. Wolf is a good advertisement for Finnish tourism, but it doesn’t have a right to exist. Please do think about how you support this. Is it necessary to buy reindeer products? Is it necessary to travel to Lapland during Christmas?

You can visit the Finnish nature association’s wolf group and give a donation:


Transsexual cake

Last autumn my wife and my friends’ girlfriends decided to celebrate the very first men’s day and surprise us with this cake:

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Outdoor sauna

I’ve been working on the new sauna for the whole summer now. We had to demolish the previous one – we couldn’t save it. I found a timber frame about 10 km away from here, dismantled it and brought it here. The foundations are made of big stones (there’s a concrete slab under them). I’m still going to panel the house, so when finished, you can’t see the timber frame anymore. There’s one picture of the house at it’s present form. Not much has happened to that in a few years now… I haven’t even started the porch.


Kitchen cabinets

Last winter I finished the kitchen cabinets. We wanted pretty clean lines so I made doors that are at the same level with the frame (doors don’t cover the frame). It also means that the frame is one block! In modern cabinets the frames are modules which have to be covered with the doors (doors go in front of the frame). We also wanted to stay away from fancy panel doors so I made these pretty simple ones.  The top cabinet doors have windows with sandblasted pattern on them.

The sink cabinet doors have fancy ventilation holes in them. They are carved straight to the veneer. There’s a similar style ventilation thing above the refrigerator, too.

All drawers are dovetailed (lohenpyrstöliitos in Finnish).

There’s big drawers with grills on the bottom for kettles and stuff. There’s a water liner behind and under the whole cabinet and a floor drain so if you put wet kettles in those drawers the water drops on the liner and down the drain. Of course we always have drying cabinets for other dishes on top of the sinks here in Finland, too, and this cabinet is no exception.

Here in Finland we also have always chopping boards built into the cabinets. There are two of them: the one above is for wet stuff (vegetables) and lower is for dry stuff (bread). There’s a detachable grill on the lower chopping board (a place to hide bread crumbs!).

See that dishwasher: it’s 40 years old! My parents bought it in 1970 and it still works like a dream! They used to make things last…


Some advancement

Here some new pictures of things I’ve done lately.

First there’s the indoor sauna and bathroom. Sauna is almost finished (still some battens missing around the door). It’s pretty basic but there are some innovations: the seats are hinged to the wall and you can haul them up with winches for easy cleaning – you can almost stand straight under them. Before hauling you have to detach those grills under the seats. Sauna stool (stairs) have wheels under them for easy moving. If you tilt the stool a bit the wheels touch the floor and there you go.

Shower is very DIY-style. It’s made of standard copper and brass plumbing parts (took some heavy polishing!). Shower head is made by forcing copper sheet around a mold (well there were other stages as well…). Shower handles are polished brass and teak. The shower walls are custom made – frame with the same principle as the shower. Glass sheets inside the frame were made by a glazing company. I sandblasted those patterns to them myself (this job only took a week, together with the sandblasting of sauna’s door – my compressor is weak).

And my pride and joy, sink cabinet, is also completely made by me. The boards are birch, thin strips glued together and veneered with oak. All drawers and other joints too are dovetailed (kalanpyrstöliitokset in Finnish). The table top is covered with copper sheet. I found the sink from a junkyard and painted it. We ordered the faucet from a foreign web store. The cabinet has a motorcycle theme, with the motorcycle headlight on top and other vehicle lights around the mirror (mirror was also custom cut, drilled and beveled). There are motorcycle badges on the drawers, made by me (it took a month to figure out how to make them – if you’re interested in the procedure, ask me). And of course, because this is a motorcycle cabinet and motorcycle lights have low and high beam, so do these (see the image)!


Turtle happiness

Our turtles had a nice summer. This pond was built last year and this was the first full summer there :) In case you’re wondering why they have those bows reason is: we couldn’t find them otherwise. Even though the pond is not that big (about 8 meters long) they have plenty of hiding places there!


Updated: blog software

I updated the blog software as the previous one stopped working. I think I screwed something up, because now there’s funny letters all over the previous posts (Something to do with the coding? Now it’s utf8, no idea what it was previously.).


Pictures of the house and other things

Here’s some pictures of the house. Hover over a picture to get title, click to get description.


Good bye, Tanttu

There is something sad that happened. Tanttu, our beautiful turtle died. That put off things a bit. We made a nice coffin of 100-year-old wood and a gravestone with copper plate on it. She was 20 years old. We noticed one day that she was breathing heavily. Only one week later it was over. She had liver fattening. We have begun to feed the others less and we’re trying to offer them more vegetables.