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This wooden mouse can offer a stylistic addition to your workspace.

In this project, you will make your own custom wooden mouse. To make this wooden mouse, you will take apart a cheap USB mouse and salvage the electronics. The electronics will then be embedded in the bottom of a block of wood which you will form into a mouse-like shape. Although it is possible to make a mouse completely from scratch by purchasing the individual components, using an existing mouse as a starting point is usually cheaper and also much easier (because the electronics are already assembled), and the mouse will definitely work with all computers.

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This mouse works with all computers.

I chose to mimic a traditional mouse form, but it is really up to you to decide how you want your mouse to look, it is just a matter of cutting and sanding the wood into a different shape. You can also customize your mouse so it fits perfectly and ergonomically with your hand. Also, I would encourage you to play with different types of wood; I used oak for this mouse, but any other hardwoods will work great. In terms of the form and style, the possibilities are truly endless!

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This project will take about 6-8 hours to complete and requires power tools. If you don’t have these tools readily available at home, check out your local makerspace for tools, materials, and resources.

As always, if you make this wooden mouse, please share pictures of it! I’d love to see someone make one out of some beautiful hardwood like walnut or cherry.

<b>Note:</b> The two buttons on this mouse are modified versions of off-the-shelf buttons (you can purchase them here). I wanted the buttons to aesthetically match the rest of the mouse, so I replaced the red button heads with small chunks of wood dowels. If you are fine with the red buttons as they are, then you can skip steps 10-13 below.

Project Steps

Pick a mouse

You’ll need the innards of an existing mouse to make this wooden version. Choose one you’re okay with cutting up.

Trace and cut the wood

Trace the outline of the mouse onto the block of wood.

Use a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut the outline of the mouse.

Take apart the mouse

Disassemble the mouse and check out what’s inside.

Make sure to note where each component goes, and remember where everything fits together because you’ll need them all later.

Strip the mouse down until you have the bottom enclosure on its own.

Cut up the mouse

Cut the sides off the plastic enclosure of the mouse with a cutoff wheel on a Dremel tool.

Use a knife and sandpaper to clean up the edges.

Trace the pockets to cut

Trace this onto the bottom of the wood block.

Mark which sections need to be cut out to make room for the electronics. This type of cut is called a pocket cut.

Cut the pockets

Use a Forstner drill bit to cut the pockets. Make sure the wood is secured in a vice or with a clamp.

This process will require many test fits to see if the electronics fit. Take your time with this and check often.

Make the hole for the scroll wheel

Mark where the scroll wheel should go.

Drill this out by using a small bit to make a pilot hole. Then move up to the appropriate size of bit.

Use a file or a sanding drum on a Dremel to round out the ends of the slot to accept the scroll wheel.

This process will also require a lot of test fits to see if the scroll wheel fits properly; be patient!

Sand the contours

Draw the top profile onto the mouse and use this as a guide while sanding.

Sand or cut the top of the mouse down until the scroll wheel just pokes through the hole. Note that you shouldn’t have the scroll wheel in there while you’re sanding! Just test fit it periodically.

Cut the notch for the USB cable

Drill a hole in the front of the mouse near the bottom that’s just big enough to fit the USB cable.

Use a file or a chisel to turn the hole into a notch so you can get the cable in there

Take apart the buttons

If you don’t mind having red buttons on your wood mouse, then you can skip steps 10 through 13.

Disassemble the buttons, you may have to use a knife to cut part of the enclosure away.

Make sure to save all the parts!

Modify the button shaft

Cut the round red button head off of the shaft.

Then trim about ⅛” from the end of the shaft.

Make the wooden button cap

Find a dowel that is the same size as the red button head. You can use a slightly larger dowel and sand it down to fit.

Cut ¼” off the end of the dowel.

Drill a hole in the end of the dowel to accept the red button shaft. Make sure to drill the hole about halfway through the wood.

Reassemble the button

Use super glue to attach the wooden button head to the red shaft.

Reassemble the button (super glue may be required to keep the button together).

Add the buttons to the mouse

Mark out the holes for the buttons on the wooden mouse.

Drill the holes.

Add the buttons. You may need to use hot glue on the underside to keep the buttons in place

Hook up the buttons

Desolder the tiny switches on the circuit board.

Solder thin-gauge stranded wire to the circuit board where the switches used to be.

Solder the other ends of the wire to the terminals on the buttons.

Assemble the mouse

Fit the electronics into the bottom of the mouse. Double check that the mouse works by plugging it into a computer and testing that the buttons and scroll wheel function properly.

If everything works, go ahead and fasten the electronics to the wooden mouse using the screw you removed at the beginning. You can also glue the electronics in.

Fit the USB cable into the notch and secure it with a dab of glue.

Finish it

You don’t have to finish the mouse with anything, but a quick coat of danish oil always makes wood look great.

Rub on the oil with a cotton rag, and wipe off any excess after several minutes.