Since January 2019, AKB has been designing premium custom mechanical keyboards and keyboard accessories, with a focus on fusing timeless, classic design with modern technology and refined functionality.

Formed at the start of 2019, Alchemist Keyboards (AKB) is James, a designer hailing from the East Midlands, UK.

AKB designs premium custom mechanical keyboards and keyboard accessories, with a focus on fusing timeless, classic design with modern technology and refined functionality.


  • 21/06/2023
    All orders have now shipped! Stay tuned for an announcement on the extras sale.

  • 12/06/2023
    Packing is now underway! Everything should be shipped within the next 3 weeks max and will be going out in batches every couple of days. If you made multiple orders that needed to be merged I’ll refund the difference in shipping after it’s dispatched as I’ll have exact costs logged at that point.

  • 22/05/2023

    As the QC is now finished I want to provide a general update for you all to keep you in the loop as we approach the final stage of this group buy – some is good news, some is less good news.

    Firstly, I want to apologise to some of you as I recently discovered that a handful of you weren’t included on the mailing list – this is my own fault and is hopefully rectified now (if this is your first email update, hello!).

    Secondly, the carry cases are now with me and are taking up every last cubic inch of space in my house. It’s like living in a box fort, which is pretty cool honestly. This doesn’t mean I will be packing *just* yet, as I will be heading off on a work trip on Wednesday 24th and won’t be back until June 2nd. After a couple of days of rest after that I will attempt to go full steam ahead and process these orders and ship before month’s end. It will likely be shipped out in batches that are processed in the order that they initially came through. If anything changes to the plan here I will let you know.

    Now for the less good news – a handful of you will unfortunately be receiving B-stock units. I had ordered 20% extra of everything to cover any potential failures on the manufacturer’s part (investing what profits I had to do so) but the B-stock rate is actually slightly over 20%. I spoke to the factory regarding this and they weren’t willing to issue partial refunds but they will be remaking a handful of parts – unfortunately not enough to cover the difference over 20% though. The customers who will be affected will be those who placed their orders last, and I will be contacting them to inform them of partial refunds soon ($50 per OGR, $25 per OGRN) and those refunds will be processed some time after I’m back from my work trip. I will be receiving those replacement parts later but I don’t want to put too much faith in them being all A-stock, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and if I’m able, I will reach out to individuals to send out A-stock parts at a later date. This isn’t a big deal thing, but I just wanted to remain transparent on the process as we go. I apologise in advance to the few that will be affected but I hope my gesture will make up for it.

    A second thing of note that I didn’t want to mention until the QC was complete and I checked every item individually, is that the engraving on the badges isn’t as deep as I would have liked (maybe 0.3-0.5mm less). Somehow the prototypes that I ordered were just fine, but during production the factory decided to make adjustments for quality/consistency concerns. I asked about having these all remade but they’re also unwilling to try. The story is that they made a few and the quality wasn’t consistent so they made the call…I’ve attached a picture of a badge example also. It’s still perfectly visible and legible, but just not as I had initially envisioned.

    A final thing of note I have just remembered is that the factory that made the carry cases for me made a bit of a mistake which I must apologise for. The zippers on the OGR cases don’t have my logo on, despite me ordering it, so they’re effectively plain cases visually and are only bespoke in the sense that they’re tailor made to fit an OGR inside. The OGRN cases do have logos on the zipper however so they’re slightly more bespoke in a way.

    Overall, I hope these minor points don’t dampen what is otherwise an exciting time for the OGR. I hope you’re all looking forward to this shipping as I am!

  • 15/04/2023
    Recently I received the shipment of the keyboard cases so I am in the process of checking inventory and also doing quality control to ensure that whatever I send out hits the standards that we all expect. There’s a lot to cover so for the next month or so I’ll be neck deep in QC.
    While I don’t have time to put together a full visual guide for this, I want to keep QC standards realistic. My aim for this all along was to ensure that any board that I send out would have no external imperfections once built. So as part of my QC process I will be thoroughly expecting the exterior of the boards to ensure this. Anything with even slight marks or blemishes will be considered B-stock and be put to one side. Honestly it’s a bit of a pain because there are a lot of small bits of dust from the factory that look like marks but they brush away.
    Now regarding the interior of the keyboards, while what I’ve seen so far has been very encouraging, it is likely there there will be imperfections here and there. Due to the nature of how parts are anodised, they are hung from hooks (or screws that are large/strong enough) and dipped into the anode baths. During this process they may leave marks where the hooks have contacted the board but I do not consider this a fault or manufacturing issue. I did actually design this board in such a way that the factory could use screws to hang the parts but alas, it doesn’t seem that this was the case. Regardless, I don’t consider this to be a problem as it doesn’t have an impact on the external finish of the board.
    The foam carry cases are also en-route to me, and are due to land in the UK mid-late May. Considering the other parts are all ready and waiting to go, it will be a case of package assembly according to your order from that point and if all goes to plan I hope to have the GB orders shipped out in June.
    I was hoping to be a little ahead of schedule with this project and provided a longer lead time than I thought was necessary, however in all honesty I had underestimated the sheer mountain of work that was ahead of me, so I apologise if this is dragging on for some of you. I am nothing if not driven though – we’re edging ever closer to the end of this journey so that motivates me more than ever to see this through.
    I appreciate your ongoing patience and support, and I’m confident that you’ll all be very happy with the end result. 

  • 27/02/2023

    I think another apology is due for the delay on this update. I’ll detail below about exactly why I’ve been a little slow in this regard but the short story is that everything is still on track.

    Firstly, the good news. The keyboards themselves have been shipped from the factory already and are en route as I type this. I could actually receive these any time next month. My plan is to QC these first while I wait for the final components to arrive and then have them hopefully shipped in late Q2!

    In other news, as detailed in the previous update, one of the key points was that I was dropping the printed packaging in favor of including a proper carry case for your boards. The idea behind this was to provide something useful in the long term rather than focusing on a momentary initial unboxing experience. I wish I had the budget here to present something that’s truly special from the moment you cut open that shipping box but I believe the contents are what is important here.

    I jumped into this idea a little blind as I had underestimated the amount of back and forth that would be required with the factory to communicate my needs and requirements. The original idea was to provide some nice, bespoke carry cases with AKB branding over them and I had ordered prototypes with the factory so I could see these in person. Unfortunately the Cherry-style logo that I provided didn’t come out as intended as they had edited it to make it work and it didn’t end up looking right (see attached picture of the A KB logo here). While I’m sure many of you may not have been bothered by this, I wasn’t at all happy with it and didn’t want to send out a product that I considered incorrect. These prototypes were ordered in early December but I underestimated the time needed for them to produce these and ship them to me (it took around 45 days total).

    Once I received them and noticed the error I tried to manage the issue with the factory and hopefully come to a conclusion and while they were happy to work with me, it would need a lot of additional time with more prototyping and I didn’t have the luxury of time to play with. Due to LNY, the lead time for production being quoted as 45-60 days, and then sea shipping at another 45-60 days it would be pushing me beyond my deadlines so I instead opted to proceed with plain carry cases that just had an AKB triangle logo on the zipper tag. I was hoping for something fancy but I firmly believe that the key reason for the carry case was function, and we will still be achieving that here.

    A final point is that I originally wanted to provide a fully fleshed out, printed instruction booklet that emulated the original Cherry manuals to really provide a more authentic feel to this project. Unfortunately some costs have significantly risen through the duration of this GB so far and it means I no longer can afford to go all-out on this aspect as I had originally intended but honestly it isn’t essential, especially after dropping the printed packaging that this would have riffed off of. I think if funds end up a little healthier than expected after I’ve paid out import fees on these keyboards/my VAT bill I will still try and get something put together (perhaps digital, tied to the QR code on the sticker) but I wanted to be up front about this.

    TL:DR – keyboards are en route, carry cases won’t be fully branded, I may have to drop the printed instruction manual, everything is on/ahead of schedule still


  • 10/11/2022
    A long overdue update here – I’m sorry for the lack of email updates so far. I’m glad to say though that not only is everything on track, but I think we may actually be (kinda) ahead of schedule a little bit, pending any potential speed bumps along our journey.Getting the small bit of (relatively) bad news out of the way first: I came across a slight error with the PCBs – not in their function but rather their design. I had mistakenly assumed that the core on the prototype PCBs was black, and I had even listed it as such in the group buy details, but that wasn’t actually the case. As a result of this, the PCBs look different to what was shown off during build streams so I can only apologise for this.

    The great thing is that they look damn slick and still oddly reminiscent of various PCBs from the past (though perhaps a little older than the original inspiration). I hope you aren’t disappointed with the final results because personally I am still very happy with them even if it wasn’t the original plan. I have linked images below of a blank OGR PCB (no components), taken courtesy of Martin (PCB designer).

    Now to the good news – you are now getting carry cases for both your OGRs *and* your OGRNs! I can’t show anything just yet as I’m still ironing out the details with the factory but as soon as I have samples to show I will fire out some images. It wasn’t part of the original plan as I didn’t know any reliable factories to use for this but thanks to CannonKeys I have been pointed in the right direction and thankfully it’s still within budget.

    The third key bit of news is that the production for virtually everything is ahead of the original projected schedule. I don’t want to give false promises that I will be shipping this out earlier than expected though, as since the sale happened I have taken on full-time employment so I will need to take a little longer than usual to QC all of the items. My employers are aware of my situation though so when the time comes I will still be able to dedicate a part of my daily routine towards QC and packing and as long as everything is OK I should be able to comfortably meet the projected timelines still.

    With these major updates out of the way, I can also say that everything required has now been ordered. Additionally, almost everything has already shipped and those parts are actually sitting in my house right now. The two key shipments I am still waiting on are the boards themselves and the new carry cases.

    I apologise for the slow email updates so far – a lot has changed in my life since the GB closed but definitely for the better! I promise that fulfilling this GB is still my highest priority and I’m looking forward to getting these shipped out to you.


  • 18/09/2022
    Production is well underway on the boards and some of the smaller components such as the carbon fiber plates are either already with me or being shipped to me.
  • 09/08/2022
    The orders have been placed with both the board and PCB manufacturers so production will begin on those soon. The longest timeline projected on anything so far is the keyboard housings themselves, as they will need to source the materials before scheduling production – these are currently expected to ship to me in early Q2 next year as long as everything remains on schedule.
  • 25/07/2022
    The public OGR + OGRN sale is now live, and limited to 300 orders!
  • 22/07/2022
    All emails have been sent out to existing customers to allow them to place their order before the public sale launches on Monday July 25th.


  • Inspired by Cherry G81-3077/G80-0832
  • 10° typing angle
  • Full 6063 aluminium construction
  • Bead-blasted and anodised finish
  • Top mounted, leaf-spring carbon fibre plate
  • 21.5mm effective front height (with bumpons)
  • QMK and VIA-compatible USB-C PCBs
  • Integrated cable aesthetic
  • Period-authentic product stickers
  • 2.9kg (6.5lbs) / Numpad 0.9kg (2lbs) [unbuilt]

Renders of available options
(Courtesy of Pontus)

Group buy details:


  • Price: $550/£456 ex.VAT
  • Format: FCFS
  • Date: Sunday 24th July until closing
  • Units: 300
  • Colourway options: Dolch & Blue/Grey
  • Layout options: 7u bottom row (WKL) & 6.25u bottom row (WK)
  • Estimated shipping timeline: Q2 2023


  • Price: $230/£190 ex.VAT
  • Format: Open sale/unlimited
  • Date: Sunday 24th July until closing
  • Units: Unlimited
  • Colourway options: Dolch & Blue/Grey
  • Estimated shipping timeline: Q2 2023

OGR Extras:

  • 5052 Aluminium plate: $35
  • PC plate: $35
  • CF plate: $30
  • PCB: $50

OGRN Extras:

  • 5052 Aluminium plate: $25
  • PC plate: $25
  • CF plate: $15
  • PCB: $30

    Prototype Photos – Dolch Colourway
    (Courtesy of Koen)

    Background Info:

    The OGR was originally designed as an entry for the OG Summer competition on r/customkeyboards in 2019, which it thankfully won. It was originally inspired by various vintage keyboards, but chiefly the Cherry/NCR G81-3077 for the iconic Cherry nose, the pronounced seam and the large forehead. It also drew inspiration from the Cherry G80-0832 for the accented piece around the keycaps to give it a truly unique look. The name is a portmanteau of OG Summer and NCR, whose branding on the aforementioned G81-3077 was also the inspiration for the retro-styled AKB logo. While the PCB is USB-C compatible, the port is enclosed deep inside the case and the case parts gently clamp the cable down to give the aesthetic of a hard-wired cable.

    Also, for those who are interested, there will be a numpad (OGR-N) available either as an optional extra or separately.

    Layout Support:

    Two case options will be available – one for 7u bottom row with dual 0.75u blockers, and one with a single small blocker for 6.25u (WK) support. The plate provided will be universal, and fixed plate files will be available to download via the website.

    The OGR-N PCB will have support for regular and southpaw configurations, as well as the option to have a full 1u setup. The plate available will support regular and southpaw layouts only, due to its reversible design.

    OGR kit contents:

    • 1 x Top Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Bottom Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Accent – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Plate – Carbon fiber leaf spring
    • 1 x Badge – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Solder PCB – Black FR4 with green solder mask
    • 1 x EVA plate foam
    • 4 x AKB Bumpons – Injection molded silicone
    • 1 x Bottom sticker
    • 1 x Split cable grommet
    • 10 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (plate)
    • 5 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (accent)
    • 6 x Torx button screw M3 x 12mm in A2 stainless steel (case)
    • 2 x Torx countersunk screw M3 x 5mm in A2 stainless steel (badge)
    • 1 x Bespoke carry case

    OGRN kit contents:

    • 1 x Top Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Bottom Case – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Accent – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Plate – Carbon fiber
    • 1 x Badge – 6063 Aluminium
    • 1 x Solder PCB – Black FR4 with green solder mask
    • 1 x EVA plate foam
    • 4 x AKB Bumpons – Injection molded silicone
    • 1 x Bottom sticker
    • 1 x Split cable grommet
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (plate)
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 6mm in A2 stainless steel (accent)
    • 4 x Torx button screw M3 x 12mm in A2 stainless steel (case)
    • 2 x Torx countersunk screw M3 x 5mm in A2 stainless steel (badge)
    • 1 x Bespoke carry case