The Van Man’s one-of-a-kind 40%

Today we’re interviewing Evan, designer of the popular 40% Minivan keyboard about his personal passion project, the V4N4G0N!

Hi there, who are you and where are you from?

I am Evan aka The Van Man aka Trash Man. I am located in Arizona

What attracted you to the world of mechanical keyboards?

My first mechanical keyboard was a das keyboard with blank keycaps and cherry blues. I got it to go with a gaming pc I built. Eventually, I rented a house with a friend and the blues were too loud at night. I began looking for something quieter and quite abruptly fell down the hole.

What were you looking for in your perfect keyboard? Do you think you achieved it?

I was looking for a 40% that I could daily drive. I designed and produced the MiniVan keyboard for 3 years. It fit the bill but was a tad cumbersome for gaming. After closing my keyboard shop I found I had the time and no restriction to create my ultimate endgame – the V4N4G0N, essentially a MiniVan with half a number row

Tell us about the case? What did you go for and why?

The case is layered acrylic designed by Worldspawn. I love his take on the V4N4G0N, especially the built-in handle.

What switches did you go with? Why?

I used Durock stabs which have been some of the best I’ve ever used. With a little lube, they sound and feel incredible. For the switches, I used Gateron Yellow Ink Housings with Gateron Silent Ink Stems, 55g Catweewee springs, and 3204 lube. They are smooth and quiet and look like bumblebees. What more could you want?

How about the PCB?

The PCB is the custom-designed V4N4G0N PCB. It’s got 3 indicator leds and support for split or full space layouts. Simple but effective.

Did you use a plate? Whats it made out of?

I designed the keyboard to use an FR4 plate that rests on bumpons to give a little flex and dampening. I have another V4N4G0N with a PP plate that has even more flex.

And of course… what keycaps are you wearing today?

I’m currently sporting the first run of GMK Hyperfuse with arrows from GMK Sky Dolch. I picked colors for the acrylic to complement these specific caps.

Tell us about the Lube!

  • Tribosys 3204 on the switches (stem rails and springs)
  • 205g0 on the stabs

Anything else went into this endgame build?

I use magnetic USB connectors for anything in my regular rotation. This board got one of course 😀

Cheeky question… how much did it all cost?

  • Case $80
  • PCB $40
  • Keycaps $160+
  • Switches $80
  • Stabs $17
  • Lube always keep some on hand $free
  • Total $377 give or take

How long did it take you to build this keyboard from start to finish?

Maybe 5 hours? Lubing is the most time-consuming part and only something I do on my most high end of builds.

If you could change anything about this keyboard what would it be?

nothing.

Do you have any other keyboards in the works?

The Garbage Truck. I’ve posted about it a couple of times on Reddit 😉

Finally… time to promote yourself. Where can we find you online and what do you do?

40% discord is where I hang out the most. Ex keyboard vendor, I now spend my time developing passion projects and focussing on being a community member.

Andy Written by:

I'm Andy, keyboard nerd and moderator of this wonderful website. My dream is to help keyboard newbies learn everything that goes into creating high-end "endgame" mechanical keyboards.

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