For my birthday in February, my Partner got me an iMac. (I specced it out to include what I thought was enough computing versus cost.)

We have a Physical Therapist who comes to our home and treats us. She is also an Ergonomics expert. I have the Mac on a desk, which has a keyboard tray / drawer, so that is good.

However, the keyboard sits about 5/8 inches too low on the desk, and I need something to raise it up. (Currently, I am using a book that we found that just happened to meet the height requirement; Unfortunately, it doesn't meet the dimension requirements for this keyboard, which is the Apple Mac US English Keyboard with the Numeric Keypad.)

What I need is something that has just the slightest amount of 'give' to it, like rubber or something similar. I would like to be able to contact whomever sells the material and order a piece cut to the dimensions I specify.

For your reference, the dimensions are as follows:

  • Height: 5/8 inches
  • Depth: 4.5 inches
  • Width: 16 15/16 inches

I would appreciate very much if you could point me in the direction of a material that I might consider.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why do you need a material with "give"? Imagine the keyboard tray was the right height. You wouldn't have any "give" there, other than what the tray itself offers, and you'll keep having that even if you put something stiffer between the keyboard and the tray. Also, I've edited your question removing the request for vendor information which is off-topic for this site. $\endgroup$
    – Wasabi
    Apr 18, 2016 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Any materials with give are going to be polymers which tend to act as bacteria magnets. Foams especially have difficult to clean surfaces. Keep this in mind if it comes into frequent contact with your skin. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ Wasabi -- As I indicated in my post, I said that I wanted the "slightest amount of 'give'", which I did mainly so that I would not get any answers about using WOOD or a hard PLASTIC. Also, since I am typing on it all day, my belief is that having just a LITTLE 'give' will make it less fatiguing to my hands and fingers. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Starrise 8 -- I am not that worried about the material that I use being a 'bacteria magnet' as I am not Pig Pen from Charlie Brown; I wash my hands every time I enter my premises and after handling any bacteria laden food e.g., raw chicken, or any greasy food. Lastly, my keyboard will be completely obscured by the keyboard lift, so I don't see it having that much contact with bacteria. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 22:36

2 Answers 2


Nitrile rubber is probably what you want (typically 40 to 70 Shore A), but Neoprene rubber might have more "give". Silicone rubber is also an option, although it's likely to be more expensive. Probably worth trying to get a couple of free samples to see which one suits you best. Here is an example of different materials and shore hardnesses:

enter image description here

As for a vendor, I would suggest Googling as it's probably best selecting somebody close to where you live, or at least in the same country. There are likely to be loads, on top of the generic suppliers like RS. If you want it cut to the right dimensions (and I think that the thickness here is going to be the most difficult to find), you probably will need to go to a specialist.

  • $\begingroup$ If in the US, McMaster-Carr is a well-reputed supplier of these materials. (I am not affiliated with them) $\endgroup$
    – grfrazee
    Apr 18, 2016 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ am304 -- Thank you for your very thoughtful answer, along with the infographic showing Shore Hardness Scales. Since I am not an engineer or product developer, I had no idea that such a scale existed! :-) So, this is very, very helpful! Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question! $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ grfrazee -- Thanks for the input about where to find these. That is helpful as well! $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 22:25

It might also be worth looking at EVA foam. This is widely used by theatrical prop and costume makers as it very easy to work with and is easily available in the form of exercise mats etc. This gives you the advantage that you can handle it in a shop to see if it feels right. You can cut it with a craft knife and it accepts most general purpose adhesives, in case you need to stack several layers to get the right thickness. You may also find a better range of colours than other materials, if that is important to you.

  • $\begingroup$ Chris Johns - Thank you for this input about EVA foam. I will Google that and then try to find a place where I can handle it to see how it feels. I had not thought of stacking layers to get the right thickness, so that is a great idea to have! :-) And yes, COLOR is always important to me; it must be either one of my favorite colors, blue or black! ;-) $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2016 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Chris Johns -- Last night I had a chance to research EVA foams, and these, it turns out, are exactly what I want. However, I would rather not have something that has been 'constructed' by sticking layers together. So, I am going to try and find a distributor that will cut this to the size I want. Do you know of any distributors in the United States who carry a full line of this product and are willing ot cut it to fit the dimensions that I need? Any pointing in the direction you think would be helpful would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! AntonioD :-) $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2016 at 21:46

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