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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:06   #1
Tech-Daddy
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Project Blu-V (Construction completed! Machine delivered. Buh bye!))

Ok... so I have Raider and Dark Fiber that are just sitting in my garage... just aching for me to complete. Being the Christmas season, and me loving what I do, word gets around that I do that "computer customization" thang!

I am approached by a friend to come up with a case design for their kid (13-14 year old). Blue/Black need to be the colors, and beyond that, we trust you!

Hehehehe... They bring me the hardware to be used... ugh. I look it over (Old mini AT class case with an original Pentium) and tell them that I have something that will be an upgrade to their hardware (Gigabyte mobo with a K6-2 450/AGP/168 pin DIMM slots) and I also have an extra case laying about that I offer into the mix.



So, with what is brought to me, I salavge the CD ROM, floppy, and the hard drive. That is it. I then learned that the budget on this needed to be less than $100. All this in hand I start planning the case mods.

First things first, strip apart what I have:



Ok, Dupli-Color makes a spray metal adonizing type of color called "Metalcast". Lemme tell ya, I love this stuff. Used the red and have used the Chome (both on Raider), and now I get to play with the blue. I wanted the case and the power supply to be this adonized blue. here is the initial application:


So then I start looking at the fan holes and I dremmel those out (one on the front low and one in the back). The areas were pre-cut with metal mesh work, so I just used the reinforced cutoff wheel to cut the legs and remove the mesh work. I then used the cutoff wheel and a grinder head to smooth out the, now open, holes. Back 80mm hole had to be cut a little less than circular in order to accomidate the UFO fan grille. Perfectly round would have left case impeeding the visual on the grille. I also looked at the power supply and yanked the black "standard" fan out of it and replaced it with a dual color red/blue quad led fan. Removed all of the components from the power supply and then sprayed the power supply adonized blue.

I will say that every now and then... you buy a can of paint that is just plain bad. I finally had one. It was when I was hitting the case with a 2nd coat of MetalCast Blue, to even it out the blue (the pics are after the first coat, so it is a bit uneven). It did the freakiest thing. It was almost like I had sprayed some sort of fleck stone on the case! All of the color started bunching up and clumping and cracking! I almost lost it! Immediately marked the can as "bad", and started sanding off my beloved color. Up until this point, when I've sprayed metal, I've just cleaned the case metals, and then sprayed. Now that I will have scuffs and scratches on the back and sides (from where I removed the paint) I needed to make a nice smooth base for the metal cast. In steps Duplicolor Metalcast base coat to save my butt! Kinda like a nice and shimmery primer with flakes in it. Good stuff. Drys quick too! No pics of this process, I was too upset to hold the camera (was afraid I would chunk the camera if I looked at the mess too much!). Whew... came out good and even!

Well, while the paint dries, I need to sleeve the powersupply. I go with a UV Red (looks almost orange, but the general effect is what I was looking for). I hit the 4 wire leads with a molex remover from Radio Shack, pair off the red/black and yellow/black, tape the pins (to prevent snags) and commence to sleeving the wireing. Used black heat shrink to seal the ends. Not bad for my first time!

on to the next post!

Last edited by Tech-Daddy; 25th Dec 2003 at 23:52.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:07   #2
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I'm feeling pretty darn proud of myself... just as my eyes cross the ATX power lead. How tha F**K am I supposed to do that?!??! Start reading here at the forums, and find many guides, or references to guides. Basically learn that I am S.O.L. unless I buy the $24 mini-fit "super tweazers".

Nah, couldnt be that hard to make a similar tool... yeah, it could! After trying various theories (paper clips, ground down tweezers, etc)... I give. I'll buy the dang tweezers after X-mas, but I need SOMETHING to try and organize this ATX's rat's nest of colored cables! Back to the Shack, and I find a 10' length of spiral wrap for bundling cables. Cut a length to the ATX wire length, and wrap that wrascal! Looks much better!

Ahhh....

Time to start testing all of this equip that I bought. So I start a test mount to see how this will all work together. Here is the point I am at now.... I still have several itterations of cable management to go thru, as well as getting the drives mounted and cabled, and the external covers properly painted.

But here is where the case stands now:




The front bezel/floppy drive/CD ROM vinyl dye'd black :




And the beast lit up:






Wrap up on the thing consists of fade from black (in the front) to blue in the back. I've got some ideas that I am going to experiment with regarding how I fade the black back. I've also got to finalize my window cut. It will be based off of some sort of tribal flame that will be positioned to the right over the drive cage, and the design will be top to bottom. Flirting with the idea of continuing the idea on the top and reverse side but in paint and not cut. Just an idea. Not even sure if I will pursue.

I'm also going on the hunt for some UV reactive paint that I can paint that CPU Fan with. Will also use the paint for the invertor and the "whoa" white cables that are extending from it!

That is about it folks. Let me know what you think! It ain't done yet, so there is still a little time for some ideas if you have some.

Thanks for all of the support and encouragement, I look forward to your comments on this.

MOD ON!!
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:14   #3
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looks even better then it sounded. Keep up the good work.

[edit]when I read that back, I thought I sound just like my old teachers[/edit]
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by craigey1
looks even better then it sounded. Keep up the good work.

[edit]when I read that back, I thought I sound just like my old teachers[/edit]
Thank you very much!!
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 12:23   #5
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Looking good, man

*n
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 13:42   #6
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when I saw the first photo of it painted I was thinking it looks really bad.
Then I saw it dry and finished and it looks really great.
Nice paint job I like
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 13:56   #7
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Tech-Daddy…That case looks real nice. I like the metal cast. Since it looks like you spray this right on bare metal, I take it the paint is self etching?
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 17:03   #8
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Pretty darn good considering what u had to work with.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 17:14   #9
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Poor kid...tell his Dad he can get him a decent Athalon XP for not much

Nice job with the case tho
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 18:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluebark
Tech-Daddy…That case looks real nice. I like the metal cast. Since it looks like you spray this right on bare metal, I take it the paint is self etching?
I'd have to contact Duplicolor to ask. The paint is a transparent color and states it is formulated for metal work. It will scratch off if you are not careful. I have not experimented with a ClearCoat to see what it would do to this type of paint. Might make it shiny, might fog it... dunno yet.

I'll practice on some other scrap metal that I have and see how it turns out.

Does this answer your question, or does it show me as a hopeless n00b?
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 18:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by TekMonkey
Poor kid...tell his Dad he can get him a decent Athalon XP for not much

Nice job with the case tho
Thank you! Yeah, the computer that they brought to me was an AT class hunk a' junk. I knew there was no way that would last. Hence the reason I swapped with an ATX case and tried to make it so the computer can be upgraded later. At least it will handle a new ATX class mobo. That will allow this case to live for awhile!
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 20:24   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tech-Daddy


I'd have to contact Duplicolor to ask. The paint is a transparent color and states it is formulated for metal work. It will scratch off if you are not careful. I have not experimented with a ClearCoat to see what it would do to this type of paint. Might make it shiny, might fog it... dunno yet.

I'll practice on some other scrap metal that I have and see how it turns out.

Does this answer your question, or does it show me as a hopeless n00b?
Not at all...I would say that it is not self etching due to the fact that you say is scratches easy...Did you sand the metal first?
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Old 16th Dec 2003, 05:42   #13
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Nope.... no abrasions or roughing. was afraid of what the scratches would sho like through the color. I had not used the Metal Cast base. I will likely do my next case using the MetalCast base coat/primer to see if I can get a better adhesion and durability out of it.

I've knicked the case in 3 places thus far...

I need to finde a way to make this more durable.

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Old 16th Dec 2003, 05:59   #14
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Man great job so far.

i am thinking about doing something similiar with a full tower server case i got from a friend. Not sure yet on color and stuff but i am getting ideas from people like you on how to proceed.

Keep up the good work.

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Old 16th Dec 2003, 16:58   #15
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If you didn't have time to do it right the first time...

It looks nice.... I had the same prob when not using primer and base coat...
That is almost a must if you want it to last...
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Old 17th Dec 2003, 04:33   #16
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Re: If you didn't have time to do it right the first time...

Quote:
Originally posted by Wicked Li'l Bender
It looks nice.... I had the same prob when not using primer and base coat...
That is almost a must if you want it to last...
Yeah, what is "kinda" cool about the whole project is that the side that will see the most abuse (the back end... with the PCI/AGP ports... and all of the attaching and detatching of the cables) was primered, but uonly because I had to repaint it. So the side that will likely see the most abuse is actually the best prepped area of the case.

We'll see how it does.
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 04:44   #17
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Primer and 1st coat of external paint!

Ok, a few updates going into the holiday weekend.

I have primered/sanded/and 1st coated the outer skins of the computer.

These are just some quick pics of the primered case:



and:


1st coat of paint:




I'll let this paint set and dry for the next 24-36 hours, and I'll sand it out with some 1000 - 2000 grit wet sand paper, and then hit it with one more can of paint. Let that dry and then buff it and Clear Coat it (if I have enough time b4 Xmas).

The color came out better than I was expecting on the blue. I thought it was going to be more gray, and less white. It came out brighter, and that was what I was wanting!

After I get the blue paint down, there will be a black metal flake paint that will fade from front to back. Black up front next to the bezel, to the blue (that you see here) which will be at the back/rear of the case and around the ports.

More posts on Sunday afer I sand out the 1st coat of paint and lay down the 2nd and 3rd coats.

It's getting close! Yay!!!!
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 04:55   #18
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Looking good T-dad What base coat did you use? Just a general use one, or is it something spacific? And did you remove the orignal paint on the case, or did you just prime over it? And did you just use the vinyl dye straight over the front bezel, or did you prep it first? Sorry if this is all a bit much, but I'm re-painting my Red Sonja rig soon, and last time I attempted it, the paint came out uneven, so I'm trying to get as much advice as I can on case painting.
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 05:09   #19
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On the outter case skins, I used Dupli Color sandible High Fill primer. Layered on a few with that, and then sanded it down.

After I had it all sanded down, I hit it one more time with regular primer to even out the base color.

I then used Dupli Color Auto/SUV enamel laquer in a metal flake blue.

On the Vinyl dye, everything I read talked about just spraying the color on, no prep work needed. If it ran, just let it dry and spray another coat on and it will even it out. It was just that easy.

However I did not that when tape came into contact with the front bezel plastics on the CD ROM, I tore off some of the vinyl dye. I thought this stuff was supposed to "soak" into the plastic and be scratch resistant?

What gives? What did I do wrong? or is that normal?
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Old 20th Dec 2003, 05:45   #20
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Thanks for the advice. As for the vinyl dye, I don't know offhand, I know the spray I used on my drives doesn't come off anywhere near that easy You have to seriously scrach at it, and even then it only comes off in small peices (and thats only with 2 coats, with two different types of paint).
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