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Old 27th Nov 2016, 21:58   #41
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Update: PSU Window

I've been working some long hours the last few weeks but I managed to get the side of the PSU cutout for the window. I've also been working on the wiring for the two internal leds that will back light the PSU. These LEDS are very important for the effect to work correctly. When these LEDS are off; it will look like a mirror instead of a window. Once the LEDS are turned on you'll be able to see inside the PSU. Since I needed this special two-way acrylic quickly it was rather expensive. I later found out that Tap Plastics carries it for a very reasonable price. I still have to finish the piece that will surround the cutout as well as finish filing the hole so it's nice and even.



Below you can see the LEDS I put together for the inside of the PSU. The white ones will be used for this build and the others will be used for another project.

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Old 4th Dec 2016, 20:20   #42
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Cable Combs: Ordered

I've been thinking about using some cable combs from Mnpctech for a while now. Bill sells some billet aluminum ones that are absolutely stunning. There were several reasons I decided to go this route for the IKONiK build. The main reason was the fact that they match the theme of the build perfectly. I also liked the fact that they wouldn't break eventually and not many people had these yet. I can tell that aluminum cable combs will be seen more often as people start to discover them. I can only hope that anodized aluminum cable combs are in the near future. Below if added a link to the combs I got from Mnpctech.


<br /> I'm using Mnpctech Billet PC cable combs from here, https://mnpctech.com/buy-stealth-cable-combs-for-pcs/ <br /> <br />  <br />  <br />[/quote]
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 05:48   #43
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Mnpctech Billet Aluminum Cable Combs: Arrival

The billet aluminum cable combs have arrived and they look brilliant. Besides the beauty; these cable combs will last a lifetime. I managed to snag a couple photos of them right after they arrived. The majority of sleeved cables I've worked with are around 3mm and the CableMod ones are a tiny bit under. This makes the cables a little bit smaller than the cutouts in the combs but, they still look great. I'm excited to get some photos of them in the IKONiK build. They will look stunning with the all black sleeves cables I went with for this build.



Updates To the IKONiK Design:

I've decided to make a few minor alterations to the design after doing a 2nd build in the same case. I will keep the major parts of the design but change a couple small parts that pertain to the watercooling. I'm almost ready to glue the scratch built reservoir so that I can do some leak testing on it. The layered method I used is new to me so I hope it works like the small scale tests. I will be using the stainless steel hard drive rack shroud as a passthrough plate for the reservoir, pump and some of the lines coming off of the front 420mm radiator. This will carry on the more minimalistic look that the IKONiK theme focuses on.

 I have a few Alphacool fittings that I can use to mock up some of the passthrough locations. Some of the hardline will also run through the top inner portion of the case. I will also put the fill port here which will keep it hidden until I need to fill the system with coolant. Below I've added an earlier picture of the stainless steel hard drive rack shroud so you can reference what I'll be using as a passthrough plate.

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Old 14th Dec 2016, 20:49   #44
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What does your title mean ''1st official mod'' You're first mod ? or saying this was the first ever mod started on this case ?
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 21:26   #45
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Originally Posted by MT. Mods View Post
What does your title mean ''1st official mod'' You're first mod ? or saying this was the first ever mod started on this case ?
Be Quiet reached out to me before this case hit the market and asked if I would be the first to do a case mod in it.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 02:45   #46
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Passthrough Plate Changes:

As mentioned previously I decided to make a few changes to some of the locations for the watercooling parts. I also decided to change up the hard drive rack shroud and turn it into a complete passthrough plate. I might also make a window on the back side of the case so you can see the other side of the passthroughs but that will depend on exactly where those tubes run in relation to the outer panels parts. I should have plenty of clearance but I won't know until I start mocking up the passthroughs.








Tube Reservoir Mockup:

Originally I was going to install the scratch built reservoir that I spent a long time working on. There's several reasons why I have decided to save it for another build. The main reason comes down to space. I decided I'm going to use a much thicker 420mm radiator since I won't be using a 360mm one up top. The thicker radiator will look killer and offer up the best cooling options. This change also allows me to make the passthrough plate that will become a major feature of the build. If I decided to keep the scratch built reservoir it would have to be rebuilt to make it much smaller which defeats the purpose. Relocating the reservoir makes sense in many ways and there's so many advantages that outweigh the
negative.

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Old 21st Dec 2016, 00:48   #47
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looking forward to seeing the final pics!
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Old 21st Dec 2016, 00:53   #48
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Originally Posted by mnpctech View Post
looking forward to seeing the final pics!

Thanks Bill. Now that I've completed another build in this case it's re-invigorated me to come up with some new additions to the design. Lots of awesome updates coming up.
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Old 22nd Dec 2016, 20:58   #49
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Fill Port Install & Mockup:

After having a few bits leftover from the Apex build I decided to put them to good use and mockup the watercooling for the IKONiK build.  I decided to make a fill port at the top of the case right under the top panel. This is a great spot for a fill port on the Dark Base 900 case. The top panel doesn't require any tools to remove and the clips are easy to access. On the Apex build I put a radiator up top and still had space for a fill port. I ran a 3-way splitter which allowed me to put a 90 degree rotatable fitting which makes it so I can rotate the fill port up when in use and back down when I'm using the computer.






Side Accent Panel:

I decided to move forward with the new accents that will surround the right (main) side of the case. Originally I was going to add the accents to the outside of the glass but, I decided that it might be better to do a similiar design and add it right behind the glass. This will also make it more convenient for shipping and taking it to LAN events. I started by adapting the design from the original side panel pieces into the new mounting locations. Once I had the design sketched out I went ahead and made templates to scale using hard stock. Then I added a pieces behind these panels using white acrylic which gives them more depth and carries on the design cues. I still have a few more additions to make to these panels once I get further along. I'll also custom cut vinyl that is from the original IKONiK design.





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Old 25th Dec 2016, 23:25   #50
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PSU Shroud Changes:

After building the APEX build for CES 2017 I decided to make a few minor changes to the original concept design done for the IKONiK build. Doing a complete build in this case allowed me to see things I ordinarily wouldn't see until it became an issue. I love the PSU shroud in designed for IKONiK but, I realized that I wanted more access to the front of the power supply and the ability to get under the pump in the future. This will also allow me to make a good drain port and it will make future maintenance a breeze. A new acrylic panel was made to go over a small portion of the shroud. This panel can be un-bolted for upgrades etc. It also adds a unique look to the shroud and offers up some neat features I'll go into later on.

As mentioned earlier in the build log; I wanted to build a removable acrylic plate that allowed access to the PSU while also holding the pump setup. I came up with a neat idea using a few standoffs from a motherboard plate and some clear acrylic. It was rather easy to make a template for this because the PSU shroud had already been built. It was just a matter of measuring the edges so the fit would be exact.






Acrylic Runner:

I decided to make an acrylic runner that fills a gap on the back side of the case. The gap is where the rear plate for the PSU switch and power meet the IO section. This is merely for aesthetic purposes. I made it from white acrylic and I haven't decided if I will paint it or not.

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Old 28th Dec 2016, 00:11   #51
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OCZ Vector 180 480gb Lexan SSD Mount:

I couldn't decided where I wanted to mount the main 480gb OCZ Vector 180 SSD; so I decided to go back to the concept drawing and use the idea I originally had. This idea involved building a custom bracket out of lexan that will fit on the PSU shroud. The mount/bracket is tilted to give it a better look. I carried over the design that uses a combination of sharp and rounded lines. As with most of my brackets I took a few measurements of the SSD and started free hand sketching ideas to scale. I came up with a neat design that is much more form fitting than the original concept for the SSD. So far I have them rough cut out of 13mm thick lexan and I've started to file and sand them to a perfect finish.






Pro Modder Tip: (Acrylic Multiples)

When making multiples of the same piece of acrylic; I've found a few techniques that work best. It can sometimes be difficult to make a bunch of the same exact pieces using only hand tools and a scroll or jig saw. Usually I'll start out by making a template out of hard stock mentioned throughout the build log. I will use the same template to trace out all the designs in acrylic or lexan. Once I have them cut out and one edge on each piece filled flat.

I will put them side by side and either tape them together or use a vice to keep the aligned. The one edge filed flat on each piece is used to re-align the pieces if they move at all during the sanding/filing stages. To start out use a fairly aggressive file to get each edge to match up with the ones on either side of the piece. Once you've got them close to even its time to start using finer files to remove any scratches made in the previous processes. Doing it like this assures that all the pieces will match each other perfectly.





2nd Version Of The OCZ Vector 180 480gb SSD Mount:

I'm not completely satisfied with the way the acrylic SSD mount looks. I had some bar stock so I decided to try out another idea I've had. It required me to make two extreme bends in order to get the correct angle. This version of the SSD mount also let's me use the OCZ plate that comes with it. I've never seen the plate used in a build which makes it even better. After all the bends were finished it was a matter of drilling holes in the bar stock and using new (longer) bolts to mount the plate and SSD. In order to make room for the SATA cable and power; the SSD has to be slightly offset. I will probably modify the plate so that I can get rid of the slight offset. In order to do this it will require me to notch out part of the plate and re-drill new holes.

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Old 30th Dec 2016, 19:28   #52
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Gluing Acrylic Side Panels:

I added a strip behind the acrylic pieces that are on the right side of the case. This strip serves several purposes. It helps to perfectly align the side panel and it stops the interior LEDs from shining through the edge of the panel. There's a clip that holds the front panel of the Dark Base 900 Pro and the added acrylic strip takes up the gap between the clip on the inside and the inner wall. Filling this gap helps to hold the side panel in as well as aligning it with the side of the case.






Rear IO Shroud LEDs, Vandal Switch & Panel:

I've been wanting to build a lit IO panel for quite some time now. It really comes in handy when trying to plug in different things in the back of the case. I didn't want the LEDs to be on all the time though. I used a aluminum channel and light diffuser to mount the LEDs under the switch panel. This makes for easy removal and the ability to turn the IO LEDs ON/OFF by hitting the vandal switch on the back of the case. Part of the panel needed to be sanded so that it was slightly thinner on each edge. This made it so that the panel fit exact on the inside where it contacts the case.
I'm really quite impressed with the way this top panel came together. It was really tricky to get just right but, it was well worth it.









Pro Modder Tip: Applying Vinyl To Panels

I get a lot of questions about vinyl. It is a great material to use and doesn't require too many tools to work with. It's kind of like golf; it takes a lot of practice to get really good at. I almost always use an exacto knife, a felt tipped squeegee and a heat gun. The heat gun is used at the end to help set the vinyl. If your outting vinyl over a curved or straight edge; heat will be your friend as it will allow you to stretch the vinyl. You have to be careful to not overheat vinyl as it will melt. Each kind of vinyl is different, so I use a scrap piece to test temps with.

When applying vinyl to panels I like to start at one end and work my way over the panel. To begin I remove only a little of the backing from the vinyl so I can stick one edge to the panel. Using the squeegee I move it towards the opposite side I started from. The trick is to only remove a little bit of backing at a time and then squeegee it down. Repeat this over and over to make sure you don't get any air bubbles under the vinyl. Once the panel is completely covered I will take an exacto knife and hold it at a slight angle and run it along the edge of the panel. This takes some practice to get right. When I've gone all the way around the outer edge I will recheck all the edges to make sure they're even. Trying these techniques out on scrap materials will let you know what will and won't work.







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Old 10th Jan 2017, 19:54   #53
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CAD Design Updates:


I thought it would be helpful to update the original concept design done before starting the IKONiK build. Even though there is not any major changes; it helps you all get an idea of where I'm headed with the build. I've been wanting to do some hardline runs that are very organized and mirrored from top to bottom. The side panels that had been originally planned to go on the outside of the tempered glass panels are now going to be mounted on the inside. In order to do this it decided to go with black and white acrylic and make them into two separate pieces. This looks a lot better and will be more friendly when being shipped to shows.



Side Accent Vinyl & Acrylic Install:

I designed my own accent vinyl for the side of the IKONiK build. I cut them in silver Vvivid vinyl and applied them to the acrylic. I use Vvivid vinyl because it lasts for over 13 yrs and is very high quality. The silver is a perfect match to the silver band that runs along the edge of the Dark Base 900 Pro. Initially it took a bit of thought on how I was going to mount the lower acrylic panel due to the PSU shroud. I came up with a slot that can't be seen and holds the panel in place. It also locked into part of the case in the lower left corner. The top panel was very easy to install using bolts through the factory holes. The best part about mounting the acrylic panels like this is the fact that I can quickly and easily install the tempered glass side panels.







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Old 16th Jan 2017, 04:06   #54
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New Sponsors: ModMyMods & Alphacool

I am happy to announce that ModMyMods and Alphacool will be sponsoring all of the water cooling parts needed for the IKONiK build. I've been saving some really neat ideas for this portion of the build and now those ideas will start to become reality. I will update the main page with all of the water cooling parts being used for the build very soon. I know the water cooling portion of the build is something that a lot of you have been waiting patiently for. I will make sure to detail as much as possible along with answering any questions you may have about it.


Cable Tunnel:

I've played around with a lot of different ideas for organizing the wiring behind the motherboard tray but none of them have worked as well as this one. The cable tunnel is something I've done before but on a much smaller scale. I wanted something that looked really clean, was easy to install and allowed for quick access to all the wiring. This hits all those points perfectly. I decided to use sheet metal and I'm glad that I did. I could have used acrylic but, I would have had to sacrifice atleast a few millimeters of space. Most of you know how important a few millimeters can be when your talking about wiring space behind the motherboard tray. Now that I have a way to clean up this side of the case I can move forward with ideas to display it instead of covering it all up.

Recently Be Quiet started offering up the tempered glass side panel as an accessory purchase. This means you can buy the gear needed to give your Dark Base 900 Pro dual tempered glass panels or you can get the tempered glass side panel on a non profit version. I love it when companies offer accessories like this because it gives options to the end user. I haven't decided if I wether I'll use another tempered glass panel or stick with the concept I originally designed. The nice part is that I could switch between the two panels in a matter of minutes if I wanted too.

Building & Installing The Cable Tunnel:








SSD Mount Cover Update:

As many of you know; if I'm not completely satisfied with something I will change it as many times as it takes to get it just right. The SSD cover that goes behind the motherboard tray fell into that group. It didn't fit the design as much as I would like it to so I spent more time developing a better design. I'm extremely happy with the new design. I still have to do the finish work to the metal and paint the Envious Mods logo.



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Old 20th Jan 2017, 19:32   #55
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OCZ RD400 M.2 SSD Mods:

After giving it a lot of thought I decided to do some mods and mount the M.2 SSD on the motherboard. This puts the OCZ RD400 SSD in a perfect location. I also ordered a Alphacool heatsink for the SSD. ModMyMods sells them and it was the 1st time that I've seen them. I can't wait till they arrive and I can check then out 1st hand. I started by making a silver backing and re-creating OCZs R they use to signify the RD400s. A OCZ logo was also made out of black chrome an added. It came out great and I can't wait to adapt the design to the Alphacool heatsinks.




Vinyl Pattern (Finally Finished):

I've been working on designing a pattern on and off for the last couple months. I've tried just about every idea and variations of patterns I could think of. I was never quite satisfied with it so I continued to try and figure something out. The final design is very intricate and requires almost an hour to weed a 6 inch (150mm) X 4" section of it. I was able to get part of it installed on the top acrylic piece mounted on the PSU shroud. It looks even better than I could have imagined and I am extremely happy with the results. I have a bit more to do with it but I have to weed another set of it. I'll update soon.




Finish Work Continues On The Cable Tunnel:

I wanted to add some pieces to help clean up the top edge of the metal panels that I built for the back side of the motherboard tray. I had some edge strips that fit the build perfectly and only tool a small amount of modifications to get it to fit correctly. The bolts for the panel are towards the top which interferes with the strip so I filed out the exact amount of space needed to fit the bolt heads. Once they were done it came out really well. Next up for these panels is all the finish work I'll do to the metal itself. It will remove any marks or imperfections.

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Old 24th Jan 2017, 06:21   #56
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Left Side Mods:

I didn't want to add to much to this side of the case because I want to keep the outside looking sleek and modern. I designed some acrylic pieces that work with the dual vent mounted on the panel. The design uses long straight lines that keep the modern feel intact. I have to order more 1/8" acrylic so that I can cut the templates I made. The templates were made using cars stock. I translated the design onto the card stock so I could estimate how much acrylic is needed and how well everything will fit. The main piece that still need to be finished is the base plate. This will be the piece that will hold all of the slats together. I tool a couple pics of the current progress on this panel as it will take a while to finish.






Headset Stand:

I've been wanting to build a headset stand for a long time now. I decided that doing one for the IKONiK build would be a great opportunity. Due to my fascination with them I have a lot of different sketches of possible designs. I found one that would fit in with the IKONiK build after a few changes were made. The main panels are made from acrylic and I will make my own custom spacers to connect the two main pieced of acrylic together.

Starting out I used hardstock to make a template to scale which allows me to check the scale and angles of everything. Now that both pieces are filed to be an exact copy of each other I can start designing the aesthetic additions. I will be using white acrylic and a sheet of black ABS plastic for most of the add on pieces I will make. I'll update the build log once those pieces are together.





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Old 28th Jan 2017, 06:15   #57
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Update: Pattern Accents

As previously mentioned, it takes a lot of time to prep even a small amount of the pattern that will be used for a few accents around the build. The pattern is cut in black chrome and will be primarily mounted on black panels. I went this way because I didn't want the pattern to be extremely noticeable. It will only be placed on a few spots. The top of the case has a wireless charging station that is built into the panel on the Dark Base Pro. This works great for me and I added a little bit of the new pattern to this panel.

I also added some to the front door. Other than this I want to leave the front sleek and clean. The IKONiK EDITiON badge is mounted on the lower portion of the door which rounds out the look I'm going for. The outside of the case will be really clean and subtle in order to pull off the overall design. I couldn't wait to see what this build will looked like sitting next to the APEX build I did for CES. Here's they are.



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Old 1st Feb 2017, 22:08   #58
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Update: OCZ Vector 180 (480gb) SSD Mods

I've changed this around quite a bit and I couldn't be happier with the results. I decided to mod a stock looking label on the side of the SSD to match the overall color scheme. I love working with these OCZ SSDS as they are super reliable and come with a classic look. It's one of those things you just know it's built well by holding it. This is the 2nd build I've used them in and they never disappoint. I managed to get it all mocked up and on the back side of the motherboard tray to see what it looks like.






Update: Left Side Panel Mockup

I decided to completely mock up the left side panel with its grill. It's now painted and has its edges almost done. I decided to make all the edges of the acrylic grey to match the build and it also brings together all of the pieces. It also helps to define each slat. The modern design is promoted via the long straight slats the curve back into the side panel. I decided to somewhat stagger where each piece goes back into the panel which gives it that extra added touch I was looking for. I redesigned the shape of these slats a few times but, this came out exactly as I had always imagined it. I am happy I was able to do something neat with this side of the case. A lot of times its forgot about as its not usually even seen. This makes IKONiK interesting from every perspective.

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Old 4th Feb 2017, 08:08   #59
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Update: Rear Cable Tunnel Metal Finish

I've decided to start the finish work now that I've completed all the work involved in the cable tunnel and lower cover. I want to carry over the finish work from the front. All of the raw metal has a brushed finish. Brushing metals can be a lot trickier than it seems. It doesn't require any special tools but, to do it well takes technique and practice.

There are also several different methods that can be used to accomplish a brushed finish. I like to start with a 200 or so grit sandpaper to do the 1st few sets of lines. I feel that the 1st few passes are very important and you want to keep the sandpaper perfectly aligned with the direction your brushing. If you wiggle or deviate in anyway it will show. I start before the piece of metal and drag the sandpaper all the way off the end. This gives an even finish across the entire piece. Once you've evenly brushed this side I started over with approximately 600 grit, 1000 grit and usually finish with 1,200 wet/dry sandpaper. In earlier pictures you can see how beat up the original piece of metal was. All of those scratches came out during the finishing processing. Below is a before and after showing the current progress and where it started.






PSU Label Remake: Dark Power Pro 11 1,200 watt


Since everything is inverted the metal label on the side of the Dark Power Pro 11 1,200 watt PSU is upside down. This drives me nuts so I used custom chrome to make a new decal that perfectly matches the original. I will need to remove the PSU and side plate in order to mount the new one. In the meantime I managed to make the cut files and cut it out on my vinyl cutter. It came out as a dead match on the stock one that comes on the PSU.



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Old 9th Feb 2017, 04:05   #60
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Cutout For Cable Passthrough:

The ATX PSU cable needed a cutout and I wasn't able to get to my machine shop so I did with a drill and hand files. Usually I like to use my air cutter but this has the same end result. I had to make sure that it let the cables in flat so it would look very clean from the back. Finishing this will allow me to put on the left side panel also which will be a good milestone for the build. Once I get the side panel on there will only be a few small details left until the watercooling. The 24-pin will have a slight bend to it once I have it connected to the psu. This will give it a more stylized look.









Pro Modder Tip:

Using an angle gauge for bending specific angles. This method works great for those who prefer freestyle bending or don't have a bending tool. There's a little groove through the middle that work perfectly to align the tubing. It also works great for really complex bends or angles that have to be spot on. It uses a wing nut to loosen the tension and pre-set to the proper angle your looking for.




Alphacool Special Edition White Radiator Mod Design:

I will be doing a few mods to the 420mm UT60 White Alphacool radiator. On the side I will add some custom acrylic and vinyl work that will match the rest of the build. I will also add a custom OCOOL badge. On the inside of the radiator the plan is to build a custom shroud that will give it an original look. More than likely I will make the shroud a two layers design using a combination of white and black acrylic. Below I've posted a picture of what the radiator mods will look like. The colors will be a bit different but the design will stay the same.



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