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Old 11th Sep 2006, 21:33   #1
GuardianStorm
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Dark Vortex - 11th May - Drive Rack, Lettering

Preface

Hi all, my first proper project, a complete custom build from scratch I started off with two old mATX cases which my local computer store gave me for a small fee (£2.50 for two):




They even came with broken PSUs:


And my old case which I bought from them with my first computer inside (a mighty Athlon MP 1700 (no idea why I have an MP as opposed to XP, if anyone knows of advantages/disadvantages of this id be interested to know):


All three cases get ripped apart, and are stored in a draw under my bedÖitís stuffed with metal!

The Removable Motherboard Tray:

I started with this part of the benz case and the tray from the case:


I then added three holes two it, to attach them together:




I then took a sheet of galvanized steel to make the back panel for the tray:


Using this dangerous but cool tool:


I then stuck a cutting template on it, made in Adobe Illustrator, drilling the corners for the jigsaw:


I covered the base plate in felt to stop it scratching the steel:



Plus a little (read a lot) of filing:


Next, a lot of bending, using a jig I made up using a large chunk of iron, wood, and a couple of clamps:



Needless to say a lot of hammering ensued, all folding completed:


Thatís all for today, just got to clean up the metal, then some light filing and sanding
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Last edited by GuardianStorm; 11th May 2008 at 21:17.
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 22:41   #2
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all pics are broken links
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 22:52   #3
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no they aren't nice work, but do you have some pictures of the designs you're using? Or are you just using seperate templates, without having one central design sketch?

(for me, the pics work if referring is disabled... which is default in my firefox config )
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 23:09   #4
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dont worry about the pics, ive changed them from picasa to bhotobucket, although i have no idea why they didnt work...i was using the picasa linking code...

and here is my 'central' design :


i just make up the individual templates as i need them. all the work done in sketchup is done to scale, with metal thicknesses included
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Last edited by GuardianStorm; 27th Sep 2006 at 23:26.
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 23:28   #5
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is it just me, or shouldnt you put the psu on the other side of the case? so the heated air from the psu doesnt rise to the gpu and cpu? or like divide it with som e plexi or so? just a thougt
nice desing tho
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 12:16   #6
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im playing with some designs for a seperator at the moment, but that wont happen yet, as i havent finalised my HD Cage designs...if you look closely, you will notice there arnt any HD cages in there yet...

as for hot air rising, it shouldnt effect it, as the PSU is an exaust effectivly, so shouldnt make much difference to the temps

having said that i will take it into consideration
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 17:01   #7
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if I were you I would put the hdd cage on the bottom, behind the front intake fan (most likely, you already thought of that, sorry)

Very nice Sketch(up design), good luck on this one
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 18:58   #8
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I'm looking at the sketch and it looks great, especially the frong panel. There's just one little thing bodering me. Are you going to cover the front intake fan with mesh or something like that? I know it's only a sketch but the naked fan really disturbes the whole front panel, i think.

Great work so far btw.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 20:02   #9
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Motherboard Panel Update

Just some drilling and tidying on this today:

^ Yay the IO Panel fits perfectly!


^ The corners need a slight clean up, but that should be remedied with bondo


^ Iím lazy when it comes to drilling holes, so I use two of the many drills in the garage, one with the drill bit for making holes, and the hand drill for de burring (removing the stuff on the exit side of a drill hole)


^ All holes drilled, the IO Panels holes were enlarged slightly too, so that it can all accept M4 bolts, which I must remember to buy!

Thanks for the comments everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuitvD
if I were you I would put the hdd cage on the bottom, behind the front intake fan (most likely, you already thought of that, sorry)

Very nice Sketch(up design), good luck on this one
Thanks and yes the HD cage(s) will be going down there, its just the cage(s) final designs that im finishing at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaris
I'm looking at the sketch and it looks great, especially the frong panel. There's just one little thing bodering me. Are you going to cover the front intake fan with mesh or something like that? I know it's only a sketch but the naked fan really disturbes the whole front panel, I think.

Great work so far btw.
Yes, the fan intake will be covered, maybe in some hex mesh or something - Iím not sure yet

The Name
This project has been named to Dark Vortex. The reasoning for this was simple...

I have no hardware to put in it! So it will be dark...and vortex like . Possibly.
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Last edited by GuardianStorm; 27th Sep 2006 at 23:27.
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Old 12th Sep 2006, 20:53   #10
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looks like a cool idea but in the sketch up pic there is a 80 fan at the back bottem but it looks like there is room for 2 no?
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Old 22nd Sep 2006, 18:21   #11
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Hi all, an update at last!

I havenít done a huge amount, i've been distracted by other projects.

Anyways, here is what I have done. First off I went to AllFix, which is a shop I love, the staff are really friendly, and the prices are tiny! For instance:


^ 100 Hex head M3 10mm bolts and 100 standard hex M3 nuts to go with...and can you guess how much they cost?

...No?
...Too High

...all that lot cost me £2.82! Now you can see why I like them

I also played with my camera and mini tripod that I got with the case I just bought for it:

^ One hex M3 nut & bolt. Not bad for my first close-up shot. And who says camera flashes suck, this was the best of three, the only one with camera flash.

I also went to B&Q and bought some L section:

^ In retrospect, I should have got a sheet of steel too, but I thought I had enough metal...but I donít. I will be going there in a couple of hours, as they shut late, and itís quieter in the evening

Finally some work done:

^ roughly cut out piece of metal, for the back panel of the case...I state not that I hate the band saw's in ability to do a straight line, as the blade has begun to loose its tracking, thank the lord (or my dad, who bought it) I have a jigsaw to use until we fix the blades tracking.


^ turns into a lovely rectangle of metal. I need to make another one the exact same size for the front chassis of the case, which is why I need more metal. An interesting point about this 'flat' piece of metal is that it was once one of those U shaped hoods for a case...I spend most of an afternoon flattening it.

I was about to start work on part of another project, when the cordless drill battery died. Oh well I thought, we have 4 cordless drills, and about 6 or 7 batteries between them...


^ Both the batteries for the drill I wanted to use were flat and one of the batteries of the next one I tried was flat. There is another 2 batteries charging elsewhere too... 5 out of 7 batteries were dead...admittedly the drill I wanted to use is about 6 years old now, and its batteries are loosing their ability to store power. So when one battery dies, Iíll convert it to a power cable for the drill

Thatís if for now, hopefully more soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by eegg
looks like a cool idea but in the sketch up pic there is a 80 fan at the back bottem but it looks like there is room for 2 no?
There might be, the area is reserved for a project that may go there, if I decide it wonít go there then another 80mm hole will be happening, and the fans wired together and slowed down

Questions and comments are welcome of course
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Old 28th Sep 2006, 00:30   #12
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Update time

Motherboard Tray
I finally assembled my removable motherboard tray, using the M3 screws that I bought from AllFix.


^ Outside View of the tray


^ Inside View

Bear in mind that the tray is technically 'upside down' in those pictures.

Motherboard Tray Bracket

I had an idea for a bracket to go in the lower corner of the motherboard tray, for aesthetic purposes, and to help keep the tray at 90 degrees.


^ I made a rough design on some scrap metal, and then drew it into Illustrator to create a cutting template:


^ I printed four templates, 2 spare and I am going to make two of these brackets.


^ The design roughly cut out. To do this I used a 1/8 th drill bit, and then a dremel followed by a file.


^ Bondo'd, to help straighten up my hexagons.

The Chassis - Front

I went to B&Q (again...several times), and bought a large sheet of metal (1000mm x 500mm x 0.5mm), as I didnít have any large enough pieces to make the front / top / sides of my case.


^ Said sheet of metal.


^ Using the Workmate and Jigsaw to cut out the front panel (not the bezel, the front panel of the chassis), and no thatís not my car its my dads...at the moment ;p.


^ It has to be said, these clamps rock not as strong as a standard G Clamp, but so quick to use.


^ We have quite a few of them .


^ Two sheets (front and back of chassis), filed to exactly the same size.

The Frame of the Chassis

Using the L section (10mm x 10mm) I am now constructing the frame of the case.

To do this I wanted completely flush sides, so there wouldnít be anything in the way of the case sides. Using SketchUp I came up with this for the joints:



^ I hope that makes sense. The side with no holes is the one for the case side.

I then started making the length ways section for the frame:


^ The ends.


^ All four done.


I next cut all four pieces of frame for the front of the chassis, and lined them up on the front plate.


^ Here you can see how the joints will line up.

I then bolted the frame together, and made sure it was square, using a Square, and measuring the opposite corners (diagonally) to make sure they were the same. They were .


^ The inside of one of the joints. The bolt in the corner will get shortened, to allow a second bolt at 90 degrees to it to be inserted.


^ The section of the joint that is not flush with the surface will allow the horizontal piece to be slotted in, making the whole joint to be flush.


^ The same two bolts used to hold the front frame corners together are used to hold the front frame to the front sheet of metal. This was balanced on the boiler to take the shot, and no, I donít know what makes the boiler 'Ultimate'.
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Old 3rd Oct 2006, 23:28   #13
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Just a four photo update this time.

Basically what I have done is redo all of the small corner brackets:

^ except now all the hole are tapped, as although I had allowed for shortened bolt, I forgot about the nuts, and there wasnít enough space to fit tow nuts at 90 degrees to each other.

I then assembled the case:

^Voila.


^ A close up of one of the joints, as you can see, all there faces of the joint are totally flush (Bar the bolts in two of them obviously).


^ This is where the tray for the motherboard will go, and the power supply will be stood on its side underneath.

This is the last update to this project for ten weeks, as I'm back to uni (anyone going to reading uni?) for my third year.

What is required to be done to the chassis?

Secure the front/back panels with more nuts n bolts, currently they are held in place with 9 bolts (two in each corner}, and add the horizontal brace, which is also the case part of the motherboard tray.

Thanks for reading (And commenting )
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 11:43   #14
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nice work on the frame...I like the black bolts as well
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 12:28   #15
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Another deviantART user? Howdy!

I'm thinking of making my own case from scratch after I've finished my first mod - your worklog could be very helpful to me!
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Old 1st Jan 2007, 02:01   #16
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I got some bits for Christmas

^ Some sharkoon fans! 3x 120mm 2000RPM and 1x 80mm 2000RPM fans. I got the noisier 2000RPM fans because I will be putting them through a fan controller, and thus noise level is adjustable.

Now, on to modding!

Despite the fact that I have been home for two weeks, I have been working and Christmasing I eventually got out to the garage and started working.

The first thing I did was to make a base plate for the case:

^ This is the quick jigsaw cut out of the plate, with filing to commence.


^ This is my filing Jig. The reason for this is that due to the length of the piece of metal, it doesnít fit low enough into the vice, and so two pieces of wood are used to hold it tight near the top.

Next, I needed to make some corner braces to hold the case square as the aluminium frame is not quite strong enough to hold it square.

^ I decided that I didnít want to use plain triangles, so I made these shapes, there will be more of these on the way, but I was testing to see if they worked properly.


^ Now with mounting holes. However I had to remove another 9mm square from the corners of the brackets as the mounting brackets have an extra plate:

^ Which causes the need to remove a little more metal, which escaped my memory while making the braces.

And now mounted:


^ It doesnít look like 90degrees but it is!

Any comments are welcome. More tomorrow hopefully. Now to pick up my brother from a New Year's House Party
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Old 1st Jan 2007, 02:27   #17
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This project looks very promising
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Old 1st Jan 2007, 04:50   #18
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Very nice metal joinery and steel cutting for the back panel. Keep it up.
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Old 2nd Jan 2007, 23:13   #19
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Update Time Again

I did get some work done yesterday, but not enough to merit an update.

So, yesterday I built two more right angle brackets for the case, and then mounted one. I had to stop as I ran out of Bolts, so I went to AllFix today and bought 200 more Bolts and 100 more Nuts.


^ Two Brackets. There is now a bracket missing from the front left and rear right of the case. The reason for leaving out the front left is that I may need a different shaper one depending on the position and size of the Hard Drive Rack. The reason for no rear top left bracket is I donít want to obstruct the Motherboard, and thus might use a different shape bracket.


Case Feet

Now for case feet I am going to glue two 3mm clear acrylic disks together to create a 6mm tall foot.


^ I start off with a square of acrylic, and mark the centre of it and drill a hole.


^ Next, I will use the Dremel's router bit and circle attachment to cut out my circles.


^ The Dremel mounted in the bench vice to give me two hands free to fold and steer the acrylic. And the mess of the first disks being cut out.


^ Four of the eight disks plus off cuts.


^ The disks are then have another two holes drilled, one on either side of the centre hole, these serve two purposes: To allow me to stick a bolt through to hold them together, and where the two LEDs will go once the feet are finished.


^ A set of disks mounted into the Pillar Drill. I then used a Chisel, file and sand paper to smooth down the edges, and to make the disks the exact same size.


^ All eight disks filed to the same size, and the edges sanded smooth.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphering
This project looks very promising
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by greensabbath
Very nice metal joinery and steel cutting for the back panel. Keep it up.
Itís not so much the steel cutting...as the steel filing!
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Old 3rd Jan 2007, 11:59   #20
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Nice mod,go go go!
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