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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 08:17   #1
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Na'ir al Saif



Welcome to Na'ir al Saif.

I'm taking a different tack from my last build and going for a more open look, with transparent acrylic panels on an aluminium frame. I'm also going to be using thicker material, both for looks and rigidity. Also, I've had to rewrite most of this log because of a stuff up by my image host provider. As a consequence, there may be some sections appearing in a different order from the original, and some images couldn't be found so they are omitted and the text has been removed.
Because of all this, I recommend that you use the ' Authors mode' as this only shows posts by me. A lot of the comments from forum members will not make any sense in the place they are in. To use this feature just use the drop down box 'view mode', and select 'view authors posts'. This feature is located at the top right of the topic you are reading. For those directed here from a link on my web site, you are already in authors mode.

See you soon.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 13:38   #2
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Thanks guys.

So lets start.

I'm starting with the heart of the case, namely the motherboard tray/support.

This is cut from 4mm plate with my hardworking jigsaw.







Filing finishes the edges.



Holes drilled for the mobo risers



And countersunk for M3 screws.



This tray will be fixed to the case in the center only. So mounting holes are drilled and countersunk.







A bit more cleaning up on the edges.........



A quick check that the risers match up with an old broken mobo.





And then a wet sand to see how this may look on the finished build. This will have to be done at the very end of the build again, but I just want to get a look.







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Old 8th Feb 2010, 07:09   #3
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Thanks everyone.

The support for the motherboard tray has a single arm attaching to the center of the tray.



This part is marked up and cut from 8mm plate.







I tried using some cutting fluid on the jigsaw blade, but this didn't seem to make cutting any easier but did make an awful mess. So I'll stick with dry cutting.





And some more heavy duty filing.



Now my design calls for some big ass holes to be cut in this part so I bought a cheap set of hole saws.



On the box it says 'not to be used for metal', but they are bi-metal saws and I'm sure, that with some lubrication, and taking some extra time to make the cuts, they will work well.



Of course the extra 'grunt' of my new drill press helps.



The hole saws worked well but left a slightly rough inside edge. These are cleaned up with some sanding drums in a power drill.



And this is how the two parts will fit together.







But the original design just didn't look right in the flesh. So some mods on the fly were done.







With one side done.



And I like this much better.



The finished part is drilled, tapped and fitted.







Back soon.
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 10:14   #4
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The design calls for two fans but I wanted some chunky, fat looking things.
I tried a few designs before settling on the final look.

First we start with some foam easter eggs.



To get the "nose cone" of the fan, one of the eggs is cut in half. The short, fat half is
discarded.



The other half will be fixed to the fan like so.



So to get a fat chunky appearance two frames are glued and bolted together.









Then the gap in between is bogged up with filler.



The struts are removed from the motor support, and it's smoothed down.



The outside of the new frame is covered with some plastic model siding and primered.



Now I tried various paints and primers on the foam but usually ended up with a small lump
that looked like pluto, foam doesn't like any solvent based finishes. So I finaly decided to
cover it in two part epoxy and this worked a treat. I gave it three coats.



After sanding and gluing, the nose had some filler applied. A few areas on the frame also
needed some more filler.



Then some spray putty was applied to the parts.





I could have left one of the fan motors attached to the frame but I didn't like the look of it
and I wanted the fan motor to be removable, so a new support needed to be made. 3mm
alu was used for this.



This was cut out with the jigsaw and filed to the near final shape.





And the motor attached with double sided tape to get a look.





Now some holes need to be marked up and drilled. I like to take measurements directly
from the work-piece so I've found that when you need to find the locations of blind fitting
points, it easy to put the fixing screws or bolts in, and on the work-piece put three layers
of masking tape on the area where you need to mark. Then align the part till you are happy
and apply pressure to the part directly above the screw. This will leave a clear impression
of the screw head for you to drill.



Drilled, countersunk and rough sanded.





And we have a fat turbine-like fan. OK it looks like crap at the moment but I'm still working
out the colour scheme.



Now I think you can guess that it would have been a miracle if the new fan+nose was well
balanced just like that, and it's not. Mind you it's not too bad, but I will have to rig up a way
to put the fan in the drill stand and balance it.



TBC..........
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Old 8th Mar 2010, 00:16   #5
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Thanks a lot guys.

It turned out an easy matter to balance the fans. I have an action shot but have
refrained from posting it due to the "safety first backlash".



But while I was doing this my mind drifted back to before I started making the fans.
Back to when I was trying to source materials for making the nose. The first place I went to was the local RC hobby store because I was after those spinners they put on the nose of RC
aircraft. This shop only had three examples and none were the right size, so I found the foam
eggs and yadda yadda ya. Well, I decided to look further afield and found, about 35km's
away, a really big hobby store that had a box full of spinners. Sorting through all the stuff I
found four examples of what was needed(45mm diameter). So now all doubt has gone and
I'm very happy with what will be possible with these.



You have to agree these are pretty sweet.





This project will have a color scheme. So a couple of colors will be tried.



And while the fans were being primered, colored, and clear coated, the second frame had
to be made.



A coat of primer after initial filling shows up areas that need more attention.



My desk looks like a scene from "Earth versus flying saucers".



Be still my beating heart.

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Old 13th Mar 2010, 09:05   #6
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I'm not really happy with theses square frames. You see the internal frame has some
very interesting shapes and having these big, square blocks sitting on the front just
doesn't cut it. So with that in mind I went hunting for something that comes close to the
picture in my mind. It still has to be fat and chunky just not square.

And I found these PVC plumbing bushes.



It looks quite good, with segments that look like cooling slots, and it's made from thick
and solid material. But there are some problems. The internal diameter is only 110mm and
the old frames have a diameter of 116.85mm. There is also a lip on the inside on one side.



But I need to get a look at what this could look like with a fan inside. So the quickest way
to do this is to reduce the fan diameter. So I first used an old fan.









OK this doesn't look bad but I'm still not won over. So lets get a look at this with another old
fan and a spinner.



Meh! I quickly sprayed the fan silver.









Back soon.
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Old 15th Mar 2010, 07:59   #7
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Back to the chassis, I needed to get a look at the PSU arrangement. Although I had planned this in sketchup, I didn't think about how the acrylic shell would attach with this part. So another modification needed to be made for this part that supports the PSU and PCI cards.







So I settled on an enlarged design and began to make this from 6mm plate.









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Old 15th Mar 2010, 09:55   #8
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The next part is the all important lower tie piece that joins all the upper parts and supports the lower struts. This needs to be very strong and rigid, so it's made from 8mm plate.



















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Old 17th Mar 2010, 05:06   #9
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Now that I have four of the main parts made, it's time to think about how these will be fixed to each other.

To this end, some trials were made on scrap. I wasn't worried about strength, because using several stainless M3 screws per join will be more than ample to hold the parts together with moderate to high strength. I was more concerned with how I could finish the screws to get a good and tidy look.



So the drilling and tapping could start.





In some cases pretty weird clamping set-ups needed to be used to get everything lined up and square. Unfortunately the work was concentrated and hectic so I didn't get many pic's.







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Old 20th Mar 2010, 06:57   #10
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To support PCI add in cards, a simple arrangement using some angle was made.









See you soon.
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Old 24th Mar 2010, 08:40   #11
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Having settled on the PVC bushings for the fan bodies, some supports needed to be made to hold the fan motors.

These are marked up and cut from 3mm sheet.











With the fan motor mounts cut and fixed to the fan body, they can be filed to better fit the curves of the body.













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Old 25th Mar 2010, 06:33   #12
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The fans will be mounted to a front panel and this panel is the last large aluminium part. It's 8mm and will form only about half of the front panel.





All the straight edges are filed true first.



And then the cut-outs for the fan bodies are sanded down until the bodies fit tightly.



Nearly there.









And how they will look.













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Old 25th Mar 2010, 22:56   #13
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To tie the front and rear together, I'm going to use some 20mm clear acrylic.





Once this is cut and filed, it's drilled and tapped for location at the top of the chassis. M4 countersunk screws are used here.













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Old 26th Mar 2010, 06:34   #14
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The case will be supported by four struts terminating in some turned pads (feet). Below is the original SU design.





A template was made from the SU measurements. And then transferred to the bar.





And then the struts are cut from 12mm x 40mm bar. This was quite difficult because of the small size.









I first made one strut (roughly) to get a look at it in place.







And with a disc to get a rough idea with a pad.





Hmmm, not bad.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 07:09   #15
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Continuing on with the struts, the rest are cut and then roughly ground down as a group with an angle grinder.





And after some more filing........





Still the early stages for these parts.



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Old 31st Mar 2010, 08:34   #16
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The next step is to fix the struts to the lower main support. This is accomplished with two M4 socket head screws for each strut.



Once the holes are drilled, they are then counter bored to take the heads of the screws.



Then the struts are drilled and tapped.





And fitted.













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Old 1st Apr 2010, 09:51   #17
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Now some of you may have noticed the gap between the rear support (mobo tray support) and the front fan carrier/panel. This is the area that will take the conduit to take all the cables from the PSU to the motherboard and graphics card.

The main component for this is a U channel I found in the offcuts bin at my aluminium vendor. It's powder coated white, but I'll get rid of this later.



Once cut to the correct length, it goes here.



Using an old PSU I can map how the cables will run, and make cut-outs accordingly.



And various areas removed.





The first cut outs are made to clear the fan bodies.






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Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:24   #18
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Before continuing, I decided to fit the PSU and motherboard that will actually be used.





The only to do here is to tap the threads to takeM4 screws. Care needs to taken not to leave any small bits of metal loose inside the PSU.



These screws will be replaced with countersunk ones later.



Once fitted, the PSU just 'hangs'.

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Old 2nd Apr 2010, 13:56   #19
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As well as the conduit to run the cables, there will be a compartment in front of the power supply. This will hide the cables coming out of the PSU, but the two hard drives will also go in here. I'm going to make this follow the shape of the lower support rather than imitate the square shape of the power supply.

To start off, a pattern is made from plastic sheet.







This is then transferred to aluminium sheet.





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Old 3rd Apr 2010, 07:22   #20
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Continuing on with the hard drive compartment, a small part is made for the back. The bends are made but using various set-ups in the vice.







This part is trimmed to fit around the lower corner of the motherboard.

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