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Old 14th Apr 2011, 05:32   #1
Spotswood
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Project: Server and Gaming Case

This is a project/build log for a custom case to house both a storage server and gaming rig.

This fairly compact case is designed to hold:
  • Two EATX motherboards
  • Two ATX PSUs
  • Twenty four 3.5-inch hard drives
  • Six SSDs
  • Two 120x3 water cooling radiators






The size of the case is to be kept as small as possible, which is mostly driven by the size of the motherboard trays. But until those arrive, I fabricated the PSU mounting plate from some 2.5mm aluminum sheet.

The cutouts were made via a hand held router fitted with a flush pattern bit, guided by a template.










That's it for now!
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Old 14th Apr 2011, 08:26   #2
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I like the idea of having the MB's laying down

What SSDs are you going to have, and are some of them gonna be raided? :3
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 01:04   #3
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Yay! Spotswood log!
I read the required hardware, then 'as small as possible.'
@Droih - He will likely never see the hardware, He's just building mega-cases here.
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 01:08   #4
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Ooh! Another great mod!
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 07:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Yay! Spotswood log!
I read the required hardware, then 'as small as possible.'
@Droih - He will likely never see the hardware, He's just building mega-cases here.
Oh right, me misreading again! "designed to hold" sure is a different thing
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 09:21   #6
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Ohhhh yeahhhh a Spotswood mega case, awesome I love these perfect mega cases you make , 5 stars right away for you .
I always get excited about your cases .

Really is nice compact dimensions for such a mega case, nice .

Last edited by Waynio; 15th Apr 2011 at 09:26. Reason: I always get excited about your cases =D
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:45   #7
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Love it! I like the idea of 2 motherboards in there, and how "compact" (if such a term exists for dual E-ATX boards) it is too. Will definitely be watching this
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:49   #8
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24 HDD's?
That's a lot of space =D
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:52   #9
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All that for porn and mindsweeper
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 15:56   #10
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It would be interesting if one could "share" a RAID card between two systems... have a low power file server for "on all the time" and a more powerful server for other things like video conversion and such... This case would be almost perfect for that!
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Old 15th Apr 2011, 17:17   #11
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yeah, another build by Rich. You really have been getting into these humongous cases.
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Old 16th Apr 2011, 00:49   #12
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The backplate of the stock motherboard tray from mountainmods.com was too tall, so I fabricated a shortened duplicate out of .10-inch thick aluminum sheet (once again, via my trusty router fitted with a pattern cutting bit):







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Old 17th Apr 2011, 15:55   #13
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 05:04   #14
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This case will be shipped flat-packed so it needs to be easily assembled by the owner. The simple back frame consists of some u-channel with its ends plugged with some blocks press-fitted and pinned with a #4 screw. The blocks have a though-hole into which a #6 1-1/4-inch flat head stainless steel socket cap screw is bolted. Simple, effective, but time consuming to fabricate.








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Old 25th Apr 2011, 01:13   #15
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The first step toward routing-out the motherboard cutouts in the back panel was to modify a standard size motherboard router template I had made some time ago.






The modified template was used to create yet another template in 1/2-inch thick particle board.




Unfortunately the router wobbled ever so slightly in one spot, but was quickly repaired with some autobody filler:





In order to save wear-and-tear on my flush cutting router bit a first pass was done freehand (gulp!) with a standard endmill.





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Last edited by Spotswood; 25th Apr 2011 at 04:09.
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Old 25th Apr 2011, 11:27   #16
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Nice & you went freehand too .
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Old 28th Apr 2011, 01:57   #17
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I had to make a new router template for the PSUs cutout. A router guide template is quickly fashioned from some MDF held together with pocket screws.






A mock-up of the back panel:

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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:23   #18
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The posts for the front frame are made from .125 x .5 x 2-inch tubes. First thing was to stuff the bottoms with the screw blocks/nuts in order to eventually attach them to the bottom sheet.

Following standard operating procedure, the aluminum was cut on my miter saw (fitted with a standard carbide tipped blade). The clamp that came with the saw is used to hold the material against the fence.




The blocks were then drilled on the drill press with the assistance of my self-centering vice (I love that thing because I don't have to waste time measuring for center).




Threads were tapped via my bench mounted "hand" tapper.




The blocks were pinned to the tubes with flat head self-tapping screws.




Always looking to improve my speed and quality, the cross supports offered the opportunity to use PEM cinch nuts. The nuts were pressed into the screw blocks.



Which were then pinned inside .5 x 1-inch u-channel.








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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:44   #19
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I've never heard of PEM clinch nuts. I wish I had, as I could have really used these on Quintessence. I'm Googling, but not finding much. Where did you get yours?
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Old 2nd May 2011, 03:49   #20
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Originally Posted by voigts View Post
I've never heard of PEM clinch nuts. I wish I had, as I could have really used these on Quintessence. I'm Googling, but not finding much. Where did you get yours?
Spec sheet here. McMaster-Carr calls them "Clinch Captive Nuts", part # 96439A250
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