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Old 24th Jan 2013, 10:50   #261
Nutman
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Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.
Too bad you have to use clamps for the tubing - they look too "ghetto" if you ask me. Hardly befitting of the remaining project.
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Old 24th Jan 2013, 10:59   #262
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Agreed Nutman, Bitspower Luxery tube clamps would look alot better. Not sure if they're available in the right size though.

Other than that, this build is drool worthy!
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Old 24th Jan 2013, 17:24   #263
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The barbs are temporary. Don't worry they'll all be prettied up with shmexy compression fittings by the end.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 01:16   #264
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MEGA POST!

So it's been a while. Not much progress on the build because I've been busy moving house, securing more sponsors for this build (see below) and getting review samples for future reviews as well as finishing existing reviews. I finally wrapped up my 17 cpu water block roundup which is posted on my website(extremerigs.net) and XS. Next I'm working on a pump/top/res roundup and a Titan water block roundup. In between I'll be slowly finishing this build. So here's everything that's happened in the last two months, some of which is relevant to the build and some of it isn't, but I figured I'd include all of it anyway.

Koolance sent some stuff - this is all for review though rather than this build:



PMP500, a D5 top and integerated 120mmx70mm (fat) reservoir and a bunch of the new QD style QDCs:



Let's start with the D5 Top:





This is a full cover top that completely encloses the pump unlike the EK one that is just a top. A cylinder reservoir can also be mounted directly to the top if you want. With Bitspower you can buy a top and a seperate dress kit but the Koolance has all of it included:



It comes with mounting brackets and plastic thing that I'm not sure yet as to the purpose!

The top is pretty serious and bulky like most D5 tops. If you want small, stick with a DDC style pump:





The reservoir that Koolance sent is their "fat" 70mm ID variety which needs adapters to fit to the pump top:



This should not be used for a frosty beverage:



You can see the threaded adpater which will screw into the pump top. The pump top comes with a base adapter for a "normal" size reservoir.



Here it is fitted - the size actually works because the D5 top is so bulky:



Obviously the ftting at the top of the pump top would need to be removed and moved to the side inlet port. One thing I don't like is that this means you have to use the top port of the reservoir as your return line. I prefer to have that as the fill port.



They also sent a PMP500 for review. This is their all new design that is much more powerful than a D5 or DDC pump:



Came with no instructions:



A mounting bracket and some screws but nothing else:



Integrated heatsink and nice looking top, but the two halves do clash a little in style:



It is however very compact for a more powerful pump. A D5 with a top is considerably larger:



I'll also be reviewing the new QDC's. I'd used the VL4N and VL3N's for a while and my main complaint was that the female connectors were sensitive to being bent out of shape when dropped. The new design should be more robust:



The QD4 series is the larger size that is more designed for industry than us guys. It is marketed as a direct replacement to the VL4N. It's larger and lower restriction than the QD3 and has fewer useful connection options. They do however come better packed:



No way these things will be damaged in transport. The business ends:





Connected - you simply push the two together:



Disconnected - you simply pull the ring labelled pull:



I have to admit I prefer the new mechanism - there's less time in the zone of being partially open, these really snap on and snap off quickly. No rotation is also a good thing as it lowers the risk of the other end of the tube becoming unscrewed.

The QD4 comes with two options for the other end - either 1/2" ID 3/4" OD compression fitting or a male g 3/8" fitting. Note that this is not a standard g 1/4 like 99% of computer water cooling components.

However Koolance have an adapter ready for you if you do wish to use these:



It barely adds anything to the length unlike the alphacool adapters that I've used in the past. I also like that they've included wrench flats on the threaded version:



Because these are lower restriction they are more bulky and will not fit on a block even with widely spaced ports like their own CPU-380:



The QD3 series on the other hand is designed for computer enthusiasts. It's smaller and replaces the VL3N line up. These instead get packaged like normal fittings but with a protective rubber.... sheath on the quick disconnect end:



Those were the 1/2" ID 3/4" OD compression fitting ends. These are the male g1/4 threaded:



One of each with their rubber... booties on:



The quick disconnect part is much smaller:



Unlike the QD4's these can be directly mounted on most blocks that can fit 3/4" OD compression fittings as the compression fitting lock ring is the widest part of the QDC:



QDD3 vs QD4:



EK are sponsoring the build so a big thanks to them but also sent some stuff for review in the upcoming pump/res/top roundup:



The RP452x2 I have will actually be removed and replaced with the 400mm reservoirs that EK already sent me earlier in the year:



That RP452x2 will be part of the roundup though lol. EK sent me lots of coolant:



I was trying to take a cooler shot - but it kinda looks like I'm bragging about my car so :shrug:



DDC top - this replaced the XSPC acrylic one that I have so that all my pumps/reservoirs are consistently EK:



Unboxing -



I do love EK's packaging, the best out there to be honest and it makes you feel like you bought a quality product:



Individual baggies:



Sealed with a logo:



There's been a lot of hate on those circles, but EK are changing their designs now thanks to the thinkcell voting:



I have to admit I'm a sucker for the details though:



Not much detail on the inside:



You can see the slight angle upwards to the port:



White D5 top - this replaces my old style EK Black D5 top:



Taking it's shirt off:





White on white is hard to see:



So let's see it on a metallic grey background:



I think this one unlike the DDC has a few too many circles



Do you spot the white theme:



These will be on the workstation side representing the public "light" image of the thief, vs the gaming side representing the hidden "dark" side of the thief. There is some variation in the white acetal color but it's pretty minor. Hopefully it won't be noticeable:



Lovely detail on the inside though it's hard to see:



Now for that white reservoir that I posted an unedited version of this pic:



Well let's do it properly now:



Comes bubble wrapped and with an optional filter



All the accessories - sadly the mounting clips are still black:



The base has 5 ports on all versions. The difference between the basic and advanced is instead the top. On the basic it only has one port. That's ok for me. I like to use the top as a fill port only and have the return in the base:







The anti cyclone works, however bleeding is slightly faster if you use a long tube instead to prevent the bubbles getting back in the outlet:



Dual D5 top - this replaces the bitspower one that I have, but never got to put in build. This will actually replace the Koolance RP452x2 that I'm using right now. Anything pump/top/reservoir will be reviewed in the upcoming roundup lol:











Underside of the top:



Top of the top, only a few circles:



With the clamp plate that holds the D5 on added:



This one is just for review not the build:





2 bay res with integrated DCP 2.2 pump:



Lots of circles:



The bottom bay of the res is actually pretty useless, it's really just filling up the space around the pump:



Lutro0's sponsorship package arrived so that I can finish my sleeving. Got a fancy wire stripper:



It was a bit dusty in the box but who cares about that:



Lutro0's crimper. Supposedly the same as MDPC's but with a bit of milling to make it usable with AWG16. I need to get my MDPC one out to compare:



Comes with two example crimps just like Nils sends:



Flush edge cutters for cutting sleeve *not* wire:



though you can use them for wire, you'll want a 2nd pair for that so they stay sharp:



Molex pin extractor:



Crimps and connectors:



Lots of wire - each one is one spool, I'm not sure why it wasn't left on the spool? Maybe so it is easier to train? I'm going to ask Lutro0 when I get some time.



And an example 24pin extension from the man himself:



Also picked up this fan as a test to see how quiet it can go. I'm thinking of changing out all the fans now and running uber silent now that my long term plan is to use the front bays for 4x360 rads



Goes down to ~400rpm and Martin recommended it as being very quiet:



Also got this as a tester because to be honest LED fans are cooler than white ones:



PWM but only goes to 600rpm and is allegedly a bit buzzy



Has a switch for the LEDs



Also figured I should try PWM control of the existing gentle typhoons and yates in case it's the same volume and I can make my life easier, so I got one of these. Also recommended by Martin:



I got the smallest one that fits in a 3.5 bay but there is a 6 channel one that takes up one 5 1/4" bay:



If I end up using it I will be hiding it because it is pretty ugly:



Welcome to Alphacool also who are sponsoring the build. They sent me some rads as well as other stuff for review:



The monsta'st monsta:



Hard to photo because it's so big:



It's big. Next to an XSPC RX360 with push pull fans:



Comes with copper accessories which sadly don't match my build:



Also the sexy full copper UT60 in white:



Get ready:



Cause it's hot:



And it makes me want to take off all my clothes:



Also the full copper 45mm thick 560 known as the XT45:



Still bubble wrapped - I spot a pattern:



A 45mm rad doesn't normally look thin, but 560's are so big that it does:



Next to the monsta:



Also a thin 360mm, thin is useful for the side mount next to the PSUs where I don't have much room:



This puppy is 30mm thick:





Looks skinny next to a 60mm UT60 which itself is skinny compared to the monsta...



They also sent some stuff for review in the pump roundup:



This is a single bay res with dual pumps:





It takes these tiny DC-LT pumps from alphacool also, they're not included with the res:



But they sent me some too:



Box not up to the usual alphacool standard:



Tiny DC-LT pumps, we'll have to see what they can do:



No kidding they sent me more stuff for review:



Well we know it's a pump/res of some kind:



It's a 2 bay res that can mount 2 D5s. It's a similar setup to the RP452x2 that I have:



Alphacool's black/copper theme is very consistent:



This one won't go in the build:





But it did come with 2 D5's which I may end up using to replace the DDC or Iwaki:



Alphacool's VPP655 is just a bare D5 vario with tach wire:





Spotswood had also sent me an update for the tech bench after I had some feedback for him:



A new "open" top tray:



Taller posts so that the PSU can be mounted vertically, enabling a 2nd PSU to be fitted:



And a HDD rack:



This is the old one:



Getting taken apart:



Now with more rotation:



I tried the HDD rack at the back:



(I have the case rotated on my bench so that the back is easily accessible). The HDDs slide in on rubber grommets:



Adding the new top:



With boards and gpu:



Nearly done:



In the end I moved the HDDs to the front and mounted the crystalfontz data logger in the back:



This gives me space to get my hands under the motherboard for fitting backplates. I tried mounting a 360 to the side, but had to offset it a little for easy tube routing:



Now you can see the datalogger next to the PSU:



You can also see the GT that I mounted on a sliding arm under the CPU. This cools the VRM's on the back of the board that will cause CPU throttling if they over heat. The sliding makes it easy to move out the way if needed:





Move views:



I'll be using this just for controlling PWM in the upcoming pump testing lol. Talk about overkill. I have a couple of new cpu blocks to test though and then a titan waterblock roundup to do afterwards so it'll be more useful for that:



The schmexies:



Close up of how Spotswood builds up the frame from all the extrusion pieces:

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Old 9th Mar 2013, 10:02   #265
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you are the king of overkill, and i love it!
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 05:48   #266
Nutman
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Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.Nutman is a hoopy frood who really knows where their towel is.
You give a whole new definition to the term "MEGA POST". O_o
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 17:05   #267
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I'm not going to lie... this log would be a whole lot more interesting without the 105,345 pictures of tools and kit boxes

We get the point, EK sent you some stuff! Get back to the good stuff!
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 18:14   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
I'm not going to lie... this log would be a whole lot more interesting without the 105,345 pictures of tools and kit boxes

We get the point, EK sent you some stuff! Get back to the good stuff!
While I think the pictures do look good, I would agree with this More modding/building progress less "kit".

Looking forward to more progress pics, it's looking good so far
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 20:06   #269
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So i guess... since you have sponsors and free stuff, its not called 'Thief' cause its not robbing your wallet trying to make us jealous?
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Old 27th Mar 2013, 16:02   #270
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Now that I seen your car's wheel, my urge to guess what is has been awakened if those are still stock wheels, could those be by any chance a 3 series?
Sorry for my digression on your build, on the right note, its coming along nicely... all you are missing is a cannon to add onto that caselab case... it could seriously pass off as a case tank because of its size, I knew it was big, but I then realized I was underestimating it after you showed pics of comparisons the recent update took an hour to digest, I oogled at each pic for about an hour nnnnnnngh keep up the good work
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Old 12th Jun 2013, 00:26   #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr0Zen View Post
you are the king of overkill, and i love it!
lol, there are people worse than me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutman View Post
You give a whole new definition to the term "MEGA POST". O_o
Well I have another one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosquito View Post
While I think the pictures do look good, I would agree with this More modding/building progress less "kit".

Looking forward to more progress pics, it's looking good so far
Alright I'll try and avoid those, partly it's because I haven't been working on it much the last 3 months, been too busy with reviews, so apologies for the couple of boxes that remain, I stripped a *lot* out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furball Zen View Post
So i guess... since you have sponsors and free stuff, its not called 'Thief' cause its not robbing your wallet trying to make us jealous?
Haha what it sponsored is only a small amount of the total cost sadly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanoken View Post
Now that I seen your car's wheel, my urge to guess what is has been awakened if those are still stock wheels, could those be by any chance a 3 series?
Sorry for my digression on your build, on the right note, its coming along nicely... all you are missing is a cannon to add onto that caselab case... it could seriously pass off as a case tank because of its size, I knew it was big, but I then realized I was underestimating it after you showed pics of comparisons the recent update took an hour to digest, I oogled at each pic for about an hour nnnnnnngh keep up the good work
Haha yeah 335i Thanks

Here comes the somewhat schizophrenic update. Hopefully future updates will be more frequent and make more sense than this one:

Been a while, so here's kind of a dump of what I'vee been up to.



LIES:



Also



Also



...

So the 9500GT in mini thief died last night, thinking about swapping out my 8800GT from the project thief workstation into that rig and getting a low end kepler for the workstation can drive three screens. The workstation uses linux and I'm thinking to switch my U3011 for 3 1080p lightboost monitors in portrait. When I've run multiple screens across multiple GPUs in linux before with Xinerama then X gets a bit laggy, so this would help with that as twinview on a single card works great, and I've read that twinview can have three screens with Kepler. The cheapest kepler with a block would be a 650 ti boost, but the block is a CSQ while the rest of the workstation uses non-csq blocks. Any thoughts? I'm reluctant to try AMD for a workstation GPU because even with nouveau drivers my tools become way more laggy than the official nvidia drivers.

I'm also debating paint and fittings for the 990x/R3E motherboard/RAM loop on the gaming rig. The idea is that the workstation half would be "white" (e.g. white blocks, dt sniper white, EK white D5 top, EK white reservoir, nickel/plexi memory block and copper/plexi gpu painted white and maybe even the motherboard nickel plexi block painted white too). The gaming rig would be the "dark side" acetal cpu and gpu blocks (although I just sold the GPUs). However the motherboard is nickel/plexi and the ram block is copper/plexi (not shown here):



Originally I thought to paint these black, but then you won't even see the dye in that loop. So I was thinking maybe a black chrome finish instead just for the memory block? I could paint the motherboard block stainless steel cover plate in the middle of that block black to fit the theme. Should I then use black chrome fittings or just straight black? Also that 120 radiator is getting swapped for a black one and that fan is getting swapped for a black/red fan. Also those QDCs will be hidden away.

So to summarize I want your thoughts on these questions:

Stick with light/dark theme?

Workstation

Paint the metal parts of the workstation plexi blocks white?

Use 2x8800GTs and suck up any lag if present or switch to a 650 Ti Boost with a CSQ block?

Stick with the plan for white fittings?

Use a silver painted radiator with a silver/red fan?

Gaming Rig

Paint the RAM block black or black chrome to hide dat copper?

Paint the Motherboard block fully or only the cover plate and if so black or black chrome?

Use black fittings or black chrome?

End of questions - did this any of this make sense?

Current hardware plan (very subject to change) is to eventually add two titans or titan LEs and if I upgrade the workstation to the 4930K then the gaming rig will get the 3930K from the workstation and an X79 Dark board

Also random shot from the mini-thief build - one thing i love about the M5Gene board is that glowing LED strip they put into the board - super cool:



I'd love to see them do something similar on a real R4E BE board not that promotional 3 board run crap they did

...



I upgraded the bios to avoid throttling and increased the power limit of the card so that I could try and seperate the results from the error as much as possible. I'm running Naennon's 145% Max Power bios. My max clocks were around 1150-1175 @1.212V (not the best card), so I downclocked to 1123MHz and tried a few benchmarks/stress tests to see what power levels I could get. Furmark was giving me a nice solid 120% level so I decided to go with that. I'm logging card temps with precision-x and the water/ambient temps with WinTest. I took some baseline measurements on air, with the fan at max (85%) the card was running about 50C over ambient which is not bad at all even if the fan is super noisy. First block on the testing rig is EK:



I also had time to unbox the hydrocopper card. The packaging is much less fancy than the Titan:





The only block to include the metal bracket to go around the gpu processor.



Accessories:



2 Pairs of compressions and 2 stop fittings:



The matt block contrasts with the shine of the EVGA sticker:



I feel like the sticker takes away from the classyness. I would have preferred it to be cut out of the plastic just like the swiftech logo is:



Maybe even make it consistent with the style of the top and maybe even light up some text there too:



The base is nickel plated:



And it's kind of nice that they preattach the thermal pads for you:



....

Had the hydrocopper on the testing bench. Results can be found on the interwebz.



Also spent the whole of saturday running flow/restriction curves on 17 waterblocks



I'd planned to disassemble the TX10 today because I'd found that if you rely on your rig that you're currently building for your day job and need a high percentage of uptime on that same rig, then it becomes very hard to get anything done. So I'd planning to run a bench setup for a while until I finish Thief. However on saturday just before I was about to process the restriction curves, my D5 on the motherboard loop started making horrible noises. I shut down the rig, but my gaming rig still wasn't functioning as the PSU died last week and the warranty replacement wasn't here yet. So it was time to strip them both out and make a frankenstein rig out of working parts. Hopefully parts that I wouldn't use in the final thief build. So here's the dissasembling which was very quick due to the TX10 design (quick release side mounts and motherboard trays cheesecake) as well as many QDCs. Photos aren't that great because I wasn't spending time to setup the tripod. I needed my workstation running for monday morning. I used the "bench mount" kit for the CL tray and used an old fan cut into a shroud to mount the radiator to the back of the tray. To support the weight of the rad on the far end I also have a piece of wood lulz



Yuck dust!











Parts:



Draining the windows rig - this will become the linux workstation temporarily, I was rolling with the old 460 after selling my 580s and before the titan/780 transition:



Stripping



Nearly naked:



I painted this RX360 for the build before I decided to change to a light/dark theme and before I got sponsored by alphacool:



Still rocking the sniper:



And of course EK still sponsor many other parts:



Now if only ROG would sponsor me too



I love nickel plexi



Luckily Corsair does sponsor me too, I love GTs, who wants anything else:



And I still choose GTs over platinums because I love those red tops. And they're waterblock compatible. You know if I ever get around to that....



Decided to run the monsoon lightports. I might switch to the carbon fiber ones though in the final build:



And it's about time to use some of that dye:



Ready to fill up:





XSPC don't sponsor so this one's a freebie



Get that dye in there!



Masterkleer tubing hooked up, I was out of primochill clear so I was going to use this up, already turning a bit yellow after 6months of sitting in a dark box :/ :



Forgot to tighten that middle compression, luckily it didn't leak:



sexy:



fill her up:



Leak testing:



No leaks:



Yummy:



I WANT TO EAT IT



NICKEL PLEXI AND DYE IS SO SCHMEXY





Done with the overnight leak testing and setting up:



Added an LED to the pump top:



Light ports are weak during the day, hopefully I'll get some dark shots later on:



I rotated the tray onto a spare desk and sat the PSU and HDD cage on the desk too. I put the PSU on some bubble wrap because it was having some weird resonance with the desk:



I kinda wish I had a 2nd spotswood tech bench to be honest, but this'll have to do, the "tech bench" feet that CL have for it work well and I can afford the desk space for the rest of it.



So the extension wasn't supposed to have this much bend so the inner wires are pushing through the outer





Stripping down the old R4E, the nickel is stained because I ran pure distilled without a corrosion inhibitant...







I do prefer this to csq though



beautiful condition one mount only



One mint always under water combo



Say farewell to these:



Got the hydrocopper block tested (results on the website)



Got a new lens





Dust:



Mo' Dust:



Replacement NEX1500 PSU came in to replace the dead one:



I wish I had two of these beauties:







Oh wait I do, well temporarily:





Also got a GPU in for the workstation, now I can do three monitors with one card. Can you guess:





This one gives it away a bit:



The nice thing is that the 650 ti boost with the blower cooler like this still is compatible with a 600 block.







So as part of the "getting stuff done" theme, I'd moved thief downstairs to the garage and setup the temporary test bench. The garage was still a mess as I was waiting for new benches and shelving units to come in so I could actually do something.



I also forgot to bring home my liquid tape from work to add in the bazillion new thermal probes I got so titan testing was on hold:



However I could continue some of the sleeving work:



I'd previously done one 24 pin, an 8 pin and a 6 pin. Since then Lutro0 had sent me some shiny tools and I'd started working on another 24 pin extension. I wasn't happy with the length of the inner run though as it wasn't giving me enough curvature, so I removed those wires leaving me only the outer layer:



I used lutro0's 16 AWG wire, which is pretty easy for a relative nub like me. By the end I was wishing for something stiffer though, but combined with the MDPC-X sleeve the resultant extension is pretty stiff. It still needs a good amount of training, so I seperated the two layers with some thin plywood:



and clamped it in position:



The look is just about perfect, and hopefully it'll hold after a bit of time sitting like that:



I'd also seen some staining on my nickel blocks which looked similar to EK's testing of distilled only with no anti-corrosion additive:



The acrylic isn't stained of course, but it's good to check:



Giving the block a good scrub with detergent did nothing.



EK used a metal polish to clean their blocks up and couldn't get it out of every recess, but I'm lazier than that and wanted better results so I did some research. Most people say don't use ketchup because you'll eat through the plating. So I thought I would try it on the underside to see how long it takes:



After one hour:



The dark marks were not there before, the underside was actually clean. Not sure if the dark marks are staining or where the acid etched through the nickel faster. I'm going to continue the experiment to see how long it takes...


So that's it for now, hopefully future updates will be more frequent!
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Old 12th Jun 2013, 01:03   #272
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Gutted to hear of all the dead hardware.

On another note, Good to hear of all the new toys coming in! Looking good, that step back just took two steps forward it seems. Hope you're able to work everything else out...
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Old 12th Jun 2013, 21:43   #273
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Nice PSU's!
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Old 14th Jun 2013, 09:27   #274
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Wow u got lot off stuff. How do you manage all this
Well i want it all
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Old 14th Jun 2013, 15:19   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siliconfanatic View Post
Gutted to hear of all the dead hardware.

On another note, Good to hear of all the new toys coming in! Looking good, that step back just took two steps forward it seems. Hope you're able to work everything else out...
Yeah there's been a lot of that haha. Really trying to get this build finished in earnestness this summer/fall, we'll see, there's still a lot to do!

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Originally Posted by Nutman View Post
Nice PSU's!
Haha thanks, well one of them is dead and is getting returned, so not quite as fun as it looks

Quote:
Originally Posted by dream1 View Post
Wow u got lot off stuff. How do you manage all this
Well i want it all
Lol I seem to muddle on by
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 02:15   #276
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Nope. I did NOT just see this on page 4! Not gonna happen!

Anything new on the patient?
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Old 9th Aug 2014, 20:08   #277
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Alright it's been a while since I updated, things got busy for a while as I was using the case rather than modding it. Then I was too busy to mod, and the last few months I've been more determined to finish it before X99 arrives. SO here's a bit of a large dump of the last few months of work.

New parts:













Then the wood work begins:



So it was time to mock up some designs on card:



This one I liked, but I wasn't sure which parts to do in wood and which parts to do cut out and then how to join the floating bits. So I tried something more minimalist:



Then mocked them up with PS:

minimal:



nightingale + dragon:



I was worried that this was too detailed and that the dragons were cheesey. I also considered adding the skyrim dragon logo on to the minimalist version:



I also considered writing project thief in dragon letters:



In the end I settled on the original minimal design:



First job was sanding the surface smooth as it had already been planed flat:



And then cutting to size:



The idea was to recess behind the front panel, as I dont' have a router I needed to make sure I could do it with my table saw by making multiple cuts. Here's one:



and many:



side profile:



The test fit perfectly:



Next up the whole panel:





and the second panel:



I then cut out the card to use as a stencil:



And started marking out:



Drilled holes to start the jigsaw cuts:



More holes:



And the first jigsaw cut:



Cleaned it up with some chisel work:



Oh and the recessed cuts needed cleaning up too:



Did some more cuts and decided to bevel the edges:



After two had gone well I was ready to start the rest, I thickened up the marking to the edge of the cut - originally the line to cut was done in pencil with an additional sharpie line close by to let me know approx where I should be, but it was hard to see the pencil with the dust:



Progress:



More progress:



Test fit:



After some finishing sanding and clean up:



I also started to recess the sections that connected the "floating" parts of the symbols:



Time for dat second panel:



Oh that was fast:



Normally I like to use natural shellac finishes for this kind of wood, but given the heat variation I wanted something that might seal the wood a little better so I decided to try a clear polyurethane:



Sadly the wood is so oily that the poly doesn't really dry, and I had to scrub the wood down with rags and mineral spirits to clean the oil off and let the finish dry. It was a real PITA and I wouldn't do it again lol. They came out well though:





So now that that was done it was time to get the hardware sorted. Monsoon sent a care package of stop plugs to replace the ugly alphacool copper ones:



Not sure if I showed this before or not, but if so then tough cookies:



I'd also been busy prepping and sleeving fans for the rads:



Product placement:



The problem with the alphacool rads (or the rad mounts) is that the stop fittings stick up and hit the rad mount. You need to use some kind of spacer. This is the phobya 7mm version:





Progress:



It was also time to upgrade/replace hardware - that 3930K died so I RMA'd and while I waited bought a 4930K:



I then sold the RMA part and shortly after decided to buy a 4820K:





Of course I needed a board to run the 4820K in, having bad experiences with Asus's RMA program and tech support snarky snarks I decided to give the new evga board a try as it was alleged to be a bazillion times better than their older x79 boards:



Dat sexy:





Now I know some of you are like me and were like "but you can't get blocks" well natemandoo solved that as we'll see later. My original plan was to use a 120 rad mounted to the tray to do a motherboard/ram only loop:



I knew this was silly, but it was only when I was looking at my pumps and knew that although I had 5 D5's for this build that I'd still need 2 more that I realized, maybe I should just not do that lol. There was a time where I wanted to have everything at max performance, but at some point if you really want the best temps you may as well just go sub ambient. So let's pretend that 120 will go away. Meanwhile I added RAM:



Added the CPU:



Closed the top:



Later found out these were the RAM slots, but in the meantime auditioned some CPU blocks to see what looked best. The Sniper was a bit too small to cover the metal of the socket:



The MIPS is a great block but didn't really suit the theme:



The 5Noz covered more than the sniper, but not enough:



The DD M6 provided a nice contrast with it's nickel, but this helped cement that I actually wanted something large and black:



Which led to the surprise winner:



I setup a temporary loop in order to have something while I debugged the GPUs on air:



So speaking of GPUs - oh yes I bought some of those:



A couple of 290s, then a couple of 7970s:



Then a couple more 290s:



Then a pair of 7990s:



Yes things were getting out of control:



It was clearly time to make sure they worked - starting with a 290:



Then adding more:



And more:



Dat evga:



Not to be left out the R4E also got to play:



So now that stuff was verified, it was time to order the remaining parts and start prepping things for the final build. The Mora was moving to AP15s:



Which needed some sleeving:



Before mounting:



Dat TX10 could eat the world:



I also ordered and received the missing parts I needed for the TX10 - replacement wheels, new clear windows and the 4x360 rad mounts to go behind the grills:



CL also sent the S8 and SMA8 for review:



So that's the end of the update for today - where are we at now and what's the plan?

So there's a bunch of parts coming in:
- Care package from Monsoon
- Package from PPCS
- A bunch of EK parts

The final build will be
- R4E + 4930K + 2x7990 + AX1200 + 1TB 840 EVO + 8*4GB 2133 Dominator CL9
- X79 Dark + 4820K + 4xR9-290 + NEX1500 + 1TB 840 EVO + 4*4GB 2133 Dominator CL9

All GPUs, CPUs and Motherboards will be watercooled, the 8 way dominators will be water cooled also.

The 4x290s will be cooled by 4x UT60 360 rads
The 2x7990s will be cooled by Mora 9x140
The 4930K will be cooled by a Monsta 560
The 4820K will be cooled by a XT45 560

All radiator fans will be AP15s/AP16s. There was a plan for a while to mount 3 Aquaeros in the pedestal to control the fans, but as this will be mining there's not much point right now. We'll see if I ever want to rebuild down the road and add them lol.

The only remaining thing I need now is the mandrel kit from Monsoon which is OOS everywhere. So I'm finally ready to build. There's a ton of extensions to be made and a ton of building and bending to be done, but the good news is that after 2 years things are finally moving and the end is in sight
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Old 9th Aug 2014, 20:10   #278
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Then another care package from the lovely Monsoon team via PPCs



Oh yeah you know what we're up to:



Dat chrome:



The monsoon hardline fittings actually have you glue a sleeve to the tube. The lock ring then presses this collar up to an o-ring for an ultra secure seal



More boxes:



All the new toys:



It's not all hardline:



Hardlining only the main chamber, the rest gets tube because the case is just too big. Dem blocks:



More blocks:



Backplates (I already had another two):



Res tubes:



More QDCs because I have to have spent more on QDCs than CPUs or else this build would be normal.



Dem accessories:



Dem fittings again:



Let's open things up:



Wait for it



Oh yeahhhhhhh



Well one of the 290 blocks was gently used, can you tell?



Now we have all this stuff then it might be time to do something then:



Pumps - check!



Reservoirs - damnit forgot to order a replacement top... Ok so let's fit a block instead on a 7990 as this is the only card not being used right now:



Taking off dat backplate:



Dirty and naked:



Dual GPUs should always be single slot:



Much better:



Derick keeps telling me I can't run 7x7990s on one board, but one day I will achieve that dream!

Fresh from a bath:



Block ready to go:



Testing:



Sadly EK don't give you replacement pads for the stock backplate VRAM. Luckily I got some spares to replace those.




Time to put the 2nd 7990 under water:



I'd already taken the shroud off this one to cool it with some AP15s instead (quieter and cooler than the stock fans). So this will look a little different when getting naked. First the backplate:



Then the gpu coolers:



No wonder the cores get so hot when this is all they have:



And suddenly done:



Took em to work and set them up in a temp loop:



Massive air bubbles because the temp pump is a xspc 750 that's super weak. Bleeding was easy because I prefilled the rad so there was already a ton of coolant in the system.



I won't actually use BP sli fittings in the final build because I get nervous about them coming loose. Instead the cards will be spaced in slots 1 and 3 and then hardlined. Oh yes and dat temp x58 clown board.



Dat monsta 560 - the nice thing about QDCs and the CL side mounts is that I can just take it from here and place it right into the case and be done in about 30 seconds.



The mess of air mining - 3x290s on the board and an undervotled 7970 on a riser cable. The GPU bracket has a hook cutout for the screw that rests nicely on the top of the motherboard tray:



Dat precarious balancing and dat dark:



Let's start with the 4th 290 that isn't even running:



Take dat air cooler off:



Clean it up and nearly forget thermal pads on the other vrm area:



Test fit:



Looking good:



One thing I love about the EK backplates are that the screws are countersunk and that only a few are used so that it looks minimal and clean:



Ok time to unplug the other 290s and block them up:



But first let's put the first 290 in:



Normally I'd start with slot one but I have one 290x that will go in slot one. Speaking of which there it is:



Add another 290:



And done:



Hmmm but maybe not quite done:



Something is missing and it's not just the power:



Nope got the backplates on:



Ah yes that's what we need:



Take off dem bridges, I like to mount the bridge with the cards in the slots as it gives the cards something to stabilize them while you mount the new bridge. The downside is that the o-rings can fall out when you turn the bridge over to put it on top of the cards:



Moving over the o-rings:



Mounted:



Looks sexy but only really two of the ports are usable with standard fittings, the alternative ports are recessed so that stop fittings are hidden, but the stop fittings are narrow so that means a normal fittings can't fit in the hole. Which means you pretty much have to use the bottom side port and the top port. This is fine for most builds, but I wanted to come out to the bottom of the chamber and pass through the floor.

I ended up with a very temporary hilarious setup:



SO that's how the GPUs will stay for a bit while I finish up some reviews and make extensions. Then the next part after that will be hardlining the R4E and the res's, and then it'll be time to slot it all back together!

As some may know I have a temp workstation while some of the hardware was mining and some of the hardware gets built in the case. It was time to pull the R4E board from the temp workstation so I swapped it out with a Gene board instead.



Now for RMAs - Corsair's RMA on the AX1200 went swimmingly and I have a shiny new one already. Asus on the other hand took a long time and then decided that the board was unrepairable and was phsyically damaged so I have to pay $175 + ship for a "new" one that is probably refurbed. I'm pretty annoyed with Asus, I've never had a succesful RMA with them. I love their boards and I really do think they are the best motherboards out there but their CS is horrible and always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. They seem to be incompetent and go out of their way to find ways to blame you and then try and charge unreasonable amounts for what they do. After owning two asus boards and 6 ROG boards, I'll be trying to avoid them in future. Luckily EK support many motherboard manufacturers with blocks now so I have more choice than ever before. I had bought a new impact from MC for $180 so that I could continue testing while the other board was RMAing. I guess I knew deep down that Asus' motherboard warranty is basically non existent:



So I swapped over the parts for the review/benching rig:



Quickly done:



Then quickly back to testing:



So now I could move on to "actual" thief work. I had bought a cheap 4820K from MC which gave me $50 off the impact, but was also useful so that I could test stuff and keep my 4930K on the temp workstation for now:



It was time to open that sucker up:



and start assembling the r4e based hardware:



No idea on clocks yet, I haven't even got around to ocing my other 4820k on the x79 dark board. Now it was time to polish the csq to better match the 7990 blocks. Time to dig out my old supremacy:



The supremacy takes forever to polish well because of the deep machined channels:



Because of that I focussed on the vertical rather than the horizontal:



The nickel also needed a clean:



a minute with some brasso and it was shiny again:



Then reassembled and installed:



Remember to always thoroughly check for leaks after diassembling blocks! I'm going to use the monsoon fittings which use glued end caps to acrylic hardline in order use the o-ring shown here. The end caps are then compressed using the lockring against the o-ring to provide a very secure seal! As long as the glue joint is good and lasts then this is the most secure way to hardline possible!



Next up was the motherboard block:



Some of you may remember I had the original non csq blocks, but they suffered from nickel flake so I RMA'd (succesfully unlike Asus) and received these in return as the old design is end of life now. Still at least the motherboard/cpu/memory blocks will match now! Frozen csq can look nice when done right, but often it can look too busy. Polishing really helps to break that busyness up:



disassembled:



Polished:



Reassembled:



Again not perfect but good enough. If you really want to perfect it you're going to want to also take machining marks out of the nickel, but you'll probably burn through the nickel, so I would buy the copper version and then custom plate with chrome if you really are OCD and care. But that's also pricey!



Time to take off the OEM heatsinks:



I love that Asus use a gloop of TIM on the southbridge, then cover it with thick aluminum foil, then more tim:



It reminds me of my R3E a bit where some worker had left the wax paper on the TIM so the south bridge woudl constantly overheat. Dat quality control....

Anyway block fitted:



The astute might notice the EK badges are upside down because this one is going reverse atx.



Next up VRM block:



Then add the RAM - these are the older Corsair Dominator GTs - the last and possibly the best. Platinums look sexy for air cooling but these were so much more compatible with water cooling and air cooling is for wusses...



Symmetrical product placement:



GTs do look ugly without their red hats:



Time for new shiny hats:



Polished up:



Reassembled:



Mounted:



Polished enough to get reflections of the circles from the other side of the plexi:





Time to figure out the tube routing:



So I tried to make a custom bend curve for tighter 180's:



As you can see it worked - though I found that 180s are just harder to get perfect than 2 separate 90s. The hard part is getting the sizing right. I was stupid and measured center to centre as you should for the monsoon kit, while my custom one needed to be measured inside to inside. So in the end it was a waste of tube. So I figured out a new strategy that used less tight bends and started with the easiest section with the widest apart bends. Set up the mandrels ready to bend:



The kit really makes this easy when the mandrels fit the bends you want to do. Two quick bends later and this looked ready:



Looking good so far:



Except....



The mitre box wasn't giving me particularly good cuts as the hacksaw blade was so small in both thickness and height that it was easily able to go at an angle. As the seal mates to the end of the tube then the cut needs to be perpendicular, chances are that the glue joint and end caps will hide this but I didn't want to chance it. Overall this was disappointing so I got out my big hacksaw with a much bigger blade and it was much more consistent. So after that I redid that section again:



Here I've also used q-tips to mark the other sections I would be attempting to make. The second attempt though had me getting cocky with the heat gun and so I ended up blistering the tube around the bend area:



I also experimented with some silicon oven mitts I had but they left dimples on the tube also:



Third attempt however was looking promising:



And so when it checked out I decided to practice the glue on this piece before doing any more:



This was glued up and you can see how transparent the end result should be - bubbles are definitely bad! Always remember to tape up your lockrings before glueing the end caps on though. Finished:



Woohoo - all of that for one bent piece of tube! One thing I realized though was that section of tube was not quite horizontal. While the Monsoon measuring devices make measuring easy you want to check that any horizontal sections are actually horizontal as even with perfect 90 degree bends you can end up being off. First I took the spirit level:



And then shored up the south end of the board with paper until the memory block was horizontal:



Good enough! Now let's check that section of tube we already did:



Yikes! Not really good enough - however after doing three of the same I decided to move on and possibly replace this one later!

Moving on to the next section I discovered that it was already too short a link to use the mandrels in the way I already had. I could set them up so as to do each bend individually without firmly fixing the other bend. This felt against the whole point of the mandrel kit which was to get perfect repeatable bends. The real problem was that the extra material around the mandrels which ensured good straight lines after the bend also stopped the next mandrel from getting close. My solution was to chop the 180 degree mandrel in half - I now had a 90 degree mandrel with zero straight edge meaning I could now do much tighter u bends than the two individual mandrels would allow.



You can see my cutting was a bit jagged because I was cutting from the far side with a jigsaw which are notorious for not cutting straight. Still it was good enough for my purposes:



That was the setup for the 2nd bend, and this was the one for the third bend with the tube post bend:





So I never covered the measuring sticks that you get with the full monsoon kit:



Initially when I saw them I was like really... they seem kinda lame. Then I used them and honestly for a simple idea they work very well. Here you can see a pretty complex 3/4 bend setup that you can measure easily. The harder part is then bending it. With compound bends like this you're never going to be able to setup quite as you'd like with the mandrels. I did the 45 degree bend first, of course you have to start with an end, I'm not sure if this was smart or not. The 2nd bend was the trickiest, because it was a 90 degree bend in one dimension but had to be 45 degrees in another. My first attempt to lay the mandrels out was incorrect:



Luckily I realized this before bending. In the end I had to bend by pushing into a corner rather than around the mandrel itself:



It took a couple of reheats to get this better. Sadly I didn't take a shot of the setup for the last bend, but basically I had to prop strips of thin MDF under a mandrel that supported the 45 degree bent leg until it was parallel to the floor, then I could do the last 90 degree bend such that they were parallel. This again needed some rebending but I got there in the end without kinks though there was a bit of a twist which you can see in some of the photos. So now that the bends were done it was time to prep to glue. Managed to remember to put the lock rings on before glueing so that was good:



Here they are after glueing and fitting:



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Old 9th Aug 2014, 20:11   #279
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Then the next project was to get the 7990s upgraded. They had been mining at work on an x58 board. Returns are so low now that even with free power it's almost not worth the effort, so it seemed like a good time to pull them and take that rig home for stripping:



Drained the loop - I had used the EKoolant which left quite a bit of residue sadly, This doesn't totally surprise me as I used it in another rig and the red has totally gone. Pretty disappointing as I have another 8 litres to use lol:



I should take them apart and clean them properly but today is not that day:



The dye even stained the clear primochill lrt advanced a surprising amount:



So it was now time to change the backplate:



Elmy had upgraded to dual 295x2's like a boss and sold me his custom chrome plated backplates for the 7990s so it was time to swap out the originals:



This is nice because I can keep warranty intact while getting a cleaner and much sexier look. The shot here doesn't show just how mirrored they are - you'll see that in a bit. I ordered replacement screws as the EK ones are black and I wanted to match the backplate better than that. I ordered two different types from mcmaster with the same head type and thread but different finish:



The left one matches the mirrored finish better even though the color isn't perfect:



Sadly I forgot that two of the screws are longer so as to attach to a nut on the far side of the PCB - I'll have to order some longer matching ones:



Time to replace the thermal pads:



All done:



Still not showing the mirror well. So here's one of the test fit:



And with the rest of the tube back in:



You can see I'm missing the IO plate for the R4E. I couldn't find it, most likely at work as thats where I have the boxes. I'll have to take everything out to fix that later.



Ok time for number 2:



oh yeah



reverse atx yo!



Dem reflections:













Dat spaghetti:





Time to finish the hard tubing runs:



dayumngirl:



Bottom fittings are for soft tube to run to QDCs panel mounted to the walls of the motherboard chamber.




While I waited to get wood, hehe, I thought I should finish the front mounted 360s as my 4 UT60s had been sitting in their boxes untouched for about 18 months. For a while I had been waiting to order screws, and so I finally did and they came in and so I could actually screw the wood front panels to the flex bay rad mounts. However you have to attach the rads first, so it was off to the land of sleeving. First I sorted through my mix of ap15's and ap16's to see what I had. I had 20 new AP16's, so I started off using those:



Then got out the rads:



Used the monsoon red stop fittings that lovely Monsoon provided to dress them up a bit:



Time to get to work:



One side done:





Test fit:



Don't worry we don't only run one set of fans, that would be too normal. Normally you'd mount the fans then the flexbay mount then the rad, but I wanted a bit more space so that the fans were a bit more subtley hidden behind the grill, it would also provide less restriction that way from the grill:



One rad done with the exception of screws:



Checking that I could fit the two flexbay mounts into the 18 bays:



I then started drilling the front panels and countersinking the holes for the new screws so that the panels could be secured. Previously they were held up by the outer clip on panel. Hardly ideal:



Mounting two 360s leaves no maneovering room to get them in or out. Ideally you'd take the front frame panel off to get them in easily, but I refused to do that. Instead I put the case on it's back, attached the flexbay mount with temporary screws, and attempted to screw rad and fans in while balancing them with the other hand.



One side done:







The rad clearance:



To get this to work you have to use the flexbay mount the correct way round and preferably have your rads rotated so the end tank caps don't clash:



Not sure how I want to hook up the tube on these rads yet, so I'm procrastinating that decision. Probably 2 in parallel in series with another 2 in parallel.



Hidden fans:



I had thought at some point to put red led's behind the grill to give a light glow. Any thoughts?

Once again thanks to sponsors - showcased today: Alphacool, Caselabs and Monsoon!

Oh one last thing - managed to break another PSU - AX850 this time the 8 pin connector stopped working (rest of the PSU still works which threw me off the scent for a long time). Looks like it had a bit of an "incident". The plug has fused into the socket so you can't pull it out. I did think I could smell something funny while I was working on thief and this PSU was testing GPU blocks in there at the same time:




After finishing the rad sleeving, I went on to the back panelling. I had bought some thin MDF from home depot the other day:



Got out the big scary saw:



Ripped it to shape:



Now time to carve out the section for the motherboard:



All marked up:



Time for the jigsaw:



and done:



Test fit:



Bit too tight on the south side:



Fixed:



Now I've got to work out what to do with sata connectors:



More Wood. TM.



Well yes, getting wood normally does make a difference! I ordered two different veneers - one was two leaves of birdseye maple, which is a famous type of burl. A burl is kinda like a tumor on a tree that distorts the grain and makes it more fabulous and more desirable. It's a pain to work with though, but veneer makes life a little easier.



I also got a big sheet of ebony for the dark side. The ebony is kinda cheating - for those that don't know ebony comes in real thin sections so if you're veneering you have to join lots of sections together which is a nightmare. I wanted an easy life seeing as this was the first time I did any veneer work since I left high school. So this ebony is man made from ebony offcuts. Yeah not ideal, but it should still look good. The other bonus is that it's about 1/4 to 1/6 the price, and the rest of the huge sheet can be used to back the boards. You want to apply veneer to both sides of the board so that the glue drying doesn't cause the board to warp.

For the ebony I wanted the stripes running vertically, which means I will still have to do one join, I might be able to get away with leaving the end bare though as that section of board may not be seen behind the radiator:



I pencilled in how I wanted to use the maple - whacked the contrast out to try and show you - but it's hard to see;



Before we can use it though we need to flatten it a bit more. Burls are usually warped in a bubbly fashion and require a bit of pre work before use.



Essentially you get your wood nice and wet by rubbing it down with a damp cloth, then get a bigger piece of wood and put it on top:



Once the two woods are touching, then you can muscle up and add some iron:



Now my wood has been squished and is nice and flat:



For the backing sheet you normally want the grain to run the same direction as the front sheet. However with a burl the grain is every direction so it doesn't really matter. Therefore I chose an easy life:



I had ordered a veneer saw as I'd heard they were useful, really though I had better luck on thin veneers like these with a sharp knife:



You want to leave a bit of overhang that you can trim off later.





At this point I also cut the extra cutout for the sata cables. I did not take a photo as I was too distracted by my sideways wood. As the sideways wood was done getting ready for action, it was time to cut the burl to size. This is more tricky as it's less flat and had a join. Even after flattening it was not exactly flat:



I lined up both pieces and taped them down:



Marked out the piece I wanted and got to cutting:



Two identical pieces with very similar patterns:



They will be put back to back so as to create a reflection effect:



Test fit:



The join in the middle wasn't perfectly straight so I had to trim it down. To do this I again lined up the pieces back to back and put the questionable edge just peeking out from two pieces of MDF held down with dumbells:



It was then ready to be planed with a block plane which is more tolerant of wild grain:



The edges then lined up better:



One other thing I had bought was real veneer tape. When I was a lad we just used masking tape, but veneer tape is easier to use and as it dries will pull the two pieces of wood together. Then to remove just get it wet for a bit and it will come off. It was not time to prep for glueing both veneers to the board:



I stacked up three 3/4" plywood pieces and topped off with a 3/8" MDF board to give a nice perfect surface to squish the veneer with. I then layered clingfilm/wrap on it so that the glue wouldn't stick my panel to the MDF. Above the panel would get the same treatment, MDF followed by plywood and then the weights to give the clamping force. Tools ready:



Water and paper towel to dampen the non glued side, roller to spread glue, glue and more clingwrap for the top side. Then do the dirty deed and leave for 24 hours with a bunch of iron on top:



And now my watch begins...

I couldn't show pics as I did the glue up because I was worried about it drying, so here are the pics taking it out:



The veneer gets protected with clingwrap so you don't glue it to the boards that squish it.



The veneer started to tear as I lifted it to put it on the board, so I added some veneer tape to make sure the tear went back together.



The good side worked out as well as could be hoped for. There was a bit of a gap along the mirror line but a bit of filler should make that less noticable:



First step was to trim the excess veneer - again a sharp blade can cut right through until you're very close to the substrate. Then you want to use a block plane most likely to finish it off.



Trimming end grain is much harder:



Soon you're done and then the veneer tape can be removed by getting it damp with a wet cloth and letting it sit for a minute:



Test fit:



Looking good! Now for the dark - it had been at work mining on the 290s. I brought it home and removed the 290s to drain them and flip the bridge:



Drafted out the cuts on the substrate:



Sanity check with the R4E panel



The dark must be a little less wide than the R4E:



I was a bit more aggressive on fit around the motherboard this time as the other side had a slight gap:



Sanity check again with the R4E panel and the X79 dark:



Board would hit the VRM heatsink which we are not going to use - seemed like a good time to swap it out:



Board removed:



Suddenly a wild [@]nateman_doo[/@] block:



Dem VRMs:



Fitted:



Then I taped up the serial numbers and bar codes on the memory:



Then taped over the evga text on the south bridge that would be upside down:



Test fit with the r4e panel:



Test fit with the real panel:



I then realized that I had forgotten to take into account the blank plates to cover the pci slots:



The bottom side fit perfectly though - on the CPU 8 pin cables I'll have to remove the clips though:



After trimming a bit more off:



Cutting the veneer - this time I want the grain to go vertically. I'm hoping to be lazy and not cover the end of the panel that will be hidden by radiators so as to not do a veneer joint:



The other question that had been on my mind was whether to use the bridge I had bought or not. I didn't like that one of the outputs had to be on the lower end of the block - I wanted both outputs to be at the top and run straight vertically up:



I could instead use crystal links to link the regular terminals and run all in parallel:



Obviously I would use the right size tube, and I'd change the fittings to black low profile ones. The downside is needing to buy about $70 more fittings, the advantage would be being able to see coolant, the disadvantage would be losing the robustness and support that the bridges bring

I'm leaning towards keeping the bridge. The next thing is to figure out where to bring the CPU connections out to in the lower chamber. The PSU mounts in the lower chamber and so blocks off a lot of space meaning the chamber pass throughs (panel mount QDCs) will need to be offset and the tubing route will be ugly



So this is the approximate plan:



I only just realized that my two EK 400mm reservoirs are different lengths Kinda mad about that. They were supposed to be the same version. Not sure how that happened.

I don't think the glue was completely dry when I removed the veneer tape so the gap between veneers widened a bit:



Let's hope it looks ok after filling. The best kind of filler is home made with dust from the same wood that you've sanded. That way any finish will make it blend. However making your own filler is a right pain as you have to sand enough to collect the dust, then mix it into a putty with glue, then squeeze it into the gaps and its hard to get a ratio that has enough dust in it but is still sticky. I chose to be quick about it and used store bought stuff that should match well enough:



Filled:



We won't really know til it's sanded and finished. First up was sanding the back - this way I'd get used to the veneer thickness and if I burned through the veneer it wouldn't matter:



That rip is almost impossible to find now:



Last stage - cleaning the dust off before applying polyurethane:



That's it for now. The second panel is gluing up, and hopefully I'll get time this weekend to finish the R4E panel!
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Old 9th Aug 2014, 20:11   #280
stren
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stren has yet to learn the way of the Dremel
--

Did more work on the R4E panel - last time I was finishing the back side. Here it is after it dried with the first coat:



You can see it definitely needs a 2nd coat, not that it matters because it's the hidden side of the board, but still, I don't like patchy. Before that though it was time to see if my plan for individual holes for the sleeving would work with the wood. First I had to mark out where the existing cable routing holes were on to the wood panel. You can see that there are 2 per side of the motherboard. I could make more by pulling the panel to the right of the motherboard.



So I decided to do a 5mm spacing on the wires - large enough to avoid them blurring together and hopefully large enough to suffer large burnout on the veneer on either side:



On a test piece of MDF I marked out the holes and did the start of the holes by hand. The front side worked well



The back of course had more tear out:



Because it worked well I decided to go ahead with the real board. The drill was running out of batteries so a couple of them wobbled off course:



Hopefully it won't be noticeable.



The tearout on the back side wasn't bad:



This was the worst for burn out:



Overall though it was fine:



And ready for that 2nd coat of varnish. That's it for today:



--

More sanding and finishing:











Testing the combs:



When I did this I realized that trying to use the existing holes in the panel was a mistake because it's almost impossible to get the panel in and out then. I should have sucked it up and made the holes where the sleeving would look best i.e. pure horizontal or vertical runs. I was also super annoyed by the joining of two of the holes for the pwr/reset switch connectors. Hopefully it won't be noticable after I'm done.

Time to pull the other panel:



Test fitting:



So many holes to be made - I think this panel had over 110 or something stupid. All were started by hand.



Test fitting again:



After the first coat of finish - it'll need three before it's done:



At this point I decided the grey on the sleeve was too light. I also figured it would be hard to connect short extensions, and really I need to run the extensions all the way down to the lower chamber. So I think I'm going to swap the light grey in the pattern out for black sleeve, the dark grey will remain however. I'm going to need a ton of wire to build these extensions!

--

Sleeve update:



This side is done now, though I might need more combs to keep it under control:





[@]Lutro0[/@]'s store has had so many orders they need to close for a week to catch up on shipping. Sadly I've also run out of wire too, so that's a bummer. Hopefully the store reopens with combs and wire available soon

I'm not planning on sleeving the Corsair supplies - I worked out how much wire it would be to sleeve all four and it was pretty pricey and a ton of work. I'm also thinking of going back to running two PSUs. Initially I planned to us my NEX1500 on the gaming rig and an AX1200 on the workstation. Then I ended up with 2 more AX850s so thought it would be cool to utilize all four PSU mounts and run 2xAX850 on the workstation (nice because the fan turns off when using little power) and the 2xAX1200 on the gaming side. However I want to bring tube into the lower chamber where the 3/4th PSUs would be so I'd have to make the tube routing less pretty and buy more fittings to jog around where the PSUs would be. So for now I'm thinking just keep it simple. Seeing as the NEX has hugely long cables and is 1 to 1, I may end up creating custom length wires for that.





For the dark side - I did 3/4 of the GPU extensions before I ran out of 16AWG. I do have 100ft of 18AWG which I could continue with, but 18 doesn't hold the shape as well, and it's more resistive, something that matters when you're really pulling a load of current. When mining with 4x290s on the NEX1500, the power wires to the GPUs would get warm.





That's it for now. Next up will be more sleeve, res mounting and finishing tubing in the motherboard chambers. I've calculated the remaining fittings I need, so I need to get them ordered and EK have agreed to send more goodies to finish up in style

--

So that's the end of the MEGA update - hopefully it didn't take years to load! Big thanks to all sponsors - hopefully finishing this up in the next few weeks FINALLY!!!
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