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Old 31st Oct 2004, 06:06   #1
Constructacon
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Project "Got Milk?" UPDATE 23/12 Finnished just in time for Christmas

This project is going to be my younger brother's Christmas present. Not having piles of cash lying around the house, I'll be only putting minimal hardware in the case (CD ROM etc) - focusing more on the case than the system. As it's my first case mod I'm hoping the results will turn out ok. I plan to use the skills improved on here to scratch build a new case for my existing rig.

The premise for this case is something that I've never seen before - put a computer into something that's not a computer case. (What does a sacasm emoticon look like?). My brother is currently in his 3rd(? not sure - good brother I am) year of uni. For this reason I will be building a case out of the building block of all uni students' furniture - the milk crate.


This is where I started. In it's current form the crate is quite open. I plan to pretty much seal up all those holes with a sheet of acrylic I picked up from the local recycle centre (1.2m x 1.2m for only $6 - bargain).


Cutting a piece out of the fillet made drilling the pilot hole much easier.


Fan port completed.


CD ROM goes in here. More on this later.


The plan is to fill the 4 holes on the front of the case around the ROM drive with this mesh.

Offtopic

This is what happens kiddies when your ex-girlfriend doesn't happen to notice a can of spraypaint has fallen on the floor in the garage. You don't want to see what happened to the side of her fourbie (4x4).
/Offtopic

I'm not sure what size milk crates are in the rest of the world, but here in Australia, they are just over 1 foot cubed. The floor of this crate is just 310x310mm. For this reason I will be mounting the PSU in the front of the case over the top of the CD ROM.


Enter the (first) sacrificial lamb. This is an old AT style case I had lying around. It had my first computer in it(*sniff* pause for reminising)


Turning it upside down reveals that the base plate is only held on with 3 pop rivets at each end. Beauty!


90 seconds later. This plate will make an excellent shelf for the PSU. The creases in the metal make it rigid as hell.


The old AT power supply. We wont be needing this again in one piece.


Moving the PSU to the front of the case will mean relocating these plugs to the back of the case.

Well that's it for now. I'm off to buy another sacrifical lamb (donor case) for the project. Any comments/suggestions at this stage? I have not decided on a colour scheme as yet. I don't plan to leave it raw as the crate has seen a pretty hard life. I have been tossing up the ideas of painting it either black or silver, or painting it in a hammertone paint (the kind of lumpy looking paint you see on toolboxes etc).

Last edited by Constructacon; 22nd Dec 2004 at 17:06.
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 06:28   #2
NOMIS
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Looking good dude, I reckon silver paint would look nice with the mesh in there. Good job so far,
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 08:39   #3
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Project "Got Milk" Updated


Back from the shops with the brand new organ donor....



2 minutes later.



Turn it upside down. More pop rivets.



A quick look at the mobo tray finds out that it's a bit long at one end (and a bit wide too). We can fix this though. We could use a dremel OR....



we could use this instead.



D'oh! Remember, people don't say "measure twice, cut once" for their health. That was the first cut that I did. Obviously wasn't paying enough attention to what I was doing.



A quick test fit reveals......



the fan won't fit inside the case in this location - it will have to be mounted externally. An added "feature"?


After making a mistake with the grinder, I decided to slow it down a bit and use a dremel for this. Actually, the dremel is more suited to this.


2 quick folds.


Like a glove. That tray is just sitting there at the moment, held in place by the flex of the crate.
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 08:46   #4
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hammm........looking nice . its interesting ti know how it will look after you finish working on it .


keepModding
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 15:02   #5
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Can't see any pictures mate
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 15:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty6435
Can't see any pictures mate
same same
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 20:05   #7
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either your host is really slow...or its down; because i cant see anything
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 20:27   #8
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All the pics are fine for me too...
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Old 31st Oct 2004, 22:30   #9
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There working againg. This afternoon the where not. Nice project .
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 09:19   #10
Constructacon
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Hmmmmm. They work for me. Although that's no recomendation as it's on my ISP. Will have a look at work - different ISP.

I appologise if it appears that the links go down. My bandwidth is via Telstra.
Telstra = Used to be govt run, now privatised = shite service at times
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 09:29   #11
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Got Beer?

I've seen something similar to this before, have a look at this New Zealand thread. Computer in a beer crate
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 09:50   #12
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Yeah, with 1000s of people modding in the world I'm sure unique ideas can get a little thin on the ground. It all comes down to execution.

Isn't this what half the mods on sites are? Computer - case + "new case" = entertaining reading (I hope).

I'm doing this one for fun.

(and bro's Christmas present)
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 10:04   #13
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Heh, got the $10 case from thediscshop hehehe. Nice to see a fellow brisbanite modder! Looking good so far except for your first cut! You silly fool!
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Old 1st Nov 2004, 10:25   #14
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Hi,

this is looking intresing!
too bad about that cut there..
and about the external fan

but other then that its looking pimp
L
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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 11:52   #15
Constructacon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protius-X
Heh, got the $10 case from thediscshop hehehe. Nice to see a fellow brisbanite modder! Looking good so far except for your first cut! You silly fool!
Gotta love the discshop. My only complaint is the lack of modding goods there. Do u know of anywhere in Brisbane to get cable braiding etc?

I'm still kicking myself over the first cut. I have been much more careful since.

UPDATE
Small update tonight. Pix to follow next time. As I only have about 1 hr or so to do mods in the evening after work during the week I'm limited to what I can do.

Tonight I:
* cut the IO hole in the back of the case
* cut holes and fit the 2 PSU plugs to the back of the case.
* cleaned 3 years of dust bunnies out of the fan.

The most difficult part of this whole project will be getting the surface suitable for painting. The plastic the crate is made of appears to be LDPE (low density poly-ethelene) and it just deforms when hit and also scratches (gouges) easily. Cutting with a jigsaw, if not done slowly just leaves a trail of melted goo behind the blade and the cut just fuses back together. Much fun.

Has anyone used this type of material before?
/UPDATE
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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 15:38   #16
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Nice start on your project. Great concept. Oddly I have had experience with cutting milk crates, and they cut just fine with a hand saw, but at the time that's all I had. Try cutting with the jig saw using a courser blade, not the metal blade, but one intended for wood. My metal blade melted my 3/8" plexi (first cut of the whole project), but I switched to a blade for "plastic" (fewer teeth per inch) and it worked fine...in your case, you'll need even a courser blade.

Good Luck!
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 06:46   #17
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There's a couple of places I know, one I know for sure is in brisbane, Below-0, http://www.below-0.net/ Got some good stuff there. I generally order my specialty stuff from http://www.pccasegear.com/ <-- best place in australia I would say, well best place I know of.
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Old 6th Nov 2004, 05:50   #18
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Ok then. Update time.


Here we have the back opened up to accomodate the IO for the motherboard. It's a very tight squeeze through the back here. I suspect the far right expansion slot may not be able to handle bulky plug ends so near the edge. Plenty of room in the other slots though right?


Down this end things are a little tighter. I've had to make a small scallop into the edge to allow the PS2 plugs to pass through.


As the PSU will be in the front of the case, I have had to relocate the power plugs to the back.


By chopping an old monitor power cable in half, I was able to make 2 extension cords out of the plugs on the back of the case. These will now just plug into the PSU. I did this for 2 reasons. 1. It doesn't void the warranty (I will be voiding other warranties) and 2. Power upgrades later are a snap - just plug and play.


A quick trip to the discshop and Jaycar to pick up some innards for the case.

1 x 350W power supply
1 x pack of UV molex connectors (blue)
1 x 52x LG CD ROM
2 x 80mm LED fans (blue)
2 x Grills
buttons and switches

I have decided to go with a black/white/blue theme for the case. Black case with white walls and blue hightlights. I think it'll look pretty sweet.


This mess will just have to go.


Step one of the cable clean up is to change the molex over to the UV blue plugs. Step 2 will involve tidying up the wires with split loom sheath. I thought I had some left over from when I made a new wiring harness for my car headlight upgrade but can't find it anywhere. D'oh!

Well people, I think it's finally stopped raining here, so I'm going to see if I can start painting the case. If this weather holds out we may have another update in a day or 2.
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Old 6th Nov 2004, 09:32   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constructacon
Do u know of anywhere in Brisbane to get cable braiding etc?
What about CoolPC? I visited them while I was in Brisbane during the holidays (I'm from Gladstone).

Nice mod..... can't wait to see it finished
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Old 10th Nov 2004, 10:34   #20
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Small update time.

This week it has been absolutely bucketing down here. I felt like I should be building an ark instead of modding. As I'm at the stage of painting now, the weather was conspiring against me.

The first challenge with painting a plastic crate is getting the paint to stick to it. Here's what I came up with...


Gee the people at bunnings are helpful. The product on the left is a "sticks like $hit to a blanket" primer. It will (according to the label) stick to tiles, PVC, ceramic, fibreglass even sheet glass. And it's waterbased - woohoo!. I have decided to (top coat) paint the crate with a hammertone enamel - charcol in colour. This is for 2 reasons. Firstly, my brother is not the gentlest of creatures when it comes to possesions and hammertone is one tuff mother of a paint. Secondly (but most importantly) you don't have to have a perfect surface to paint on - as a textured paint it hides a multitude of sins


2 coats to the outside...


and 2 coats to the inside. Painting the outside of this crate was really tough. Each coat took about 2 hours trying to get into all those crevices around the outside. "Never again." You can quote me on that.

As the weather is still a little sketchy so I'm holding off on the enamel until the weather fines up a little.

For the style factor, I have ordered this button(16mm one on the right) from rs-components for the power switch.

Well, that's it for today. Wish me luck for the weather to change so I can finally start on the top coat.
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"Of course, overclocking doesn't normally involve a tank of acetylene large enough to blow a house off its foundation." - zackbass

MAME Over - Custom built arcade cabinet.
This season's mod - The New Black
Also modded - "Got Milk?"

Last edited by Constructacon; 13th Nov 2004 at 23:30.
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