1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Scratch Build – In Progress Aluminum Folly

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Scarecrow1965, 27 Feb 2021.

  1. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Alright, this is my first time even trying to post it but also to do it.

    Usually one starts with all the parts and then proceed with the build. Mine, on the other hand, I'm starting with the computer case build since the parts are currently used on the computer I'm writing this post with. Once that computer case is built then I can show you what I'm starting with and then start putting things in the build.

    But before I do that, I'm going to have to provide you with a history of the computer case.

    I purchased this computer way back in 2012 with what I thought was a kick ass system:
    CPU: AMD FX 9370 (8 core)
    RAM: Corsair CMY16GX33M2A2400C11R (32 Gb)
    MB: ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula Z with EK-FB-ASUS-C5F-Z
    Video Cards: Zotac GTX 980 Amp! Extreme x2 (SLI’d)
    Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Zx
    HDD: Seagate 1 TB
    SDD: Crucial 240 Gb and 500 Gb

    I mistook the RAM for one that was on the QEV list. So it needs to be tweaked to go 2400 and be stable.

    I bought two video cards since SLI was the thing and it costed me a small fortune.
    <see image IMG_0772> IMG_0772 - resized.jpg

    Being an Canadian Military Avionics tech, we grew up to know all about wiring bundles and so I thought that it should be in the computer as well. Didn’t think I was doing well in that category at the time…
    <see image IMG_1169> IMG_1169 - resized.jpg IMG_1169 - resized.jpg

    So for my first modding attempt, since I manage to get a I decided to get a res
    Anyways, being away on course allowed me to spend a little bit of time trying to upgrade my system and was looking into water cooling. So I bought an AIO and the water cooling MB Power adapter. Then it dawned on me that I would have to get a reservoir, a radiator and additional cooling fans, flexible hoses, and all those fitting. SO I built a plan (see image Water cooling project) Water cooling Project.jpg and then decided to mod my case accordingly. <see image IMG_1168> IMG_1168 - resized.jpg

    Back then, I didn't think of it much but it worked for what I needed. The only problem was when I had to bring it back home and the airlines weren't being helpful.

    With the connectors being sloppy and leaking and the fact that my AIO finally died on me, it was then that I decided to try my hand at trully modding. After a month or two or browsing through Pinterest, a variety of websites (like the bit-tech one), I was losing interest as there were no computer case that would fit the size I wanted to keep. I wanted/needed a computer case that could travel with me. It was then that I decided to trully go all out and build me one of my own.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2021
  2. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    So I spent months and am still spending months on using Fusion 360 and trying to get something that looks half decent.

    Then I spoke to a fellow aircraft structures tech and he recommended that I aluminum to build it. (I forgot that he had mentioned 1/8in thick aluminum.)

    So on October 2020, I headed down to the nearest metal fabricating store and purchased a full sheet (4x8ft) of 1 mm (1/16in) aluminum and started to build put my drawings into play.

    Lessons Learned:
    1) 1/16 aluminum is quite thin and not very sturdy. I think I'll need 3mm (1/8in) for the outside of the case.
    2) I didn't account of any drill hole to secure the pieces together, so off to the drawing board I went for ver 2.
    3) using an automatic punch into 1/16 aluminum does warp the metal.
    IMG_2596 - resized.jpg IMG_2595 - resized.jpg IMG_2625 - resized.jpg
    3) I was using a dremel with quite a few cut off wheels to cut all the pieces out of the sheet that I bought. I'll definitely need something more powerful to make future cuts. This took three days just for the rough cuts and another two for the inner cuts.
    IMG_2564 - resized.jpg IMG_2597 - resized.jpg
    4) Then it dawned on me that I need to buy a metal sheet brake. Googled on how to make one and resulted in me having to buy a sturdy one; an expensive expenditure at that since some of my pieces were more that two feet long. Then I had to make a smaller box and pan brake to make these smaller bends. Needless to say making that brake took me a couple of weeks to do.
    5) This case is super light and not so much sturdy.

    And so, ver 1 of my computer case was somewhat complete.
    IMG_2645 - resized.jpg IMG_2646 - resized.jpg IMG_2648 - resized.jpg IMG_2647 - resized.jpg
     
    dan297 and Cheapskate like this.
  3. dan297

    dan297 Minimodder

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2021
    Posts:
    186
    Likes Received:
    208
    Holy moly. How did you manage to get all these holes in there so accurately?
     
  4. kim

    kim hardware addict

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2016
    Posts:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    496
    Remarkable amount of work but it worth it :jawdrop: the result is really stunning, I dunno if the structure is sturdy enough like you mentioned, but the finished case frame looks pretty strong after all, and really great :thumb:
    So if I understand well, you did all the metal work with the help of paper patterns and crafted it with hand tools ??? :wallbash: if so, you're a master of accuracy, that's amazing :rock:I just wondered why you choosed to further craft the PCI slots rear plate, instead of using a spare one from an old case :idea:, but anyway, great work :clap:
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,676
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    For a 1st try, It's great. Only the material choice let you down. You might have gotten away with it with double-folds around the edges or aluminum angle for braces.
    If you are doing a 2nd, I'd use the bigger hole punch you used on the psu shroud. It will have better air flow, and take less work to make.
    Hardware nerds like to see tools, especially home made tools. ;)
    -And, Welcome to BitTech. :D
     
  6. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Well, the automatic punch helped to get the drill bit in most of the right spots. But I must confess that not all the holes are in the right places. After drilling for hours on a single part, there's bound to be a few off the line holes.
     
  7. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you for the complement.

    Yes, the patterns were glued to the aluminum seemed to be the best scenario and I had to use a nylon cup brush attached to my drill press to get all the burrs off and to give the aluminum a "brushed" look.

    I do have a couple of rear IO panels but none of them were aluminum and none of them were quite fitting the case since I'm screwing in/securing the MB, IO Panel, and MB Backplate to the back of the case.
     
    kim likes this.
  8. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Speaking about tools, here's the homemade box and pan brake I made. It can only handle 12in wide aluminum. Sorry for the bluriness but I'm sure you get the tool. IMG_2721 - resized.jpg
     
    Jean R built and Cheapskate like this.
  9. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Lesson learned Addition:
    - Drilling hundreds of holes (if not thousands) into a part takes way too long and doesn't look all that professional. So I'm back to the drawing board and will opt out for mesh screens to protect the fans or the area in version 2. Also, I don't want to warp the aluminum.

    As for the PSU Shroud, I think I'll stay with the same size holes since it is only for a little bit more air circulation and none of the shrouds that I've seen remotely looked like that. But I will keep that under consideration for another project. ;)
     
  10. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Multimodder

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    279
    We learn from trying... and asking. Fort a first, second, third, nth attempt the case looks good. You potential could salvage it structurally be adding some bracing. You'd have to decide it it would fit with the desired look.

    For large perforate areas, I'd suggest using commercially punched material as an insert. If looking for tutorials it is frequently referred to as modders mesh.

    Part of your issue with the dremel, is likely not its power, but the type of cut off wheel you are using. There are different types of cut-off wheels and grinders for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Also for long straight cuts a skill or jig saw with a non-ferrous blade is probably the better choice. With 1 mm aluminium you'll likely want to brace the material on both sides to limit vibration. And always cut inside your line and file to final size.
     
    Scarecrow1965 likes this.
  11. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

    Joined:
    22 Sep 2011
    Posts:
    608
    Likes Received:
    184
    You are a beast of burden Dude ;)

    Nice work :thumb:
     
    Scarecrow1965 likes this.
  12. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    A little update.... I upgraded the outer case parts to an 1/8in (3mm) thick bad boy aluminum as I had mentioned before. I also upgraded the power supply bracket to 1/8 since I thought it might be too flimsy with a +1000 Watt PS. Of course, my brakes could not handle that size of the outer case so I went to a company to get it bent. They didn't quite get the bends right so I had to make some adjustments.to the corners (not my best job but it will work).

    Doing the first dry fit test was interesting... I realized that some parts were too short, didn't account for space to secure it to the rest of the case and have to revamp the parts. More aluminum was used. Gotta hate Fusion 360 since they took out the drawing ability for makers unless I pay for a subscription and then print it out. Not going to happen with me until I really need to get them printed. Thankfully, I kept an old copy before that damn update so I was able to modify those drawings and reprint it.

    If you notice, I also changed the top and front of the case (fourth last and second last in this picture) to minimize the amount of drilling I had to do.

    I also went and painted it flat black so I could get better visual results with the RGB fans that I am going to use.
    IMG_2759 - resized.jpg

    And then we get hit by a nice frosty storm which is preventing me from painting. (I'm not going to spray paint in the house.)

    The outside of the case will be a very metallic purple.. pictures to follow.
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,676
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Purple...come Summer. :lol: I don't know how you get anything painted there.
     
    Scarecrow1965 likes this.
  14. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Update: My first attempt at painting it purple was dismal as the flat back didn't like the purple paint and had to completely strip the exterior sides and then put base paint and then the purple. Now, remember where I live as the weather don't quite cooperate with me.
    When I got the chance, I managed to paint the exterior with metallic purple from Canadian Tire. Unfortunately, I managed to ding it a few spots when trying to install the inner parts and so I had to repaint it. Again, I managed to create some runs and had to paint it again. (I'm finding out that painting is my nemesis!!) IMG_2776 - resized.jpg IMG_2777 - resized.jpg
    The weather here in Winnipeg wasn't quite cooperating so I painted in the basement. (Bad idea since there isn't much for ventilation and last time, I got wifey pissed and the dogs were not comfortable.)
    Anyways, I've attached a video to show you how it turned out.
    Part 1 (Metal parts) I consider it complete.
     
    Cheapskate likes this.
  15. kim

    kim hardware addict

    Joined:
    10 Jan 2016
    Posts:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    496
    :worried: Sadly, the only thing I can see is that : This video may no longer exist, or you don't have permission to view it. :hip:
     
    Scarecrow1965 likes this.
  16. Scarecrow1965

    Scarecrow1965 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    26 Dec 2020
    Posts:
    9
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hello,

    Oops, my bad. I didn't set it up so that "everyone" can see it. It is fixed and now ready for viewing.
     
    kim likes this.
  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,676
    Likes Received:
    1,439
    Not bad for the conditions. Here you get a mosquito stuck in the paint every 5 inches, and at least one big mosquito hawk for each project. Paint is my nemesis too, thus all the plexiglas.
     
    Scarecrow1965 likes this.

Share This Page