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 Art Deco I

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Ragster, 9 Sep 2021.

  1. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    After 5 years of thinking about it, I’m finally getting around to building a new PC. I’ve been building out an Art Deco themed office behind a hidden bookshelf door, and now that I’m finally done with the bookshelf door and built in desk, it’s time to make a PC! There’s not much on the walls at this point, and the desk itself is quite small, so I figured I’d make a wall-mounted statement piece of a PC that goes with the room and can save some desk space.

    Rather than just slapping the parts up on a sheet of plywood, I’m going to try to make something a little more interesting. I’ll be using veneer and a specific prop I have in mind to make a decently unique design (AFAIK) that will be a sort of star burst pattern on two pieces separated by the motherboard. A vertically mounted graphics card will go on top of the mother board, and an Eisball pump/res combo on top of that. It’s more or less figured out in my head at this point and so I think I’ll just wing it.

    Fair warning, I’m pretty inexperienced- this will be my first water cooled build, and third PC build (built my first in 2016 and helped a friend with one). I’ve only got some of the more basic wood working tools that I’ve been collecting since my wedding (chop saw, table saw, router…), and I have no experience veneering. So this is probably going to be a long build log filled with a lot of mistakes. I started it now because I finally dropped cash on the first part (3080ti), and am picking up some of the veneering materials after work today (might do a couple practice attempts first ). Obviously, I’ll be posting pictures of the process- we’ll see how this goes!
     
    Last edited: 27 Dec 2021
    No X likes this.
  2. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    Well, had to clean the workshop (ie. my basement), which had gotten RIDICULOUSLY dusty thanks to my table saw. Last time I let it get so far gone without a clean up day in between. Three of my free days spent cleaning has been a good lesson in patience.

    Anyhoo, parts have started rolling in. The Eisball, which is a lot bigger than I thought it would be:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And the fittings are smaller than I thought they’d be. I ordered two Corsair 90s just to see if the color was right. The gold is spot on, so I’ll be ordering some additional fittings.

    [​IMG]

    Next step was acquiring the veneer. I was originally thinking of doing MDF veneered with Walnut/Rosewood. I went to the local wood shop, and they had Walnut but (perhaps unsurprisingly) no Rosewood veneer. Cherry is cool and will contrast with the Walnut nicely, plus I’m assuming I’ll be screwing it up and having to get more so it’ll be nice to have a local supply rather than having to wait for a week or two buying it online. I used a light walnut stain on the two strips I cut off set on top of the bags:

    [​IMG]

    The Cherry isn’t quite dark enough, so I’m going to see what a dark walnut stain looks like on it. I think the dark stain could be too dark on the Walnut though. I’d prefer to veneer the MDF and then stain the whole piece with one stain, rather than stain the veneer before hand with two different stains (can you even stain veneer before you stick it with glue?) Lots of learning to do, but things are moving along…

    Finally, I bought some metallic spray paint that’s one of those all in one primer included deals. I’m going to use this on a piece of quarter inch plywood that will be a bulkhead. I’m a little disappointed in the coverage- you can see the grain right through it. Maybe I just need to do a couple more coats. We’ll see:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2021
    Cheapskate likes this.
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    You're showing signs of commitment. I guess I can welcome you to Bit now. :lol:
    There used to be a lot of single-post, no-content logs that were immediately abandoned. -Some of us are wary.
    For veneer and Art deco, I'd recommend looking up Slipperyskip's logs here if you haven't seen them already. Hopefully the pictures still work. There was a forum engine move that wrecked searches, so googling SS and Bit might work better.
     
    Arboreal and Ragster like this.
  4. enbydee

    enbydee Minimodder

    Joined:
    10 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    509
    Likes Received:
    199
  5. Short Modder

    Short Modder What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2015
    Posts:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    As someone who's slowly redoing rooms of his house with Art Deco flair, I'll be following this one for sure!
     
    Ragster likes this.
  6. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    The Alphacool GPU block came in today. I was surprised at how heavy the thing is. It's awesome to actually see IRL the stuff I've been looking at online for so long.

    That is hands down the coolest PC I've ever seen. Similar sunburst design as what I'm going to try to do, but way more intricate and with flawless execution. Incredible stuff. Pretty much everything on this site is next level. People casting resin, weathering plastic, working with leather... now is probably the time to temper expectations lmao. If my work is 1/10th as good as the stuff on here I'll be happy.

    Executing means time, money, and effort- yuck! I like to tell folks I'm an 'ideas guy' :naughty:
     
  7. dan297

    dan297 Modder

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2021
    Posts:
    373
    Likes Received:
    377
    Interesting...
    Rather than staining, try to put some varnish, wax or oil as a finish on a test piece of both veneers.
    They might change colour dramatically (unless they come already with a factory finish)

    As for the Iceball, it looks only nice (imho) when it is fully filled.
    Plan your layout with the in- and outlet facing downwards, not upwards.
    Otherwise you have constantly bubbles in the sphere...
     
  8. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    Thank you! I appreciate any and all tips/advice. The plan right now is for the Eisball to be held flat straight up with the mounting bracket on the bottom and the fill port on the top. Speaking of ports… should the drain port go at the end of the loop (ie. near the return port on the pump) or at the beginning (near the outflow port on the pump)? When I search for this question the only answer I can find is that I should put the drain port at the lowest part of the loop. Seems like if it were at the end it’d be easier to flush old coolant with distilled that could push the old stuff out through the whole loop.

    Anyway, between work and getting the house ready for our first baby on the way- haven’t had much time to work on the PC. Outlined the sunburst pattern on the first “wing” and cut a couple of pieces of the veneer. [​IMG]

    Now I’m realizing a couple of things. The MDF is going to be really, really heavy. Which is OK because this will be hung on the wall, but jeeze. The plan is to have several of these stacked on top of each other, and the total amount of material is going to be more than a 4’x8’ sheet of 3/4”. I’m going to try to figure out how to remove some excess material where it’s not needed, or seen.

    Also, I’m starting to think that I may have bit off more than I can chew. There’s going to be well over 50 pieces of veneer to cut including the edges. I’m going to have to figure out how to do this more quickly. One thing I did learn is that it’s probably very useful to have a SHARP veneer saw, which may allow me to remove a sanding step. Veneer saws do not come sharpened- it’s just a machined edge. I figured out the hard way. Additionally, I’m starting to think it’s all about the set up. Taking the time to set the cut/angle and make a clean cut costs time but actually saves time in the end.
     
  9. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    3/4 is better for structural parts, (although mdf is trash all around.) You'd be better off with a lightweight plywood with 3/4" reserved for stiffening and corner connection.
    -Unless you plan on sitting on the thing. :lol:
    I just realized that spot where all the lines meet in the center will be a B*TCH to get perfect. I think that's why most sunburst patterns have a 'sun', or a break in the pattern before convergence.
     
    Ragster likes this.
  10. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    Hard to believe its been two and half months since my last post. Between a crazy few months at work and taking care of a newborn, there’s been very little time for building a PC (or anything, really). Still, I’ve put in work when I’ve had a few minutes…

    First, I applied veneer to the straight edge of the MDF. As basic a glue up as they come- not bad.

    [​IMG]

    Trimmed it flush. Looks pretty good!

    [​IMG]

    To make the curve I cut the the MDF with a jigsaw, and sanded down to the drawn curve. Then I used the first as a template to cut the second with the router. Unfortunately I didn’t realize my router bit was so far down that the router chuck itself was slightly protruding from the base of the router and burning the wood. All of the dust the MDF produced obscured my vision and I cut for quite a while before realizing what I’d done. Oops!

    [​IMG]

    The gouge looks worse than it is, as it’s only about 1/32 to 1/16 of an inch deep. I tried to use some Durhams Putty to fill the space. Apart from having the coolest logo ever, Durhams doesn’t shrink when it dries. It’s fire resistant too- I used to use it for rocket nozzles when I was younger.

    [​IMG]

    More updates to follow…
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    You've gotten more done in two months than I have... On a computer at least.
     
  12. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    Fair enough :hehe:

    So I filled the gouged area with Durham’s and sanded it down. I may not have let it set long enough or the gouge is too shallow, but much of the filler popped out when I sanded it down. I think I’ll be able to fill it with glue when I veneer the front panel, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe I’ll give filling it another go later.

    Next, the task of veneering the curved side. I cut the veneer into strips and alternated them to match the sunburst I’ll be putting on the front. For the glue up, what I should have done was used the curved pieces I’d cut off to clamp along the curve. But for some reason I thought it was a better idea to clamp with a ratchet strap around a piece of poplar that I cut thin enough to bend to the curve. I used titebond II for the glue, which only leaves 3-5 minutes of work time. Having to put the glue on, spread it, apply and position the veneer, put on a layer of wax paper, followed by the poplar piece, followed by the strap, followed by a flat piece to clamp the straight edge, followed by a couple pieces on the opposite side to protect the part I already veneered, followed by clamps and then ratcheting down the strap… it was a lot to get everything lined up and straight in such a short time.

    [​IMG]

    It came out OK. Some spots didn’t have as much glue as they should have as much of it ran off the sides as I fiddled around with all of the steps above. It didn’t cause much problem because I was careful cutting the edge down flush. At this point, my wife had the baby and I realized I needed to greatly reduce the scope of this project if I ever wanted to finish it in my lifetime. Instead of making six of these curved “wings” in various sizes, I’m only going to be making two.

    For the second piece, instead of simplifying the clamping process like a rational person, my sleep deprived self decided instead to clamp the board upright to my work bench so the glue wouldn’t run off the sides. I went through the same process again…

    [​IMG]

    After getting everything clamping during the glue up, I realized the veneer had slid out of place in the front. When I went to adjust it, I split the veneer in two. DOH.
    [​IMG]

    At this point I should explain that I’m going to be mounting these wings upright on the wall, above a wall mounted ultra wide. The tip here with the messed up veneer will be 7ft+ above the floor, making it impossible to see for everyone besides Shaquille O’Neill. The same is sort of true for the curved sides… those will be pretty tough to see given the wall this will be on is not very wide (the long straight edge I veneered first will be front and center, however). Anyways, I wasn’t going to leave the veneer like this whether it can be seen or not, so I cut out a piece with an xacto knife and glued it in place. When I sand it down, it should be tough for Shaq to spot.

    [​IMG]

    Every veneered panel should be veneered on both sides to prevent warping as the woods expand/contract at different rates. Given I will have long tubing runs going across, the stability of these panels is extra important. I made some wood clamping cauls out of 2x4s. I don’t have a jointer or planer, so I used double sided tape to stick the 2x4s to a straight edge, and ran the straight edge along my table saw fence. I cut the pieces down further into pairs.

    [​IMG]

    The result wasn’t perfect, but it was satisfactory. I tried to put a slight curve in the cauls using my hand plane, only to find that plane blades don’t come sharpened. Why do so many tools come unsharpened??? Am I the crazy one here? First the veneer saw, which was just stamped metal with no edge whatsoever, and now the plane? Since apparently you also need to buy a sharpening kit when you buy a plane, I used two playing cards in the center of the cauls to make sure there was clamping force in the middle. The glue up consisted of cauls on the bottom, followed by a piece of melamine that I had cut one inch wider than the panel, followed by wax paper, followed by the MDF substrate, followed by wax paper, followed by a matching piece of melamine, followed by cauls, and then clamps.

    [​IMG]

    Clamping flat surfaces is way easier than clamping curves. It turned out well enough. Again, this is the back of the panel and won’t be seen as it’s up against the wall.

    [​IMG]

    I’ll be cutting this flush to the sides, and then doing the same process on the second panel.
     
    Jean R built and Cheapskate like this.
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    100% of what I do with veneer is patch rips in fixtures and doors. It usually works better/easier to cut out a clean square.
    With what you have it's probably an option to sand some of the veneer scrap into a powder and fill the crack with that.
     
    Ragster likes this.
  14. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    That certainly would have been smarter! Oh well, next time. :idea:

    So I took the tape off and it looks pretty good. This is just the back (done to prevent warping), but I was happy to see the method worked. You actually have to look pretty closely to find the seam on the two sheets of walnut veneer.

    [​IMG]

    Next it was time to do the faces! I taped up the pieces…

    [​IMG]

    Clamps, clamps, clamps. Don’t mind the filthy workshop!

    [​IMG]

    Voila! Came out pretty nice.

    [​IMG]

    Trimmed the excess with a flush trim bit on the ole router.’

    [​IMG]

    And repeated the process. They both look really good, although there is a tiny chip in the cherry at the top of the panel on the left (which you can see in this pic). I subsequently patched it and now its imperceptible. Much better than my last patch job! Although, to be fair, a much smaller/easier patch. And thankfully this one is the visible one.

    [​IMG]

    Next up is modifying this big, gold hand that will hold the Eisball reservoir. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of it before I started hacking it up. I cut the base off so the whole PC can sit closer to the wall.

    [​IMG]

    I never had a formalized plan for this when I started, but some of what I was hoping to do is just not going to happen given time constraints. I’d love to finish this before my 3080ti is old tech, so I’m lessening the scope. Still a fair amount left to do though.
     
    Jean R built and Cheapskate like this.
  15. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat. New Improved Version.

    Joined:
    26 Aug 2014
    Posts:
    4,271
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Partly to save costs and, also because not everyone wants the edge sharpened at the same angle, depending on what the tool is to be used for.
     
    Ragster likes this.
  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    The panels are beautiful. :D
    "Filthy workshop": :lol: I see zero dead animals.
     
    Ragster likes this.
  17. Ragster

    Ragster What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2021
    Posts:
    19
    Likes Received:
    19
    Makes sense I suppose, particularly for the plane. The veneer saw I assume is more the cost savings. Just stamp that thing out and ship it! Either way I should get a whetstone set. Half the cost of this build has been new tools. But I’m not complaining :naughty:

    You guys are all operating on a different level lol.
     
  18. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat. New Improved Version.

    Joined:
    26 Aug 2014
    Posts:
    4,271
    Likes Received:
    1,702
    Mine has many spiders, alive and dead...
     
    Ragster likes this.
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    12,153
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    Come to the Piney Woods. I'll introduce you to my garage toad.
     
    Mr_Mistoffelees likes this.
  20. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

    Joined:
    26 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    93
    Good stuff so far. Looks like fun!
     
    Short Modder, Cheapskate and Arboreal like this.

Share This Page