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Scratch Build – In Progress Ash stealth mediacenter. Small PC hardwareupdate 13/6-10

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by M.Ø.J, 20 Dec 2009.

?

Should i keep posting logs the way i do. Blurring what the build will end up looking?

  1. Yes, thats gonna be more exciting than knowing what to expect.

    29 vote(s)
    55.8%
  2. No, id rather have the whole design shown, so i know where every part is gonna be located.

    14 vote(s)
    26.9%
  3. Really dont care. Im just looking at pics, so i wouldnt know anyway.

    9 vote(s)
    17.3%
  1. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    [​IMG]

    Forewords:
    Hi all.
    Im Mikael Øster Jensen from Denmark age 36.

    Having started building on a new project a few weeks ago ( planned it for a year ), ive been lurking around on a few modding sites for inspiration.
    It made me feel glad to se how the casemodding community have evolved.
    As a note i should mention that i did my last log on a build of mine back in 2002 ( did some 5-8 scratch builds in the period between 1996-2002 even before i knew that what i was doing was called casemodding ).
    At the time the peoples on the forums i used didnt seem to appreciate me showing my methods on how to get stuff done. This made me leave the forums keeping my builds for myself.
    However ive only been making two smaller builds in the period after that ( 2002-2009 ).

    Point being, that after having browsed Bit-Tech the last couple of weeks you brought back the reminder of the joy one gets from sharing a build, and all of you guys seems to appreciate people sharing their mods. So i decided to register and get back in the game of building - stopping - taking pictures - building on etc.

    Hope you will appreciate what im doing. Its NOT about ME ME ME. Its all about sharing. :)



    betaname: Ash stealth mediacenter

    The concept:
    Very simple. Ive always been annoyed with having wires everywhere in my appartment and all the tech equipment/ gadgets standing all over the place collecting dust. So why not build it all into the furnitures.
    Another thing that had to be done was that every piece of furniture had to hang on the wall, meaning no legs attached to free up space in the living room.


    The planning:
    Whats gonna be inside?

    *PC:
    Motherboard
    2xGPU running cross fire.
    2xLAN
    As many USB ports as possible
    4x3.5" HDDs
    fans. for now my plan is to install 2x80mm fans and 2x120mm.
    PSU
    2xDVD/BR drives in "the drawer".
    Room for external HDDs in "the drawer"
    ADSL Router
    Switch

    several PSUs for diffrent gadgets such as printer/ home phone / lamps / external HDDs / Switch / router and so on.

    *PS3:
    first i was thinking of taking it apart using only the electrical components and not the case. However im ,at this point, not gonna mod the PS3 ( except for some stealth to cover the black design) so im gonna leave it as is. only access needed is for the USBs and BR drive. ( Also i wont void guarantee this way ).

    *ALL WIRES !! ( offcourse this wont be totally possible, but i have a few stealth mods in mind to hide all cabling that will have to be outside the furnitures. )

    *What cant be inside?

    *Sennheiser headphones.
    *21" Monitior
    *42" LED TV

    *External DVD drive ( thou this is for another build im gonna call "the fourth dimension" ), it will still be in the livingroom so its gonna be part of this projectlog.
    *Also a lot of stuff havent been mentioned yet. Youll see as the build progress.

    All the stuff that cant be inside will need modding also to fit the whole concept. Just let me lift the curtain a little. This build is gonna involve everything in my living room which for now is kinda empty.


    Drawing and presetups:
    So, knowing what had to be inside it was time to figure out how to make it all fit, and what design i would use. I had a lot of ideas on how it should look. It had to fit some measurements of 76*76(+5)*27.5cm and 76*76(+5)*36cm to fit with another design of cabinets i adore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is a Mogens Koch cabinet. I did make it myself, all handmade ( maybe i should mention that im educated as a furniture builder/ carpenter).

    This is the first furniture to be part of my living room. This will give you an idea of the wood im gonna be using for the build and type of design for the rest of the furnitures for the entire room. However, this was done before i decided to make a project log, so no pictures of the process. But you will get plenty of woodwork lateron i promise.

    Rud Rasmussen, producer of the Mogens Koch cabinet:
    www.rudrasmussen.dk/Content/index.php/Library/16/0/


    Time to start collecting materials to se what i have to buy to make it all come together.


    Back in the days:
    A trip to my basement made me pull out all my old mods and bringing all the boxes of old hardware and materials back up into my apartment.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    It might be outdated, but i still managed to find som stuff for sleaving + a lot of cables that could be usefull.


    Knowing the rough dimensions for the acrylic / aluminium needed to do the presetup, i cutted up a lot of lenghts and plates at work to make it easier to adjust them at home.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    These are tools you cant afford not to have in your arsenal ! :nono: :dremel:



    The presetup:

    Having collected what i needed of materials to at least make a presetup to figure out where all cables and hardware should be located it was time for the first cutting, sawing, drilling and dremling.

    Started by making a tower for 4 HDDs.
    Then made a stand for the motherboard.
    PS3 / PSU and DVD drives are located beneath for now. I might change this, having the DVD drives above freeing up more space. But thats optional for now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately i didnt get any pictures of this process for some reason. I did get the shots im sure, but for some reason i cant find them on my camera. In case they show up all over sudden ill post em offcourse. ( N00b in action? ). Nah just been a long time. Starting a project like this with a worklog is a big task, just have to get back into the routine of taking pictures, checking if i have them and if quality is optimal. Im "getting there". :D

    [​IMG]
    This pattern of holes is from this old casemod of mine ( 1997-1998 ). I like it a lot and is somehow gonna incorporate it into this build.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is it, the pattern of holes is located on the right side of the case.


    The first sketches and drawings:

    [​IMG]
    Next thing was to get the measurements from sketch to actual builddrawing. This shows several steps of the progress of the design from sketch to 1:10 drawing.

    Im not gonna give you a closeup of the drawings or pictures of the 1:1 i also made. That would be a spoiler for sure. :naughty:


    Checking if i have what i need to proceed:

    Tools:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    check

    Machines:

    [​IMG]
    Table saw
    [​IMG]
    Thicknesser
    [​IMG]
    Planer
    [​IMG]
    CNC mill
    Check

    The CNC mill im not gonna use for this project, thou it was tempting. However im gonna keep this build as intended. All done by hand the way i was teached to do it back in the days.

    Materials:

    [​IMG]
    MDF and other boards -Check
    [​IMG]
    Lenghts - check
    [​IMG]
    Plenty of aluminium lenghts to play with as well - Check
    [​IMG]
    Plenty of acrylics as well - check
    [​IMG]
    Im gonna need a sh*tload more of this raw ashwood. But it will do for the next week or so.


    Then there was the project log:
    First of all ive had throwen my cable for the camera away. My PC didnt have bluetooth and it wouldnt work on the PS3, so i had to go buy another cable or a Bluetooth dongle for the PC.

    [​IMG]
    The bluetoothdongle was the cheapest way. So i went with that.
    It worked out with a little help from Azayles.


    whats next?:
    [​IMG]
    For next update these headphones are gonna be finished to give you an idea of the whole concept.
    This will be alongside the start of the build of 3 cabinets to hold all the electronics.


    So with all this planned its back to the workshop.
    Im glad to say im having days of between christmas and new year. So im definately gonna be at the workshop progressing !!


    Eat your toast and drink your beers as usual!
    I shall return!
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2010
    Hovisloaf likes this.
  2. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    Reserved for links to finished parts of the project.​


    Sennheiser headphones:
    Sennheiser headphones mod Part1:
    Sennheiser headphones mod Part2-Final:



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Upcoming
    LiteOn external DVD drive
    17/01-10:
    [​IMG]
    Teaser and build progress

    Links for progress during the build:

    Sennheiser headphones mod Part1: 23/12-09
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2181034&postcount=16

    Cabinets for the electronics-Part1: 17/1-10
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2200499&postcount=37

    Sennheiser headphones mod Part2: 18/1-10
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2201734&postcount=40

    Cabinets for the electronics-Part2: 29/1-10
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2212285&postcount=57

    Ash stealth mediacenter-Part1: Template for the motherboard: 31/1-10
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2214508&postcount=59

    Ash stealth mediacenter-Part2: The back of the front: 6/2-10
     
    Last edited: 6 Feb 2010
  3. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    The last picture is working :)



    Fedt at se en dansker der for en gangs skyld modder. Og god ide med at bygge det hele ind i et møbel, det har jeg også tænkt på mange gange.
     
  4. Azayles

    Azayles Member

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    Yay pics!
    And good GOD at the tools and the workshop, that's astonishing! Is that yours? Do you own all that?!
    Definitely keeping an eye on THIS project, I love it when master cabineters (is that the term?) also make computer cases. They turn out the most amazing work.:clap:
     
  5. Angel OD

    Angel OD Pump Killer

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    Den skal helt sikkert /sub'es!
    Og jeg er ganske enig, vi er for få danskere herinde! :thumb:
     
  6. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    Nah, its not mine. But i have full access to all the tools 24/7.
    Im a glad employee for sure.

    I dont know the term neither ... Damn, i called myself a furniture builder / carpenter. All i know is its "mester udlært møbel snedker" in danish.

    I hope i wont let you down. Im having high intensions with this project. :worried:
     
  7. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    Flere Danskere her ... Wow.

    Så ved jeg hvor jeg skal råbe hjælp når jeg har fået rodet mig ind i for meget :naughty:

    For få danskere?
    Heh, jeg har da lige mødt 2 på en time :clap:
     
  8. BlackWhizz

    BlackWhizz New Member

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    Nice. gonna follow this one.
     
  9. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    With that title in danish, "Master Carpenter" sounds fair enough :)


    Haha, bare rolig du ender nok med at rode dig ud i noget skidt, men så må vi bare træde hjælpende til :)
     
  10. Azayles

    Azayles Member

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    Even so, full access to all those tools on a 24/7 basis. Holy WOW!
    I'm sure you won't let anyone down :D
     
  11. death_munky

    death_munky F*** the dremel, i'll use my teeth

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    looking forward to this

    the title you're looking for in english is 'Master Cabinet Maker'.
    i have a good friend who is a master cabinet maker and he is unbelievable at working with materials
     
  12. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    "ROFLMAO"
    Seriously, thats probably what its gonna translate into.

    Sh*t, im just me. I feel comfortable working with my hands.
    Now you made me feel like the naked emperor. :hehe: :naughty:
     
  13. death_munky

    death_munky F*** the dremel, i'll use my teeth

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    LOL

    It's just one of those weird English titles that means "hey, i can do more than bang two pieces of wood togther; i can make a really f**king good coffee table instead"
     
  14. Hovisloaf

    Hovisloaf New Member

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    God this thing is gonna be huge good luck
    can't wait to see this under way
    btw +1 for all those tools i would kill for access to those
     
  15. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    death_munky wrote:
    Hehe, i can relate to that. :D

    Hovisloaf wrote:
    Thanks. Im all up for it.
    When i close my eyes i can se it all infrint of me.
    Im gonna be SOOO relaxed and comfortable in my new livingroom for sure :)

    I was at the CNC most day today, so i was able to do some progress on the Sennheiser headphones while being paid for it. Damn these times are GRrrrrrreeeat ! :D

    PS: Updated the teaser http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=2178122&postcount=2
    BTW: If i link to a picture in a private album. Will it show up in the thread ?
    Oh, it doesnt.
    Teaser is now fixed. :rock:
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2009
  16. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    Headphones mod:
    Part 1:

    Materials used:
    Sennheiser headphones - Model 130TR

    Ash veener 0.7mm thickness

    Contact glue
    Thinner 1000 ( Seems this aint produced any longer )

    ES varnish - Gloss
    ES Thinner

    Tools used:
    pencils
    Screwdrivers
    Chissels
    Brushes
    Sharp scissor
    Stanley knife

    Steel wool type 000 and 0000
    Grinding paper - Corn 100 / 120 / 180 / 240 / 320


    [​IMG]
    First up was to disassemble the headphones.
    This was a pretty easy task.


    [​IMG]
    Only problem was that the print was both glued and the wires was hardconnected to its case, so im gonna try to do the mod without removing it and destroying it during the process.


    [​IMG]
    Drawing the rough dimensions onto the wooden veener
    The reason for the bend is that the way the wood works wont allow for you to glue a straight piece of veener onto a surface thats bending.
    Another reason is to keep the natural look of the wood upon the surfaces. This way it might not look like an ikea gadget when finished.
    Drawing the sides of the headphones wont have to be precise. In fact im making it a bit wider than it actually is on purpose. Reason for this is that when applying the glue im gonna make sure that all part of the veener will have glue applied or the whole process will have to be started all over, cause of the glues abilities.


    [​IMG]
    Having drawed the pieces needed for the front panel, its time to cut em up.
    Once again i cut the parts bigger than actually needed.
    Again to make sure the pieces wont be to small, but also to make sure that if i attach the pieces a bit out of angle.
    It will still fit anyway, and the whole process wont have to be started all over.


    [​IMG]
    Gluing.
    This glue is perfect for this project since you will only need to apply it to BOTH the surfaces being put together. Let it dry.
    And when its dry you put your pieces of materials together, making it stick that same instance.
    The disadvantage of this is you wont get a second try.
    Applying the parts wrong, and you will have to grind the veener of since you wont be able to pull it off because of the strenght of the glue.

    IF YOURE GONNA TRY THIS AS A FIRST TIMER, BE SURE THAT YOU DONT LOVE THE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT YOURE APPLYING THE VEENER WOOD ON TO MUCH. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO THROW IT ALL AWAY IF YOU DONT GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

    In other words, this process is hard when youre trying to apply veener this way on bended surfaces. A lot of stuff can go wrong. You will only get the skill and knowledge of how the glue and wood work together by try and error.
    Now, dont tell me you havent been warned :D

    Since the veener is only 0.7mm thick you wont be able to get a smooth surface if the layers of glue applied are to thick. Thats why im thinning it up with this thinner 1000 as we call it. The can its in is not how it looks originally.
    Having tried to get my hands on some more for a few months i havent been able to find anyone who could deliver it.
    One company that used to sell it told me that its not even produced anymore, im not totally sure of it thou.
    Anyway 9 doses of glue and 1 dose of thinner gives me the thickness of glue i need for this.


    [​IMG]
    This picture shows the edge with glue on, and the wooden piece im going to assemble first of all.
    Just apply the glue to the surfaces youre plannig to put together. Dont glue everything at once.
    You will have a drying time of about 20min. depending on how thick a layer of glue you apply. Then some 15-20minutes to put your workpieces together before the glue hardens to much.
    Here you see that ive applied glue over the lines of my pencil drawing to make sure im having enough glue everywhere if i should misplace it at first touch. Cause it will stick in a tenth of a second. Trying to pull it apart will only ruin what youve accomplished so far.


    [​IMG]
    Time to apply the veener.
    Then push the pieces together. Im working slowly around the edges constantly pushing the two pieces together to make the chemical reaction of the glue react to make it stick together forever.
    If you know how wood/ veener works when bended. Wou will notice the strengt of the glue when you look at the bend.
    I keep on getting astonished with how it all works. Most wood would break up trying to do this with other types of glue.


    [​IMG]
    Removing leftover veener.
    Removing the left over veener from all the edges is kind of easy using a stanley knife and chissels. Just make sure the tools are sharp. And i meen REALLY SHARP. Otherwise it will break up here and there. Just small pieces breaking of, will make it look crappy when you apply the varnish.
    To finish of the edges giving them a smooth touch and sharp edges you will need to use grinding paper corn 80-180 depending on the type of wood.


    [​IMG]
    Now its time to grind the whole front.
    You accomplish two things by waiting till now doing this. First sharp edges where the first veener was applied.
    Also removing any chemical / fat from the bigger surface thats going to be glued, to make it all stick better when gluing.


    [​IMG]
    Ready to apply the front part of veener.


    [​IMG]
    Now i have applied the glue in exactly the same way as with the edges. Now just waiting those 20 minute for the glue to dry.


    [​IMG]
    Then applying the veener, putting preasure on every part of the bended front to make the wood connect and stick.
    Looking at the left picture you can se how the veener crack all places where the surface of the headphone front are bended a lot. But as you will se on the next picture wou wont be able to se this on the front due to the strenght of the glue.
    Now once again use your SHARP stanley knife and chissels to remove the leftover veener.
    Ready for grinding.


    [​IMG]
    So this is the finished result, ready for grinding and varnish.
    As you can se on the picture, the wood havent cracked anywhere at all.
    This glue and method ROCKS !!
    You can do sh'tload of amasing things this way.


    [​IMG]
    Preparing for the varnish.
    Time to grind the front preparing it for first layer of varnish.
    Im using corn 100, then 120, next 180 and finishing off with corn 240 to make the surface of the wood as slick and smooth as possible.

    Luckily i was at the CNC most of the day just having to change workpieces now and then. So i was able to do the grinding and coating while being paid for it. Now thats NICE :D


    [​IMG]
    Applying the varnish.
    So with all this done im ready to apply the first layer of varnish.
    The lack im using is and ES varnish. HIGHLY flammable and probably really unhealthy.
    Dont hestitate it. You will get much better results coating it 5 times of thin layers. Than rushing it, finishing with 3 thick layers.

    When the first layer was dry i grindet it softly with corn 240 then 320 to smooth out the surface once again.


    [​IMG]
    This picture shows what 3 layers of coatings looks like before grinding/ polishing it again with 320. I think its gonna need some two more layers to get a totally smooth surface. Next step will be to finish it with Steel wool. This is where the magic happens and the true polish and art of cabinet builders secrets is unveiled.

    But, that will be part of the next update.


    Opinions needed!! ( Solved )
    [​IMG]
    Im in desperat need of some advise. ( Solved )
    Having done the front im having doubts on whether to apply all plastic with veener. My problem is that the soft part of the headphones, the top you have on your head and the two speakers will have to stay black. Im not sure if that will look nice at all.
    For now im thinking of only applying veener on the the top ( where the sennheiser logo is written ), and make the two buttons in the buttom of wood.
    Offcourse the three holes for the leds needs to be drilled also. But thats the last thing to be done with the front.
    [​IMG]
    Another thing is that a lot of glass is gonna be incorporated into the whole finished build.
    I think im going for the darkest, so a few black parts on the headphones might not ruin the overall look.
    But im truly in doubt.

    I just cant make up my mind.
    [​IMG]

    So which parts do you think will look the best with the veener on, or should i leave it as is?
    ( Solved with some help from stonedsurd and Cheapskate. Thanks Guys :thumb: :D :clap:

    [​IMG]
    So that was my second log update.
    Merry christmas all :lol:

    PS: All constructive feedback will be appreciated, and dont hestitate to ask questions if you have any. Its all about sharing. :)
     
    Last edited: 29 Dec 2009
  17. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    I think you ought to add the veneer to the top. Might as well go all the way :p
     
  18. M.Ø.J

    M.Ø.J Getting there!

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    Thanks Stonedsurd.
    Yes, im definatly gonna put veneer on the top.
    The two buttons in the buttom are also gonna get veneer applied, as well as the two buttons on each of the headphones.

    My problem is whether to veneer it underneath the top also. If i do i will have those 3big lumps of black ( The "pillows" ) in the middle of everything.
    So i still havent made up my mind. :waah:


    So throw some opinions at me people.
    All feedback will be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance :thumb:
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I think it looks good like it is. Matte black with a light wood color has always looked classy.
     
  20. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Hm. This is a tough one. I'd vote for ergonomics over aesthetics, so leave the cushions on. Plus, it might not look good if it's all veneered. Let the black, y'know, provide a little contrast. Like Cheaps says, matte black and light wood go very well together :thumb:
     

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