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Scratch Build – Complete "COSK" - Journeymans Desk PC

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Nexaner7, 4 Feb 2021.

  1. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Now supported by noctua :clap:

    For the ones who want to see the thing directly, better jump straight down ;)

    The beginning

    As soon as I started my training to become a carpenter, I knew I had to combine my hobby with the job I’m learning at some point. Since I have to submit the drawings for my journeyman’s examination soon, it is finally time to concretize this idea.


    Inspiration

    There are already a few desk builds out there I saw that influenced mine. But probably in a different way than you might guess. I´m thinking about the ones made by LinusTechTips, JPModified, Wood.Work.LIFE and MA Modified.

    584c796ce1786_deskpcpt3.jpg.3c076083db9d9b12f71bbd955047327c (1).jpg maxresdefault.jpg maxresdefault (1).jpg ETd10tnVAAEzbkE.jpg
    The first two are the “simpler” ones with one big sheet of glass on top.
    I didn’t want only glass, so I would have to clean all the time and I also didn’t want to cover up part of the rig when putting on a mouse pad and peripherals. So, the other two were likelier candidates to steal ideas from. ^^


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I made a few sketches to visualize my idea, but wasn’t really satisfied with the visuals (maybe partly due to my horrible sketching skill).

    To this day a did a few mostly used PC builds, but always had a thing for the ITX form factor. My only two water-cooled builds where an M-ATX one and an ITX one.

    [​IMG]
    So, I tried to shrink it down and ended up with a slim compartment with all the parts laid out next to each other. That idea stuck with me since then.


    Concretizing my idea.

    [​IMG]
    The compartment would sit parallel to the side you were sitting on, with enough space to comfortably work and still admire your build. The glass panel would just sit on top of it. Remove it and you will be able to take out the whole assembly.

    Next, I needed to figure our what the size of the “PC-box” would be. I haven’t worked a lot with Inventor, but decided to go for it. Grabbed a few models from grabcad and started laying them out.

    [​IMG]
    I ended up with this!


    Planning the table

    If you are more interested in the PC-side of the project, you might want to skip this part.

    With the dimensions of the box set, I could start with the table. As probably seen above, I had a few ideas. Most of which I discarded, due to me not liking the design or all the requirements the desk has to meet.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This was my first half-way constructed idea. I wanted a slim front, so you would sit more comfortably, but ended up not pursuing this design. Biggest problems: Couldn’t figure out how to do the legs and how to fix the PC-box to the frame.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    This one I did after gaining a little more knowledge in woodworking and learning more about the requirements after talking to a teacher of mine.
    The PC Box would simply sit on the lower piece of wood. Unfortunately, this made the whole thing pretty thick.
    I didn’t want to add more height between arms and legs while sitting and still support the desk in the middle, so I tried to cross the ribs(?) that run between the legs.

    [​IMG]
    After talking to my master about the current draft, I made the last big changes to the body of the table: I removed the slant at the front and in the back, to make it easier to build. Raised the middle section, so I actually would be able to put my legs under it and slimmed down most of the boards.
    I also recreated some legs I saw online, but still probably not my final choice.


    Back to the PC

    Components. I obviously had an eye on EK´s Lignum line of water-cooling stuff. But I will probably skip those, because of the high price. But I stuck with walnut wood for the desk in combination with ash.

    I currently plan on using:
    • MSi MEG Z490I Unify (great black design; integrated I/O-shield)
    • Intel Core i7 10700KF (currently cheaper than 3800X; also dictated by MOBO choice)
    • RTX 3070 or 3080 if one would ever be available, maybe I resort back to a 2080 Ti
    • Corsair SF750 (I will probably sleeve the cables myself; availability also bad)
    • Storage I will just transfer my two 1 TB SSDs from my current system.
    • EK FLT360 D5, PE360 Rad, Noctua NF-F12 (maybe the brown one will work, otherwise I will go for the chromax ones)
    My choice of fittings will probably also be dictated by my leftover budget.


    Water-cooling. With the rough selection of components figured out, I collected some ideas for the loop. Theoretically, there is enough space under the motherboard tray to run tubes. But I am still unsure. It could look better, but also leaves the part you actually see pretty empty.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I will probably decide this part when I have the parts for the build here to test out. But please feel free to leave any suggestions.


    Airflow. First Idea was to let the air pass in from outside the box. Or they would only be half as effective.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Either I would not be able to get out the box ord I would have wasted a lot of space. Also, I couldn’t quite figure out where the cables would go and how to connect them easily in the second design.

    [​IMG]
    I remembered that the FLT360 was designed to sit on a 360 rad/fan space. So, I will just raise it and put the fans under it. This way the air also passes over the MOBO potentially cooling it and exiting through the rad.


    Status at the time of the post

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    That is where I’m at while writing this post. I added cutouts to pull out the drawers and the drawers itself with classic runners(?). The cutouts for rad, fans, I/O and PSU were made.


    To Do
    (At least what I can currently think of)

    • Flap in the back to access I/O (needs to be lockable, that’s one requirement)
    • Probably cable cutout on top
    • Power button and cabling]
    • Cutouts for PC Wires and PCie Riser
    • Wireless charger somewhere?
    • Cutouts for airflow in the desk itself
     
    Last edited: 5 Aug 2021
  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Your reservoir is the lowest point in the loop, and it's flat. That will be a nightmare to fill and bleed. The optimum setup would have the pump lowest and the reservoir/fill port the highest.
     
  3. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    What I thought: Filling will be done when the PC-Box is outside the desk and standing up so, the port on the res that’s furthest to the right will be the highest point.

    Maybe adding a fill port near the right handle will help. I could raise it up so it will be the highest point in the system.
    I will defintily look into adding a drainport.
    Thanks :)
     
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  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    If you can run it for bleeding air tilted up, that's good. The pump only requires you don't run it upside down, or with the ports facing downwards.
    All you need then would be a spot for air to collect. :thumb:
     
  5. Karrek

    Karrek Minimodder

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    For the GPU, I would just say leave enough room for a long card (say 12-13") just in case you ever upgrade to a monster like that.

    For the cables, you could do a pop-up (similar to @BananaTom's recent project)
     
  6. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    You mean like a T fitting somewhere so the air can collect there without being pushed around and making unnecessary noises ?
     
  7. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    I planned the cutouts yesterday and already moved everything down for the GPU, so the Asus ROG variants of the 3080 with an ek block would be able to fit. It is a fairly tall card, but length-wise I should just be fine with about 25mm (1 inch) air between motherbaord and GPU.

    My current idea was to just do a simple power button with 2 USB ports on one of the angled sides of the desk, so they are a little bit hidden. But the pop-up would make the desk look even cleaner, when its not in use. I will consider it when I have to decide which way to go.

    Thank you too :)
     
    Last edited: 7 Feb 2021
  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yes, a T-line or mini res would work. :thumb:
     
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  9. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Update

    Here a little summary of the changes I did to the design:

    [​IMG]
    Flap in the back for accessing I/O is planned, including the holes for the pot hinges. Went for a little cutout for monitor power and display cable, instead of these ugly cable passthroughs.
    Also added three groves for Phanteks Neon RGB strips. They are 550mm long and should end just above the floor board. They are only placed on the side that’s facing you while sitting, so they shouldn’t distract too much.


    [​IMG]
    It took a lot of time but after a lot of looking up dimensions and in-picture measurements, I hopefully have all the holes for cabling.


    [​IMG]
    I redid the legs. Now the (probably) last version is made from 10mm flat steel. They are angled both to the front/back and sides. I had some concerns that they could bend, but they are only 60cm tall so it should be fine.
    The desk also finally got cutouts for the airflow. I wanted to go with all diagonal lines, but the wood fibers would probably become too short and I would risk ruining the big board.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    For front I/O I found some USB ports and power buttons on Aliexpress which I ordered. I was not able to find any other good looking front panels for installation. Only alternative may be the one that comes with the Streacom DA2, But if the parts don’t arrive on time, I will probably go with the method @Karrek suggested.

    Current Status

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    To Do
    • Draw cable combs, that will go under the cutouts in the PC box for cleaner cables.
    • Draw clamps to fix all cables to the pc box.
    • Place all dowels / Lamello.
    • cutout for power cable
    • Wait for approvment ! I can´t wait to start:)
     
    Last edited: 4 May 2021
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  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The legs might be wobbly, but they do look good. :D
    It might be better to cut an inset for a plate over an open hole for the bottom vents. -Not sure what machinery you have access to, but an aluminum plate would be sturdier and more open.
    The LED strips only bend in the direction the leds are pointing, if that makes sense. -I had to work around that issue with a client build. They should still throw a decent amount of light if the channels are wide enough. :thumb:
     
  11. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks. It took a few versions but I am pretty happy with the legs now. Might be adding a rod behind them as reinforcement.

    We have a CNC at my workplace but I only ever saw it being used for wooden parts. It is also not the most percise machine :hehe: But I will talk to my boss about it next week.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I get what you mean but the ones I thought about using, do bend in the other directions as well. I worked with these strips before and they look awesome.
     
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  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :lol: I could have used them a while back.
     
  13. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Small Update

    I recently got around to write some e-mails and guess what…

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    …Noctua jumped on board and send me six of their NF-F12 Chromax fans. Very happy about that, because I love these fans and probably wouldn’t have been able to get these otherwise

    I often used them in my personal builds. (https://www.instagram.com/used_pc_gaming_ger/?hl=de)

    [​IMG]
    And my PSU finally arrived as well after being out of stock forever.

    I will do a bigger update once there is more to talk about. Water-cooling and pc parts are mostly ordered. Except the water block for the gpu, because I still don't know what will be available.
    But I got the permission to use some leftovers to machine a prototype of the pc-box so I can do some test fits. That will be the next step.
     
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  14. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    First Prototype

    I finally found time at work to machine the first prototype for my PC-box.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I never worked at a CNC before, but luckily, I got help from a coworker. (Big thanks to Luca at this point)
    After machining I quickly put it together with some screw, so I could start test fitting my hardware and still would be able to undo it, if needed.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I had to take my current build apart. It is very convenient when you try to make changes to your model when your PC is laying in pieces (not:confused:).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    But it is good to see the project finally taking some shape.
    Overall, all the cutouts were generally placed correctly. I only moved some a few mm and shrunk the PCIe ones. Personally, I think individual holes for the wires look better, but in case that my hardware will change at some point, I am better off with cutouts.

    The 3070 is currently only a placeholder for an Asus Strix 3080. That should fill most of the room. I will probably do a cutout for the 3070 anyway, which would be hidden under the 3080 if it arrives on time.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The DP bracket turned out pretty nice, regarding fitment. But I need to get another one anyway, because the GPU end is way too long and won't make a tight enough bend to clear the PSU.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Lastly I hooked up the RGB strips from Phanteks. The one I tested was a pretty tight fit. Turns out this one was a bit thicker then the others.
    I also thought I broke it while inserting, but I just mixed up the pins:rolleyes:


    To Do
    • Measure wooden replacements for RAM and motherboard.
    • Order wires and sleeves / cables (I am still thinking about sleeving myself, but CableMods Pro Cables do look pretty good)
     
  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    SWEEEET mill. :D
    Output cables are always massive. I'd reposition the psu a bit to the left.
    It looks like the veneer was ripped a lot. It might help the final version if you do a shallow first pass with a finer bit. That should cut the oak cleanly and keep it from splintering.
     
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  16. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    It's quite big… I could probably mill 6 desks at once :D

    I have a few more centimeters to spare on the left and right, so I could move it outwards. But I think I messed up a little with the sketches, because when I change the dimensions, everything goes crazy.
    It will probably take some time to get that fixed. Good news is, that I found one extension with a right-angled plug and the 1.4 standard. Maybe they will work. Didn't think it would be this hart to find a suiting extension.

    Yeah, the veneer doesn't look that good. :miffed: Really was just quick and dirty, because the mill was needed for other things. The pieces came from a leftover plate. The final product will be made from solid wood, so it shouldn't be that bad. I will do an extra pass anyway, just to be on the safe side, so thanks a lot :)
    Also, I will probably add a chamfer, so little imperfections won't be as noticeable. Should also keep the edges intact for longer.
     
  17. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Last changes...
    ...on paper.

    It's been quite some time, but it looks like I can soon start the actual work on the project.
    The plans have been submitted last week and should be checked by the end of this one. I probably won't be able to start right away, because we are four trainees who finish at the same time, but it shouldn't take too long.

    Since the last post there were a few changes to the design to fulfill the requirements and accommodate new hardware.


    [​IMG]
    I sold the RTX 3070 I had before and went to Berlin to buy a 3060 instead, which I then traded for a MSI RTX 3080 Suprim X. Unfortunately this card is even longer than the Strix variant, so I had to push all the cutouts further towards the sides. But I was able to save some space with the right-angled DisplayPort 1.4 extensions I found. This why I didn't need to extend the whole desk.


    [​IMG]
    The layout for the loop is decided, so I ordered all the parts needed (waterblock for the GPU is still in shipping). Test-fitting turned out to be a pretty important, because I didn't check the radiators dimension beforehand, which were way off.


    Final status

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The major changes:
    I once more redid the legs. This way they will definitely hold the weight and will be cheaper to laser.
    The wireless charger is now a cheaper and better rectangle.
    All exposed edges have a chamfer now.
    There is a mortise lock placed in the back flap instead of a rim lock.
    The choice of wood will be Ash and American walnut, but I switched things up a bit.
    The PSU will sit higher, so the cutout won't interfere with the cutout for the floor of the PC-Box.

    I found a name for the whole thing "COSK". Pretty simple-minded: Computer * Desk, but I like the sound of it very much.
     
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  18. Nexaner7

    Nexaner7 What's a Dremel?

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    Woodworking

    A lot has happened in the past few weeks, but it looks like I'm soon finishing the woodworking part of my project. I'll also be starting the actual computer build soon.

    I have captured some videos of the process, but it will take some time till I get to editing those, so for everyone that is interested, here are some pictures.
    I'll also try to break down everything I have done.


    [​IMG]
    I started with measuring and marking all the wood I had to my disposal. Unfortunately, the supply especially for American walnut is pretty low, which means high prices and a small selection. Basically, I had no wood to spare. But except for some mismatched wood tones and some sapwood here and there, I managed to squeeze in all the pieces I needed.


    [​IMG]
    The marked board were cut to the rough length and then I trimmed of the rind wood. After that, I was able to cut them to planks of around 8 - 15 cm in width, which could later be glued together. I encountered quite a few errors, like cracks, dead branches and twisted growth which reduced my selection even further.


    [​IMG]
    I used our planer to remove the rough sawed surface of the planks. This way, it was easier to match up the wood grain and get more seamless transitions between the separate pieces. Another important part for me was to topple (?) the planks. Basically, sapwood will only touch sapwood and heartwood only heartwood when gluing. This way, any warping that the wood could do is diminished and you are less likely to end up with a bend desk.
    When I finally decided on the order, they were planed and glued together using screw clamps.


    [​IMG]
    After drying the parts were planed again and then brought to the right measurements (+ 1 mm for sanding) using the thicknesser.
    Due to the limited width of the machinery, some parts needed to be glued together multiple times. For those I used shaped springs to keep them in position. Luckily, the belt sander we have is wide enough, so I was able to sand down the remaining millimeter.


    [​IMG]
    After planing all boards to the right thickness, I was able to mill all the parts I needed. Of course, our Z-axis was damaged at the time I did my parts, so I had quite a few errors in my parts. Luckily, I was able to get them fixed or covered up.
    Up above, you see the underside of the desk being milled and the test piece + finished middle drawer.


    [​IMG]
    Then it was my time to take over where the mill left off. I cut all the slots for the shaped springs and did the dovetail joint on the outer drawers and the PC-box.


    [​IMG]
    Then I did the last things I had to do before painting. I cut the chamfers: The bigger one on the saw, the smaller ones with a hand router. A lot of sanding was also involved and I put in the cutout for the lock.


    [​IMG]
    With everything prepared, I got to painting. I used a two-component paint which has additional UV protection. This is especially important for the ash, because it tends to yellow over time. This paint should slow down this process.


    [​IMG]
    Because I still needed to sand down the dovetails after gluing, the drawers and the PC-box were only painted on the inside and after assembly and sanding, painted from the outside.


    [​IMG]
    My first set of legs arrived with plenty of time to spare, but it seems like the company I hired to manufacture them for me, wasn't quite able to handle the task. So, I was quite disappointed after unboxing them, seeing all these problems and finding, that they weren't even lever nor the right height.
    I did manage to get someone else to make another set, but it will be tight, as the deadline set for the 16th of July.


    [​IMG]
    Now the only thing left to do, was to install all the electronics I wouldn't reach after putting the desk together, because I didn't think of that...
    This included my wireless charger, the USB ports and power button.


    [​IMG]
    ...and then, after one last test fit, I was finally able to glue everything together. It didn't turn out perfect in any way, but nothing went horribly wrong, and it went together without any major gaps. So, there are some things I will keep in mind for the next time, but overall, I'm pretty happy.


    [​IMG]
    This is how it looks at the time of writing.
    The only things left to do is to fit in the drawers and flap on the back, build the PC and hopefully receive the legs on time.
     
  19. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    That is some serious woodworking :eeek:
     
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  20. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    BEA-utiful ! :clap:
    Not having access to the electronics is worrying. You did test everything, right?
     
    Last edited: 4 Jul 2021
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