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Scratch Build – In Progress Dimidium - A Build In Two Parts

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Taritha, 13 Aug 2021.

  1. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Following silently from the start your project, I agree with PCcustom, a masterpiece :rock::rock::rock:, I love the hardware show part myself, as an addict :grin:, but your work is absolutely amazing :wallbash:, likewise your pictures, fantastic thread :rock::rock: so, bravo :clap:
     
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  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I swear to God... I gotta quit visiting the logs when I'm still half asleep. :lol: That video card end block is delicious.
     
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  3. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Love the look of this! And quite a journey thus far too.
     
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  4. Taritha

    Taritha Minimodder

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    Thanks for the nice comments everyone! I'm grinning like an idiot reading all of them. :grin:
     
  5. Taritha

    Taritha Minimodder

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    Update 20: Media Blasting the Night Away!

    With the parts here and the acrylic bits (mostly) done and polished, it's now time to commence the next major post processing step: the aluminum! The plan is to sand them to get rid of any machining marks, media blast them with itty bitty little glass beads, and then anodize/dye them. In other words, they're going to be a pain in the butt, and I was (and still am) too cheap and proud to outsource any of this labor. :grin:

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    As a quick test, I sanded the power button to start off with. I used the good ol' orbital sander for most of the sanding of these aluminum parts, but not the little ones like this obviously. I'd love to keep my fingerprints, thank you very much! :lol:

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    Since sanding is boring (in my opinion anyways) I only took photos a handful of times during this whole process. This part here looks ripe for media blasting, and was more or less the standard I was trying to reach. Even with the orbital sander, this took hours... Can't be helped really, there's like 60 parts or something.

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    Is it a real project if your hands never look like a coal miner's at some point? :p: (yes actually you can just wear gloves or something)

    With the parts sanded, it's time for media blasting!

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    Ahh, the good ol' eBay special. This blast cabinet works pretty well, but it has its quirks. I'm sure y'all can see that it leaks with all the blasting media in areas it's *ahem* not supposed to be in. :duh: Doesn't help that the blasting media I'm using is #13 sized, which is quite fine-about 3-6 microns in diameter for each individual glass bead. I made sure to keep the garage door open and wear some respiratory protection just in case. Breathing this stuff in is really bad.

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    This crusty old compressor is really chugging now... :sigh: I need a new one.

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    I wish I could take more photos of the blasting process, but it really doesn't lend itself to filming. Still, it's definitely my favorite post processing method so far! Very satisfying.

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    Man, these look really nice! I'm getting super excited to see these in the actual build now. :clap:Of course, I still need to anodize these bad boys because they get scratched if a sharply dressed person thinks about them. Naturally I've never anodized anything in my life, so it's going to take some trial and error. Good thing I have plenty of aluminum scrap lying around to test with.

    Smell ya later!​
     
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  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Is that one of those blast cabinets that doesn't have a place for the extra air to go? :lol:
    Looking nice and shiny there, and your parts too.
     
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  7. Taritha

    Taritha Minimodder

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    Interim 05: taking out the trash
    Interim 05: Sending off an Old Friend

    I've brought up how my current PC build is kind of a crusty musty old geezer at this point, but I haven't really gone into detail on that front. Now that Dimidium is starting to actually become something, I decided it's high time to start taking out a lot of the new, shiny components I bought for it in place of my old ones in a test bench sort of setup. That way, I can sell my old parts in the meantime, and I also would really like to just start using the new stuff that has been languishing in my closet for months now. :grin: Idk how much longer this build is gonna take and I want to start actually using the stuff I paid lots of $$ for!

    So... what exactly is wrong with my current PC, anyways? Well for one the temperatures are pretty lacking for a custom watercooled build. I was getting GPU temps well into the 70s, for starters. Second, the fluid looks super cloudy and nasty, and I have a few inclinations as to why, which I'll get into later. Third of all, the hardware is a bit dated for my tastes, since it's running first-gen Ryzen and a GTX 1080. While that's still perfectly usable, it could be better.

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    Here's an older picture of my current PC. Looks alright, eh? I promise I didn't keep it on the rainbow barf setting for long.

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    EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

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    *Ahem* anyways, as with any good dismantling, gotta start by draining the loop. Did you think that dust photo was bad?

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    Eww, look at all those flakes in a sampling of my watercooling fluid. :eeek: I've been repping water cooled builds for a few years now, and this is by far the worst any of my builds have gotten. I mentioned this in the first post of this log, but the story behind all the flakes you see in the fluid here is that my dumb a** thought it would be a bright idea to drill a hole for the fill port in the top of this case with the reservoir installed and opened up underneath. Naturally, that meant a bunch of steel chips got into the system and... yeah.

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    I think these tubing photos illustrate in exquisite detail just how nasty my old loop was. Even after deep cleaning my water blocks, replacing the tubing every now and then, and changing out the fluid every 6 months or so, it still ended up like this. Galvanic corrosion doesn't ***k around. :nono: I cannot wait to start using an even remotely clean loop again, lemme tell ya. And don't worry, the new system isn't re-using a single one of these old watercooling parts!

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    Lastly, this test bench...thing! It's made up of all the new parts I'll be using for Dimidium and I'll be daily driving this abomination until the build is finished. Yeah, it's super janky, but I really didn't feel like using my old case. Given what I have left to do for this project, it shouldn't be in this sorry state for long.

    Anyways, I figured y'all would like to see the horrors I've let fester for the past few years. I like to think of this whole build log as a sort of redemption arc from this crusty old PC. It served me well, but I'd be lying if I said my subconscious wasn't cursing its very existence every waking moment of my life I spent interacting with it. I had pretty high hopes for it and it just didn't hold up to them, unfortunately. It was completely my fault though, I won't deny that. :sigh:

    Next time, I'll be putting the finishing touches on the walnut panels of Dimidium, which should be lots of fun! ​
     
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  8. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    The positive point is: your hardware survived even after months soaking in this "mud bath" :grin: (joke)
     
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  9. Monkey Puzzle

    Monkey Puzzle Minimodder

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    Oof that old loop! Would be very interested to see what the VRM and CPU temps are like with the new cpu block.

    What's your plan for finishing the walnut in terms of oil/varnish/wax? I'm using walnut veneer and first time using wood - have tried Danish oil and shellac so far with some tung oil en route to experiment with...
     
  10. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    Fingerprints are overrated anyway.

    Man, those blasted parts are looking niiiice!
     
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  11. 4LIEN

    4LIEN Modder

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    I've missed this build, but now i'm in! I read all the pages! Really a build inside a build! I admire your determination to build the CNC and keep trying!
     
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  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Well, It's not cigarette ash. -Not brown or sticky enough. Forest fires, construction, Saharan dust cloud, or all of the above?
     
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  13. Taritha

    Taritha Minimodder

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    Thanks for all the nice words everybody!

    I'm planning on using a tung oil varnish and I'll wet sand it in. I also have some clear matte lacquer spray lying around to seal it all in once the oil dries! I've never done this before, so I'll be doing it on some test pieces until I like the result.
     
  14. Taritha

    Taritha Minimodder

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    Update 21: Oil Panic!

    I wish it was any one of those things, then I'd at least have an excuse! :lol: The real reason it got so nasty is because I couldn't be bothered to clean it lol

    Now onto the update! The post processing continues, and today's mission is to whip the wooden parts into shape. I've always been inspired by the sexy b-roll of rich, dark walnut panels on cars, other PC builds, etc. and I wanted in on some of that. So today, we're gonna find out if that can happen or not!

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    Here's a good example of what the panels look like pre surface treatment (but post sanding). I sanded them all to about 400 grit, which is overkill for something like this, but I just liked how amazingly smooooooooth these feel when they're sanded to that level. Really, you just need to sand them to ~220 grit or something.

    The procedure (which I simply found from an online woodworking blog :p:) I used to finish these parts is as follows:
    • Sand the parts you're going to finish up to about 220 grit. So start with something rougher like 120, then move to 220.
    • Apply some tung oil varnish to the part you're working on with a shop cloth or something. I used paper towels, which is probably not optimal, but it did work well for me.
    • Once the part is coated in oil completely, take some sandpaper (whatever paper you finished with in the first step, so I started with about 220 grit) and sand the part with the grain. It's basically a 'wet' oil sanding process from here on out. Use liberal amounts of oil for this, you want the dust from the sanding to form a paste with the oil, which will work itself into the grain of the wood, emphasizing its color.
    • Repeat the last step with higher sandpaper grits until around 600 (So 220->400->600 in my case). Make sure to wait about 30 minutes to an hour between sandpaper changes for the oil to dry.
    • Wipe off excess oil with a clean shop cloth and let the part dry for ~24hrs or more. If you want to, you can repeat this plus the last 3 steps for a deeper color and higher contrast finish. I did this wet oil sanding process twice for every part.
    • Apply some sort of post coating to protect the part like shellac or lacquer. I used a clear spray lacquer that leaves a matte finish, though you can go with a glossy one if you want!.
    • And that's it :clap:
    I don't have any pictures of the actual process because it's pretty hands on and messy, but the rest of the photos here should give you a good idea what the finished product looks like and the setup I used. Also do this on some scrap pieces first so you have the process down and you're happy with it!

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    I love how much this process brings out the grain in the walnut; I think it looks stunning. I'm a huge fan of high contrast in artistic implements. :rock:

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    Now the last step is to wait for these bad boys to dry for about a day, and then coat them with the clear lacquer! I brought each of these parts outside and sprayed them individually, then put them on these pegs to let them dry.

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    And that's all there is to it :dremel:

    I have to say, this was a lot of fun. I've spent so much time getting the metal and acrylic parts to look their best-and it's been difficult, but ultimately rewarding. This was quite relaxing by comparison, and seeing these dull, de-saturated parts turn into deep, richly colored end products is immensely satisfying. :rock:

    Next time, I'm doing by far the part of this build that I'm the most worried about: anodizing the aluminum parts. Yeah, I'm not outsourcing any of this stuff! :winking: I'm also dyeing them black too, which is supposedly the hardest color to do, so uh, wish me luck.

    ...a decision that you will soon see had some very interesting results. :lol:

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  15. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Nice job. I've come to appreciate oil finishes over glossy, plastic looking finishes especially on walnut. I'd pass on the lacquer finish. Keep up the good work.
     
  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The result is worth the extra effort. That looks fabulous. :D
     
  17. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Such patience dedicated to each part combined to lilmitless skills make the whole build epic :jawdrop: only a few can reach that level :wallbash:
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2022
  18. Monkey Puzzle

    Monkey Puzzle Minimodder

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    Any thoughts on more coats of tung oil? I'd read that the first coat takes a number of days to dry, so the sanding and applying more within a few hours is still really the first coat. Might be worth experimenting - another coat or two might give more depth to the finish.

    Looks great btw!
     
  19. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Coming back after some time...and immeadiately at awe again :jawdrop:
     

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