Scratch Build – In Progress G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 8, 2018)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 29 Sep 2017.

  1. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    Well, the aluminum milling for the blades is done. As usual, it all went pretty smooth til the last piece and then it went to ca-ca.

    My method involved clamping the material down, milling the inside, and then moving the clamps to the inside so I could mill the outside. I usually try to catch it when it's knocking out the holes for the threaded rod so it wouldn't run over the clamps when it started on the outside edge. Did that, turned around and started sweeping the shop and then a horrible grinding sound. Uh oh.

    Well I managed to forget about the tray area where I've got some holes to attach mod blocks. I totally put the router through one and was in time to watch the collet nut turning orange from grinding against an adjustment bolt on the clamp. Whoops!

    Luckily the inside was done so I could line it up with it's twin blade and cut the exterior by hand and file it to match. In order to hold it and put it somewhere I could work on it, I had to get creative.

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    But the results were worth the effort.

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    They're so good, that now I think I need to do the rest of the pairs like this. Dang!

    But with the last aluminum blade finished, I can piece it together and start to get an idea of what I'm working with.

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    I like how the differences in the blades give it a profile. All these straight, flat pieces, but still it's got some shape.

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    And as far as size...well...it's huge. I've got a Meshify C I'm working on, which is a pretty compact mid tower, and here's the comparison shot. If the tray area wasn't there, the Fractal would fit inside it.

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    And width-wise, well, it's gonna grow. I've got another inch of acrylic panels to add in plus whatever the veneer will add. I might have to clear off a little more desk space by the time this thing is done.
     
  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    So I got my veneer in...

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    I love the look of it, now just to get it put onto the panels.

    First order of business, get it cut down into a manageable size.

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    Roughly 2'x2' sheets, separated to keep things matched up right. Don't want to flip a piece and have it look totally different from the rest.

    I set up a form so that I could keep things square, but as per my usual, I didn't cut the veneer perfectly square, so I basically used the form as a straight edge.

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    This go around with veneer I decided to try the applied PSA backing rather than a glue. I have had good luck Heat-Lock, a heat setting glue, but since I don't have any bends to work around and worry about popping up, I thought this might simplify the process. It made the whole job incredibly simple.

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    Once the veneer was applied, just flip the panel over and trim off the excess.

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    I used razor knife to cut the veneer which isn't really a good choice but I didn't really see a good way to use a veneer saw on the inside corners. It makes for a rough cut from the back side so the edges, well, need some love. The plan is to go back and peel a few mm of veneer from the edge to give it an aluminum border. That should clean up the edge and give it a bit of style. It also takes care of the sandwiched look on the edges.

    Before applying the veneer to the opposite side, I had to make sure to punch my holes through the veneer. I did this by taking a 1/16" bit and poking a pilot from the back, then using the correct size from the front to keep from blowing out the veneer. A little cleanup with an exacto knife and it'll be serviceable. Also, you can see a bit of the chipping on the edges that occured because of cutting from the back with a razor knife in this pic.

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    And, as usual, I couldn't not put it back together to get a look at the transformation the veneer gave the case.

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    I'm still planning on dying it once I play around and find the color I want, but even naked, I love it.

    Thanks for following along! [​IMG]
     
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  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I'm guessing cutting was a single pass on a semi-soft surface? (Not a veneer expert, but I'm a veneer panel-splicing machine.:lol:)
     
  4. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Member

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    From the face side, 5 or 6 moderate pressure passes gave a nice cut. From the back, nothing really worked great. Couple of hard passes with a sharp blade gave the same results as multiple easy passes. Made the cuts on a cardboard surface, though looking back, a harder surface would have probably been better for the cuts from the back side. Pinch the veneer between the blade and the surface so that it can't chip. Too late now but I'll try it when cutting up some pieces for dying. I'm curious now.
     

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