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Scratch Build - In Progress ⭐ LANpak - Scratch Build(Sept 12, 2019)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 27 Nov 2018.

  1. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    I'm going with an aluminum bracket, epoxied to the shell and then the frame will mount with screws. Did a lot of reading on epoxies to find out what I needed, but I figure if it can hold a CF car hood on, it can hold this thing together. In fact just ordered the epoxy and the required gun and tips. That hurt the wallet.
     
  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    And back at it. Once the epoxy sat up on my frame, I got it cleaned back up. Ready for paint or clear, either way it should look sharp.

    [​IMG]

    Now that I could determine how my frame was gonna sit in the shell, I could cutting on the shell, putting in a window and cutting it to its final depth.

    First the window. I want to have a good look at the GPU and stick close to the shape of the shell's panel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And then cutting the case down to size.

    [​IMG]

    I started out cutting on the shell with a die grinder and abrasive wheel but soon turned to a pull saw. It was faster and a lot cleaner without the chance of screwing something up in the blink of an eye. It also dealt with the Kevlar much better than the grinder.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up was getting the frame mounted inside the shell. This took a bit of research because the frame needs to be mounted in a way to transfer the weight of the shell to the straps and not fall apart but it also needs to be removable since I can't really put anything together through my little window in the front. Combine this with me not wanting to use any sort of screw that would show on the outside of the case, and I was left with some sort of glue.

    Or rather epoxy. 3M DP420 seemed like the right stuff, good for bonding metals to composites and a high shear strength. I mean, one of the uses the show is gluing golf club heads to graphite shafts, I think it'll stand up to my use. Pricey though, but should be worth it.

    [​IMG]

    First up some aluminum brackets.

    [​IMG]

    And marked out ready to bend. Since I want the brackets to match up with the look of the frame, I decided to put some at angles, cause who wants to make things easy.

    [​IMG]

    And on top of that, I needed these to be at about a 60 degree angle to sit right with the shell. Only problem is my bender is set up to do 90 degrees. Yay! More work.

    Had to grind my hold down bar to allow for acute angles and notch the frame a bit but it can now pull off about a 60 degree bend. That bar was a beast.

    [​IMG]

    It bent my brackets like a charm. You'll notice on these two straight brackets that I roughed them up to give the epoxy something to grab on to.

    [​IMG]

    The angled brackets were naturally more of a PITA. Luckily before I glued them in, I thought about the radiators being close and did some measuring. Need to knock them down a bit to keep them from interfering.

    [​IMG]

    Along with the brackets, I also made a jig that would allow me to set them square and at the same height around the case.[​IMG]

    I did have to tape them to hold them in place till the epoxy cured. 20 minutes turned out to be more than enough work time.

    [​IMG]

    And with some cure time and some holes drilled and tapped, I could mount the frame.

    [​IMG]

    The two brackets at the top are a bit off, but they're matching and you should never see them so I'm not worried. Plus that epoxy is a beast to remove. I found that out redoing a couple of the brackets that didn't line up the way I wanted.

    With the main brackets out of the way, the smaller ones were done pretty much the same way but using the frame as a guide.

    [​IMG]

    Next up the back panel!

    Thanks to my sponsor:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Landux

    Landux Member

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    Loving the color combination!
    True Nvidia fan here! :)
     
  4. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    And the back panel. I've been putting this off trying to wrap my head around everything so I don't epicly screw it up. This is where the rubber meets the road. Where the straps meet the backpack. Where, if I screw up, $500 of epoxy carrying $2k of hardware meets the floor. No pressure.

    I want to make a plug for the panel, that way I can have curves and make it look like a part of the pack, not just a panel slapped on the back to finish it off. So I'm starting with a piece of 3/4" plywood cut to match the interior dimensions of the shell. This will let me build up layers and match the shell, or be really close.

    [​IMG]

    This went on to a piece of scrap 1/2" OSB I had laying around and then I flush cut it to the original piece of plywood. This is to add thickness to the plug because when the cloth goes from the vertical of the side to the horizontal of the panel the plug is on, there's a flare and I don't want that to interfere with my final cut line.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I put a 1/4" roundover on the plywood to give me a gentle curve from the back panel into the shell.

    [​IMG]

    And then I flipped over my plywood and did it again because someone forgot the shell isn't perfectly symmetrical and he needed to flip the plywood to keep everything lined up. No biggie though, everything is going to be filled in the end.

    [​IMG]

    And then I attached the beginnings of my plug to a base made out of some more scrap OSB.

    [​IMG]

    Now for the details. My plan is for the back to be the attachment point for the straps and the frame/hardware. Basically, this back panel is the middle man for transferring the load from the frame to the straps. Now, CF is tough, but I'm not sure that it can handle the stress of that weight being loaded on some bolts going through it and transferring to another set of bolts so I wanted to build in a panel that could.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to use some 3/16" plywood I had laying around because it's stable and I know it could handle the load, plus it's something the epoxy could really grab ahold of. I thought about using aluminum but even roughing it up, it's just a piece of Al floating around in a composite matrix whereas the plywood can soak up the epoxy and become part of the composite and less prone to separation. At least that's my thinking so I'm going with it.

    Since I didn't want this panel to jut out on the exterior, I routed a spot for it in the plug.

    [​IMG]

    I also need a door on this back panel for access to ports and plugs, and as a way to get your gear in and out. So I routed an inset for a door as well. The door itself will be CF as well and be held on with some cam latches so it's going to need a nice clean lip to sit on when it's all said and done. To get a nice roll for the lip and to help the cloth sit nicely on the plug, I beveled the edges of my insets.

    [​IMG]

    That pretty much did it for shaping, now to get it ready for epoxy and cloth. My main thing here is I don't the epoxy to be able to soak into the wood and I don't want any edges for it to grab on to. First up some sanding and then shellac as a sealer.

    [​IMG]

    After some more sanding, I used some filler to give me a smooth surface on the OSB, fill in any knot holes and grain, and to give me flat sides with a fillet to the base.

    [​IMG]

    And for a final layer to help this all come apart, PVA wax.

    [​IMG]

    Now I should be able to layup my back panel, but I'll save that for next time. Thanks for following along!

    Thanks to my sponsor and hopefully next update, I'll have another sponsor to add to the project:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    OSB... I always called it splinters like a muther****** board. It seems like you only have to look at the stuff to get a half-inch splinter in your hand.
     
  6. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    That's just the 233 tape. I still have no idea what color this is going to end up.

    After fiberglass, it's nice to work with something that gives you splinters big enough you can see.:lol:
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Good point, but I've never had to have fiberglass dug out of my backside.
     
  8. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    I think you're using it wrong, LOL!
     
  9. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    And now to lay up the back panel. First layer down was carbon fiber followed by Kevlar. Then my plywood support panel went in followed by another layer of Kevlar and 2 more layers of carbon fiber. I'd have shots of the work but it's hard to grab picks when you're covered in epoxy. But the final product.

    [​IMG]

    Then I vacuum bagged it to pull out the extra epoxy and keep from getting air voids in the layers. I learned from last time and just sealed a cover to my table. So much easier.

    [​IMG]

    After prying it off the mold, we have a back panel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut the part down to a more manageable size and checked the fit.

    [​IMG]

    Total weight of the case right now stands at 7 lbs 6 oz. Not bad.

    [​IMG]

    Since I need to start getting things drilled out for hardware, we should probably check out the hardware.

    [​IMG]

    Intel Core i5 9600K

    Asrock Z390M

    16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 2666MHz RAM

    Corsair MP510 480GB NVMe drive

    Silverstone SST SX600 600w PSU

    And the monster NVIDIA RTX2080TI

    Yes, I'm shoving all this and cooling and a keyboard, mouse, and headset in the case. But first I want to get the back panel mounted up.

    To do this I need to mount the MB and PSU because they might have some say on where the mounts for the back panel end up.

    Mounted up the MB and PSU on my frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up I mounted some spacers that sit just outside of the hardware so there are no clearance issues. I'm getting some real mileage out of these 1/4"-20 x 1" aluminum spacers. Good thing cause they're pricey.

    [​IMG]

    These will be a direct link from a majority of the hardware(and weight) to my plywood support panel and in turn, the straps for the pack.

    It works like this: The shell carries the weight of the radiators/fans and any peripherals that you have in the pack and that gets transferred to the frame through the 9 bracket mounts. The frame carries the rest of the hardware weight and transfers that and the shell's weight directly to the plywood support in the back panel through these spacers. On the back panel, I'll use d-ring tie downs or something similar to connect the straps, using the same screw that is holding the back on to the spacer. It seems really complicated in words, but basically I'm trying to tie the straps as directly to the weight of the hardware as possible and avoiding stresses on the CF panels anywhere I can.

    To hold the back panel where I want it, I made some temporary tabs for the inside of the shell that will keep it lined up while marking out my holes.

    [​IMG]

    Bit of marking, a bit of cussing, some drilling, and the back panel is mounted.

    [​IMG]

    I liked the idea of the tabs to keep the back in place, so I made some permanent tabs from extra CF pieces and epoxied them on.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for following along and thanks to my sponsor:

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    What'cha using for drilling and how nasty did the hole look?
     
  11. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    For the fans I used a hole saw and for everything else I was using general purpose high speed bits. Through the CF, the holes weren't bad, though there was a little break out now and then, like with acrylic but not near as bad. If I could use my acrylic bits, I did. That solved the break out, but I have such a small selection of sizes that I mainly used general purpose bits. In the parts with Kevlar, every hole was fuzzy, but that's Kevlar. Anything you do to it makes it fuzzy.
     
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  12. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    With everything laid up and mostly figured out, I put down another coat of epoxy to fill any voids, pits, etc. I'm planning on top coating all the pieces, but the better they go in to top coating, the better they'll come out.

    [​IMG]

    After that coat cured, more sanding....but it'll be totally worth it in the end.

    [​IMG]

    The next thing I wanted to tackle was some tape???

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, and a flat piece of CF I laid up earlier under the tape! This is gonna become my door panel.

    I cut it to size then beveled the back edge so it fit the back panel as close as I could make it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut the back panel making sure I had enough of a lip for the door to sit on.

    [​IMG]

    Came out pretty slick, though I did get the weave going the other way.

    [​IMG]

    With that done, I started tackling the finish of the shell. It had some defects that epoxy just wasn't going to fix, at least not fast enough to get it done by QuakeCon. I also knew that I was painting the shell. Two reasons for this, one is that would be a lot of CF all in one place if I left it natural. Two, with the sharp corners, my weave wasn't as perfect as it was on the back panel. So I turned to a polyester filler to smooth out the exterior.

    [​IMG]

    I had one more thing to do to the shell before it went to paint...I had to drill out the fan holes. Let me tell you, fun times. I used a 4.5" hole saw and a couple of Bill's fan templates to put some giant holes in this thing. I was worried about the saw jumping or breaking the little bit of shell left between the holes, but it all came out great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With all that done, it was finally time to get spraying. First up, clear coat on the back panel, door, and frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And an epoxy primer/sealer on the shell, which I promptly sanded and did some more filling on. Nothing like a nice coat of paint to show you all the imperfections.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for following along! And thanks to:

    [​IMG]

    and a new sponsor:

    [​IMG]

    Who are going to be sponsoring some Fluid Gaming products for when the LANPack evolves to it's final form.
     
  13. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    Well, what do we have here? This is looking great man! Despite not visiting the site in a while, this was a pleasant surprise to come across as I'm scrolling through.
     
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  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    @craigbru - Good to see you again. :D Do stick around a little this time.
     
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  15. Arboreal

    Arboreal Well-Known Member

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    He's over on SFF.N a bit, but it looks like he's playing with jeeps too much at the moment to show us some PC action. /derail

    @InsolentGnome - fantastic work, looks amazing and unique. Following it all the way
     
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  16. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    Thanks man! It's good to see you still active and hanging out. It has been way too long since I checked in here. I have a handful of updates... Dare I update the thread with them?

    It's true, I've been more active at SFF.N. I have a 1001 different other projects going on that have taken my attention away from modding unfortunately. Big changes are happening at the house that should help me get back on track next year.

    Anyway, yes, back on topic. @InsolentGnome, are you heading to Netwar 37? If so, I'll see you there.
     
  17. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    I'll be there running the mod contest for them. When I read your first post, I was wondering if that was you.
     
  18. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    Nice! I won't have anything modded in time for this next weekend, but I've set myself a goal to be ready next spring.
     
  19. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    The more mods, the merrier!
     
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  20. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    So with the shell, there was a whole lot of coat and sand and coat and sand again, but I finally got to the final coat of epoxy.

    [​IMG]

    The nice thing about the epoxy is I could put my top coat on an hour later, so no waiting for it to cure up for a day. For the top coat I decided on a Hot Rod Black that I had gotten for a previous mod. I liked it on that case and it was a pretty durable coating. On top of that, the satin finish meant that it was less likely for something rubbing on the case to dull the finish like with a gloss, and the satin finish doesn't show every little flaw. So win win.

    [​IMG]

    After another coat and curing.

    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to start fitting the hardware.

    [​IMG]

    For the GPU, I adapted a miscut aluminum bracket from a previous build.

    [​IMG]

    Making sure everything was lined up right before marking out any holes.

    [​IMG]

    And checking it out how it looks in the case.

    [​IMG]

    That's one of those moments where things come out how they looked in your head and it's kind of amazing that you got there.

    Next up are some brackets to help hold the GPU steady and keep it from stressing the CF frame too much. The plan is to run a piece of aluminum from the back of the GPU to this bracket to keep the GPU from flopping around.

    [​IMG]

    Before I got to far, I decided I should get my window panel made and installed. Nothing like having to pull everything apart to put this in cause I forgot it.

    [​IMG]

    Just some 1/8" acrylic and I'm attaching it to the shell with some epoxy. And some lead weight to keep it in contact until the epoxy sets.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for following along and thanks to the sponsors!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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