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Scratch Build – Complete Leaf Me Alone [Completed]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 29 Apr 2019.

  1. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! I'm just a dude throwing stuff together in his basement, expertise is the last thing you'll find in my shop.:lol:
     
  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    With the base put together, I could route my wires from the switches to the board and get the mounting of the plates figured out. Nothing spectacular, but drilling that hole trying to hit the channel on the bottom was one of those "Why don't we measure this one more time to make sure" moments.

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    And some screws to hold the plates. I'll be painting these black later.

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    Now some tung oil. I'm liking this.

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    One more thing to do before hardware is to paint my aluminum side panel. I sanded it, primed it with etching primer, and then hit it with a green that I think is an Infinity color. Or Mazda. Something like that. Whatever company, it's a color that matched my epoxy mix and doesn't photograph well in my paint room. It's a 2 stage, needing a base and clear. I prefer single stage cause it's less work, but it turned out nice with that clear on it.

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    And now we can hardware!

    Slapping the PSU in.

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    You might notice the sandblasted finish on the tray and bracket. I was having a hard time deciding what to do besides paint and tried blasting it. It was a great way to get the paint off and is a unique finish, but I'm not sold on it just yet for this case.

    Then the drives.

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    And the MB and processor. My original plan was to use this.

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    Asrock Z87 with a i5 4670K. I had it, it works, it's a perfectly capable system, and it's killing me that it's just laying around my house. My goal was to build a case that it didn't matter the hardware that was in it, And that's why the side panel was the focus. Give some peeks at the hardware, but make the case the center of attention.

    But...

    I just can't do it. Something inside me just couldn't deal with it not matching, or at least being complimentary. My girlfriend called it a "bit Christmas-y". LOL!

    So I dragged out my little InWin 301/Ryzen build. It will give up it's parts so this mod can live.

    So this is what I ended up with. MSI Bazooka 350M with a Ryzen 1700X, 8GB HyperX Predator DDR4, and a 250GB HyperX Predator M.2 drive. Bit of an upgrade. And the M.2 already has a cover that I made for it, so time saved.

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    It's mATX and the tray is set up for ATX, but it's not really a thing looks wise with the vertical mount GPU, since that would cover the bottom half of an ATX anyways. Just an extra screw hole to add to the tray.

    But then I ran into a problem. I was thinking ahead about possibly entering this in the scratch side of the Cooler Master World Series, hence the CM PSU, but I also wanted to use a CM cooler. On the scratch side of the contest, your build just has to use a CM part and the PSU takes care of that, but for me, if I can use a CM cooler too, then it's more in the spirit of the thing. And it's more of a challenge. Anyone can swap out some fans to a different brand, but designing around a cooler to make sure it fits in with everything? That can be a bit more work. As I was about to find out.

    Enter the cooler...the Cooler Master Geminii M4.

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    Had to do a little hunting since it seems like this is on its way out, but I really wanted this particular downdraft cooler. The M4 is shorter than the Geminii M5 and doesn't have a red LED fan. I've already said no to red, and height is definitely a consideration, it's a tight spot. The other options were a stock style or CM's UFO/LED/magic mushroom looking cooler, and just no.

    But this came with it's own problems. Having ordered it for a Z87/4670K combo, I didn't pay attention to the fact that it's not, you guessed it, AM4 compatible. Well that's gonna be an issue, but I'll tackle it next time. Thanks for following along!
     
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I had a van that was that color of green. It was hideous and awesome at the same time. Do a dark green fade job on the bottom half, and you'll have a 60's era refrigerator. :lol:
     
  4. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Yeah, metallic mint green. I've seen some new Fords that color. It works on this build, but it's just a weird color for a car.
     
  5. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    So, yeah, no AM4 bracket...dangit!

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    Can we work something out? Luckily, the cooler has a pretty straightforward mounting design using the 4 holes on the plate to connect the different style brackets. So modify or make a bracket, simple enough. Now we just need to figure out the backplate. I originally had a Corsair H110 on this board, so that's a good place to start.

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    Do some eyeballin'

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    Get some pieces of 6061 Al cut out and mounted to the block. I think this is 2mm stock, good and stiff.

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    Pretty them up a bit so it doesn't look like a total hack job.

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    And the hard part, finding some screws to hold it down. I think these are from the 2011 mount for another CM cooler I had, but I tried so many different screws, I could totally be making that up. Naturally I also had to grind down the posts on the Corsair backplate to get them to work because of course I did. I wouldn't call it exactingly perfect, but it does the job.

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    And it didn't fall off! But what is up with that fan?

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    And then on the base to make sure that all looks good.

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    And with the side panels to make sure everything fits inside.

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    But that MB tray, it's killing me. Paint doesn't look good and didn't work anyways. Sandblasting looked OK, but just OK. I've brushed so many pieces of aluminum, along with everyone else, over the years that it's kind of old hat. Classy, but we've covered that ground many times. Engine turned...doesn't really go with the build. But I do like the idea of patterning the Al, so let's just grind some wispy patterns on it and see how it goes.

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    Yeah, that's the ticket. I like the random, wispy grass look. It's a nature themed build so it works. And it's easy and fun to do at home kids!

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    Next up, my not favoritest part, wiring. Thanks for following along!
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The van was supposed to be metallic, but wasn't. :lol:
    I had a feelin' that bracket wouldn't slow you down.
     
  7. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    What slowed me down was measuring everything 20 times because I don't trust myself to be that precise.:hehe:
     
  8. adidan

    adidan Avatar now in stock for xmas 2019

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    Loving the wood/metal combo.
     
  9. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    And then there was the wiring. Like I said before, I wanted to try something different so I laid the pass throughs in a leaf pattern. To stick with the color and theme of the pattern, I found a 550 paracord in 'Tree Frog', it's a color shifting weave with yellow, green and blue, and it matches up pretty well. Then it was just a matter of sleeving and pulling all the wires through. One by one.


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    After splitting up the GPU and 24 pin sets, it looks pretty cool. Even kind of looks like a leaf. My plan has worked!

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    After getting all the runs cut to length and hooked up. The zip ties will have to go, but they hold it all in place now.

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    And the front with the 8 pin as well.

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    And to do something with the fan, I tore back into this.

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    I've already stolen some of the screws from this for my cooler, now I'm gonna take a fan.

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    It's a 10mm thicker fan so my tolerances are closer, but it looks soooo much better. And I have LED's if I want.

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    Thanks for following along!
     
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  10. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    To keep on putting it all together, I started on the switches. Like I said before, I painted the backs black so they'd look better, even though you should never see them. And wired the micro switches up right, cause you know, I'd like them to work.

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    And mounted. Also added some rubber feet to the base.

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    Fancy shot of the set screw before I tightened it down and the wires popping through the mounting bracket.

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    The switch cables got cut down and sleeved in the 'Tree Frog' paracord. Note to self, oversize the hole next time so the paracord fits without a fight. And then I wanted to see if they worked.

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    Oooh, that green is a bit too intense. But the switches work, let's give it some buttons. Some spacers, some super glue, and some patience...

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    Looking at it now, I realize why the reset looks so wrong, it needs to be rotated 180 to match the angles of the grain direction. Should help it blend in better. Dang it! I'm tempted to walk across the room and just swap it around. Power button came out super nice though.

    So there we go...

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    Crap! Zip ties! Gotta change those out. Found some leather cord I had planned on using on another project. Performs the same task, doesn't look like a zip tie.

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    With that done, the only thing really left that bugged me was the green LED on the fan. Unfortunately, this is a lower range MSI board and only does 16 colors on the RGB header...Lame! But as luck would have it, MSI's yellow plus the CM fan equals the right color of green??????? I don't get it, but sometimes, you just go with it.

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    I think this means all that's left are the finals, so til next time! Thanks for following along!
     
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  11. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    And now for the final shots.

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    Thanks for playing along and go check out the Cooler Master World Series where this is entered in the scratch contest! :)
     
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  12. Brett89

    Brett89 Active Member

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    The brushed metal turned out wonderfully. Extremely clean build, nicely done!
     
  13. Jeff Hine

    Jeff Hine Nothing special

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    That was a not unsubstantial slice of tree you used for this. Did my OCD (I swear its' box was securely locked - baaaad OCD) detect that the sheet metal side is a smidge 'higher' than the wood side...?

    My OCD aside, I wish I had the confidence to attempt this kind of building, rather than just putting stock parts together... EPIC build.
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    It came out lovely. :D We'll send you down the dark path of cnc-ing tiny bits of wood and metal next time.
     
  15. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, I love how the tray turned out!

    It's totally how I planned it. :rollingeyes: Actually, I was going for even, but when I put the walnut together I had to trim a bit to get the edges to line up, meant to go back to match the aluminum and totally forgot til after I painted it. If it was more, you'd assume it was meant to be, if it was less, you wouldn't notice it. But I hit that sweet spot where it sticks out. I'm not repainting it though, so that's how it's meant to be.

    You don't get the confidence to do it until you do it. And the more you do it, the more confidence you build. Start small, build a PSU cover or something and go from there. :dremel:

    Thank you! I've been thinking of how to work inlays into the next wood project, but it's just not looking right in my head.
     
  16. DÈF¥âÑt¸.·´¯`¤

    DÈF¥âÑt¸.·´¯`¤ Active Member

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    I usually reserve the words "simply gorgeous" for when i spot an absolute stunner in a crowd but it's just the first words that come to mind when i see the last few shots :rock::rock:
     

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