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Scratch Build – In Progress Level Eleven

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by slipperyskip, 1 Mar 2010.

  1. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    I can't believe I missed the start of another one of slipps mods, and as always you are off to a flying start. Excellent craftsmanship as always, I will be watching intently.
     
  2. DeltaFX

    DeltaFX What's a Dremel?

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    Boxes of Orden, "the Sword of Truth I", Terry Goodkind. Doesn't matter :)
     
  3. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Thanks voights! I get most of my "lumber" from Midwest Products. They are a big company. Almost any hobby shop or art supply store (in the US) will have a display. They cater to doll house makers, model railroading hobbyists and model boat builders. Architectural students also use their products for college projects.

    Thanks buddy! I appreciate that.

    Well....in a way. Stay tuned. :D

    :thumb:

    Fancy boxes. Too fancy for me though.

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    Time to dig the rabbit hole. To gain access to the support box each of the mounting boards will have a section cut out for the wiring and ventilation.




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    This Pico box "rabbit hole" will have the 44-pin IDE cable, SATA cable, power and all the other auxilliary wires running down through it. The hole is rough cut for now and will be finished when it is matched up to its corresponding support box hole.



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    Air comes in through the mesh screen and down the rabbit hole....NOT using a 120mm fan. It is there for a size reference. The SSD box will have a similar setup.



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    A few veneering shots. I start off with the I/O shield filler pieces and work my way out. I'm not going into much detail about how I veneer because I have covered that extensively in other projects. I can provide links if anyone cares.



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    Grain continuation that no one notices unless you don't do it then everyone notices.:hehe: Knots and other natural imperfections are most welcome.



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    The 120mm fan seems to be the most commonly used fan these days so I'm auditioning one as a size comparator.



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    Raw, unfinished cherry veneer that has been in dark storage for years compared to lacquer-finished, light-exposed cherry. My G-metric Nano is the only cherry-finished project I have done and it has aged for about 2 1/2 years. It takes at least a year for cherry to turn to a nutty brown color that it is known for.

    Special note: The basswood I typically use for the structure of my projects is not strong but it is very easy to work with. It is much, much stronger than balsa, a material I would never use. I discovered that basswood mixed in with birch plywood and eventually coated with hardwood veneer makes for a very strong, stable structure.

    Thank for looking!
     
    Kaldskryke likes this.
  4. voigts

    voigts What's a Dremel?

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    Please do. I've missed some of your older projects.
     
  5. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    I have a mini-tutorial starting at post #77 in my Skyscraper project (link in sig). Ingraham veneering starts at post #55 and Mission starts at post #54. Post #104 in Mission is where I discuss my unclenching procedure. I won't confess to know what I'm doing. I don't do it right according to my woodworking friends. I don't use contact cement because I work indoors. I seriously doubt you will find garnet finger-nail files in a woodworker's toolbox. Anyway...it's the way I do it.

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    Dug out some of my 40mm fan collection. A little bit of everything including a crazy loud Delta and a Sunon Mag-Lev.



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    Picked out this choice little T&T 11-blade 12V fan.



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    A size comparison to a 140mm unit.



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    Using my hand-held mitre box I cut out these 35 pieces.



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    Gluing up the first course.



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    Second course.



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    Skip ahead to fifth course.



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    Finished shot showing the vent opening created between the fins.



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    This box will contain the cooling fan and the power/audio jacks. It will be sprayed with my industrial aluminum paint to look like cooling fins.



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    The cooling fan will be mounted to the base of the auxiliary box and penetrate through to the support box cavity. I can't find my 40mm hole saw so I use a smaller one and use a file to work my way out.



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    Bits and pieces to mount to the back of the Aux box.



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    Some dry fit shots....

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    The back of the Aux box where the jacks/switches will be mounted is very rough....for now.

    Thanks for looking!
     
  6. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    I have been following this very closely. Could you answer a question for me?

    How tall is the motherboard? I have the dimensions of 10x7.2cm but what is the third?

    Also what are the dimensions of your boxes?
     
    Last edited: 2 Apr 2010
  7. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    3.15cm total height. The boxes are 5.2cm height, 12.3cm length and 8.7cm wide.

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    Cut out and dry fit a piece of aluminum for the Aux box I/O panel.



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    I decided to go with the minimum...power switch, power jack and audio out. Not much more room for anything else.



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    Dry fit the panel. This will be framed up to hold in place.



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    The DE box gets put together after cutting and gluing up pieces.



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    I mitered both ends of the the wood pieces to allow me to match up the best ends. Not all miters are the same even using a precision tool.



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    After cutting and trimming.



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    Roughly arranged boxes.

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    Thank for looking!
     
  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :eeek: It kills me that you bevel cut all those parts so you wouldn't have the rough edge of the grain exposed. Most of us would have cut hollowed squares instead. I'm super-lazy. I would have made the part out of a solid block.
     
  9. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    I hear ya. I'm trying to simulate cast aluminum with finished surfaces and this method is the only way I know how. Maybe someday I'll get to cast something for real instead of just faking it. :hehe:

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    Cut three 8" x 3" pieces of cherry veneer.



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    Glued and clamped things up.



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    After nine hours of drying time (three hours each piece) I trimmed up a few of the edges.



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    Sanded with 100-grit sandpaper and hit it with a coat of lacquer sanding sealer.



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    Working on the SSD box rabbit hole.



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    The hole is restricted in size by the location of the optical drive located immediately on the other side of the board.



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    The angled SATA cables come out at 90 degrees and immediately have to turn under and go through the rabbit hole. This presented a problem with the data cable because it is not so flexible.



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    I devised a spacer to raise the SSD a 1/4" so that the cable radius wasn't so tight during the turn under.



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    The additional spacer also opens up the passageway for improved airflow. I'm not sure exactly how much heat an SSD actually generates but I think this cooling setup will do. They are designed to be used in a cramped laptop space with little (if any?) cooling so we'll have to see.

    Change in plan on the SSD I'll be using. I'm going to bump the Crucial C300 unit to my next project and instead use a 160GB Intel X25 in this project.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  10. aka_gk

    aka_gk What's a Dremel?

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    nice work :up:
     
  11. ringo

    ringo What's a Dremel?

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    very nice and small wooden case.
     
  12. Fazanitar

    Fazanitar What's a Dremel?

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    Really awesome project mate - just found this today and have read through all of the updates - love it. Great work so far and impressive attention to detail - the layout is looking really interesting too can't wait to see it finished.
     
  13. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Thanks!

    :thumb:

    Thank you. I should be finished with this very soon.

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    I marked out the approximate location of the SSD box rabbit hole.



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    Used my small (25mm) hole saw and hand rasp to open up the hole most of the way. This is 5-ply birch plywood with an additional ply of Hard Pennsylvania Cherry so it is much slower going than working with basswood.



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    Set up this fence to assist in getting the position accurate and help prevent creeping duriing the gluing process.



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    Same process with the much larger Pico box rabbit hole. I also finished opening up the SSD hole and smoothed out the passageway edges.



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    I realized about this time that I should have done some finish work prior to gluing anything on because the support box surface was only going to get more inaccessible by adding "obstacles". I sanded the surface with 220-grit sandpaper and applied a couple of coats of my brush-on satin-finish lacquer.



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    Mmmm. Shiny...but not too shiny. This is my clamping scheme for the Pico mounting board.



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    Finished opening up the holes and dressing them up with files/sandpaper.



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    Everything seems to be tight and square. I'll finish the tops of the boxes much later.



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    Testing my friction fit boxes. This is how I measure the accuracy of my work. The goal is to be able to easily remove and attach the boxes while still maintaining a tight friction fit.

    Thanks for looking!
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2010
  14. JaredC01

    JaredC01 Hardware Nut

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    Oh come on already, this is a 'small' project is it not? It should be done by now! :duh:

    All seriousness, amazing project... I keep checking back daily for updates, can't wait to see the finished product! :dremel:
     
  15. oliverw92

    oliverw92 What's a Dremel?

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    Nice job with that friction fit! I am in awe of your woodworking skills!
     
  16. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    As much as I enjoy watching your projects, I need you to finish soon. You see, as long as this worklog is active, I am able to satisfy my daily modding requirement so that I don't feel the need to mod when I get home. I'm kinda modding vicariously through you and your work lol. So hurry up and finish already so I myself can start modding again! :p
     
  17. jc1471

    jc1471 Madman

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    Mate this mod is looking sooo good right now! Keep up the good work!
     
  18. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Thanks! "Small" doesn't necessarily mean it will take less time. Going small has its own challenges to overcome [/preach]

    Thank you. I like doing friction fit stuff even if it's just to eliminate visible fasteners. It forces you to work with zero tolerances.

    Gee...no pressure there. LOL I declare this project finished so now get on with it already. :D

    Thanks. Welcome to bit-tech.

    *************************************************************

    The Aux box work has been challenging and I have presented a condensed version of the work in the following photos. A great deal of thought and anxiety has been expended in its construction and design. What is missing is the lengths I went to ensure proper positioning and alignment.

    Anyone who has built a scratch-built computer case can tell you that designing maintenance access is very challenging. When working at this small scale those challenges can be even greater. It is much easier to build and make something look good if you have no concern for having to tear it apart a year from now to fix or upgrade the equipment contained within.

    Blah, blah. blah. On with it...

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    Marked up and cut out the hole for the exhaust fan. Crazy, almost impossibly tight fit is required here.



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    Installed the fan into the aux box mounting board.



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    Dry fit the aux box mounting board. In this photo I have included the case's back plate. Unlike the Level 10 case my design will have a permanently fixed back plate.



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    Countersunk screws are used to attach the "cooling fins" to the mounting board. The mounting board will be painted flat black and the fins will be aluminum. The protruding edges inside the fan hole will later be trimmed and rounded to help with fan air flow.



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    I had to shim the mounting board to make up for the thickness of veneer yet to be applied to the surrounding Pico and SSD boxes. This will ensure that all the boxes will extend out to the same height.



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    Trimmed up the shim, drilled out a hole for the wiring, trimmed up the fan hole obstructions and screwed everything back together.



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    Completed aux box except for wiring and paint. Two AA batteries auditioning for size comparator.



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    When assembled, the fan extends into the support box space.



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    Additional wood pieces are framed around the fan and glued firmly up against the fan body. In this photo I show the position of the optical drive and the proximity of its adapter to the Pico box access.

    Thanks for looking.
     
  19. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    You're not secretly thinking of battery powering it, are you? :D
     
  20. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    This is some seriously precise work there my friend, I always pondered doing a build like this but the issue I always couldn't overcome was the cabeling and it looks like you have got that covered :D.
     

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