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Lockdown [Updated 8/30: Final Assembly]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by zackbass, 7 May 2005.

  1. kaotic504

    kaotic504 What's a Dremel?

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    i'm sure there are PLENTY of people curious as to how well those oil/tranny coolers will work. nice radiators by the way and GREAT work. i need to take some welding classes :(
     
  2. Constructacon

    Constructacon Constructing since 1978

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    It's looking really amazing. Ditto on stealthing the CD drive. Can't wait to see your next installment.

    You'd have to call this more a feat of engineering than a casemod wouldn't you?
     
  3. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    I'm not sure about stealthing the CD-ROM, if it gets done it'll be after the rest of the case is finished. At least the CD-ROM is mounted on slots so that I have room to allow for the stealthing.

    I wouldn't call this project so much engineering as fabrication. I think the term engineering implies more planning than has gone into this. Sure I had tons of sketches (1/2" stack of diagrams and notes by now) but when it comes down to actually cutting metal everything is pretty much done on the fly somewhere between a greasy sheet of paper and my head. I don't even have evidence that the WC system is going to work (I'm still very confident in it though).
     
  4. MiLwOrkZ

    MiLwOrkZ What's a Dremel?

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    OMFG dude i love this project and the mechanicalism of it! This is a great idea... Ohh yeah and those rads you found are BadAss looking and look like they will work great i see no problem in them at all... if anyone here knows what a 2002 VW Beetle A/C Condenser looks like you will have a good idea of WCing overkill lookslike. i would like to see someone like zachbass do a case with it due to the fact that i dont have any time! the rad is the same type as the koolance but it is about 28"x40" talk about fanless watercooling.
     
  5. silent_project

    silent_project What's a Dremel?

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    Great fabrication, are you going to put aggressive fans on the radiators or just see what the water flow can get you?
     
  6. HilRam

    HilRam What's a Dremel?

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    Errr, he said a few pages back that this PC would be entirely fanless.

    By the way- this is just awesome! Truly an origian idea!
     
  7. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    I came in on the red eye flight last night from Salt Lake City and this morning came to the realization that I leave for MIT in ten days. That isn't good for getting the case finished. I think I'm also supposed to be getting packed and such but I'm not sure when that's going to happen. Since this is the final push for getting this thing finished I'm adding the big countdown to the thread title.

    In terms of actually getting work done so that this whole thing doesn't crash and burn, I got a lot done today. First on the list is getting the getting of the painting supplies set in motion so that I have them when I need them. The plan as far as I know is the normal bondo/primer/color/clear and my neighbor who does high-end auto paint is going to help me round up all the different supplies and help me with the painting. I picked out the colors and he is currently getting everything from his supplier. I toned down the difficulty and expense of the paint job by settling for a red and yellow scheme along with the polished stainless steel and black parts on the outside.

    The last of the fittings I needed came from Mcmaster-Carr while I was away and I was able to get the pump into workable shape. I didn't like how the new brass fit together so I cleaned up the angles before putting it all together.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next was getting the holes cut in the doors under the radiators for the SS mesh so that I can get a little airflow through the case and rads via convection.

    [​IMG]

    Along with the pipe fittings I also got all the hardware I needed to mount the PSU. It's absolutely amazing that Mcmaster can have something like a 4-40 2" long standoff available at their warehouse for next day delivery. The PSU is mounted to the back panel on standoffs so that the components will face a meshed opening on the back so they can get a little airflow. The waterblock is mounted to the bottom plate. Hopefully it will all look good once the cables get cleaned up.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, I ordered all the computer hardware for the sytem so that I'll have it all ready when I need it. I changed it around from the planned Pentium D to an AMD setup that's dual core ready so I can get one once they come down in price a little. This is everything:

    Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
    eVGA 6800GT 256MB
    Athlon64 3200+
    Corsair ValueSelect 2GB (2x1GB)
    320GB Western Digital WD3200SD HDD
    NEC Black DVD Burner
    MCW6000-64 CPU Waterblock
    DangerDen 6800 GPU waterblock
    DangerDen A8N-SLI chipset block
    20' Tygon tubing
    22g Arctic Silver Ceramique
     
  8. csTYCOON

    csTYCOON What's a Dremel?

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    wow thats sweet, you really thing those 2 rads can do the job? I guess if not you can always change the plans a bit and add another.

    Lookign sweetttt!!
     
  9. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Looks like this one's gonna be a photo finish. Good luck!

    BTW - I envy your new gear, man. Nice picks all around.
     
  10. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    I haven't been updating since I've actually been working on the case too much to have the time. Here's what happened over the last two days:

    Two of my three shipments came, everything but the GPU and chipset blocks from DangerDen. Opening the boxes is a very ceremonial process since it only happens once every two years. First we start with the boxes:

    [​IMG]

    Now that the boxes are in position a sharp knife is needed to open all the boxes and packages. The Leatherman is my knife of choice and I'm using a diamond sharpener. I really should have stropped the blade but I was in too much of a hurry.

    [​IMG]

    And now it's all opened up:

    [​IMG]

    It's too bad that I won't be able to play with any of this new stuff until the case is finished. eVGA sent me these case stickers with the graphics card, you can bet these won't get within ten feet of my box.

    [​IMG]

    The next bit of work to do on the case is mounting the pump. It's mounted to the back plate on little rubber pads cut from a bicycle handgrip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While trying to figure out the water routing situation inside the case I realized that everything would be a lot easier with only one hard disk so I went ahead and modified the waterblock:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next job, installing the stainless mesh into the side door was another one of the horribly difficult jobs. The problem is that the mesh must be attached securely but also be removable so the panel can be painted easily. There also cannot be any bolt holes through the side panel. The solution I eventually arrived at was to make a frame that could be attached to the panel using bolts that have nuts welded to the inside of the door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This morning I also went to the paint store to get all the supplies I need to paint the case. Both of the colors, clear, and special curve masking tape totaled a little over $100 I think. I'll be using some leftover primer and finishing plasic from another job. I hope to do the final fabrication and fitting tomorrow morning (not really since it's 1:30am right now) and spray primer after lunch. Professional paint jobs are expensive.
     
  11. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    w00t! All of the parts that need to be painted have been finished, the final welds have been made, and they've all been prepped for paint:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It amazes me every time I look at the bare panels how complex the design has become. There's tapped holes everywhere.

    And the bare frame:

    [​IMG]

    and....BAM! Everything appears at my neighbor's garage for painting. That's my friend Matt in the background, he's helping me while I help him restore his 1968 Beetle.

    [​IMG]

    Everyone knows the most important part of painting is preparation and that's what we're doing. All the panels have already been scuffed clean of slag and mill scale and we're use Pre-Kleeno to take off the last of oil that remains.

    [​IMG]

    Here's my color and clear paints. The colors are Chrysler Prowler Red and Honda Phoenix Yellow.

    [​IMG]

    The painting process is going to go like this:
    1. Two coats of primer
    2. Sand down
    3. Finishing plastic (special bondo for very small scratches and stuff)
    4. More primer
    5. Red base color
    6. Mask panels
    7. Yellow base color
    8. Clear coat
    9. More sanding
    10. Buffing

    And so we start with the primer. I'm using DuPont Vari-Prime. I'm not sure why, but that's what was reccomended.

    [​IMG]

    The primer gets mixed with the thinner/activator in a 1:1 ratio.

    [​IMG]

    And the gun gets filled with primer. Since the shop I'm working in does a lot of primering they have a dedicated gun. It's the cheapest thing you can buy, I think it was had at a car parts swap meet for aronund $20.

    [​IMG]

    Another little thing about spraying, you can't use just any air source. Most compressors put a good bit of oil and other junk into the air along with the water that condenses out. All that bad junk must be cleaned out of the air and then it must be regulates down to what the gun needs to operate correctly. Here's the setup I'm working with:

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any pictures of the actual spraying since I don't really want my camera covered with primer. The air gets pretty saturated with paint so a respirator is absolutely required. The actual spraying is very much like a spray paint can except for a bunch of notable exceptions. First of all air comes through the gun is at 25-35psi so the parts have to be held in place while spraying if they're hung by wires like mine were. Second, you have a lot more control with the gun. It isn't an on/off thing like a spray can, it goes from hardly anything at all to loads more paint than you can handle.

    Here we are all done:

    [​IMG]

    That's where this post ends since I'm typing this as the primer dries. I'll be going back to sand and apply finising plastic in about a half hour.
     
  12. Cheap Mod Wannabe

    Cheap Mod Wannabe What's a Dremel?

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    You mean then the sexiness fairy will be back to paint your mod right?
     
  13. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Hrhr. Yep, that was my first thought too. :p
    Actually, I'm still waitin' for the lesson to continue.
     
  14. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    not sure why, but that nasty green seems the just right colour for primer.
    So what colour(s) is it going to end up?
     
  15. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Should be quite sechsy...and it looks like barring a terrible flood you should have just enough time to finish it up. :rock: My eyes will be glued to this puppy for the duration of the week. :eeek:
     
  16. Constructacon

    Constructacon Constructing since 1978

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    Progressing quickly and looking good. I hope you get it all finished and working before your go. :thumb:

    On an aside - have you thought about rotating those pictures the right way up? Sorry to sound picky.
     
  17. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, I really should do that. Some of them I do rotate, but sometimes I get in too much of a rythm while uploading the pics that I don't realize that they need to be rotated, I just rotate them mentally while going through the lot.

    The painting went pretty well today. I applied a few more coats of primer, sanded, primered, applied finishing putty, primered, and added one more step. The additional step is sealer over the parts that have putty added which the painter who is helping me said will stop the base color from biting through the primer and possibly getting discolored by the putty.

    Side panel primed:
    [​IMG]

    The finishing putty:
    [​IMG]

    Mix it up:
    [​IMG]

    And spread it out very thin:
    [​IMG]

    Then sand it all down:
    [​IMG]

    I ran into one problem on the bottom panel. The primer on the lock bolt guides started chipping off since the surface was too smooth and had to be redone:
    [​IMG]

    The GPU and NB waterblocks came today. I was a little disappointed by the stuff compared to the other DangerDen stuff I've gotten. Some of it was a little corroded and the machining was messy for the price. The plexi backing plated were chipped along the edges and it looks like the different tool lengths weren't calibrated quite correctly. The stuff was still good enough to use so I went ahead and put the mobo tray assembly together.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The schedule for tomorrow is touching up some high and low spots that showed up with the glossy sealer then spraying everything red. I have the paint design roughed out and after the red sets up I'll mask everything and spray the yellow. After that the clear will be applied. Hopefully sometime during the day I'll get the bungs welded in and pressure test the frame too.

    And BTW, mobo trays rock. Every custom case should have one, period.
     
  18. zackbass

    zackbass What's a Dremel?

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    Guess what, I didn't get as much done today as I wanted. I applied the last coat of clear at 11:00pm but didn't get any work done on the frame at all. I'll start at the beginnning:

    This is what the sealer I mentioned yesterday looks like:
    [​IMG]

    Every little imperfection shows up very badly once something glossy is applied. The panels looked and felt perfectly flat when primered but when the glossy sealer was applied outlines of where the panel was welded on the other side showed right up. After a little more primer and sanding with 600 and 1500 grit paper the panels were ready for the first color.

    I'm using Dupont Chroma paints which get mixed 1:1 with basemaker which they say is a reducer/activator but is mostly just seems to be a reducer.

    [​IMG]

    It gets sprayed on like everything else and here is the end result:
    [​IMG]

    The base color dries very quickly, somewhere between thirty seconds and a couple minutes before it's not tacky anymore, but a lot more time should be allowed before doing anything with it. The finish with just the base color is matte and it isn't very pretty.

    The next step is to mask the panels for the yellow to be sprayed. 3M makes special bright green/yellow masking tape for automotive finishing that is a little more refined than the tan or blue junk used for other stuff. Along with that is blue plastic tape for making curves.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The most important thing with the making is to make everything line up so that it all looks right when viewed together. I found the easiest way to do this was to make reference lines out of tape to eye things up against. The tape worked extremely well during the design as each piece was removed and repositioned several times.

    Everything then got sprayed with yellow, by far the most dangerous operation since a mistake now can't be fixed easily like before. This was done exactly the same way as the red. Once the tape was removed a few small imperfections caused by wrinkles along the curves had to be fixed with a small brush and paint.

    The two bottom panels were completetly cleared since they didn't need any yellow added. Here is how they look now without any sanding or buffing done yet:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. shomann

    shomann Minimodder

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    No wonder this project kicks arse - you have The Duke helping you out in the garage! :D

    Seriously, this is a great mod. I should say this is a great case build-up as the only thing that I see you using stock would be the mobo tray. What I love about Lockdown the most is that you have placed such an emphasis on function and have therefore stayed 100% original.

    Good luck at M.I.T.! I trust this won't be the last we hear from you, but I am sure that future mods from you will be a ways down the road! :thumb:
     
  20. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    Yeah, as everybody allready said, great mod...

    But I have a comment...

    I like the way you mount the rad's on the outside, but (yes, allways a but ;)) I don't feel the tubes fit the concept of the case. You created a vault for your hardware, but then you have weak rubber/plastic tubes for the cooling system...

    Don't get me wrong, on the inside that of is no problem, it's protected by the shell, but on the outside I would like to see it a bit more metally ;) If I was a gangster ;) I could "sabotage" your entire system with just a knife :)

    But I want to give constructive comment, so this is what I should do:

    Go to the shop en get 1-2m (sorry for the metric, I'm from Belgium;)) Copper/Aluminum tube. Attach that to the in's and out's of the rad's an make them so they just go through the case, and attach a barb there. Then you also illiminate the danger of the hole in the case cutting your tube, and it would look a lot more... Vaulty :)

    But I know that you are on a tight timetable... so maybe you could plan this as an aftercompletion mod?
     

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