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Scratch Build – In Progress MDF HTPC: "Ein Eckig"

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by tomclancey, 26 Mar 2010.

  1. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Hello all,

    I'm a long time lurker of this forum, big fan of the skill people display here in their cases. This is my second case I've built, but first I made a log of.


    A little about me, I live in a town just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm 16, and still in high school.

    Anyway, onto the case build. I didn't want to spend money on a mATX case for my media center so I just decided to build one of my own. I was really inspired by Oldnewby's first case, so I took the idea of the bevel on top and built around it. Got the case down to a 11" x 11" foot print, and I'm pretty pleased with it.

    Here are the specs on the build:
    Motherboard: ASUS P5KPL-CM
    CPU: Intel E3200 @ 2400MHz
    GPU: Zotac 9400GT
    RAM: 2GB and 1GB DDR2 Patriot Value RAM
    OS: Currently running Win7 64-Bit but it will be running XBMC when I get my i7 build.

    Quick renders of the case.

    I grabbed a scrap piece of 1/2" MDF from the Lowe's around the corner, had the perfect amount of room to cram all the pieces on it!

    [​IMG]

    Before I measure and drill the wholes for the standoffs, does anyone know how to get an accurate measurement? I don't have an old mATX board to use, and the formfactors.org PDF won't print in perfect scale for me. Anyone have any ideas?
     
    Last edited: 26 Mar 2010
  2. TravisFTW

    TravisFTW What's a Dremel?

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    i sized this in photoshop to the size of that board ... maybe if you save it and print it, it will print to scale? .. i duno much about printing, but it sounds logical haha

    [​IMG]
     
  3. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Finished cutting all the MDF!
    [​IMG]

    Going to cut the I/O port and fan holes tomorrow hopefully.

    I'm going to get some 80mm fan grills MNPCTech, same with the rubber feet.
    Not sure if I'm going to get my L-brackets from Home Depot or McMasters though.
     
  4. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    ATX dimensions found here

    Far better than guess work
     
  5. StEm

    StEm What's a Dremel?

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    hey there tom, nice start so far.
    here's a tip to help you with printing from adobe reader and other PDF's

    When you click print you have that setup window pop up, if you look about half way down on the left it says page scaling with a drop down option window beside that reads shrink to printable area, you will want to change that to none and then you will be printing the pages in the correct scale for your templates.

    good luck with the rest of the build.
     
  6. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks Burnout, but I already mentioned I've tried using Formfactor. My board is mATX too. My issue is I just can't print it to the correct scale. It always comes out perfectly fitted to a 8.5x11 sheet of paper. I can increase the print size by percents, but every time I try, I'm always off by a quarter of an inch or so.

    I'll try what you suggested StEm, thanks.
     
    Last edited: 27 Mar 2010
  7. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    Why print, just read the measurements and mark it out on the sheet of MDF.

    Personally i would go find a sheet of aluminium or acrylic to make the motherboard tray out of. Also considered sealing the MDF as it breaks down a little creating dust, especially when in hot environments.
     
  8. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    I thought about doing that, but I couldn't think of an appropriate way of measuring. I did pick up a Caliper from Harbor-Freight today, so I suppose that could help me, no?

    I think I may do that, keep the motherboard completely away from the wood. I am planning on painting it a deep ebony, would that seal it enough? Or should I use clear sealant over the paint?
     
  9. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    calipers are handy, but not for marking out, just a good steel ruler will do it.

    As for the deep ebony, that sounds like a wood stain to me, which i don't think would work with MDF, if it's a paint then look at getting MDF primer. Without primer on MDF it soaks up the paint and can blister.

    I would seal with a polyvinyl clear coat varnish, usually sold as floor varnish, its tough stuff.
     
  10. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Okay, I should have an accurate ruler around here somewhere..

    Yeah, it's a paint. Just a deep black color. I'll look at getting some primer too, thanks!

    I think I have some varnish in the basement, so I'll try that when I'm done painting, thanks!
     
  11. rockthejock2

    rockthejock2 What's a Dremel?

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    Did you manage to print the image of the mobo?
    If not what size of paper do you use? Don't think it will fit on the size you mentioned at 1:1 scale. I did the same with an ATX mobo image and printed to A3 size (UK) not sure about US sizes though.
     
  12. rockthejock2

    rockthejock2 What's a Dremel?

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    What size of paper can you print onto, not sure the image
     
  13. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    I use letter paper (8.5x11) which is about the same as an A4.
    I was planning on just printing it across multiple sheets and taping them together, but I think I'm just going to measure them, albeit, very carefully.

    e:
    I fired up an old copy of Illustrator and got it to print at perfect scale. If anyone wants the PDF that will print correctly, I can put a link up. (Just mATX, but I can do ATX if anyone needs it. Also, I have two versions. One with the measurements and one that is just the template. Accurate to within ~0.005")
     
    Last edited: 29 Mar 2010
  14. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    I've been busy with exams the past couple days so not a big update.
    In my free time I did, however, build a lightbox for $0! Took a couple photos of some decorative brass corners for the case mod, and a few random shots of a caliper and hard drives. Enjoy! :)

    Lightbox (there's a second, more powerful light on the other side. 35W and 60W iirc):
    [​IMG]
    Harddrive:
    [​IMG]
    Caliper:
    [​IMG]
    Brass Corners:
    [​IMG]

    I should be starting the sanding, priming and painting process either today or tomorrow. Legitimate update will definitely be coming soon!
     
  15. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Oooh, brass corners!
     
  16. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Finally, after almost 3 days I got all the cutting done!
    I dry fitted it just to see what it would look like, and I'm quite pleased! :)
    Enjoy!
    Sorry about poor photo quality, my lightbox isn't big enough for the case. :(
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (That multicolored wire coming out is power/reset and LED's for both.)
    I was also able to cram a 120mm fan into the side! My original design didn't call for one, but extra cooling never hurt, right? :)
    I made a big measurement error during the drafting process too. The PSU had the wrong dimensions (slightly) and the motherboard was one inch thinner then it should have been. I had to get creative and prop the PSU up with a notched piece of wood! Now it's almost completely hanging over the motherboard at this point.

    Thanks for viewing! I should hopefully be starting to prime tomorrow, but I'm not sure. My boss wants me to come in at 8am on Saturday just so he can get his iPad's. (Sigh..)
    More updates to come soon!
     
  17. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    Not an update, but a question:
    I got some brass to create some exterior corner braces.
    1) How do you suggest I cut the brass? It's about 1mm thick.
    2) There are a lot of fingerprints and smudges on it. How do you recommend I polish it?

    Thanks for looking! I'm starting to spackle and prime the pieces today, so an update will definitely be here soon!
     
  18. Spyrious

    Spyrious Modding all the Time

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    You can use a dremel to cut it and some brass polish to make it shine.
     
  19. tomclancey

    tomclancey What's a Dremel?

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    I finally got around to applying wood filler, sanding, and priming the wood. I ran out of Filler Primer so I took some photos of the progress I've made. Going to finish up the priming tonight and tomorrow and hopefully paint Wednesday!

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the advice on the brass, too!
     
  20. St3ph

    St3ph What's a Dremel?

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    Nice mod =) and very nice car in the background =D
     

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