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Scratch Build – In Progress Mini Watercooled HTPC - Mosquito - Updated 7th, Nov 2014 - Final Pictures in the Sun

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Mosquito, 6 Aug 2014.

  1. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Mini Watercooled HTPC

    It should come as no surprise at this point that I love building small wooden HTPCs; or just adding wooden elements to my case mods, for that matter. When AMD released their 25w socket AM1 CPU’s a few months ago, I thought it would be the perfect platform for building a new low power HTPC. I picked up a motherboard and CPU combo, and went to work.

    This, however, is where things started to evolve… Once I got the hardware, and found the stock fan, something had to change. I’m sure the stock fan does fine, but I wanted something else. I thought about modding an existing CPU fan to work with the 2-mounting hole configuration, but I quickly came to the conclusion of “Watercool it, because why not”.

    It’s true, I’ve wanted to use one of those 2x80mm radiators for a slim watercooled build for a while, so I thought what better opportunity than now to make that happen.

    Overkill? Not at all… mostly :D
     
  2. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    First issue I ran into… a 2x80mm radiator on a 25w CPU seemed silly… so I decided to pick up a low profile R7 240 GPU to go with it, so I could at least feel like I was getting some sort of use out of the watercooling loop lol.


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    First I used InkScape to print a single slot low profile I/O plate, and glued it to some 1/8” plywood, and cut it out on my scroll saw.


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    A little sanding of the edges to smooth them out, and everything looks great.


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    Next I glued some 3/8” square dowel around the edges of the I/O plate I finished… never enough clamps!


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    I filed down a threaded insert so it would fit in 3/8” without going through.


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    Holding the piece in the vise to make sure it didn’t split, I drilled and installed the threaded insert into the I/O plate.


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    And there we have it, first installment of the mini HTPC build sees a completed rear I/O plate.


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    This is the general layout I was thinking about going with, in a vertical orientation (top on the left).




    Thanks for checking it out, as always feel free to ask any questions or leave any feedback :)

     
  3. Noob?

    Noob? New Member

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    The work on the I/O shield panel is awesome, subbed! :rock:
     
  4. Hanoverfist

    Hanoverfist New Member

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    Looking good dude..:thumb:
     
  5. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Thanks! :)

    Thanks! I thought about it, but I already had the 2x80mm radiator. This has been quite a fun project so far, so I was actually thinking about using a 2x40mm (or 3x40mm) radiator for an ultra slim build too... These AM1 systems are so cheap that multiples are ok right? :lol"

    Actually, apart from some of the angled fittings and the 2 Koolance universal blocks (the mounting holes on the CPU was too small for a standard block), I already had all the watercooling parts for it


    Thanks :D
     
  6. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    I’ve got a little more work done on the chassis of the case to share. I worked on the motherboard tray and the rear panel



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    Next up I’m working on the motherboard tray to attach the rear I/O to.


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    I used my shoulder plane to cut a rabbet on the front edge of the tray.


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    Glue it up and ready to go.


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    I marked out, drilled for, and installed some threaded inserts for the standoffs to mount the motherboard to.


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    Next I moved on to the rear panel


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    Nothing like a little hand work with a saw you’ve made yourself


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    I also marked and cut out some holes to add metal mesh behind to act as vents.



    That’s all I’ve got for this one, thanks for checking it out :)


     
  7. Noob?

    Noob? New Member

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    Await your next update! :)
     
  8. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Thanks, shouldn't be too long. Hoping to get a few hours in on it tonight :thumb:
     
  9. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    OK OK., I'm watching this build with interest but the statement, 'saw you've made yourself' really grabbed me. Can you take a moment to elaborate please?
     
  10. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Absolutely!

    First of all, this is the saw in question. It's 18" long (tooth line) and 9PPI rip saw. The handle is made from quarter-sawn Sapele, with a curly maple diamond inlaid on the back side of the handle.
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    What I did was ordered a piece of spring steel with the teeth stamped in it, but not sharpened. It arrived as a rectangular piece about 6" wide and 20" long. I drew out the shape I wanted, and cut it out with my rotary tool. I also ordered the brass saw nuts, bolts, and medallion at the same time.

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    I used hand files to clean up the cut edges, polished the plate with wet/dry sandpaper, then finished shaping the teeth, set the teeth, then final sharpening (all by hand).

    I printed out a template for the handle, and glued it to the piece of Sapele, cut it out with a coping saw (and a few drilled holes), and used files and rasps to shape it, and clean things up.

    2 coats of Danish Oil, 3 coats of Shellac, and buffed with paste wax and I had myself a saw.


    I also did a YouTube series on it as well (and partially why I don't have many in-progress pictures)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxpi3iE9RUY&list=PLkD7lLKhm4D9pNBhXPS_Vb-rh4ANyHYL6


    Woodworking is my "other" hobby (though you can tell they mix a bit lol)
     
  11. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    After a little bit of playing around with the layout and routing some tubing… I think I’ve decided to go with a new layout.

    [​IMG]

    I found it to be a little bit cleaner and easier to run the tubing with the radiator by the GPU, as it allowed me to run tubing around the GPU instead of over, which let me take an inch off the width of the case. It’s now going to be a reverse-ITX setup, with the GPU on top.


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    So with the new layout “officially committed to”, I started making the main chassis of the case. This will be the back bone of the computer, which everything else mounts to.


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    I took measurements off of the radiator and fans so I could make something for them to mount to.


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    Once again, I took this to the scroll saw to cut it out.


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    It was at this point that I realized the way I designed it works fine for metal (I basically recreated the metal shroud around the core, where the screws mount to), but for wood… I’m not going to have enough space to drill holes for the screws, and have there be any strength.


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    So I went back and did this instead. I modified a fan template from MNPCTech.com for an 80mm fan, measured the offset, and made the radiator template in InkScape. I drilled 2 holes with a holesaw, and then cut the middle out on the scroll saw. Much better.


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    I got that glued in place


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    I also glued on some pieces to the back, to glue the back panel on to, and hold the motherboard tray in place for gluing as well.


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    So that’s basically where it’s at after this update.



    As always, thanks for checking it out, and all the comments so far :)

     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2014
  12. Kerroin

    Kerroin New Member

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    Hey Nice build!

    Always loved wood cases
     
  13. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Thanks! Woodworking being my other hobby, me too :D
     
  14. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Awesome! Thanks for the details. :thumb:
     
  15. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Member

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    :rock:

    Love it
     
  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    With all your living room modding, I think you need a vacuum cleaner sponsor.:D
    Homemade tools are the best, but I would never put that much love into one. I'm rough on my gear.
     
  17. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Have to admit I am watching this build as avidly for the tools as the build itself, love the hand made saw! I was recently given a "new" 30 odd year old Stanley rebate plane with all of the stock blades etc, it's a lovely thing to use and for some reason so much more satisfying than a router.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  18. Big_malc

    Big_malc Well-Known Member

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    Mosquito love that hand pillar drill :D
     
  19. Hanoverfist

    Hanoverfist New Member

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    As others have stated...Your tools made my Jaw Drop.. Detail in that saw!!
     
  20. Mosquito

    Mosquito Active Member

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    Not a problem, thanks for checking it out

    Thanks :)

    Spare bedroom, thank you very much :p Now that it's hardwood floors, I can sweep a lot easier than the old canvas drop cloth when I lived in my apartment lol

    If you spend that much time on making the saw, you might be a little more careful with it ;) It's just another fun thing to do, an extension of the hobby, and cheaper than buying a newly made saw of similar quality

    Thanks! I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the collecting of old hand tools too... http://tinyurl.com/mn3qpu9 (And that's only the "user" set...)

    Most of the woodworking I do is hand tool work, as I don't own any stationary power tools other than my scroll saw. I've got a few Stanley #45 multi-planes, and that's by far my favorite plane to use. Been [slowly] working on a video series for using it in its 7 advertised abilities... So much fun!

    Thanks! I actually like it quite a bit too. It's more fun to use, for some reason :lol:
     

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