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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 Minimodder

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    First off, big thank you, Bit-Tech, for the Mod of the Month nomination. It's definitely an honor.:blush:



    So this update will have quite a bit in it… It’s time to get some things painted, and start applying some veneer. Enough talk, on with the pictures!

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    Everything is taped and ready for paint.


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    I used a couple coast (3) of semi-gloss black spray paint.


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    The black is mostly just to help make things not stand out too much on the inside. The light wood just wouldn’t look right I don’t think.


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    Time for the scary part… Veneer. Well, maybe not scary, but the part I was most nervous about. Set up on the workbench ready to veneer.


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    I’m using Red Oak veneer for the base. It’ll eventually get either ebonized or stained black, or a very dark brown.


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    http://themodsquito.com/images/worklogs/MiniWatercooledHTPC/thumbs/Mini_Watercooled_HTPC_modsquito_wood_scratch_build_DSC02510-W640.JPG[img]

    I don’t have too many pictures of the process because once you get going you kind of have to keep going with a certain amount of haste. I used hot hide glue for veneering. It’s a glue that you have to heat up, then apply with a brush. The nice thing is, you lay the veneer on it, and squeegee out the excess, and the vacuum that creates holds the veneer down with no clamps. This was the first time I’d done it in quite some time (2 years, and I only did it twice before), so it took a bit of tweaking to get things just right, glue thickness and amount, but we got there.


    [img]http://themodsquito.com/images/worklogs/MiniWatercooledHTPC/thumbs/Mini_Watercooled_HTPC_modsquito_wood_scratch_build_DSC02516-W640.JPG

    Next up is the main chassis. I’m using some quilted Sapele veneer for this. It’s some pretty sweet stuff.


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    Again, you’ll have to excuse the lack of progress pictures :-/


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    I know it doesn’t look the greatest just yet, but I haven’t sanded them down yet. This was right after getting the veneering done. Trust me, it’ll look a LOT better once sanded.

    I’ll be applying finish to it later, as I’ve got another little design element to take care of on it first.

    For a little sneak peek at what that is, I’ll just plop this picture here…
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    Thanks again for checking it out. All questions/comments are always appreciated :)
     
  2. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Congrats on the bit-tech nomination Mos!

    *Voted :dremel:
     
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I also voted for you, but Maki's gonna win. You can't win against a 99% done build that got dropped.
    -Taped AC/Heater vent. That's pretty thoughtful. Are you worried about crudding up the system, or blowing the house up?
     
  4. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks guys!

    Yeah Cheaps, I had no expectations of winning when I saw that one in there. It does look sweet though. Almost wish I had gotten the veneering update in before they listed it but oh well.

    As for the vent, that's the return. It's taped up so I don't suck all the sawdust into the system and blow it around the rest of the house (I already change filters every 3 months as is lol). Also helps prevent fumes from finishes getting spread throughout the house as much too. I make do with what I've got lol
     
  5. Hanoverfist

    Hanoverfist What's a Dremel?

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    You sir have some skills with Wood.. Beautiful Work
     
  6. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks man :)
     
  7. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    I usually like to wait until Mondays to do my updates, so I can get some progress in on the weekend to see where we’re at, but I was too excited to share this part. So maybe I’ll post a video on Monday instead… if I can put one together by then of course.



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    So this is what I left you hanging with last time. A strip of aluminum clamped to the side of the case.


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    I’ll back up a bit, and show this. I used a make shift fence on my scroll saw, with a spiral cut blade, to cut 2.5” wide strips of .025” thick from a sheet of it. The thickness is about the same as the veneer I used, so it should hopefully sit mostly flush, or just a little proud.


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    With the strip clamped in place on the side panel of the case where it will be, so I can bend it.


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    I used a scrap piece of wood clamped right on the edge to hold it in place, and to try to get the corner as crisp as I could. I then used another block of scrap to even bend the piece over the corner.


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    Not bad. Just bent it a little further once I got it out of the clamps, until it stayed at 90 degrees.


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    I marked the corner where I was going to cut it with a speed square, then cut it with some good ol’ tin snips. This is where this piece will reside once complete.


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    Once again I run into the issue of not being able to take pictures while I’m working on something like this… This is where I hope the video will fill in. Basically, I laid the piece I just cut on the case, and clamped it where I wanted it to be. Then I used a sharp knife and cut all around it in the veneer, until I was through the veneer.

    After the veneer was cut, I used an iron (to the left of the chassis) and a spray bottle filled with water. The hide glue that I used for the veneer is reversible with the right amount of heat and moisture. So, I sprayed the veneer and went over it with the iron, and repeated until the glue became viscous again. Then I just peeled up the piece of veneer I cut out earlier, and made sure all the edges were stuck down again.


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    This was a perfect fit the first time this way. Quite pleased with it. You get a nice little sneak peak at what the grain looks like too, since it’s still damp.


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    Repeat for the top/front piece of aluminum


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    And this is about what it’ll look like. (I had also cut out a notch in the top piece of aluminum, to go around the fan intake). I’ll be doing a brushed aluminum effect to it as well before all is said and done.





    As always, thanks for checking it out! Hopefully I’ll have a video for Monday.

    This build was also nominated for MotM this month, so go check out the builds and cast your vote!
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=278583
     
  8. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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  9. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    I think it’s about time to get some finish applied to this thing…


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    I sanded all the veneer to 320 grit to get it ready for finishing.


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    I taped off the stripe where I’ll be gluing the aluminum down. I’m not too worried about glue not sticking to the finish, but more screwing up the fit of the aluminum strip with the finish.


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    First step in the finish was a few wiped on coats of Red Mahogany Danish Oil. I tested out quite a few different stains/oils/top coats on some scrap veneer before deciding on this Oil. It gave it a nice rich tone, with very little color change, surprisingly.


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    I let that dry for 4 days.


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    Next up I’m using Shellac for the top coat. This will also be wiped on.


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    I ended up applying 4 coats of shellac, sanding with 400 grit between each coat.


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    After the 4th coat, I sanded using 320, 400, 600, 800, and up to 1000 grit. Then I applied paste wax and buffed it with a rag. Quite the arm work out, I’m not conditioned for that lol


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    It turned out quite shiny, and I really like the color.

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    These are just set in there for now, but should give a good idea of what it’ll look like with the aluminum (which I’ve since “brushed” by using a 320 grit sanding block along a fence)

    ---

    Now it’s time to get the base finished. I had a little more work to do before that was ready

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    I marked out center from top and bottom and left to right.


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    I used a forstner bit to drill the hole for my 16mm switch.


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    It required a little modification to the other part, to allow clearance for the ring holding the switch in place.


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    That’ll do. Now time for some finish. I’ll spare all the shots between coats this time, though…


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    I had experimented with a few different stains. I tried black, espresso, dark walnut, and black cherry. I settled on Espresso. I applied 2 wiped on coats of stain, and then 4 coats of tinted shellac. I did not sand between coats or buff with wax on this one, as I wanted to keep the grain of the oak more defined, since it was such a dark stain. I’m very pleased with how it looks.



    Now that that’s done, it’s on to some of the finishing touches for later updates…

    Thanks for checking it out :)

     
  10. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Lover of bit-tech

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    I'm absolutely loving seeing this one come together. Veneers can allow so much flexibility, not to mention they look fantastic when they have really exciting grains.
     
  11. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    OMG, that looks superb. I love that finish,the light/dark contrast works really well.
     
  12. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks! It also allows me to use veneer that would be otherwise cost prohibitive if I would have had to use all solid wood. That would have been insanely expensive lol

    Thanks Jeff! The light/dark contrast is one of my favorites in woodworking. I really like the metal/wood contrast as well. First time I've really done it, and I'm thinking probably not the last :D
     
  13. Furball Zen

    Furball Zen Shut up and Mod

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    Nice build, nice vid and a little Jimmy Smith?
     
  14. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks! It's actually a couple tracks of royalty free music by Kevin MacLeod from incompetech.com. It's not always easy to find music that I like, but won't cause YouTube to freak out :duh:
     
  15. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    For attaching the aluminum strips to the case, I’ll be using Go2Glue. I had tried several types of glue, including hide glue, rubber cement, contact cement, regular super glue, two kinds of 2 part epoxies, and this stuff. Although this didn’t have the strongest hold (certain 2-part epoxies are tough to beat there), it provided a strong hold while remaining flexible. I felt the flexibility was important given the wooden panels can have some flex to them (top and side mostly). It also helps that this was clear, should I accidently get any on the finished wood.


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    Lots and lots of clamps, and scraps to help protect the aluminum.


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    I let the pieces set overnight. Bottle said 20 minutes but… safe is good.


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    It seemed to work well, and is holding strong.


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    Next up was mesh for the back. I had planned on going diamond mesh originally.


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    Something about this just didn’t do it for me. Too big, too open, I’m not sure. So I went with round mesh instead.


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    More Go2Glue and clamping. I applied a bead of glue all the way around the opening and put the mesh down on it. I left the plastic backing on the inside of the mesh, so I could clamp it without it sticking to the clamps. I then used scraps and applied clamping pressure.


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    I also did the same for the top mesh, where the fan/radiator intake is.


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    After removing the clamping I then applied another bead of glue around the edges, on the inside of the mesh. This made me feel better, like it was more than just glue on the face holding it in place. Seems to do the trick, as they’re in there pretty well now.


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    I like the smaller round mesh more than the large diamond. I’m pleased with the aesthetic it has.


    -


    That’s all for this one! Next thing will be making some wires, and getting the system installed I think :)

     
  16. Hanoverfist

    Hanoverfist What's a Dremel?

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    Fantastic! I love the Look
     
  17. Furball Zen

    Furball Zen Shut up and Mod

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    Super nice, I just wonder if gold wouldn't work better, not that the AL isn't phenomenal. Also agree with the round mesh for the same reason :)
     
  18. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks Hanoverfist :)

    Thanks! I had contemplated Brass instead of aluminum actually. I'm sure polished brass would have looked pretty sweet. I have a lot of vintage woodworking tools, and dark wood + brass is a common occurrence, and I like it. I had two issues with it, though. 1.) Tarnish; I would have had to put some kind of clear coat over it, and didn't like that idea. 2.) The aluminum looks more modern than the brass would have, so it fits in better in the living room with aluminum (and the wife liked aluminum more than brass, so there's that too lol)
     
  19. petski35

    petski35 What's a Dremel?

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    This build sir is a thing of beauty you have great skills can't wait to see when its finished
     
  20. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Thanks!
     

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