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Scratch Build – In Progress [mITX scratch rig + radbox] Nephilim - Mar 16 Update, Plasti-Dip & Mishaps

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by DarkSable, 2 Mar 2014.

  1. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    The next thing that I ended up doing was cutting out the posts to support the motherboard tray with. This should have been a really simple thing, right? You just cut four posts of the right length and you're golden. So that's what I did:

    [​IMG]

    I measured out 3.5" posts, and proceeded to cut them off with my dremel. (The extension was confirmed to indeed be miserably broken, so I ended up buying a new flexible extension... and what do you know, it works perfectly!)

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the cutting wheel wasn't quite large enough to cut through the entire dowel smoothly, so the ends were, uhm, slightly uneven. Here's a before and after picture of a dowel that I've sanded down to flat and a post that I've just cut, on an even surface:

    [​IMG]

    After a lot of finicky sanding and evening... it works! It works beautifully, and I'm thinking that I'm all set.

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, then I try putting the motherboard, power supply, and hard drive on there, just to get an idea for the tolerances that I'm going to be working with. Guess what? Those posts, that I just spent a good amount of time making perfectly even? Are too thick. The power supply can't fit between them! :duh:

    So I have to go back and cut out new posts out of the much smaller square dowel. I still have to figure out a way to make these work perfectly, but I think I can do it.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    The next thing that I did this past week was play with Plasti-Dip!

    After waiting for what felt like an absurdly long time, I received my package on Thursday, incredibly excited and ready to start spraypainting this stuff! Turns out, this is nothing like I expected, so here are a few tips for those of you who are considering using this stuff:

    1) You absolutely want to use primer if you're going to be using Plasti-Dip on wood. Wood soaks this stuff up like it was water, and very gleefully will eat up an entire can of the stuff just trying to get a decent first layer.

    [​IMG]

    2) It is still thicker than spraypaint is, so you have to be really careful about your edges. On my second coat, I applied the plasti-dip very heavily to the edges. Unfortunately, it was too heavy of a coat and bonded to the surface I had under the piece to be painted. When I went to remove my piece, it tore, causing very unsightly rips.

    Lesson learned: when coating edges, do one half of the edge, and the other half of the edge when you paint the bottom side, and do it in many light coats. Don't get greedy and try to hurry the process up.

    [​IMG]

    3) It does not turn out like Bit-Fenix's "Soft Touch" material. I was expecting it to be much like that, but Plasti-Dip is much thinner and won't give you that large rubbery feel. On something smooth, the Plasti-Dip will be smooth, but on something textured, like wood, it will still retain that texture.

    [​IMG]

    I'm actually not at all disappointed with how that turned out, because I have the dark wood Ikea furniture as my desk and bookshelves all around my room, so this will fit right in. In addition, I think that with the clear on top of it, it's going to look really good, and have more personality than a flat black would.

    4) Plasti-dip is really hard to get off if you aren't careful where you're spraying it, even after scrubbing. :p

    [​IMG]
     
  3. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    The last thing that I did to this mod this week, just today in fact, was get the radbox panel in shape.

    If you remember, when I did the original cutting on it, I wasn't happy with it because I had made the cut too deep. Well, I decided to just go with it, and cut out the rest of it. My plan was to mount all the connections into the front of the panel, so that plugging and unplugging cables would be simple. How did I intend to do this? Hot glue. :lol:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, the fan connectors were the wrong way, and so they had to be sticking out of the face, not sunken in... but it still looks decent. (And ignore that it looks like the molex connectors are filled with hot glue - they aren't.)

    [​IMG]

    That's a complicated mess of cables, but once the radbox is put together, I should be able to hide everything in the corners... I hope. xP

    [​IMG]

    Anyways, the next thing that I did was bag up the excess cable, both so that it's easier to deal with and easier to paint.

    [​IMG]

    And then I figured that I should tape up the connections to the power and PWM signals. It's kinda hard to make an electrical contact through a rubber barrier.

    [​IMG]

    All that came next was painting!

    [​IMG]

    I'm really hopeful about how this is going to turn out. I think it's going to look really, really good. :)
     
  4. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    So, I still have a serious question for you guys. This build log is called project Nephilim because that was the name of this computer before I began working with it. However, I think that this mod is more than serious enough to merit the computer requiring a new name.

    I've looked at names of computers in literature, and the only one I care for is multivac... but if I were to do that, then I would really want it to have vacuum tubes prominently displayed, and I don't have a good place for them.

    The names I'm considering so far are Antigone, a greek mythological character, the daughter of Oedipus; Lady Macbeth, who should need no explanation; and Ītzpāpālōtl, an Aztec skeletal warrior goddess who ruled over the land of dead babies and is depicted as an obsidian butterfly. And yes, that last one is absolutely elaborated.

    However, I'm still looking for good names. Ideally, I want a female villain from literature, but if anything else jumps out at you, throw it out there!
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Oof! It looks like I was too late for an intervention. Plasi-dip will not look the way you want until the surface underneath is sealed and painted.

    -Grounding Q: The entire system is properly grounded through the ground wires in the electrical system. The reason stuff is grounded to the case is o keep it from discharging somewhere, and for electromagnetic shielding.

    Anyway, back to paint: IF it can still be used after plasti-dip, The wood can be evened out with water-based wood filler or even, (don't laugh,) plaster. You could also use auto body filler, but don't use bondo. it is harder than the wood you are using, and may give you problems.
    -If you go the plaster-filler route, you want something hard like plaster of paris or 90 plaster. These can be shaped after drying with a wet rag. You will have to grind off all that plasti-dip, though...
    Once you get it shaped, hit it with oil-based Kilz primer, sand, then hit it with the paint.

    Also- keep the wires and stuff separate until you are done!:eeek: Painted wires look terrible. I should know, I've done it myself.:lol:
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    OK, Where was I?
    The small footprint on your sander won't work for making level surfaces. You want something like a sheet of 80 grit sandpaper glued on a board.
    The vibrating multi-tool SHOULD have came with some fine tooth saw blades too. Those suckers are really good for cutting square holes in wood, -Much better than a dremel disc.:thumb:
     
  7. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    Hey there Cheapskate!

    Thank you so much for your advice, and the attempt to stop me before I messed up. :p

    Good to know about the grounding, and I'm going to wait and see if EMS is going to be an issue; I hope not.

    I'll be going to the hardware store today, so I'm going to pick up some plaster of paris and two more cans of black plasti-dip for after it dries. The wires aren't a worry at all, because plasti-dip just peels off. I haven't tried peeling it off the wood yet, though - I'm hoping that I'll be able to do that without having to take a sander to the entire thing.

    That being said, the sander is a bit of an issue. The oscillating sander that I was using has already been returned to its rightful owner, leaving me with nothing but a dremel and a drill. There isn't a rotary sander attachment for a standard power drill, is there?

    That being said, I'll grab sandpaper and a good flat surface at the hardware store as well. Is glue the right thing to use, or would a strong tape work, like you would use for lapping a heatsink?

    Thanks again for your advice - hopefully with the plaster and a way of getting everything flat, I'll be golden!

    I'll try some stuff out today and tomorrow and write another post talking about how it's going and if you have any specific tips.
     
  8. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    Okay, so I just found out that my grandfather is going to be coming into town this weekend. I called him and talked to him about my plans, and he's going to bring some tools and help me out.

    I already got some plaster of paris, but he suggested that I not do that, because sanding it would be horrible and clog the sandpaper with dust within moments.

    My grandpa is bringing an orbital sander, so I believe the plan is to use that to smooth out the parts, and then work on all the little various problems I haven't solved yet.

    I hope to have an update for you guys over the weekend, but if not, then I'll have one next wendsday - my grandfather is going to be here until tuesday, and we're hopefully going to get to spend several days working on this thing so he can fix everything I've been doing totally wrong. :thumb:
     
  9. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    Alright, so I'll update with a handful of pictures in a while, but this has been a slow weekend.

    Basically, here's the deal. My grandfather is going to redo most all the pieces using proper tools (good quality tablesaw, belt sander, chop saw...) and then he's going to mail them to me in about a week.

    We're going to be spending tomorrow brainstorming the exact design and dimensions to make this work smoothly, and I'll be rethinking the graphics card and hard drive mounting systems.

    If you guys have any suggestions, please throw them out there!
     
  10. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Minimodder

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    So the first go was a concept run? I have a feeling your going to get a really nice set back from Gramps! Looking forward to next update
     
  11. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    Well, it wasn't exactly intended to be a practice run... :rolleyes:

    I was hoping to be able to have the entire mod finished by now, but unfortunately, there's only so much I can do without much experience and with a severely limited selection of tools.

    Because the tablesaw that the guy who came over and I were using was just a portable model with a small blade, it left some really, really severe grooves in the uprights - my grandfather and I worked to try to even them out yesterday with a rotary sander and 80-grit sandpaper and got nowhere. In order to smooth out the grooves as deep as they are, the entire uprights would be a good 15-20% smaller than they're supposed to... and a rotary sander isn't going to get the ends even, and I don't have a chop saw. (Or, well, even a power saw of any sort. Yes, I know.)

    After looking at the fact that the uprights were three different sizes because the baseplates were cut without huge precision, we decided that the best option was just to spend tomorrow with a whole bunch of graph paper and the electronics, and actually go through and figure out exactly where each hole needs to be and what the exact dimensions are.

    Later tonight or tomorrow I'll post pictures of our examination of what we have so far, and tomorrow night I'll do an update with what the final plans turn out to be.


    ...oh, and for anyone who is looking for information with Plasti-Dip and wood... Use primer first! It does not just peel off wood like it does metal, it soaks in and becomes rather hellatious to deal with.
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2014
  12. Deblow

    Deblow Minimodder

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    Nice to see another builder working with wood :D
    I also had a lack of correct tools for my build, in the end i decided to use the first build as a test
    to see if i liked it and was willing to put a lot more time and money in to it,
    Think iv spend around £100 on new tools but would love to have a band saw,bench saw and like Cheapskate mentioned
    a multi tool would be fantastic to have ;)
     
  13. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Hi, xhere did you buy the pci riser?
     
  14. DarkSable

    DarkSable What's a Dremel?

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    Blech, sorry guys. I got lucky this week and caught a really nasty stomach bug, so I've been a miserable wreck.

    @ Mega-Deblow: Wood is a lot harder than it looks!
    Like I mentioned, I've essentially given in to greater knowledge and experience and am getting help shaping this thing.

    From a company called Samtec. If you click the giant logos I've thrown all over the build log, it'll take you to their website. :lol:

    See: [​IMG]

    Everybody else, I have pictures, I'm going to try to upload them tonight, but I've been moving at the pace of a sea snail, so bear with me.

    No wood yet, but it should be coming soon!
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2014

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