Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ModMinded, 24 Oct 2008.
You have made some nice progress there. You are making us LEXA owners proud.
I think you're right about flowing and being overly focused via some visual object.
So which do you prefer for the new top layer HD cover: black or pearl?
Thanks TB40, It's kinda like 2 steps forward, 1 back. Any thoughts on the color choices?
Personally, while I like the potential shiny goodness of the pearl, it may just look weird, especially since it will be the only (almost) piece of pearl. But the same goes for the black, really, since there will be no other black plexi, and none planned.
I've been thinking of using the rest of the pearl scraps I picked up behind the neon green plexi on the top Optical Drive bay cover. I was also going to use it for backing on the inverter circuit, which wouldn't really be visible.
I have to think more on it. I'll show you all some lighted pics of the pieces in place to help with choosing later today.
I like the green/black/pearl.
-Where the hell did you get hold of pearl plexi? All of the people who have it only deal in full sheet with no cutting.
Thanks Cheaps! I do think it looks good all together, but I'm not planning on putting all three in at once... but who knows, I'll give it a look. I do like the separation that the black provides between the layers.
I got these from the scrap bin at the local TAP Plastics. I think I got 2 or 3 pieces about 10x10 as cutoffs. I love the scrap bin!
Taking a break for some sustenance, thought I'd show you what's been happening in my garage today.
I mounted the switches in the case feet finally. Didn't have the proper sized bit, so I drilled it out with my Forstner Bit, then used the GRT sanding drum and hobby knife to clear space for the switches.
I figured out why those pieces I routed on yesterday came out a different size... turns out that I used the OLD (aka WRONG) template. Found the other one and put it to work.
This pic is just to show the difference in surface toolmarks:
One on the left is tablesawn with that 200T blade. On the right is a piece of clear still stuck to the template. I like the way it looks... not polished, and clear, but smooth. I think this would look great with some embedded LEDs.
Router Safety Note:
If you're using router bits with bearings, check that they are securely attached! I had a slight problem with the bearing coming unscrewed. I noticed it only when my piece made a different noise and kind of jumped a bit. Looked at it and the cut had suddenly jumped inward a few mm, taking some of the template with it. Looked even closer and saw that the router bit was different. Spent a good period of time looking through all the plexi shavings and other assorted dirt on the garage floor before I found the bearing and tiny allen screw that held it in.
Back to work...
With my success with the templates and router, I got a little idea... :
I strapped my favorite scrap piece of metal onto the plexi HD Covers. (Forgot to mention I'd done a rough cut for the drive opening.) Lined it up with the exact line, and tested with the router.
Eureka!!! It works great. I was very cautious about it, so I just did a small piece to test.
Since that worked so well, I did the whole line, stopping shy of the end:
I love the finish it puts on there, and the time it's gonna save me in sanding.
Then I did the whole thing... Freehand! Silly would be the polite way to put it... but it worked pretty well aside from not having straight lines. I'll go back over it with the metal edge attached later, once I know how much I really want to take off. I want to try the round over bit in to get the notches I made before with a sanding drum and lots of hand sanding.
Also did more with the shroud cover bend.
I sliced off a little bit, and checked the fit. Still too much. (sorry no pics)
Then I rebent it a little more, getting a more acute angle.
Let's see, what else...
I made a quick ghetto shelf to hold my fan and some essentials and give me more table space. Works great, looks like Butt.
Started drilling the holes for screwing into the HDD bay. Again, didn't want to rely on the previous piece as template due to inaccuracy, but I used them as starting points to drill small holes. One was off by a fraction, so I just redrilled.
Gotta figure out a better way to measure them off accurately.
OK, lunch break over, back to the garage... more later.
Now that's thinking outside the box! Switches on the inside of the feets. I never would have thought of that. Where are the wires going to go? Really neat.
I wanted them stealthed: One will control CCFL, and the other the LEDs. The front panel will hide them nicely, so I'll just run them up the metal face of the case and into cable routing holes and to the appropriate feed.
Where's the sneaky emoticon?
I wanted to run them all to the terminal block, but I haven't really worked on that since the fire. That'll be next, after some of this plexi gets sorted out.
OK, so I did a little more work on this.
First off though, here's the shelf I made
I drilled and tapped the second 2 holes. This time, I measured.
Let me tell you, measuring is great. These are the only 2 holes that actually have the bolts go into the case. I hate screwing up like that, and am tempted to remake the whole thing, just so I have perfect alignment.
I'm not really happy with that acute angle bend. It's not necessary, and looks off. I am going to be taking the top 1/8in or so off the HD covers, so it will have room to be at more of a 90 degree angle, if it can take the reheating again.
Here's a closer look:
Here's the rest of work that needs to be done on that piece:
See how much it bows out there? I didn't take enough off the first time, so that has to be done as well. Probably needs about a 1/4in gone from the little lip thing.
Here's all 3 stacked on. Turns out my bolts of choice are not long enough to go through all 3 and the case together. Not too bad, since I'm not planning on it, but I do like the look.
Here it is with the thin black cover only. Interestingly, the black piece seems to be flexing out at the ends.
And here's the pearl:
I'm thinking that if I go with the pearl, I'll set up another piece behind the top shroud piece instead of the plain white. Over and under, but a bit of continuity of materials, which I like.
That last pic shows pretty much the work of the day, from the switch to the various plexi pieces and tapping.
hey MM, i personally like the perl!!
when trying to get your 90 angle... why dont u use the workmate bench? clamp it in the gap and bend toward the bench! it is a little more awkward and u can burn the bench but u get a nice 90 bend.
Hey Spenc, thanks... me too! I think I'm gonna be using that instead of the black.
Good idea with the workmate bending, letting the weight of the bigger piece help with the bend. Yay Gravity!
did some stuff this morning, check it out.
Used the straight flushcut router bit to evenout the lines on the HDD drive cover.
Then, I took the roundover profile router bit to my old HD cover to see if it would work with an idea I had to not hand round the quick release lever area:
I liked it, so I did the same thing with the pearl and green:
I also sliced the top of the HD cover down a bit, again with the router.
Then I went back to work on that annoying shroud cover.
I unbent it a bit... check this funky jig out:
It worked pretty well:
Then I took a little off the lip via sanding (first the drum, then the sanding rig below)
Heading back to the garage... Gotta make more use of the router table before I have to return it...
Happy modding, all!
that is a real nice finish you get with the router! might have to get one myself!
to the misses "please can i have one??"
anyway back to point!! that was a nice bend you got with the jig!! with the other one you could have bent it into a U shape!!
wait... tht would be a good technique for a hdd holder!!!!
anyway man sorry to digress...
the mod is coming on well keep up the good work!!
Yeah man, a router is a great tool, especially with a table. I've got plans to make a decent table to do what I need to with this plexi. Still gotta get some proper bits. The finish could be better. I'm not getting a totally smooth feed into the bit, so there are some uneven jags... plus I chipped one corner off one of the little accent sandwiches due to carelessness (NOTE to all novice router users... remember to change the bit height when switching to thinner pieces, no matter how big your jig is.)
Thanks for the compliments with the bend and the mod... I like it too, though there are some marks from the bending stresses, plus some of my painters tape is stuck to the inner face. Any tips on removing it from the plexi? I have Goof Off I was thinking of trying. Gonna test it on a small piece if no one says otherwise.
Updates and pics to come soon.
for the painters tape problem you might want to try some WD40
does the job for me when removing most types of adhesive and i havent had it react to any plexi yet. (read:try on a small piece first lol)
normally i remove the sticky stuff then rub down the piece with glass cleaner (windex) to remove any residue from the Wd
my next build will have some plexi work in it so i am watching yours and picking up tips.. thanks for those in advance =o)
lookin great so far
Hey CobraMods, Thanks for the comments.
I'm always happy to share tips and ideas, stupid and far-fetched though they may be. Hopefully you can learn as much from my tips as from watching my mistakes and not repeating them yourself! And of course, I appreciate any tips you (YES, even you the silent reader! : points finger: ) can offer.
WD40 is like the duct tape of spraycans. I thought it was bad to use normal window cleaner on plexi? I've been focused on the fabrication, and haven't really been thinking about maintenence.
I look forward to seeing your future build (and am enjoying the current!)
Jan 19th evening update
January 19th evening update
Post 3rd bend & with new Pearl underlayer
HDD cover (w/o drive)
HDD cover (w. drive)
3.5 bay rails curing
Rails in place (post routing, no sanding except 3.5)
This is pretty all self explanatory, especially if you’ve been reading the last few pages of this log, so I’m sparing you the long commentary (Plus I’m tired)
I’ll leave you with an artsy pic. Anyone want to write a haiku to caption it?
I call it …Curly
"Anyone want to write a haiku to caption it?"
all that and only chipped one finger nail...damn i'm good ! =o)~
honestly i think its looking killer , wouldnt worry about lighting too much, that green will practically glow on its own heh
With The Protection
On The Plexi It Still Looks
So Mighty Sexy
How bout that for a haiku MM?
Since You Have Noticed
The Pain In The Ass, Now You
Know, DON'T PAINT TILL LAST
Have a good one Bro!
Man you guys are good (and quick!)
edit- sorry cobra, since I gave your rep for your idea in the modding thread I started, I can't rep you again so soon. But thanks!
I gotta have something to do while waiting for dinner across the International Date Line.
I Figured That I
Would Help ModMinded Out By
Typing A Haiku
By the way, what the living hell are you doing up so early?! I thought that only GIs and worthless gov't contractors like me got up this early! Go back to bed!
Figures that the guy living in Korea would be the most prolific haiku writer... (Yeah, I know it's a Japanese form.)
That one about case painting is the best for sure!
I had to go back to google to remember the format:
Sorry cobra, you're disqualified!
Yeah, I was sleepless with ideas and planning for the next mod as well as this one. Had to get up and write some stuff down so I'd stop thinking about it!
Separate names with a comma.