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Case Mod - In Progress Project Evolution by PEXON. 13th Jan 2K13 - FINAL (nearly) photos!!!!!! OMG1337SAUCE

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by shrop, 4 Nov 2011.

  1. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    EVOLUTION

    This is my first endeavour into the wonderful world of watercooling, so if I cock up, you know the reason why! The thinking behond this build is simple and clean. No garish paint, ultra-violet cathodes and LED's cluttering up the rig. The colour scheme I am going to try and stick to will inclue; white, black, grey and blue. Misc' items such as tubing and water-cooling fittings will be clear/ white and nickel fittings as well as nickel/ zinc plated mounting hardware. The interior and exterior of the case will be powder coated/ sprayed in a clean black/ grey
    colour.




    Hardware:-

    Case- Lian-Li PC A70F
    CPU- Intel Ivy Bridge socket CPU/ Z77 chipset
    MOBO- Intel Ivy Bridge socket mobo
    GPU- AMD 7000 series/ Nvidia 600 series GPU
    PSU- Lepa G900 Power-supply (Died so replaced with Silverstone Strider Gold 750W)
    RAM- ??? Currently using Corsair Vengeance, possibly upgrade to something around 2133MHz
    HDD- 1x Samsung F3 1TB
    SSD- ??? Something 120 GB for caching and games



    Control and Fans:-

    1/2: Phobya 6 way fan controller
    1/ Aquacomputer inline temp sensor.
    9x Enermax UCCL12 120mm Cluster w/ white LED



    Watercooling Hardware:-

    Laing D5 pump
    Bitspower black/ nickel coloured pump mod kit
    2x XSPC EX 240mm rads
    1x XSPC RX 240mm rad (possibly push/ pull)
    Aquacomputer Aquatube (white/blacl delrin).

    Aquacomputer or XSPC GPU/ CPU blocks as and when Ivy/ 6XX/7XXX series GPUs

    13mm ID/ 19mm OD compression fittings (XSPC/ Bitspower/Enzotech/ ???)


    Sleeving:-


    MDPC black small
    MDPC royal blue small
    MDPC grey small
    MDPC royal blue SATA
    MDPC 4:1 shrink tubing
    Crimping tool, crimps
    Pin removal tool


    Misc:-

    There will most probably be other things taht will be added down the line, such as various tools,
    fittings and screws/ mouting materials.

    3M Di-Noc carbon effect film


    [​IMG]

    I currently have a few bits and pieces to get me started, such as a radiator, fans, sleeving a new PSU etc. I will be using compression for fittings, Enermax Cluster fans for the rads and XSPC rads.



    At this moment in time I have no sponsors.

    So, onto my progress so far. All of my images are taken with either a Sony A-200 or an A-330, with any 18-70mm, 50mm or 70-300 macro lens.

    The first task was to strip this baby down. After coming from an NZXT m-59 mid-tower case, I was blown away by the size of my new case. This thing is HUGE! Plenty of room for radiators, pumps, reservoirs and any other goodies I may end up putting in her.

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    All unboxed. Wow! What can I say, the build quality is phenomenal! Lovely aluminium brushed panels and it was surprisingly light, even being a full-tower, it is lighter than my clunky, steel bodied NZXT case. I must aplogise for the rubbish picture, the light in the dining room was bad! :D

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    After the unboxing, a little helper came to see what was going on...

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    I also bought an XSPC EX 240 rad to go in the front...

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    Right, time to strip the guts out of this baby. Now, where are my screwdrivers? :D

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    Right, now I sorted all the screws into the little case that came in the box, some cables to sleeve and a few other bits and bobs.

    Fan Controller and PSU

    I am going to be using a fair bit of regular black, 3M Di-Noc carbon film to accent against the black of the case.

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    For the fan controller, I will be using a 6 channel, Phobya controller. I stripped it down to its barebones...

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    I bent down the side tabs and applied some carbon film to the sides and front... but.. DISASTER! One of the side tabs was becoming to flimsy for my liking, after the bending, it felt like it was going to give way at the slightest of pressure. I decided to give it a going over with some 2 part repair putty, for metals, so I sanded the sides down with some 400 grit and mixed up some putty and gave it a liberal spread.

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    After the putty dried solid, after about half an hour I gave it a running over with some 1200 grit and 2500 to finish off with. I also managed to loose one of the control knobs, it must have fell on the floor and gone missing somewhere, as I couldn't find it anywhere! :duh: Anywho, I applied the carbon and cut around the but out to mount it to the 5 1/4" drive bays and control knobs...

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    Very happy with the result! :thumb: A few days later, guess what got jammed in the hoover!


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    u mad bro?! Hell yea! :wallbash: Next up, new PSU. I opted for the Lepa G-900. Its pretty much an Enermax MODU 87+, or so I gather. Nice looking PSU, with an 80+ Gold certification.. Nice! :D

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    I wasn't a fan of the gold fan, so I stripped the PSU down, removed the fan, gave it a quick buff with some wet and dry, masked him up, primed it and spray it black.

    Going, going, going.... GONE!

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    Much better! :thumb:

    The PSU cover got a coat of 3M Di-Noc too!

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    Next up, I started blinging out my Enermax Cluster fans. Awesome looking fans in the first place, but a little to much white. I disassembled them, sprayed the fan blades black and gave the frame supports a coat of the good old carbon film!

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    The table was getting a bit messy! Time for a tidy up! XD

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    I sprayed the reverse of the supports black so you couldn't see any silver showing through the lettering...

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    Time to work on a rad-grill for the 240 rad. Starting off with a sheet of acrylic.

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    Cutting using the good old Black and Decker work bench and a Bosch jigsaw.

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    All cut out and frosted up and cleaned with some sandpaper.

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    I had an idea of using some meshed sheet to add a behind the acrylic, so I marked it out and cut it.

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    Guees what? MOAR CARBURN!

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    Nearly there

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    Time for some 'real,' work. We fabricated a steel frame for a siding for a wheel wash system... :eyebrow::hehe:

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    Right, none of this CAD stuff, old school drawing time! :hehe: I drew out a rough sketch for a rad grill, (which a started cutting out before the little fabrication job).

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    Marked up and centre-punch the positions for drilling. 1mm them 3mm then 3.3mm drilled and tapped with 4mm tap.

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    I got a new toy as well... Just £10 too!

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    Time to take out some acrylic with a big ass hole-saw! :rock:

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    One down...

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    Two down! Nice... Time for a sanding to get rid of any nasty edges.

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    The idea goes something like this... But I'm not sure of what to think of it!

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    15mm hole spacing for the fans? I'll take 14.99mm :D;)

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    At least the M4 holes I drilled and tapped were nice and straight, baring in mind I used an 18v Makita battery drill!

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    Presents! lol. Not sure whether to give them a coat of paint?! :eyebrow:

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    This is how far I've gotten so far. I will plastic prime it tomorrow I think, if the rain holds off. MD-PC sleeving is here too, so fingers crossed I can crack on with some sleeving tomorrow as well! :rock::rock::rock: Thanks folks!
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2013
  2. patrick171

    patrick171 New Member

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    Nice Case and pretty good work! I can't wait to see more :) .
     
  3. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Thanks Patrick ,the case is awesome, its a shame to rip it apart! XD
     
  4. Anubus

    Anubus New Member

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    The fan grills with the carbon fiber is amazing.

    How much time did it take for all of the holes?
     
  5. RedManc

    RedManc New Member

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    nice work, be careful not to go carbon overload1!\!!!//

    The fan grill does look tasty nice work!
     
  6. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I'm conscious not to go overboard with the carbon. I plan to have a few bits and pieces covered it on, like the 5 1/4" drive bay covers, PSU that I've already done and the fan accents and grills, thats about it.

    It does take a while to cut out the film around the holes and Enermax lettering on the fans. The 'Enermax,' lettering took me around 30 minutes to do each one, there are 4 on each fan, so around 2 hours to complete each fan. The mesh for the fan grill took about 2 hours as well!

    Heres what I've managed to do today, not a lot, but a little update. I did a very, very, rough sketch of the proposed loop. I have come across a bargain, 2x Swiftech/ DDC style pumps in 12v which I will be getting soon, so instead of 1 pump I may go for two, as I was planning on having a single 18v (?) D5 pump for the 2 rads and 2 blocks, but there would be a fair amount of tubing for the pump to handle. Anyway

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    I've been listening to Mastodon's new album! :D

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    I got some sleeving done, not the shrink tubing mind, just the sleeve on the cable. I may do some more tonight, or in the morning, I prefer to get all the sleeving on first, then have a day or two shrink tubing, I find I get it bang on then....Thanks to Nils at MD-PC for the EPIC sleeving, nothing beats it! I've also placed an order for a crimping tool, so I will crack on with the 24 pin when it comes.

    Nils package drawing XD

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    More new stuff! Phobya pin removal tool, I've snapped the 24 pins/ EPS removal tool already! :wallbash: I've got a new one coming from Nils soon, which hopefully will be a stronger/better one! :rock:

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    I also got a PSU testing tool :)

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    Some cable management clips too

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    4 pin fan headers and 6 plus 2 PCI E 2.0 connectors as the ones on the PSU are red and won't fit on with my colour scheme.

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    I swapped the nasty off white coloured 4 pin connection to black ones...

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    Gave the fan grill a coat of primer...

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    Sleeved some SATA cables

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    Oh, yea, I also made a rudimentary shrink tubing cutter

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    Thats pretty much it today. I'm off working in Wales next week :sigh: for the week, so no updates, but I can take a few bits to work on in the evenings, most probably getting some sleeving on some cables. :thumb: Thanks for looking guys!
     
  7. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Update 6/11/11

    A little update today, managed to strip a few more things out the case, but I haven't got a drill at home so the top hard-drove cage and the 5 1/4" drive bay will have to wait until tomorrow to get removed. I also managed to get the 140mm fans out too.

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    I got some overspray on the carbon fan grill cover, I knew I should have masked the back, but I didn't! :wallbash: So I got some grey primer on the carbon, nothing a bit of 2500 wet and dry wont sort out though.

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    The fan on the PSU also got a bit of sleeving, not that it needed to be doing really, as you can't really see it, but I think it looks really nice, all stealthy and black now! :D

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    I had to break off the tabs on the inside frame of the fan in order to get the sleeving pushed down.

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    Looking good, I think anyway. :blush::hehe:

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    I managed to get 2 coats of paint on the top of the primed fan grill cover for the 240 rad. I sanded down the first coat with some 2500 grit wet and dry.

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    Another coat of Plasti-Kote Matt Super in black

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    Lastly, I had to get the heat gun on a sheet of carbon film, as it had a fair few creases wher it had been folded up in my tool box. I flattened out the creases with the heat gun at its lowest setting of 60 degrees and applied it to the cover of the top, hard-drive bay slot cover.

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    Thanks for looking! :D
     
  8. peteski

    peteski long live the pc

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    looking good mate love the carbon fiber and the sleving and can't wait for more updates.keep up the good work mate :rock: :rock: :rock:
     
  9. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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  10. Blarte

    Blarte Moderate Modder

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    Thats all very pretty, but I would go to the doctors about your OCD with Carbon lol

    Nice log
     
  11. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Haha! The stuff looks awesome, IMO! I cant help it! :D

    No mistakes this time. The back PSU cover got masked this time, before ANY spraying.

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    I took the beast outside, into the garage to lose some weight. I wanted to strip out the hard drive cage at the top and the 5 1/4" drive bays at the front. I managed to bring a drill home from work today, good thing about working for your dad! :D BUT I forgot a few 2mm drill bits. I managed to find a few small bits in a toolbox at home so, at least something went, kind of to plan... :S lol

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    Nothing too taxing, just about 12-15 rivets to drill the head off of.

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    Easy, drill the head off and the body comes out. Simples.

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    After drilling a few rivets, the blanking plates and the 5 1/4" bay lots is rigidity and the mid-plate popped straight out.

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    The beast won't even fit inside my old PC case box!!!

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    She's looking a bit naked!

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    The PSU blanking plate coat a lick of matt-black, WITH masking tape on this time lol

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    I managed to get a few more rivets out on the top drive bay, but unfortunately, the drill couldn't quite reach down the last two, it was a rotary tool jon, which will have to wait unfortunately. Thats pretty much it for today, not a fat lot done, work was a bit busy, trying to get stuff ready for a job were starting Wednesday. I'll be working away from Wednesday to Sunday, so there will be no updates, I can do little bits and pieces in the evenings and take photos and will be sure to update when I get back. Thanks for looking again guys!
     
  12. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Not a massive update again, but I have managed a few bits, let me show you. Oh and I've spent silly money on bits and pieces, I really need to curb my spending! :duh:

    First off I got a package from Nils from MDPC-X during the week (I was away so didn't get it 'til Saturday morning). Awesome stuff from a top guy, but hey, whats new?! :thumb:



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    Yadda yadda yadda, whats in the package! :D

    A PROPER ATX pin removal tool, not like the cack Phobya one, Nils provides proper Molex ones, not cheap, but work much better than the cheaper versions.

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    Popped the pin out first try, no tug of war or the flimsy tool bending, pop in, push, drops out, simple.

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    Individually tailored to crimp at its best.

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    I also got a load of crimps

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    Some sata crimps and connectors as well.

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    I bought a couple of games, one EPIC one and one not so.... :hehe:

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    I also tidied up my little computer modding toolbox

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    I got these awesome wire strippers, thats the good thing about working for your dad and being in engineering; I got them for free! :D MY dad just put them through our account with the electrical wholesaler whilst getting some bits for a job and he didn't want any money for them. Bless him. lol. They weren't cheap, (£55! but we get a discount ;)) but god-damn they work with ease. No cuts in the wire, nice clean removal of the sheathing with no damage whatsoever, just what you want!

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    I just did a little test with them, not bothered about lengths of the removal, they are SO easy to use and silly neat! I just did it on some 16AWG I had lying around.

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    I started ripping off all the 24pin atx-power cables, cut them off, stripped them and used the crimping tool to get an awesome finished product. Hats off tho Nils, the crimping tool and supplied crimps are epic. ;)

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    Heres the 24 pin terminal...

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    And I made a note of all the cables and where they go.

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    Thanks a lot for looking guys, I think the next big task is painting the case and sleeving the rest of the PSU, again thanks, till next time!
     
  13. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Time for another decent update, back in the workshop for a few days so I have a chance to get some work done. I've also been doing a bit of tatting whilst at home in the evenings, namely staying up till 1o'clock cutting sleeving.

    Anyway, first off. I managed to remove the hard-drove cage, I stripped the rivets down and took off the front 120mm fan.

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    I started cutting, measuring to ensure I got the same length sleeve each time as well as burning the ends of the sleeve.

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    Then a little bit of blue, navy blue, not a tacky sky blue, to add a bit of variety. Oh and a little bit of grey too, again to break it up without it looking to, I don't know, tacky with all bright colours.

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    I started to put some sleeving on the 24 pin ATX connection.

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    Next up is the case exhaust fan and hard-drive cooling fan. I don't wan't to go too overboard with the white LED case/ rad fans and to keep the cost down, as the case came with the 2x 120, I might as well use them. I wanted them to fit in with how I painted the Enermax fans; white frames, black fans.

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    Simple case of popping off the rubber cap off the rear and removing the washer and popping the fan off.

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    And as usual, give it a sand down prior to the first coat of primer, to get a solid finish.

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    The primer on the hard-drive dock had dried (Acid-Etch), so time for a coat of regular grey primer.

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    Not before soaking some 2500 wet and dry paper in some warm water and a bit of washing-up liquid to break the surface tension of the water to prevent any clogging. Lol at the army canteen! :D

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    The PSU back bracket got a few chunky bits of paper that stuck on after priming, god knows how!

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    Even 2500 grit paper can be a bit destructive, even when used wet...

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    So, next up, the 5 1/4" drive bay dock. On either side, there are 2 notches that are used to mount the side strengthening bracket are screwed on to, I need to remove these are I am going to rotate the dock by 90 degrees to the left, just for aesthetic reasons when the side panel is removed. I didn't like the idea of unpopulated bays on the front and the fan controller knobs jutting out the front. I will need to make a blanking plate to fit in the front where the bays are meant to be placed, but I can do that as and when, the case isn't ready to fit the 240 up front or 360 up top, let alone painted... its slow going and I'm rambling so.... lol

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    Action shot! (sarcasm detected).

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    PWND

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    Sanding down

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    I need to get some more metal filler, it needs to filled and sanded as I'm nowhere near happy with the result, the ally is pretty soft and the sanding disk running at '5' on the rotary tool was probably to aggressive.

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    I needed to remove the hot swap clips on the 5 1/4" dock so be able to paint it, there are two tabs holding on a set of plastic nipples; so the tabs need to be gingerly bent over, not to aggressively so they weaken. When bend back on one side, both the hot swap tabs popped right out, ready to be sanded and primed.

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    Time for priming with the epic acid-etch. #8 Halfords special, bloody well should be at 10 quid a can!

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    Just a lick on where the tabs were cut off to see how much filler was needed.

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    The 120mm HDD bay fan and exhaust fans needed to be protected, well the electro-magnetic dynamo and pcb/ cables did.

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    U jelly of my mad welding skills. I had a little spraying jig from other little jobs I did.

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    All white :D

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    Masking up the hot swap tabs.

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    Primed (and sanded with 1500)

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    And a lick of white on the fan frames.

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    LOTS of light dustings of paint, due to the cold weather. I don't want to put loads on and get a cack tonne of runs to sand.

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    I really like this picture for some reason. lol

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    Thats all for tonight! Thanks for looking and as always some feedback, positive or negative would be welcome! Thanks, James :)
     
  14. peteski

    peteski long live the pc

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    looking good mate :rock: :rock: :rock:
     
  15. y0gi

    y0gi Member

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    Yep! This looks awesome! Nothing like a little Mastodon while modding :rock:
     
  16. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Loving Mastodons new album, I'm just waiting on Gojira's promised EP, will be epic! I though it was meant to come out in Spetember, but they are recording their new album in New York at the moment so will be out in the new year, I CANT F****** WAIT.
     
  17. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    A little update tonight, not a lot done really, just time consuming stuff and a bit of a disaster with some spraying. :wallbash:

    The top side of the case was taken off as well as the top USB/ mic in-out hub, simple case of removing a few screws, very, very carefully as I don't want to damage/ mark the head of the screw as it will be seen easily.

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    Easy job. I may look at getting some anodized (black/ gunmetal) reset and start, anti-vandal switches on the top to fit in with the style of the build as silver/ stainless ones would look odd and stainless on alloy is a big no-no anyway.

    I got all the sleeving on the 24 pin ATX power cables. I still need to get some proper shrink tubing. The stuff I have was from Halfords and is only 2:1 shrink ratio. I think I need some 4:1 for it to bit down properly, as the 2:1 ratio tube wasn't going into the terminals very well, without bunching up and refusing to go in without brute force. Not good.

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    I also spent 4 or 5 hours cutting the 6 plus 2 PCI power cables, stripping, crimping and sleeving (not shrinking).

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    Finally getting somewhere with the PSU, its starting to look good with all the sleeving on. :)

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    This morning, I got a couple of hours of work in at our workshop. The HDD bay was sprayed, as you know and it turned out pretty well. I'm pleased with it.

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    The finish came out good, it just needed 2500 grit wet and dry sanding and having a final coat with some lacquer.

    Not so good with the fan frames however.

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    I came to spray the backside of the frames, the first coat went on like a beaut, I did, unfortunately run out of spray, so I got some more, the axact same stuff, smae brand, colour in matt etc and applied it... just wait and see what happened.

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    Air temps were about 8 degrees so I go the space heater out to aid the paint drying.

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    The new paint didn't take to the 'old,' paint, even though it was the EXACT same spray, same model no etc.

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    Only good for one place, the bin. Most likely, I'll get some more Enermax fans on pay-day. But I'm still pretty pee'd off.

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    The hot-swap bracket got a bit of damage with the new paint, but it wasn't as bad as the frames, so could be buffed out with some wet and dry. Ah well, these things come to test us! I also got some sleeving on some SATA power cables and fan extension cables...

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    I know I'm not the best with shrink tubing, but I'm still learning.

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    Again, thanks for looking peeps. Any feedback welcome. Cheers for looking! :D
     
  18. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

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    Managed to remove another one of the top bays tonight. Easy 5 minute job with a rotary tool. I also flattened down some of the rivet- drill holes.

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    As you can see, I caught one of the edges with the rotarty tool, as it was a little awkward getting it in there in the first place, I just clipped it a few times. Never mind, I can just fill it in with metal- putty.

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  19. shrop

    shrop El Jefe of Sleeving

    Joined:
    22 Jul 2011
    Posts:
    1,251
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    Righto another little update, just been fiddling around removing more bits and sorting out the 5 1/4" drive bays and covering up some mobo stand-off holes.

    First, I set about removing the case feet, simple task, just remove the 4 screws and off come the feet.

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    I really like the Lian-Li case feet, they are rubberised at the base to stop any vibration/ sound leaking, BUT unfortunately, one of them has a dent in. I'm unsure whether to knock it out and risk damaging the ally, leave it as it wont really be seen, or get some aftermarket feet; perhaps the black anodized MNPC ones.

    I don't know if you can see it, but its not perfect, so I won't be using, I don't think.

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    Next up, simple task of removing the expansion slot hot-swap system type deal-i-o.

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    Next, as I am most probably only going to be using standard sized ATX mobo's , the plethora of extra mobo stand off holes are simply not needed, so, I'm going to fill them in.

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    Padding metal to fill the holes in.

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    Mix the 2-parts up, equal lengths, not quantities.

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    Wasn't bothered about how much i put on, I wanted to ensure the holes were filled with enough to be able to be sanded down flush with the mobo tray.

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    To get the bulk off, I used Liberty Green 160 grit, then 400 grit and finished with 1200 grit.

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    Cleaning off the run off at the rear of the mobo tray.

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    All flush and smooth at the front, ready for painting.

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    Also had a few chunks that were needing to be filled in at the top off the case, where I had to get the rotary tool out to cut off the top bay.

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    Next up, the 5 1/4" drive bay, I want it rotated 90 degrees as shown here.......

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    Simple enough, drill two holes in the frame...

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    counter-sink the holes....

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    Done, one drive bay twisted around.

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    I need to get a slim-line optical bay then, I have 200mm width, but I need plenty of room on the back for the cables, as well as the front, the drive it sitting back from the extremity of the side panel, so there is a few mill there for when the drive is installed, obviously the drive doesn't sit in all the way flush to the bay, it juts out about an inch. I'll have to see....

    Thanks for looking.
     
  20. Hannes

    Hannes Design | Art | Performance

    Joined:
    24 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    432
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    There's carbon EVERYWHERE! :CRAZY: I'm not that into carbon, but I love the way you use it.
     

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