Flightline is an Art Deco sunburst design inspired by the architecture of the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The case consists of 167 pieces of hand-cut maple and mahogany veneer laid over a frame of lacewood and aircraft-grade birch plywood. The thin mini-ITX motherboard used in this project is made specifically for All-In-One (AIO) PC designs. My idea is to use it in a case designed to accentuate the thinness of the board. At 40mm Flightline is not thin by laptop standards but you have to consider that it is using a desktop Intel Core i7 processor instead of a mobile unit. My good friend and renowned veteran tech journalist Alfred Poor provided the initial inspiration for this project. His grandfather designed the Wright Brothers Memorial. Alfred has been a member of my trusted "Insiders" group for over ten years and is one of the reasons I enjoy some success at this hobby. Thanks Alfred! Final photos: Larger Version Larger Version Larger Version Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina Larger Version Larger Version Larger Version PROJECT LOG: After a 20-hour work marathon I put together this chassis. 18 pieces of wood assembled onto a 1/16" sheet of birch plywood. The wood is all basswood (AKA lacewood) except the darker center piece. That is 1/4" thick maple. Many of the boards, including the maple, are simply to stiffen the structure. 1/16" (1.6mm) plywood is easy to work with and keeps the project thin but needs a little help to prevent flexing. Gigabyte offers three thin mini-ITX models This is the high-end H77 chipset version. One of the tricks in keeping the board thin is use of laptop-style SODIMM memory The thin mini-ITX I/O shield is exactly 1/2 the height of a standard ATX standard I/O shield. Some board makers include a full height shield to use in a standard chassis. If you installed a "normal" heatsink onto a thin mini-ITX board it would no longer be thin. Intel makes this heatsink and AFAIK it is the only such product on the market. The heatsink uses a blower instead of a more common axial fan. Blowers are typically noisier and less efficient but Intel spent some serious R&D on this bad boy. This is the first blower I have ever worked with that allows air intake from both sides simultaneously. The backside will remain virgin. No screws, holes, paint. Nothing. This will match up to a similar surface in the cover. Adding more material to complete the base structure. Though it looks like a horizontal-stepped base it is actually made by building vertical steps. I call them reversing pinwheel butt joints. Each layer reverses direction of the joints and cause them to stagger back and forth across each other. Engineered strength. Veneer will hide the crudeness of the butt joints. 1/16" x 1/32" mahogany strips hand-cut from sheet stock. Some burl inlay work. Snapshot of my veneering work space. 167 pieces to cut. So after a crazy number of hours here are 70 pieces of veneer cut, glued and sanded. It will look better when there is contrast between the different woods. Raw, sanded wood tends to be a bit dull. Normally I would build a box and then apply veneer but maple is very difficult to work with (for me). I decided to veneer the sides first so I could bring much more clamping pressure to the surface. You gotta bring the pain. I estimate this project to be at 65% complete... I can't wait to start the wood finishing. Adjusted the contrast to get some color into it. Cut out the blower intake duct. Still have the back panel veneer to apply. Framed up the blower inlet and fit it with mesh. Just taking pictures of it while it has no finish. I didn't even brush off the sawdust for this shot. Working on the rooftop vents. Five mesh screens. Testing out the amber shellac and styling a shiny bit. I estimate this project to be 80% complete. Sanded back the tint leaving enough behind to get contrast. Looking for a good compromise on the burl tint. Almost finished with the vent. Around 30 pieces of maple veneer will cover the roof. I'm up to number 7. Working on the top vent. Working on the final bits.... Wired up the power switch that I positioned on the I/O plate right next to the power jack. Sleeved the power cable and the blower cable. Those are the only wires. The base is hollow and now painted. Used aluminum paint on the rear framing and... ...lava grey paint on the rest of the interior except.... ...the back of the motherboard tray is left natural birch with a couple of coats of lacquer to protect it. I can't paint this piece because it slides directly against the interior of the cover. I can't veneer it either because the tolerances are too close. Finished up the exhaust vents. A sneak peek at the finished quilted maple Specs: Gigabyte GA-H77TN Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard Intel i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU Intel HD4000 Graphics Intel HTS1155LP Heatsink/Blower Intel Lincoln Crest 240GB mSATA SSD Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1866 Thanks for looking!