Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Monkey Puzzle, 17 Jul 2009.
I never thought I'd see an optical mod again.
Me neither long overdue. I miss a bit of old style mechanic movement in a PC case (not counting the fans or water pumps)
Small update - made a sanding jig for the resin manifold boxes - they're sanded down, but even with sanding with large plate metal with sandpaper glued to it, it's difficult to get everything exactly square, what with copper ports in the way etc, so I made a thick steel jig that would clamp around to give a perfectly flat guide that I can sand down to to give flat and square resin plenums. Should help the walnut veneer to adhere better and stop delamination hopefully!
Bits used - some 3mm thick steel 21mm(iirc) x 500mm equal angle section x 2, centre drill with 3.2mm centre drill, some equal aluminium blocks lying around to mount the steel angle section, clamps to clamp the 2 bits of steel angle together (the steel angle will clamp at both sides of the resin to give a flat plane to sand down to), m4 tap.
Clamped in place (very fiddly to clamp it all in place!), drilled and tapped;
One side of the jig/sanding guide-guard then needed cutting down to accommodate where all the copper pipes go through. This killed a large dremel diamond cutting disc and about a dozen grinding discs. Should hold up to a bit of inadvertent sanding when used as a sanding guide I guess!
Finished! Held with 2 m4 bolts, both sides tapped in m4 and level.
Did some sanding on the resin boxes/manifolds using the steel guide I made, using rotary sanding discs on a drill.
Quick mockup of the veneer, held down with sockets and spanner etc:
3rd coat of tung oil to walnut veneer test pieces - left it on quite wet this time - finally was drying after a week, had only some patches still wet. Got inpatient, put in the sun to help the final bit of drying. Came back 2 hours later and the final wet bits of tung oil had turned into these weird gummy rubbery bits on the surface. Will need to sand down this gunk and apply more. It looks light here, but this photo is taken outside on a sunny day - indoors the tone is darker. Colour looks good though, but still no depth to the finish yet when dry.
And finally, received some trinkets and baubles in the mail... Shiny!
Thanks for reading.
Sadly it seems even the newest 700w passive PSUs are not enough to deal with GPU power spikes, so ordered a corsair AX1600i PSU - 95-96% efficient between 1000-500w power draw and fan stays off below 650w power consumption, with an adjustable fan profile via micro-USB hook up and software.
Just need to decide whether to have it mounted internally (like this previous update - this is viewed from the back of the case, psu would sit with fan facing down over the lower radiator fins at the back - the alternative would be to mount the PSU outside on the back panel here above the psu hole at the bottom there (and that PSU hole covered with a veneered panel with PSU cable pass-through holes...)
It would block radiator airflow if it can run completely fanless, would aid cooling a little if the fan comes on at high loads), or attached to the back of the case (adding ~80mm to the back, which is needed to allow air to get to the case anyhow). Veering towards back-mounting atm - will give a very clean look inside the case with just a few cables from the PSU routed inside...
Also ordered an EK D5 PWM...
A lot of this update is faff.
Cat decided not to supervise.
A 25mm outer diameter steel pipe...
A sharpened 25mm OD pipe for stamping holes in the veneer for the copper ports.
Gives a nice tight fit (video):
I recast more resin on the top pipe manifold... Trying to get it so I can have this veneered manifold sit flush with the aluminium frame...
Blurry photo with cast resin on the top manifold up to the edge of the aluminium frame (if you squint hard enough it sort of looks like this).
And some sanding with the sanding guide/frame to get nice sharp edges - snowstorm:
I then needed to reattach the aluminium frame to check the cast resin level - still a mm to be taken off one side. The other side with this polished top fill port is more problematic - milling needed to tidy the 1/4" plate with 'HUSH' at the top to sit flush as the original milling for the aluminium angle leg to sit in and be bolted to it is off and needs extending by ~2mm, so new aluminium legs needed for the now repositioned countersink screw holes, new aluminium angle leg with the optical drive slit, as it sits too high atm (the drilled holes to bolt to the copper wall are 3mm of so too low on the legs, so the top edge sits too high and can't be milled to sit flush with the veneered manifold...
Fiddling around to get the fins at the top to sit high in the slots to try to get a flush fit at the top of the case between the aluminium frame and veneered manifold...
Few pics of the case with lacquered polished pipes at the side - spraying this had been difficult - the structure of 16 rows of 3 pipes curving with a flat wall behind meant in ensuring all the polished copper pipes got covered that there ending up being a lot of overspray of lacquer on the flat copper back wall and orange peel, and some overspray on the pipes at the ends.
May be able to polish this down later to reduce hopefully, but regardless the pipes catch the light beautifully, giving a copper red glow in daylight and catching salmon-white on the pipe arrays in white artificial light, that doesn't show up that well on a phone camera...
On a brighter note (pun unintended) - I jerry-rigged some lighting in just held in place with some micropore tape (the lighting strips do have 3m adhesive backing for attachment- COB LED strips (direct mounted LEDs to a PCB strip allowing more LED density compared to usual LED strips - these are around 400 LEDs/metre with a silicone diffusing coating, so much more continuous bar or light rather than specular... I tried a square strip behind the front aluminium frame - quite difficult to see the LED light strips from normal viewing angles. A full square is probably a bit too much, though will be using some very thin lower wattage 2.7mm thick LED strips rather than these, which are 8mm wide with flexible PCB strip and contact points to the sides, so should be a bit less bright. I may remove the horizontal strip at the bottom and have strips under the radiator fins at the bottom front and back to give underlighting - the light bounces off the shiny pipes, but didn't get pics yet.
The shiny backwall gives a nice infinity radiator effect, but refpect the light strips....
The effect of underlighting under the fins looks really nice.
I added the veneered wall - still unattached and looking a bit hideous here as the low tack plastic sheeting is still on it, and the veneer is still unattached (as are the venner sheets for the manifold, that have gone a bit wavy in the recent heat and are unttached still so all a bit wonky..just to give a rough idea...
Getting smoother/cleaner looking every day.
FYI: The factory sticky on most led strips come loose at gaming temps. -Of course, this town melts hot glue too.
Mmm, that could be a problem. Sorry, I mean, 3M, that could be a problem. From previously I imagine the copper gets up to maybe 45C with around 600w of heat going into the loop, the frame cooler by a fair whack (6061 aluminium is not a great heat conductor and the contact with the fins is not huge for each fin, so hopefully not an issue... We'll see I guess
I've veneered the resin manifolds - a lot more work than I expected - had to sand and trim down the resin the make everything flat and even. I then polished and sprayed the ports to the radiator case with incralac acrylic lacquer to protect from corrosion, leak-tested and cleaned the inside of the radiator with oxalic acid solution, rinsed out with deionised water a few times, and then applied the pressure-sensitive adhesive veneer - here are all the pieces before going on:
The comb like pieces there are for the resin manifold sides that the 48 pipes go through, and a very tight fit to insert the past the pipes, so I used a scalpel to cut the backing plastic sheet on the veneer into small pieces and keep them in place, and thread a pull cord to each of these pieces so I could then push the comb-shaped veneer pieces past the copper pipes and into position without it sticking to the pipes etc, pull all the threads to remove the backing sheet of the pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed walnut veneer and then press against the resin box.
The veneer pieces are applied and then you need to apply a lot of pressure with a rounded hard object. The edges are trimmed (I found a stanley knife blade easiest to do this) as exactly as possible to have as seamless an appearance as possible for the next side of veneer.
All veneer pieces now on, and need to give it a day or two after application before finishing the wood - I'll experiment a little but I think probably a coat or two of tung oil then either polyurethane or gloss polyacrylic varnish as a topcoat to seal/waterproof.
I found actually just spraying the bare walnut with the incralac looks very nice, rather thab just lifeless and pale as I was expected it to!
Here's some pics and a vid at the end:
Looks amazing. You might check out Watco Danish Oil for finishing the veneer. They make light walnut, dark walnut, and black walnut colors. If you look at my Art Deco thread I used the light walnut color on my walnut and cherry veneer. I don’t have much experience with finishing but it looks great and application was super easy, super forgiving, and you can just keep adding more if you want it darker.
Put the fiddly little pieces shown here between the pipes with tweezers.
Tricky to show and the torch gives a purplish colouration, but nice pretty seamless fit
I got these little brass p-clips for the drain hose, to go with the brass fittings.
Fitted the drain pipe:
Tiny, custom fit veneer where no one will see it... You absolute madman!
I miss words ... I'm just jawdropped attending the slow birth of such a beauty
Thanks for the tip, btw your project looks superb, I love the art deco shards of finished wood, really looks nice! - I've found the finish! Liberon do several finishing oils; 'finishing oil' which gets rave reviews and is a largely tung oil based (can tell from the distinctive tung oil smell!) plus polyurethane mix, and 'superior Danish oil' that looks identical from testing, but has a UV inhibitor in to prevent long-term yellowing from UV, and is the one I'll use. I'm pretty well stocked up for any future woodstaining!
Haha - you can see the gaps if you look closely from the top. Because they were cut with a scalpel, fitting would have been easy (they slip exactly into place) if I could see what I was doing, but tweezers and led torch and another hand to press down with a little blade to allow then to be placed and remove the tweezers left me a hand short every time!
I've at least not put on the little ones on the bottom set - those you can't see at all unless placing your head inside the case!
Thank you for your kind words sir!
First coat of Liberon Finishing Oil applied to most sides of the walnut. Takes a few coats to really start to get depth to the finish and a degree of gloss, and the humidity's too high to add more today...
Thanks for reading.
Firstly some good news - a big thank you to Alphacool (and Christopher at Alphacool) who have kindly offered to sponsor the project, with what looks to be a superb waterblock for the nvidia GTX4090! Seen here
Now onto the update... Added some more liberon finishing oil to the walnut veneer - up to 2 or 3 applications and starting to get some depth in this short video:
20221018_170514 by Tom ., on Flickr
I enlarged the PSU cutout of the aluminium wall (the one with the motherboard IO and PCI bracket cutout) so it can be used to slide the PSU in from the back of the case as an option, but have a veneered flush panel that should be pretty invisible with the PSU attached to the back of the case. It'll maybe have the cables from the PSU feed through the panel if I can't feed them through a billet motherboard tray.
20221021_171910_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
When I made the 1.5mm thick aluminium wall, the countersunk screws were drilled flush with the surface, so adding the 0.6mm thick veneer left it sitting above the screws and the 1/4" thick aluminium frame (the plates with the 37 slots in for the copper fins to sit in. I sanded down the aluminium wall by ~0.6mm with 3" sanding discs on a drill attachment to leave the countersunk screws flush with the walnut veneer.
20221025_194226_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
I attached the veneer to the aluminium wall. Wish I'd found the razor thin paper hole drill bits when doing the veneer for the aluminium wall - the punches I used were inaccurate to position precisely, and some of the holes were off.
20221103_154808_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
So I repaired the inaccuracies with the paper hole drill bits, and replacing the gaps with tiny crescents of veneer, matching the grain as best I could from scrap veneer pieces.
20221103_154851_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
20221103_155407_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
20221105_180157_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
20221105_180245_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
20221106_144008_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
20221106_144015_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
There's a little bit of filing and tidying up to do. Here's the aluminium frame and wall, with motherboard tray. This mobo tray is too big and ugly, so will be replaced or possibly cut down.
20221106_144205_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
But it's difficult to resist putting in the new hardware and running the pc - have had a gtx4090 sat in it's box for ~3 weeks, have a lovely CPU block from techN (ignore the moiré from the camera - in person the channels are perfectly straight and even).
PSX_20221106_165719 by Tom ., on Flickr
20221106_142935_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
7950x CPU and Asus x670e Crosshair Hero motherboard
20221106_143136_HDR by Tom ., on Flickr
And the RAM arrives tomorrow.. Will likely measure up the aluminium wall etc for some machined bits to be made and put in the system for some testing and gaming! Looking forward to just running the 7950x cpu in the loop to see how it does!
Thanks for reading.
Back panel is just awesome with the veneer, excellent work really
TechN CPU cooler is also a clever choice I believe,.. I use one for my ryzen 9 5900x, temps are pretty satisfying...great brand.
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