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Case Mod - Complete ⭐ Project: I.S.A.C - Thermaltake 2020 Case Mod Challenge - MOTM July '20 Nominee

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by The_Crapman, 29 Mar 2020.

  1. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Well-Known Member

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    This is next level armour modding!!!:rock::rock::rock:
     
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  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Congratulations on your first 'ghetto mill'. :D Things to improve it: get some cheap 1/8" mill bits. The burrs will not grab/cut the material as well. Also, measure the width of your table slots and pick up some compatible square nuts. A sheet of red rubber from the plumbing department will help with clamp slipping. -Steal a large paint stick while you're there too. They are great for custom clamping.
    A proper JBWeld Bubba job! :thumb: You could have used a strip of sheet metal instead of using angle, though.
     
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  3. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Thanks :grin: Bit mad, bit overcomplicated, but why the heck not!?

    Yeh, when I was typing this up I thought "could probably have just bent a strip into shape in 5 minutes", even found one suitable in my off cuts. :rollingeyes:

    I'll look into getting some of those bits when I can. These cheap chineseum "carbide" bits are fine for removing chunks of material when you don't care about the finish, but they are very grabby. I also want to get something else to mount the Dremel in as there will be paly and wobble from the plastic housing that it mounts in.
     
  4. idpcmods

    idpcmods Member

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    Yessssss
     
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  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Oh, right... Dremel made it, so it's flimsy crap. :duh:
     
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  6. douglas alves

    douglas alves Active Member

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    Congratulations : dremel::aplaudir::aplaudir:
     
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  7. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Ahoy hoy modderinos!

    What's this? Another updatealready!? And it doesn't involve the motherboard armour!!!??? :jawdrop:

    Yep that's right, mostly due to needing one last part for it, but also because I need to do something else before I go mad :hehe: So inline with the brightenisation of the motherboard, the CPU block was next up for an enlightening. First I needed a good copy of one, didn't work out too well just sticking it on the copier.
    [​IMG]

    By cutting out the first copy to reflect the light in the surrounding area and then shining a bright torch through the plexi block....
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    I was able to get a much better copy and clearer image. I put the block back together and taped up the coldplate for it's trip to the shed, to make sure it didn't get damaged.
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    First up to the chopping block were the mounting arms. Soon got rid of that paint with a Dremel sand drum. Nice and easy :dremel:
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    What wasn't so easy was getting rig of the deep score lines from using the roughest grit sanding drum :duh: I went over it again with the higher grit drum I have, it was already used, but I thought that would be better for not putting more score lines in. It helped, but the worst bits remained still. I was conscious off taking too much material and the arms no longer fitting the block properly, so I thought it would come out when sanding the finish into it.

    Much, MUCH sanding later and there's still some deep scores about. I try one of the abrasive wheels I got for the Dremel. That only removed the sanding lines and did nothing for the bad bits. More sanding, still looks crap. I remember I have scotch pads, give them a go, get a nice finish pretty quick but there's still those bad bits. :wallbash: I think about giving in and just having it crap, so I go indoors and clean them up. But I just can't leave it.

    So I go back to the shed. I tidy up a little while I have a think about how to solve it, put some Dremel bits away. I do have some new drums, let's try again with one of the new higher grit ones..... Yep, that's done it. 10 mins later they're good for a quick final brush with a scotch pad. Another 20 mins. Done.
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    And I'm thoroughly done in. However seeing as they're steel I don't want them rusting, so knock up a quick paint booth and give them light dusting of clear coat to seal them.
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    Onto the next day and the next part, the block. In a similar vein to the motherboard, it'll get a nice new aluminium cover. I stick the photocopy on a small piece and cut out the rough shape. I decide to do the 2 inner holes for the fittings first before doing the outer edge. First I need to find the middle.
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    After finding the diameter of the holes, I dial the compass into half that value and make a small arc in the middle from 3 points on the edge. They didn't intersect exactly as there's a fair degree of inaccuracy from my initial measurement, compass setting and then placement, but there's a tiny triangle there to centre on and punch.
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    I drilled out a 4mm hole then used the step bit to it's largest diameter, before filing from there using a round file.
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    To finish the inner circles I switch to a half round file when it will fit. With those complete I started on the outer edge and neatened it up with a rough hand file.
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    From there I moved to using the flat side of a second cut half round file to get a smoother finish and begin getting it to a better shape.
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    When I got close I moved to a smooth cut half round file. I'd go round the edge once or twice and then check against the block to see how it was going. The cover on the block sat in a little lip and wasn't completely flush to it, which combined with a little bit of light bleed meant the size I was aiming for would probably be before I hit the black edge.
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    I worked slowly at it, brushing the file often to keep the file clean and the cut true. I moved from working at it from a very front-on position to almost from the side, after I found I hadn't quite been getting it perpendicular. From this angle I could better watch the file and how it was working the piece. Slowly i edged in, checking it on the block until, bingo!
    [​IMG]

    I gave it one last very light passing just to smooth the finish out, put it back into the vice, tilted it back and filed a bevel into the edge, then finally cleaned the template off. I had intended on brushing the surface to have it match the motherboard, but the smooth sheen of a finish the alu came with is just gorgeous and I was very tempted to keep it that way.
    [​IMG]
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    The mounting arms ended up looking great with just a couple of light dusting coats and really complimented and evened out the finish.
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    Rather annoyingly I managed to scratch the surface of the cover when trying to twist it into the right place, just above the right hand port, so I'll definitely be refinishing it now. It was the original plan though and I think will look better if it matches the arms and the rest of the motherboard. Might look out of place being shiny with the rest a more matt look.
    [​IMG]

    I will however be trying to polish up the bevelled edge to give it a little highlight, which I wanted to start on before brushing the face. Using some sandpaper wrapped around an off cut of aluminium to make sure it's flat, I first sanded the outer perpendicular edge to make sure than was nice and even and smooth, then gave the bevel a quick going over to try and get the worst of the filing marks out.
    [​IMG]

    And with that we have to end this episode, for that's all I had the time, energy and mental capacity for. :sigh: But fear not, for I will return in no time at all for our next enthralling encounter, so stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap channel.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2020
  8. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    It's Friday, it's deadly hot outside, my shed is now a kiln and I've got a broken tooth throbbing away. That can only mean one thing...... UPDATE TIME!!!!!

    Seems like forever since last time, so much has happened, so many ups and downs, there's a whole load of pictures so I'll try and keep it brief. Maybe.....:worried:
    (It's in 3 parts as it's so dam long :hehe:)

    So we left off with the cpu block cover cut, bevelled and a little sanding done, but a lot more needed to be done to finish it off. I strapped some 400grit sandpaper to a piece of furniture board and went to town.
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    Came out pretty nice.
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    Then moved down to 600 grit, this time with the piece stuck to the wood and the sandpaper on a block. I had finished off and then managed to scratch it again :duh: So annoyed with myself, but it would likely need refinishing after the next step, need to crack on.
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    I wanted to try and get a polished look on the bevel, at least have it smooth and shinier than the face. so I dry sanded it with 600 grit, then 1200 grit, then wet sanded with 1200.
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    Next up came the polishing wheel, I'd do about 1/4 of the edge at a time, then rotate it 1/8 so it overlapped well.
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    Used some smurf poop polishing compound with it.
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    Managed to get it looking pretty nice, some of the polishing had slipped onto the face, but I was expecting that to happen and would be dealt with in a final sanding of the face.
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    Once again I strapped paper to the flat board (600 this time), this way I figured the 2 flat surfaces together would just do the face and not the bevel.
    [​IMG]

    Whilst I was able to sand the face without the bevel getting scratched, it wasn't sanding evenly, very odd. I thought it might be the janky way I'd stuck the paper down, so I'd go back down to 400 to even it up but I had ran out, as had the 2 Screwfix, a Toolstation, B&Q and Wickes that were local to me. :rollingeyes:
    [​IMG]

    Whilst waiting for replenishment of sandpaper I had lots to do on the motherboard piece. First off was to take some of the back out where this cap was.
    [​IMG]

    Back to the makeshift milling machine!
    [​IMG]

    Didn't have too much drama milling it out, had one little wobble, but I gave it regular squirts from the metal cutting lubricant and it smoothed out.
    [​IMG]

    Very nice. :thumb: But does it fit?
    [​IMG]

    Sure does! :clap:
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    Now I had to tackle the big fan hole, couldn't leave that open and bare. Some nice brass mesh might sit well in there. :winking:
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    I clamped the armour down with the hole over the gap in the workmate and pushed the mesh into the hole, first with the hammer head face, then using the screwdrivers bit holder to push it into the edge.
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    Voila!
    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to tackle the finishing on the front of the armour, look lovely, but too shiny to go with the motherboard heatsinks.
    [​IMG]

    With a large awkward shape I decided it would be best to stick it to the wood. When doing the cpu piece in this manner I noticed the bits that didn't have tape on wouldn't get sanded as much as they'd bow with the pressure, so I wanted to make sure it was well covered to get a nice even finish. Maybe a little too much? :worried:
    [​IMG]

    First off was the 320 grit Mirka pad.
    [​IMG]

    Nice. After this I went onto the 1200 grit grey Mirka pad...
    [​IMG]

    Noice.:naughty:
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    Now time to get it off the board. Just pull it up here, just pluck it, oh, hmm. It seems to be a bit stuck. Thought I'd heat it up with a heatgun to ease it up. Started at 50, think i went up to 100C in the end.
    [​IMG]

    It began to pull up a little, a corner here, a corner there, finally got an edge going. I was using a thin metal scrapper to get under where I can, using a chisel to leaver it up. Yeh a chisel. You can see where this is going can't you..... :wallbash:
    [​IMG]

    Devastation.:waah: Looked quite deep, felt deep too. I swore a lot, managed to get the metal off the wood, swore a bit more, almost cried, I thought it was game over, but managed to bring it back from the brink and sand it out. Think it felt deeper than it was as the edges of the gouge would have protruded from the displaced material. Such I heart stopping moment though. I needed a cigarette after and I haven't smoked in 4 years! :hehe:
    [​IMG]

    It was then very carefully cleaned and quickly sprayed. It was looking good, added a second light coat, still good, one bit looked like it wasn't quite as covered so did a third coat, at which point I got a couple of spitty bits from the spray can :sigh: It would probably be fine once it dries, but I should have left it. Always have to overdo things when they aren't quite perfect and then they get worse. It's so annoying. (this is pre-spray)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 26 Jun 2020
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  9. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Luckily it turned out absolutely stunning :jawdrop:
    [​IMG]
    (Larger expandable pic)

    Unluckily it was when the heatwave kicked off and it had got so hot in the shed that the clear coat had got soft and a little tacky and I got finger print impressions in it. I had to remove the whole lot. :sigh: To be honest I'm not entirely convince the clear-coat I got is suitable for bare aluminium. When I first got it I contacted Rustoleum to check and they said it would be fine to use on it's own. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it's just not the right stuff, but I don't really have the time and funds to be experimenting with that kind of thing at the minute, so I'll leave it bare for now and maybe look at it again towards the end if I have time.

    Now onto the the brass hole cover. It looked good, but something wasn't quite right.
    [​IMG]

    Should have had the wire in the mesh align with the angled edges of the armour of course. I even set it like that in the first pic I showed of it. Silly me. :rollingeyes:
    [​IMG]

    I quickly knocked up a new piece with the mesh lining up at the right angle and then taped the bejesus out of it with the fan guard I'd made earlier for a test fit.
    [​IMG]

    It did not fit. :sigh: I'd forgotten that I'd ended up getting mesh with larger holes than originally planned as I didn't want it to be too restrictive. Larger holes meant larger diameter wire and quite the difference in mesh height. I had been waiting an age for the mesh and had made the fan shroud before the mesh came. I thought about attaching it all to the armour anyway and then milling it down (I did think that might have to happen anyway to get the right height), but I wasn't confident in the strength of the bonds in the pieces of the shroud, Since it had broke in 2 already, I did not want odd pieces flying across the shed while milling, so I resided to leaving the shroud out for now. I might try again later with a small strip bent to shape, but I've got to crack on for now.

    To attach the mesh I returned to our good friend JB Weld. I covered the back of the mesh in masking tape, spread the JB weld onto the mesh leaving a gap around the raised hole section so non would go into that space from any spread. I then placed the mesh on the armour and lined it up with the angled edges before pressing the tape down and clamping a piece of aluminium sheet over it to keep it flat and the pressure even.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Worked pretty well. There wasn't any ingress into the main hole, but there was some into one of the screw holes.
    [​IMG]

    Soon had that cleared out. Cut the back with a stanly knife then cleared to hole with a file and deburring tool.
    [​IMG]

    The holes for the screws that actually attach it to the board would need some washers underneath so the 2 surfaces would meet properly. For this I will use some brass washers; an M4 the screw would actually pass through, then and M3 and M2 for the screw to sit on and put pressure onto and make it up to the right height. This should give a nice little brass edge to them to match the mesh. I decided to glue them together before glueing them to the armour.

    While they were drying I went back to the CPU block cover. I'd managed to get some more 400 grit sandpaper from Halfords, got it taped to some wood and started sanding it carefully. But it still wasn't sanding evenly, was the wood flat? Yes. Sandpaper ok? Yep. Hmmmm. Oh, is the cover flat? Nope. Definitely bent. :duh: Seems because of the shallow jaws of my clamp and the pressure of the polishing had got it quite out of shape. I did my best to get it flat and for the best part it was, but also not quite. In the end I had to abandon the polished edge and use the Mirka pads to brush it. Disappointing, but not the end of the world. I had been told by someone in the know (a lecturer of art who specialises in metalwork and such) that what I was attempting was very difficult, but I gave it a shot anyway. Still looked good. Shame I forgot to take any pictures of the entire process :duh: :rollingeyes: :hehe:

    With that done and the glued washers drying I thought it was time for a sneak peak
    [​IMG]
     
  10. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Maybe less sneaky?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Happy with the result I went in to cool off and do some physio. After I was looking back at the pictures I'd taken and I wasn't happy with the cpu block cover. I'd brushed it with the same pads I'd already used on the motherboard armour and it hadn't quite come out as well. So I went back and cut some new pads and did again with fresh 320 and 1200 pads.
    [​IMG]

    MUCH better. Shame I can't rid the armour of streaks entirely. Used isopropyl alcohol which I would have thought would leave it streak free, but would still leave some. But it does look so good. At least I think so anyway. :hehe:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just got to glue those washers on and they're all done and it's time to move back to the case. With that it's all over for this update Crapfans. I'll leave you with a few more pics of the finished motherboard, which I'll post without the URL link and a larger size for you all to ogle at :eeek: :naughty:. Stay tuned for the next enthralling rollercoaster ride that is Project ISAC. Same Crap time, same Crap channel. Until then Crapfans....
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  11. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    :jawdrop: oh my...you achieved such a level of perfection with that armor :wallbash: despite unexpected hardships, your perfectionism finally payed off, I am impressed :thumb:
     
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  12. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Dude, the trials and tribulations of winners - you can't win unless you face adversity and come out the other side.

    Proper tidy, very impressed my dude. :thumb:
     
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  13. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Well-Known Member

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    i left one word out last time....


    This is next level armour modding perfection !!! :rock::rock::rock:
     
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  14. idpcmods

    idpcmods Member

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  15. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Thanks everyone. With the disappointment of things not turning out exactly how I wanted, it was difficult to appreciate what I'd done. After being able to take a step back and looking through the pictures and writing it up, I am really happy how it's turned out. The motherboard armour especially, as there's so many little details and dimensions that had to be right to fit properly, can't wait to see it in it's final resting place now.
     
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  16. ciaognep

    ciaognep Member

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    congrats !!:rock:
     
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  17. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Ahoy hoy Crapfans!

    Despite telling myself that I'd update more often I just don't like showing stuff before it's finished, but the end result today is worth the wait.

    So, remember that big package?
    [​IMG]

    It contained a sheet of mild steel, 1000mmx600mmx0.9mm. :jawdrop:
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    It's a heft beast, you don't appreciate how light aluminium is until you start working with steel. Getting this first piece cut was quite an ordeal, having to try and balance it with one hand and cut with the jigsaw with the other hand. Was much easier when I got the first cut in and it fit on the workbench properly.
    [​IMG]

    Now I had thought that the corners of the piece that came would be nice and square, but they were slightly out so my piece ended up a bit off and needed some careful adjustments.
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    Filing the 0.9mm steel was a lot tougher than the 2mm alu too, was really hard going and took 2 days to get it finished, but finally had a nice square piece exactly 360x460 :rock:
    [​IMG]

    Which will be a new motherboard tray and pass-through plate.
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    This bottom left corner has a bit of a tricky profile to it, which meant the sheet wouldn't sit flush.
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    At least until I gave it the profile to match :dremel:
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    This sheet isn't replacing the original motherboard tray, as that provides a lot of the rigidity and support for the case. To attach the new one, I'll be drilling the motherboard mounting holes through it, then sitting it on top of the original motherboard mounts and screwing the new one's into them. To get the hole positions I clamped the trays together, used a Sharpie to put a mark where the hole was and a centre punch to scribe the centre.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Part 1 of 4
     
  18. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Part 2 of 4

    With the hole positions marked out it was time for drilling :dremel:
    [​IMG]

    I started with a 2mm hole so I could check the positioning and adjust the hole for any errors in either the marking or drilling. There were a couple that were a bit off, but I was able to pull them back to the correct position with a round needle file and then my 6" smooth cut round file, also using them to enlarge the rest until they were all 3.5mm and centred.
    [​IMG]

    To give me more room for the fittings, tubing and cables I took out the original cable holes out with my Dremel. :dremel: Sadly, when removing the lip on the motherboard tray it attached to, my Dremel died :waah: But at least he died doing what he loved best, destroying cases :hehe:
    [​IMG]

    Now with the motherboard and CPU block having new custom armour, the clear plexi block would look a little vulnerable so...
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    Getting the design sorted was such a faff. it was just small enough to fit onto an A4 sheet of paper. "Brilliant" I thought, "I can make the design in SketchUp and print it out so it's nice and accurate :idea: ". Could I get it to print out properly scaled? Could I heck. Spent ages searching for how to guides, none of which worked when I tried. :wallbash: Sod it, I'll just draw it, but at least I can set the Division 2 logo size in paint.net and print that properly...... Nope. :duh: That wanted to play silly-beggars too. I ended up putting the picture into word and setting it's size using the margin ruler to get the right size printed. :rollingeyes: I glued the paper to the sheet of alu I'd be using, drew the pattern onto it by hand, cut out an 80mmx80mm square with my Stanley knife for the logo and glued that in.

    First up I drilled out the outer circle using a 3.5mm bit. In hindsight I should have used a 3mm bit as the 3.5mm didn't leave much room for error, of which there were a few :nono:
    [​IMG]

    I had planned on filing that out before doing anything to the '2', but luckily I realised if I did that, there would be very little holding it in placed when drilling and filing, so that got drilled out too and was the first bit to be filed.
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    Came out just perfectly :rock:
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    Here you can see where the drill has strayed over, so annoying, but I should be able to work it in ok.
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    The circle was MUCH tougher to do than the '2', with such a small space to work in. I'd increased the size of the 2 from the original design so you'd be able to see more of the block through it. It was easier than trying to get the circle thicker, but I wish I'd spent a bit more time trying to get the circle thicker. Still looks great though and good to finally have something Division related going into the mod.
    [​IMG]

    Part 2 of 4
     
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  19. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Part 3 of 4

    With the logo pretty much done it was time to get the rest of the shape out.
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    In no time I had it filed out and stripped the paper off. I needed to get a better look at the circle and see what needed doing. The 2 looks perfect though, just needs the burrs on the edges taking off.
    [​IMG]

    Couldn't resist getting it on the block for sneak peek.
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    It wasn't till I was doing my morning download of pics that I realised I'd forgotten to file out the gap for the power connectors :duh: Had to redraw the pattern on the metal and hope I'd filed the rest accurately enough not to put the measurements out.
    [​IMG]

    Soon had the gap done though and afterwards I set to work tidying it all up. I did some work on the circle to smooth and even it out and deburred it all. I'd also started work on trying to sand out all the little pock marks where I'd got a little "overenthusiastic" with the needle file :worried:
    [​IMG]

    I'd also filed a small bevel around the edge of the piece to soften it up.
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    Much MUCH sanding and brushing later...
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    I hadn't been able to remove the pock marks entirely, let’s just call them battle damage :hehe: Still looks :jawdrop:
    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to make it a shell. I used my square files to cut a grove in the sheet to make the bends cleaner and easier.
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    No bending brake here. Just some steel grips for my workbench and a bit of brute force.
    [​IMG]

    What I hadn't accounted for was that the hole for the power cables making that section very tricky (and unwilling) to bend. There may have been a hammer involved :worried: The tab on the side didn't go smoothly either, I hadn't removed enough material for the bend to go 90degrees, so I had to bend it back to file some more out then try bending again. This unfortunately led to stress fractures forming on the edge, might be able to do something about them, will have to research that. If anyone has any tips that'd be much appreciated.

    Part 3 of 4
     
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  20. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Part 4 of 4

    You might just be able to make out the be able to make out the errant edge here. Hopefully I can smooth it out, maybe a light hammer tap and a sand?
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    It doesn't look bad though :thumb:
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    Now I was going to end the update here, but then this morning I thought, why not put everything together for a few shots? I'm going to try and gets updates out more regularly, every couple of days in the morning when I have a bit of time in between my morning physio that gets me moving again, along with a Columbia's worth of coffee :hehe: So stay tuned Crapfans! Same Crap time, same Crap channel. Until next time.....

    (*larger expandable pics)
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