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Scratch Build – In Progress Project: Large Wooden Tower - Finished!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Spotswood, 19 Sep 2009.

  1. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    Final pics here.


    I'm very fortunate to have been commissioned to build a large wooden tower case, to be used to hold a large water cooled rig. The design of the case was born from Mick64's 'Case Design for Liquid Cooling' thread over on XtremeSystems Forums. I'm a wood worker, not a metal worker, so I had to compromise that design somewhat in order for me to be able to build it. (But I also like to think I've made some small improvements over Mick64's initial design.)

    The case will be constructed in such a way that it could be shipped "flat", but yet still be easily assembled when the case arrives at its final destination. To reduce the weight of the case, it will be made from hardwood trimmed 1/4-inch oak veneer plywood.

    [​IMG]

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    The case is designed to contain an EATX motherboard, seven 5.25-inch drives and eight 3.5-inch hard drives. Two 120.4 radiators will eventually be mounted in the top chamber:

    [​IMG]


    For wire routing/hiding, there's a "false back" between the mother board tray and the side panel:

    [​IMG]


    The front fascia/panel is removable (although not on a hinge). Each horizontal "chamber" in the case is fed and exhausted by a 120mm fan.

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    Fresh air is supplied to the front fans via a bottom-fed, built-in air duct.

    [​IMG]


    The case will stained black throughout:

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    That pretty much wraps-up "the design tour."


    The first order of business is to fabricate the hard drive cages from 1/8-inch aluminum flat bar:

    [​IMG]


    The drives are suspended in soft rubber grommets:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2010
  2. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    Optical Drive Cage

    The cage/rails for the 5.25-inch optical drives were made from 1/8-inch aluminum sheet and 1/2-inch aluminum angle. The aluminum sheet was easily cut on the table saw (fitted with a carbide tipped saw blade). The strips were then stacked and a full-size template of a rail (drawn in Sketchup) was taped on.

    [​IMG]


    The strips were then clamped to a home made jig in order to cut the slots in the rails safely and accurately.

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    In the center edge of each rail, a 6-32 thread was tapped (using my awesome hand tapper):

    [​IMG]


    The holes in the angle were quickly drilled with the help of a self-centering vice (note the addition of a 1/8-inch plate in order to center the "leg" of the angle in the vice):

    [​IMG]


    All of the aluminum pieces were scratched with 80-grit sandpaper. One-half of an assembled drive cage:

    [​IMG]


    Having the ability to remove individual drive rails provides flexibility when it comes to laying out the rig and for easy customizations.
     
    Last edited: 30 Sep 2009
  3. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    Nice start brother, I ll keep an eye on you!!! :)
     
  4. SquattingDawg

    SquattingDawg New Member

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    I like the design for this too! I've been thinking of building a wooden case for a while and I REALLY like how the design for this one looks. I'll be keeping track of this one.
     
  5. voigts

    voigts New Member

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    Any updates?
     
  6. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    I've been sick since my last post, so no updates. Sorry. I hope to be back in the shop in the next several days. To help preserve my sanity I've been trying to keep myself mentally active by modeling several variations of this case. Here's one designed specifically to house an air-cooled rig (with the potential to hold a dual radiator):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2009
  7. MarkW7

    MarkW7 Total Noob

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    Looks interesting, subscribed.
     
  8. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    How are you doing the front for the CD drives? A door or cutouts for each bay
     
  9. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    The front panel pops-off:
    [​IMG]


    Held on by these ball latches (part #1790A22 at McMaster.com):
    [​IMG]
     
  10. The Twisted One

    The Twisted One New Member

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    I presume there will be a gap left between front panel and the main case to allow air flow ?
    Any way being a chippie by trade ill be watching , I like the design simple and tidy (simple in style not in skill needed ;) ) :p
     
  11. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    Router Pattern Making

    After a lengthy illness I managed to drag myself to the lumber yard and into the shop for a few hours. I took it easy on myself and just fabricated a couple of templates out of MDF that will be used to route out the motherboard tray and power supply openings out of the back panel.

    Power supply template:
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    Motherboard tray template:
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    I also cut and glued the frame for the back panel out of 3/4x3/4-inch oak:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2009
  12. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    A jig was built to safely rabbet the inside edges of the glued-up front panel frame.

    [​IMG]


    The front and back panel frames were rabbeted to accept the 5.2mm oak veneer plywood.

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    The plywood was cut on the table saw. The corners were rounded "free hand" on the table saw then finished with sandpaper and a sanding block:
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    A cleat was glued to the backside of the MB tray template for easy alignment.
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    A router with a 1/2-inch pattern/flush-trim bit was used to route out the hole. For the top and bottom power supply holes, that template its fastened to the underside of the panel in order to center it properly and a 3/8-inch pattern/flush-trim bit was used.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG].

    Perfect! The plywood pieces can now be glued to the back and bottom frames.

    Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2009
  13. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    I was interested to see just how big this case really is so I quickly bolted the panels together and fastened the mother tray:
    [​IMG]

    :jawdrop: For perspective, that's an EATX motherboard tray. The "huge" Corsair 800D case would fit inside this case. :rock:
     
  14. Colossous

    Colossous Member

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    Crikey - that is one big case !! Looking forward to see it transpire :thumb:
     
  15. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    No shortage of room for video cards in this beast. Nice work.
    I watch.
    john
     
  16. Mach

    Mach New Member

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    Wow, the craftsmanship is amazing! Sub'd

    Oh yeah, love the tap!
     
  17. bigsharn

    bigsharn Officially demotivated

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    That thing is MAHASSIVE

    Any idea what kind of hardware's going in it?
     
  18. RuSGaMeR

    RuSGaMeR No Pain No Gain...

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    Same question here)))
     
  19. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    "... 2x RX480 rads, 2 sexy D5 pumps, 2 EK res, all BP fittings. The actual pc components are in the air though."​

    I'll keep you guys posted once I find out what components he eventually decides to use. :thumb:
     
  20. Spotswood

    Spotswood Custom PC case builder

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    The "shelves" that separate the case into three chambers was fab'd from 3/4-inch square oak, rabbeted to hide the plywood edge.

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    The shelves nestle onto brackets made from 1/2-inch aluminum angle.

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    The angle bracket for the top shelf along the back panel just so happens to land in the same location as the bolts used to fasten the motherboard tray. Originally I was thinking the tray would be bolted onto the back panel (with a nut), but with the angle bracket there, doing so would be very awkward. So instead, I just tapped some 6-32 threads.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    :rock:
     

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