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Project: Serverama - Frame finishing - 9th Oct

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Phat Ass, 5 Sep 2004.

  1. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Good question, i'll weigh it tonight and post back. I WAS supposed to be in work tonight but i'll go back and do some work to it and update later hopefully.
     
  2. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    looks cool, how many hard drives are you going to put in it?
     
  3. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Its currently got 26 bays, but the top 2 will be given up to electronics so 24 useable bays for hard drive. Didnt get a chance to weigh the case tonight (car trouble) so i'll do that tomorrow.
     
  4. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    did some work on the case last night but camera batteries died so couldnt take pics. Basically the only stuff ive done is frost the inner divide using a soft wire brush and then 600 Grit wet and dry in the opposing grain, so it looks reasonably frosted.

    The dorr screwes were trimmed down so i can put the door together and see how it looks but thats the only progress so far on the door. Speaking of which however i've had some thoughts on the door etch. The test piece was good but im not happy still, so im thinking about frosting/sanding/brushing the whole of the door then spraying the name down the side in Black. Round the front of the case, behind the frame, im considering putting some Blue EL wire rather than using LED's in the door itself. This way the whole door will be illuminated through the bays and as it fills up, the light will shine between them.

    The other option is doing a spray etch with one of the spray on frosting things for windows which probably wouldnt be as good. On another note, whats the best thing to use to protect the brushed aluminium and the frosted/etched plexi. Clear coat? and if so what type (are there different types for different materieals?). How much will clear coat or something similar change the look of the materials?

    So, Opionions on the new door idea please :)
     
  5. drinn

    drinn What's a Dremel?

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    Wow! You have done very amazing job. That rocks! :rock:
     
  6. Endoxus

    Endoxus What's a Dremel?

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    Hi mate

    First to answer the question, i'm not sure it will work at all for your etch. you have only just scratched the surface, insteed of actually cutting down into the plexi. From experience, the plexi does get a slight tint, but it is only slight. it adds to the lighting effect and looks quite cool. maybe you should look into this project for a really nice etch.

    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=988785&postcount=22

    from this project

    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=91867&page=1&pp=20

    I think you need some metal surround on the front door. it looks very weird just having the plexi to the edge. think about having a 1-2cm thick metal surround around the whole door. you could easily place it over the plexi and counter sink the screws into it.

    Also, no matter what, DO NOT go anywhere near EL wire. it gives very poor results. it is not bright, and will not fill that large box up at all. i would suggest that you would probally require 4 cathodes (two on each side), or better yet make an LCD strip. just dont use EL wire, you will be disappointed. (if you dont trust me, then just take a look at the forum, do you see anyone use it??????)

    Have a good one
     
    Last edited: 2 Aug 2005
  7. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Didnt realise EL wire was that bad. I'll use some Blue LEDs strung down each side, possibly on some bread-board to keep them alligned properly, but thats not for a while. I think 4 cathodes would be far too bright for what im after which is a very subtle glow.

    I'm planning on the metal surroud, have been from the start of this door. Going to see what sizes of metal are available as i'd rathewr not have to trim it down.

    Thanks for the link, i'd actually seen the thread and forgotten where i'd seen the etch being done. :)

    Not been able to do much work recently, all sorts of stuff been happening, hope to do some soon tho, getting withdrawl symptoms :)
     
  8. RotoSequence

    RotoSequence Lazy Lurker

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    Exodus, dont be absurd. ONE cathode is more than enough to light an entire case depending on where its located. LEDs make much better lighting as well; its bright, clean, and is easy to change. El wire is a great tool to make things look cool, so if you want your computer to have a green or blue or red glow, but not make other things visible, El-Wire is the way to go ;)
     
  9. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Thats why i considered EL wire, as its not oevrly bright, just want a subtle glow where as a cathode i'd have thought would be far too bright, but from what Exodus was saying it didnt seem like they were particularly bright. The only disadvantage i can see for the LEDs is not getting a fully even spread of light, and ending up with a load of spots with some ambient light around them.

    As im only after a soft glow, and the only window will be on the door, i may re consider the EL wire as remembering back (vaugely) to when Zap did his EL wire green backlit keyboard for one of his projects it seemed like a nice ambient lighting level, not excessive at all. after all, im not aiming to illuminate the case, theres no point as no-one will see it.

    I'll keep my mind open as from what Roto says, and from some research ive been doing on other projects the cathodes will probably be overkill and the EL/LED setup about right.
     
  10. Endoxus

    Endoxus What's a Dremel?

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    Yeh, ok.

    I agree that maybe 4 cathodes would be a little overkill, but is does look like a very large case and i would be putting 4 cathodes in. it really depends on what kind of lighting effect you want. with the 4 cathodes i was thinking that you could have two cathodes at the front (lets say red), then have two more in the back, behind the frosted plexi (lets say blue). i think that would look awesome. it also depends on what size.

    Roto, i was thinking more along the lines of the smaller, thin cathodes, the kind that can be mounted along the top of a case. i didn't mean 4 huge big cathodes.

    i agree that 4 large cathodes would be a little bright, but 4 of the smaller, short cathodes would be perfect.

    i have used cathodes (big and small), leds and EL wire, and from experience i found the el wire to be very dull. Especially considering the size of the case, i think it would be WAY to weak to fill effectivly. LEDS are great, but sometimes can be a little to directional, not giving an even spread of light. especially when you trying to fill in a large case.

    My suggestion would be this:

    use 1 or 2 SMALL cathodes in behind the frosted plexi, the light would light up the whole panel and would creap through the gaps in the hard drives, creating a cool backlight effect. then use some bright LEDs at the front to act a highlights. you could even use the LEDS as HDD activity lights, so the backlight would always be there and then the highlight would only be active when you had activity. would be a cool effect.

    I would like to know what other people though about EL wire. i have had 3 sets of wire and i have found none of them to be very good. they were not bright at all, they work as direct light sources, but were very ineffective at filling up an area with light. What experiences has everyone else had?????

    If you are going for a subtle effect then i guess the wire would be ok, but i dont think it will fill the large case well. but is subtle is what you want......

    i would go with the cathodes behind the frosted glass, that would also be subtle and unique
     
  11. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah, subtle is definitly what i want, and theres no need to fill the whole case with light from behind the plexi, when it wont have a side window anyway.
     
  12. quantum-modder

    quantum-modder What's a Dremel?

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    i love towers from scratch w00t good work so far
     
  13. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    Not quite dead....

    Right, this project is far from dead in the water, just ihibernating while i try and figure out what happened to my sumemr holiday (i demand a recount, no way did i ahve 12 weeks).

    Anyway, today i started work again and called in some reinforcements in the shape of my dad :). The main reason for this is i really dont want to break his kit trying something which might not work.

    You'll probbaly recall where i left off, making the door and the surround which holds it together. when i visitied my local metal shop, they had varying sizes of U section alu, however none which was the right size. So, the plan was to use 1/2"x1/2" U section alu and shape the edges of the door to fit the 1/4" channel.

    However this was proving to be a pain to try and grind down (its only 2mm alu sheet so an actual grinder was out of the question. So, the idea of using a 2HP router and a 1/4" tungsten router bit to mill the alu down. This works well but it taking a long time, and will be the prefered method if tomorrows findings dont pan out.

    Whats happening tomorrow i hear you cry? if i dispense with the front panel of alu and only use 2 pieces (the back plate whcih holds the door to the frame hinge and the plexi) i can use 1/4" ID U section chanel. But only is the channel is big enough, ideally im looking for 1"x1/2" (OD) U section (thats 1/2" wide and 1" deep) which may be problematic. The other option is to use 2 pieces of Alu to make the surround, 1 piece of L section, 1"x1/2" and then a piece about 7/8" wide on the back then using epoxy to hold it all together. which should work fine, but i'm unsure on the whole.

    Hopefully i'll find the U section im after tomorrow and i'll be able to finish the door within the week.

    Results tomorrow night in another update.
     
  14. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    As bored as you may be of hearing it, its not dead, but moving home and trying to get a job have been taking over my life more than uni did, and now that theyre almost done/on the plateau i can start trying to finish some of my other stuff. Starting with this (seriously, 2 years is getting rediculas).

    So, in the coming days there'll be some updates on the work so far. Ive got the paint ready so all i need to do is finish getting the case ready. Sadly the hardest part, and the part ive been dreading. I'm far from creative or decisive, so when it comes to anything like this, i can never decide.

    Ive been contemplating the colourscheme of the HD rack. So far there are two options, paint the whole thing black, or paint the verticle supports black and try and get the rails to a reasonable state to just be clear coated or laquered. Originally i was going to leave them raw as they'll get scratched when i put drives in, but then they'll look a bit naff if they're not done properly, which is difficult in the case. However ive managed to get the rack appart from the case without having to take anything else out (i thought it wasnt possible now that ive fitted the panel support and filled the outside cracks in the frame).

    Hopefully later (i'm resizing and uploading atm) i'll post pics of what ive done over the last few days/weeks (not a lot), and continue tomorrow with more.
     
  15. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    right, first actual update in a while.

    [​IMG]
    To get the case ready for spraying ive masked off all of the areas which i'll be attaching rubber strips to to prevent vibrations between the frame and the panels.

    [​IMG]
    Although i said i wouldnt be taking the rack out, i did (as i said before) so the case now looks a bit... delapadated. With the rack out I can fill and finish all of the innard of the case much easier and to a better standard than with it in.

    [​IMG]
    With the rack out, i can also finish sorting some of the blemishes on the rack itself.

    [​IMG]
    Using the same filler I used for the frame the joins between the angle pieces will be filled and sanded down so that once painted, the whole piece should look like one lump. I thought about the painting issue and have decided that now I can cover the whole thing i'm going to paint the whole thing black as i'll onyl be putting the drives in once, rather than swapping them in and out as was originally planned some time ago.

    More later once ive filled and sanded the case further.
     
  16. Devil Bunny

    Devil Bunny Yarrr, there be termites in me leg!

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    Sweet, I love this project. Its good to know that its getting finished. The black will look good, perhaps you could use some orange in there somewhere.
     
  17. Duste

    Duste Sierra my delta, bravo!

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    :eek: That's exactly how I was planning to do my joinings also! That is, with a 45 degree cut on each frame bit. Amazing!
     
  18. Phat Ass

    Phat Ass What's a Dremel?

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    It is so much work you wouldnt believe, unless you can reliably cut them accurately at 45degrees every time along with the braces, it will take ages :(

    Ive redesigned my frame for the next case so that it is much easier and simpler to do. If i were in your position, i'd make sure you can get accurate cuts evertime before you start.
     
  19. Darkened

    Darkened What's a Dremel?

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    Damn, I'm happy to hear this project is still alive, been following this from the beginning.

    Okay, I'll let you go back to modding :hehe:

    Janne
     
  20. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    Thats why i did my frame using a flush joint with no 45 degree cuts!

    excellent worksmanship on the whole case, congratualtions :)
     

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