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Scratch Build – In Progress Project WMCC (Wooden Media Centre Case) - Massive Update 25th Oct. Nearly done!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by GuardianStorm, 12 Aug 2009.

  1. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    Project WMCC (Wooden Media Centre Case)

    I’m building a water cooled media centre pc, mostly out of wood, with a little aluminium for good measure! I have had this idea in my head for ages, and I don’t have any full shots of what it will look like, only the odd cutting template.

    And so it begins...

    I started off with a sheet of 18mm thick plywood as my base:
    [​IMG]

    I then used cut a slot along the back edge of it for the plates from add in cards to sit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This was done using a circular saw (also pictured: band saw, dremel)
    [​IMG]

    Next a sheet of 12mm MDF was used to create the back plate. A Dell case from work was the lucky donor of the motherboard back plate:
    [​IMG]

    The extra hole is for the psu which will sit here:
    [​IMG]

    And is mounted like this:
    [​IMG]

    Attached to the base:
    [​IMG]

    As my dad has access to a few more tools at work (such as a router), he made the two frames for me:
    [​IMG]

    These have a nice awkward hole in the base of the curve here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Which allows it to be bolted to the front of the base:
    [​IMG]

    The case itself is the same length as the radiator (a Black Ice 360), which fits against the frame like so:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As the radiator is not stat directly on the floor, I needed some stands for it. These have the same size and shape as the tabs on the radiator:
    [​IMG]

    Which I then bent:
    [​IMG]

    And chopped one in half:
    [​IMG]

    I then use the two halves on one side of the radiator, and the two whole ones on the other half:
    [​IMG]

    Another update tonight or tomorrow as I have a backlog of images to upload and post.

    Questions and comments are welcome of course.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  2. pistol_pete

    pistol_pete Air Cooled Fool

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    Those fans look pretty good, what kind are they? More blades than normal?
     
  3. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    The fans are 'slipstream - kaze jyuni' supposed to be very quiet and high airflow.
     
  4. thefriscokid

    thefriscokid why s**t so crazy?

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    Out of interest what are the specs of your htpc going to be?
     
  5. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    The water cooling I am using is:

    A Liang DDC with EK Top and reservoir:
    [​IMG]

    For the GPU another EK Block:
    [​IMG]

    For fittings I’m using standard 8mm/11mm compression fittings:
    [​IMG]

    The motherboard is an Asus P5QL Pro, with a Core 2 Quad 8200 processor:
    [​IMG]

    The GPU is a Sapphire 4850:
    [​IMG]

    I know this hardware is not the latest and greatest, but it is fairly good 'bang for my buck' (or 'punch for my pound' as I'm English...) and performs well for what I need.

    I did however unearth a problem with the GPU. Sapphire doesn’t use the exact same PCB layout as the reference cards, so my water block didn’t quite fit. I had a capacitor in the way...unfortunately it did not want to be de-soldered so it got cut off, and replaced with two capacitors (calculated to the same value), but on the reverse of the board:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There was also an inductor in the way:
    [​IMG]

    As I didn’t have any spare and didn’t want to mod the card any more I whipped out my Jr Hacksaw and modified the water block:
    [​IMG]

    To allow this:
    [​IMG]

    I cannot believe I did this >.< I also had to clip off the fan connector, but I’m not using that anyway so...


    The whole loop is like this:
    [​IMG]
    ->Res->Pump->CPU->GPU->Rad->

    There is not a lot of space between the CPU Block (EK Supreme) and the PSU, but there is about .5 / 1mm of space:
    [​IMG]
    (this board is not as bowed as it looks, honest)

    Should be answered in that post, but a quick recap:
    Core2 Quar8200
    Asus P5QL Pro
    Sapphire 4850 1Gb
    4Gb Corsiar Ram
    2x 350Gb WD Baraccudas

    Edit: Fixed images.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  6. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    The sides of the case are going to be made out of 20mm thick White Ash. As the airflow needs to go across the case (left to right) I need to have a massive hole in the sides.

    To do this I used a jig made from 9mm MDF:
    [​IMG]

    The notches should sit just behind the grills:
    [​IMG]
    I did however order the wrong grills, I should have bought silver...but oh well, I might leave them or I might spray them silver.

    A router was then used to create a 1mm recess:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The grill now sits flush with the wood:
    [​IMG]

    This is then screwed to the frame:
    [​IMG]
    This shows the radiator side, as you can see the recesses in each tab to allow the bolt heads to sit in them nicely.

    Both done:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think that’s it for now, hopefully more tomorrow though :)
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  7. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    Hard Disk Rack:
    When it came to making the hard disk holders, I wanted to keep them as flat as possible to allow for maximum airflow across the case.

    I also wanted the hard disks to be easily removable. To make rails for them I am using four motherboard standoffs (sorry for the blur :():
    [​IMG]

    I then made four bars out of some more Pine I had lying around, I did all of this on the circular saw:
    [​IMG]

    The hard disk then fits in like so:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I then screwed these to the base at the front:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    DVD Drive Holder:
    This part has also been designed for a lot of cross air flow, and as it sits above the hard disks is going to be fairly easy to remove.

    I started off with two more pieces of Pine, which was cut out with the circular saw again (I think I might use that too much, but it is fun...if somewhat scary...the teeth on the blade are massive)
    [​IMG]

    I then used the Scroll Saw to cut out the centres:
    [​IMG]

    As I did not have any pieces of pine wide enough to make the top, I glued two pieces together:
    [​IMG]

    And once that had dried, glued that to the two sides:
    [​IMG]

    The idea is that the DVD Rom drive screws to the hard disk holders with two screws:
    [​IMG]

    The DVD Drive then sits on top of the rack:
    [​IMG]

    To mount the DVD drive to the rack easily, I made a small plate out of 1mm Aluminium:
    [​IMG]

    The Cover:
    I’m afraid there are not many photos of the process of making this - I was concentrating too hard on getting it right instead of photo opportunities.

    The idea is to have a single sheet of Aluminium wrapped around the case.

    After cutting out a sheet of alu that was the correct length (and by correct I mean estimated and then add a bit...), I bent it round a length of timber with the same radius as the frame has:
    [​IMG]

    This was the most difficult bends I have done with metal, as the width of the bend was 445mm. It took a lot of force to bend it properly, but it has managed to come out alright. There is another bend (not in photo) at the end of the sheet which is a simple 90 degree one, done in the bending brake (how glad was I that I bought the 2ft long break and not the 1ft...)
    [​IMG]

    The slot for the DVD drive was cut after the first bend (the lower one) as if the bend went wrong, I could salvage the rest of the sheet and use a different design.

    The cover sits on the case like this:
    [​IMG]

    The switches for the case (power, cd eject) will be hidden on the sides, so the front will only have the slot.

    I’m on holiday for the next week, so more updates after that.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  8. Sir Digby

    Sir Digby The Supprising Adventures

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    That's beautiful :jawdrop:
     
  9. wbdog206

    wbdog206 not me

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    +1
     
  10. longwing

    longwing What's a Dremel?

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    Make that +2

    This mod is off to a really fantastic start. I'm agog at your attention to detail, both in your woodworking and your tolerances for the fit of parts. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. Good luck!
     
  11. BlackWhizz

    BlackWhizz What's a Dremel?

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    + 3!

    Awesome work.
     
  12. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice What's a Dremel?

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    +4 That's really impressive, nice to see someone using curves with wood, I'm not one to like wooden case builds, but this one one speaks out. Looking forward to it unfold.
     
  13. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Holy moses! :jawdrop:

    Awesome!
     
  14. Reverse

    Reverse Reverse/srvR

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    Oh wow... wood and alu? NICE!
     
  15. sentek

    sentek What's a Dremel?

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    really nice :thumb:
     
  16. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    Thankyou everyone :)

    Now that i am back from my holiday (where it rained pretty much non stop :wallbash:), there should be an update this evening or tomorrow :)
     
  17. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    The next part of the case to make is the buttons. There will only be two buttons, Power and Eject.

    These buttons will be slightly out of sight, and not on the fascia of the case.

    To start with I made two of these:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is how I make the nice looking (and easier to manage) cables:

    Take normal cable:
    [​IMG]

    Place one end in the chuck of a drill (I really recommend a variable speed drill, you don't want to do this fast, to that end, don’t use a dremel :p)
    [​IMG]

    Power the drill SLOWLY for a while until you are satisfied with the twist in your cable, bear in mind that it will untwist slightly.
    [​IMG]

    The two circuit boards are then mounted on the inside edge of the right hand frame:
    [​IMG]

    I then made two button heads for the switches:
    [​IMG]

    These then sit through the grill here. The button heads are glued to the button heads with a standard contact adhesive:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  18. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    amazing stuff with the cable twisting and the buttons. Very slick ;)
     
  19. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    That was a good idea for the buttons. I like.
     
  20. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Minimodder

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    Thanks everyone :)

    First off: Modding the CD Drive:

    As the case is having the buttons relocated to the sides, I needed to move the eject button on the drive too.
    [​IMG]

    No worries, I have done this before! Just open the drive up solder a wire to the eject test point...right? hmmm. No.
    [​IMG]

    Not wanting to take apart the whole drive, I went for the easy(er) option, modify the button:
    [​IMG]

    I soldered on two wires (one pictured):
    [​IMG]

    And added a standard connector to the end and attached to my button for a test:
    [​IMG]

    It worked :D

    I also needed to do a little work on the mounting plate for the CD drive. How to countersink this hole:
    [​IMG]

    Smaller countersink to the rescue:
    [​IMG]

    I still need to do the final sanding, but this is how it sits:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next, the motherboard needed a new IO back plate, as this did not fit with the dell back, or with how I have the board positioned:
    [​IMG]

    First remove all the tabs from the old IO panel (I did put a thin piece of wood here before hitting with the hammer! Don’t want to blunt the chisel now...):
    [​IMG]

    I then cut out a piece of 1mm Aluminium and clamped the IO plate to it:
    [​IMG]

    Much drilling and filing next, using some of these:
    [​IMG]

    And a slightly modified hacksaw blade. Very useful for getting into the small corners:
    [​IMG]

    The end result:
    [​IMG]

    All it needs is a small radius in the corner to fit with the Motherboard tray, so I used a G Cramp to mark my radius:
    [​IMG]

    And filed some more:
    [​IMG]

    Next another small piece of Aluminium was cut out to create the joining plate:
    [​IMG]

    Bolted on like so:
    [​IMG]

    And then bent along the length, and fitted to the case:
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see that due to space (which I don’t need any more :headbash:) the tray is not aligned in the usual way with the motherboard:
    [​IMG]

    Thats it for now, comments welcome as always :)
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013

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