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Scratch Build – In Progress * r e f l e X i o n *

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Xion X2, 20 Oct 2009.

  1. Nutman

    Nutman Never stuck with stock

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    Well, you know - where there's a will there's a way. ;)

    Nice shots of the EK mobo block, by the way. Those things are really good looking and it should fit your theme perfectly. Million Dollar PC, look out. There's a new candidate in town!
     
  2. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Much appreciated, AnG3L. The file set is part of the Kobalt quick-fitting series. I bought it at Lowe's Hardware. I'm not sure if it's their store brand or if you can purchase it somewhere else.

    No better compliment could be paid, bud. Thanks. :thumb:
     
  3. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    So last we left off we had worked on that motherboard tray and the corner supports for the frame.

    Here she sits under her new work light, a daylight flourescent with two bright bulbs. Waiting to be attended to.

    [​IMG]

    But wait. Those corner supports aren't done quite yet.

    Let me preface this next part with saying this. I imagine there are two camps out there. Those who think I'm a ridiculous perfectionist and those who probably appreciate my attention to detail. Well, the reason I'm so picky is because, when I began this build, I said to myself that no matter what lengths I had to go to, the finished product would look professional as if built by a case manufacturer. That was and still is a key objective of mine with refleXion, so this next piece you're about to see is a direct result of that drive.

    Here's a close up of the corner support. Notice running along the bottom that there is a rough lip that's left over from the dremel cut:

    [​IMG]

    This lip will not be seen easily as it will be behind the front of the frame. But for one who would look closely after the case is complete, they would see this:

    [​IMG]

    See how the lip, being a rough cut, doesn't allow the corner support to sit flush with the frame of the Zero G Chamber? These two pieces will be bolted together, so I'd like as clean a join as possible.

    So, time to break out the dremel again to grind these supports down. I'll be grinding off that lip that's keeping the pieces from sitting flush against one another.

    Let's get the dremel ready.

    [​IMG]

    And away we go.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, stopping point. Look where my finger is resting. To the left we haven't touched yet. To the right, we've hit with the grinding wheel. See the difference?

    [​IMG]

    But.. wow.. these things go about as fast as the cutting discs. After just grinding half the corner support, look at what's happened to our wheel.

    [​IMG]

    Not good. Definitely need something stronger.

    It was at that moment that I was reminded of my first job out of high school. To put it plainly, it sucked. I worked in a warehouse doing some pretty hard labor. The company I worked for built huge carpet carousels, and one of my tasks was to grind hundreds of galvanized piping day after day with a small handheld grinder to prep it for welding. And then I thought, you know, I didn't do that stuff with one of these hollowed out, cheaply made grinding/sanding wheels. What I used was a diamond-cut steel bit. So there has to be something better out there for this job. And hopefully Dremel makes it.

    Time for a trip to Home Depot. And when I got there, I found just what I was looking for. A large multi-purpose grinding/sanding kit.

    [​IMG]

    That's what I need. Grinding stones.

    Let's give them a whirl. I'll try this one out first.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ahhh yeah, now we're getting somewhere. This is looking good, but it's left some rough edges that need to be treated with the file.

    [​IMG]

    You love me in my ninja work gloves.

    Take a look at the two corner pieces now. Notice the difference.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And now, look how well this new corner piece joins to the frame as compared to before we hit it with the grinder.

    [​IMG]


    Looking a lot better.

    More to come tomorrow.
     
  4. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    A sneak peek into the next update.

    [​IMG]

    :cool:
     
  5. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Ok, these hands are ready to go back to work.

    [​IMG]

    But.. wait. Forgot something important.

    [​IMG]

    Entering Ninja Mode...

    Ready for anything... ready even for a tool that'd be in my hands for the first time.

    The Skilsaw. I found her on sale for 24.99$ at Home Depot. A real steal, I thought.

    [​IMG]

    Okaayyy.. depth adjustment looks good.

    This is actually the first time I'm using one of these. It's probably etched in my memory as the tool I remember seeing my father use the most as I was growing up (I'm in my early thirties if any of you were wondering.) So I was anxious to get the feel of it by cutting some 1/4" plexi.

    Oh, sorry.. I almost forgot to explain why we're breaking out the Skilsaw in the first place.

    Tonight, I'm doing some more work on the Zero-G Chamber. Notice the bottom shelf in this picture. It's buckling a little down the middle with the SSD shelf resting on it.

    [​IMG]

    To remedy this, I planned to experiment with some thicker plexi just for that bottom shelf. Instead of 1/8" I would try 1/4". This stuff is too thick to cut/break with my bending brake, so I needed a way to cut it. And after doing some research, it seemed like a circular saw was the way to go.

    For blades, I'm using 140 tooth 7 1/4" Avanti made for cutting plastics and plywood. You'll notice the teeth are shorter than what you often see on your standard sawblades.

    Set-up complete. Shelf length and width marked with the sharpie. We'll be cutting along that black rectangle shown in the bottom right of the plexi sheet. And to ensure a straight cut, we'll use an aluminum angle for a straight edge.

    [​IMG]

    Earplugs in, safety glasses on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Pretty good results. The 140 tooth blades gave me a nice smooth cut. Any jagged edges you see is just the protective paper over the plexi. The cut surface is smooth to the touch. It'll need to be sanded and polished.. maybe dressed with some edge trim. We'll experiment with that later.

    Here's how it looks in the frame.

    [​IMG]

    The shelf no longer buckles. Yeah, my side panel's gotten some dust and dirt on it from sitting in the shop with all these tools. It's ok.. I'll clean it up with some windex and an air duster later.

    [​IMG]

    Looking pretty good. Still more work to be done on the chamber. I'm still not happy with the edges of the perspex, but I'll save that for another day.

    For now, I'll introduce you to my latest workshop investment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After seeing all the magic that callen has been able to create with his routing table, I just couldn't resist. They had the Ryobi table and router down at the Depot for 99$, and I couldn't pass it up. It's just a small table, but for the work I'm doing it should suit me just fine. I spent much of tonight just assembling it, but I'll be giving it some play in the next few days. It will have some important work to do on the Zero-G Chamber.

    That's all for now. Thanks again for following the making of refleXion.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. mrdexter

    mrdexter What's a Dremel?

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    I'm of the attention to detail school, and as my Brother in Law always says, the right tool for the job. Good call on the grinding wheel for the dremel, although I'm sure for someone without a dremel a decent file could have done it, proving also you can pay attention to detail without a huge range of electric tools.
     
  7. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks.

    A file would've done the job, but my philosophy is why do something with a file for an hour what you can do with a dremel in a few minutes?

    Just my take.
     
  8. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    It was time to play with the new routing table. Here I'm running just a spare piece of plexi through it to test. I'm routing through with my trusty Bosch upspiral straight bit. It's the same one that I used in my RotoZip.

    [​IMG]

    You can't beat the smooth, clean finish this bit leaves behind. Just look how smooth it carves out the plexi (the cut on the top right.)

    [​IMG]

    I bought a standard straight bit by SKIL, but it doesn't even compare to this upspiral. It wasn't carving clean.. it was causing the plexi to foam and melt around the edges. So I took it out and threw in the Bosch upspiral, and all is well again. :up:

    So what are we doing tonight.. well, we're doing a little rework. I know, I know.. no one likes to do things over, especially me. But as goes this project, so goes a good part of my time, money and.. well, life, basically. I've invested a lot into this work, so if an opportunity presents itself to make a part of it better, then I will.

    In the last update, I showed how the bottom shelf in the Zero Gravity Chamber was buckling a little due to the weight of the SSD shelf. We were able to remedy that by making that bottom shelf out of 1/4" plexi instead of the 1/8" that was used originally. In addition, the original mount for the SSD shelf was very simplistic and rather ineffective. It was a straight join with weld-on, and while it will hold okay, there are more effective ways to bond two shelves together.

    So tonight, we're going to explore a better way of joining the Zero-G shelves together by cutting and routing some 1/4" plexi to replace the 1/8" plexi that's currently in the chamber.

    Here I am marking the SSD shelf location.

    [​IMG]

    Where you see the shelf rest, we'll be routing a groove out in that bottom shelf for it to fit snug in. Here, I'll show.

    Lined up on the routing table.

    [​IMG]

    I've set my depth at 1/8". Remember that we're not carving through the shelf but just routing a groove out for our SSD shelf to fit snug in.

    [​IMG]

    The depth of the rip fence on this table is too shallow, so I had to remove it and replace it with an aluminum angle positioned far enough back to route a little more than 3 inches into the shelf.

    Here's the end product. A nice, clean straight groove cut into our shelf.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That turned out really well and was a lot easier than setting up a straight edge and cutting with the RotoZip. Having a bench just allows you better leverage, along with square cuts.

    So, now it was time to cut a new SSD shelf in 1/4" plexi to replace the 1/8" piece. Time to crank up the new toy.

    [​IMG]

    My new Ryobi table saw with 30 in. adjustable width to the right of the blade.

    I moved it into the back corner of my shop next to the routing table.

    [​IMG]

    It was fun using a handsaw to cut this stuff until it became difficult to make square cuts even with a straight edge. The Skilsaw kept getting hung in the plexi which would cause it to drift a little.

    I admire anyone who has both the patience and skill to use hand tools for everything, but my philosophy is if there's a better, quicker, more precise way to do something, then that's the way I'm going. And this table saw will save me a lot of headaches and a lot of time. I'm doing a lot of work with plexi in this build and will in future builds as well.

    The thing I noticed immediately with the table saw was how simple it was to square off a piece of material. Two of the four sides of my plexi sheet were not square because of the Skilsaw drifting, and I was able to correct that in a matter of minutes.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, the first test... how well can it cut through not just plexi but tougher material, like solid state drives...

    [​IMG]

    Anyone want to take a guess?

    :)

    I'd have to be out of my freaking mind and then some, obviously.

    No, what I'm doing here is measuring off that SSD shelf, because I'm going to cut the new shelf to the same exact size.

    Lining up the cut with the miter fence.

    [​IMG]

    We'll be cutting right along that line for our shelf width.

    And away we go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Notice that I'm feeding the blade while standing to the right and out of the kickback path. Important safety tip for anyone who may be using a table saw for the first time.

    And after what seems like far too easy a job, we're through. Here you can see the nice, clean cut it gives us. I'm using 180 tooth 10" Irwin blades made for plastic and plywood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ok, retrieving our shelf that we had routed the groove in before...

    [​IMG]

    And we'll slide the new SSD shelf down in that groove..

    [​IMG]

    Voila.

    We'll secure the two pieces with weld-on. This should give us a cleaner and more secure bond than just bonding two flat pieces together.. especially with the more sturdy 1/4" plexi. :yepp:

    [​IMG]


    And, using our old SSD shelf as a template, we'll mark the drillholes for the new shelf...

    [​IMG]

    And those will be drilled shortly.

    Thanks for reading; that's it for tonight. Time for me to clean up some of this plexi dust before I get caught in a blizzard.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2010
  9. SNiiPE_DoGG

    SNiiPE_DoGG Engineering The Extreme

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    Nice routing table :) thats on my list of things I want to buy before I do another build :) then I can skip the laser cutter for the custom reservoirs :D

    :thumb::thumb: good work
     
  10. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks, Ian. I'm still getting the feel of her, but she's quite an ally to have in a build as ambitious as this. :)

    Here's some more practice tonight with some different cuts and bits. Only bad thing about plexi is that it makes a real mess.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Shop-vac to the rescue. There's a vacuum attachment on the back of the router table that's built into the fence, but since I'm not using the stock fence (too short a depth for the shelves that I'm carving) then I can't use it. Which ultimately means that there's a 100% chance of snow any time that I flip the switch on the router with plexi on the table.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Editor22

    Editor22 E22 | Hex-Gear

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    Geez that's a lot of shavings! maybe you could coax someone into holding the vacuum near the bit while you work lol.

    Loving the build and all the fantastic ideas your bringing to it, I mean polishing the caps on a top end mobo :jawdrop: BALLS OF STEEL!
     
  12. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks, Editor. I usually don't have a third hand around as I do most of my work solo.

    I'm posting some previously unreleased shots of the build. One of them has hidden meaning.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. pulse

    pulse How do I overclock my modem?

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    The answer is drawfiling. Grab the file on the tip and the handle with your hands, then align the file perpendicular to your work (make sure the cuttingteeth point correctly) and pull towards yourself with steady pulls.
    Drawfiling removes material sick fast and it's really easy to learn plus it makes even surface too.
     
  14. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Quick question about the routing table - do you think it could do the work of the circular table saw, in a pinch? Basically, if you had to give up one or the other, as a modder, which would it be?

    I have to say, I am in awe of your attention to detail on this build :thumb:
     
  15. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Been there, done that. Still much slower than the dremel with a grinding wheel. It's also difficult to do on pieces like I showed that are close right angles where you need something small to hit the edge. Appreciate the tip, though.

    I'd hate to give up either one. They're my two favorite tools. :D

    The table saw is great for making square cuts. You can use the miter fence as your square and never have to worry about cuts coming out uneven.

    You can cut small pieces with a router table, but it's more difficult to square your cuts, and you'd need a really large table to cut some of the stuff that I've been working with lately. Of course, I guess you can always tell the shop you get your materials from to cut it smaller for you. It's just really handy to have the table saw around for those precise cuts when you need them.

    If you're good with a router table and know the right bit to use with the material you're working, then it can be a lethal tool. I would consider these two of the most important investments a serious modder could make; it's really made a difference in the quality and ease of work I'm able to put out.
     
  16. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    So I've been getting in a lot of practice with the router table. This is quickly becoming my favorite tool (I know, I say that with every purchase, but it's true!)

    What I'm attempting now is to recess cut the Zero-G shelves that the pumps rest on. The reason I'm doing this is because, after going with 1/4" plexi in place of 1/8", the pumps now sit 1/8" higher and do not line up properly in the windows. You'll see what I mean shortly.

    First step was to draw an outline of the pump base on a test plexi shelf that was cut to scale at 1/4" thickness. Then, I'll recess cut it with the router 1/8" which was the thickness of the perspex in the original design of the Zero-G Chamber.

    The place you'll want to pay attention to is on the left (there are a few cuts on this piece. Like I said, it was used for testing, so please ignore them.) It's outlined with the sharpie. I'm using a standard board as a straight edge on the right so that I can cut a straight line downward on that left side.

    [​IMG]

    This is how it looks all cleared out. There are some rough grooves in there, but those will come out once we start sanding it down.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    I'll hit it with my power sander first and use the mouse/detail end attachment.

    [​IMG]

    This is how it looked afterward.

    [​IMG]


    Now we go through the torturous process of sanding this down back to opaque (I really need a torch..)

    But first, this is how it will look. You can see that the base of the pump now rests in that 1/8" recess cut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now to the sanding...

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    My fingers feel like they're about to fall off at this point. 2000 grit below (forgot to include it on the photo)--

    [​IMG]

    Still not perfectly opaque, so we'll have to keep working with it. I'll pick up a torch and some Brasso or another abrasive tomorrow as the sanding is taking forever.

    For now, this is how it will look mounted in the Zero-G Chamber. The recess cut as shown through the pump window--

    [​IMG]

    And now with the pump seated in it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    The bottom pump resting on top of the 1/4" shelf. This will need to be recessed as well. You can see the top of the pump base is showing through the window a little, and I only want the res top showing--

    [​IMG]

    Now onto another piece.

    I've been experimenting with my unibits and this plexi. I'm really happy at the clean circular cuts they make. I plan to use pass-thrus on the middle plexi shelf. Why? Difficult to explain at this point, but to put it short, the tubing, when routing back into the chamber, has to make its way back over to the pumps which are on the other side of that plexiglass shelf.

    I've probably confused you, but it'll become clear shortly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    That's all for now. Thanks for checking in. :thumb:
     
  17. Matarsak

    Matarsak What's a Dremel?

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    Surely you mean transparent, rather than opaque? The latter is the opposite of see-through.

    Awesome work, though, definitely watching this.
     
  18. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    This project has come along way since I last checked in and I wished I did sooner. A very well executed project, I can't wait for more.
     
  19. Xion X2

    Xion X2 What's a Dremel?

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    Much appreciated, guys. And yes, I did mean transparent, not opaque. For whatever reason, that's one of those adjectives that I always get mixed up. :D

    Much more work to be done over the weekend, including sawing through some aluminum, welding some plexi shelves, and, hopefully, finishing up some shots for the preview project video.

    :thumb:
     
  20. The_Beast

    The_Beast I like wood ಠ_ಠ

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    Nice work as always


    :thumb:
     

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