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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. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Hey guys, just wanted to provide another update. :)

    Thanks, Mankz. :)


    I have some tools on the way.

    This little bugger will help me cut/shape the windows on the bay frame and cover.

    [​IMG]

    It's the RZ20-4500, 5.5 amp. I found it new and for 33% off retail price on ebay:


    I also have this on the way to help me do the bending on the bay cover. It's good for 30" wide aluminum (14 gauge) or steel (18 gauge):

    [​IMG]


    Oh, and my side panel also arrived. As you might remember, the original side panel was already cut and had a mesh installed, so I needed a solid panel for the custom waterjet graphic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    To drill the tube routing holes in the custom bay cover, I'll be using these babies to get a nice clean radial cut:

    [​IMG]


    While I'm still waiting on some of the tools to get here, I've finished taking measurements of the radiators to see how much room I have in the roof of the case. I knew from some others that sometimes it can be a tight fit to get a rad in the top of the Cosmos...

    [​IMG]

    It's going to be really tight up there. It doesn't look as if the motherboard will clear with both the radiator and fans mounted inside the case. I have about 3 1/4" of space to work with. The RX240 is 2 3/8" thickness and the thinnest fans I have are about an inch thick. I'll need to get creative to find a workaround.

    Thanks for checking in!
     
  2. cool_dude

    cool_dude Active Member

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    will be following this :)
     
  3. mars-bar-man

    mars-bar-man Side bewb.

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  4. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Welcome, guys. :)

    Alright, I have some more updates. None of this is sexy stuff. No power tools or pretty renders. But let's not fool ourselves. Putting together a nice build is not all glitzy and glamorous (or the adrenaline rush that you get from drill presses, jigsaws and rotozips); sometimes it's just good old-fashioned elbow grease that gets a certain job done. And that's what you're going to see here.

    I showed a few pictures in the last update of the solid panel that I received from Cooler Master for the waterjet graphic. When I pulled it out of the box, to my great dismay, it had that dreaded foam soundproof material covering most of the panel.

    [​IMG]

    I knew I wanted/needed to remove this to prep it for the waterjet cut as well as removing the square frame which is used to mount the panel to the support rod interior latches that I showed before. In fact, I plan on modifying the panel even further by swapping the frame that was on the stock panel with the frame from the new panel. Why do this? Well, as you can see here, the frame on the stock panel is actually cut into 4 sections whereas the new panel frame is in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    Since I want to relocate those support rods closer to the roof of the case, it would be much easier to simply raise that top portion of the stock frame an inch or two. I couldn't raise the entire frame because then the bottom groove would not line up on the panel.

    In this shot here where I'm detaching the new frame, you'll see what I'm talking about. Notice the bottom grooves that are cut to allow the bottom of the panel to mount easily to the case.

    [​IMG]

    If you're keeping a case stock, this is a very trick and seamless mounting solution. Works really well. But if you plan on modding the case extensively, it's a pain in the padded *#^. I've already spent more time than I'd like trying to work around this mounting mechanism, but I digress.

    [​IMG]

    Ugh.. this won't be fun. I had to peel pretty hard to get just that corner up, and it's leaving a lot of residue and padding behind.

    [​IMG]

    I can't tell at this point whether this is beginning to look like a kindergarten fingerpainting or a greasy mechanic's welcome mat. Either way, I've spent about 30 minutes by this point trying to peel this crap off.

    There has to be a better way...

    And there is. I know the exact tool for the job (just wish it'd hit me 30 minutes earlier..)

    [​IMG]

    Goo Gone. For sticky situations where you'd like to keep:
    A) Your fingers in their joints
    B) Your fingerprints
    C) A few hours left in your day.​

    And as you can see, it's doing the job much better. The trick was to spray the padding repeatedly at its contact point as you peel the foam away, and as you can see now it's peeling away in one piece and leaving little residue behind to clean up later.

    [​IMG]

    Almost there...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And, it's finally off. That's the good part. The bad part is that there's a lot of glue and residue left behind.

    I began looking around for the right tool to remove the glue with, and what better tool for the job than a straight razor.

    [​IMG]

    With this, I'm able to slice right underneath the glue and pull most of it off in sheets.

    [​IMG]

    Halfway there. It's been about an hour and 15 minutes and I can actually see the finish line by this point.

    The rest went by fairly quick, and here's the finished product. A nice, shiny aluminum side panel, foam-free and waterjet ready. If you're wondering about the inserts, they're used to hold in place and screw down the mounting frame. I removed the bottom two at the top tonight to make more room for the side panel graphic. Shouldn't pose much of a problem, from what I can tell.

    [​IMG]

    A look at all the glue that I had to remove...

    [​IMG]

    And into the trash that goes.

    Some time after that, the case was stripped down and the legs and outer shell were removed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    In the next few days, I'll be drilling out the rivets and prepping it for some cutting. I received notice today that my RotoZip is on its way, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives before the weekend.

    Thanks for checking in!
     
  5. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Here are the measurements for the bay frame (mount) and cover. It's an overhead view as if you were looking down on the fitting from the top of the case.

    [​IMG]

    The frame will be cut a 1/4" shorter in length to allow rubber stoppers to be inserted between the edges of the frame and the cover face. This will keep both from being scratched up and also allow some dampening in case there's vibration from the pumps or any other hardware in the case. The frame will also be cut 1/4" shorter in width on both sides to allow some room to insert standoffs for where the cover will screw onto the frame. Again, I didn't want these flush with each other because I didn't want them rattling against one another should there be any vibration from the pumps or other hardware.

    For the windows, I will offset them 1 1/8" from the right due to the side panel lip. This will keep the windows looking centered since the lip will be hiding part of the bay cover and frame.

    Both the frame and the bay cover have been enlarged a bit to allow room for mounting the PSU in the bottom. The PSU is 8" x 5.9" and should fit in the bottom of the bay just fine. By oversizing the frame and cover just a bit (8.75" x 6.5") it offers some flexibility should future PSUs continue to increase in size. :)

    And just to recap, here is what the finished bay cover and mount should look like:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The world's about to see just how dangerous I am w/ a Rotozip. Hide your valuables, secure your pets and children, shatter-proof your windows, protect your noggins. Who knows what's going to happen.

    [​IMG]

    This will be my first outing w/ the RZ. I'll humbly admit that I don't have a wealth of experience w/ metalwork and cutting, but I feel that I have most of the tools I need to do the job I'm trying to do now, and I'm excited about giving things a go to see what happens. The good news is that I'll have plenty of opportunity to practice due to the 70 or so pounds of aluminum that's in my trunk right now.

    I'll be heading up to the mountains in the morning to my dad's isolated cabin. Plenty of room to work (since I live in a small apartment, it's needed) and no one to bother with noise. I'm hoping the weather will be nice so I can take some good pictures of the nearby mountain ranges while I'm there as it's really a beautiful location. I think it's supposed to rain tomorrow but should begin to clear up on Sunday, so I'll probably be working out of his garage tomorrow.

    The good thing is that, although my experience is limited thus far, my father has a wealth of experience with power tools and cutting and can help me fill in some of the gaps. I even think he's kind of looking forward to helping out as it may give us some nice father/son bonding time.

    Here's a closer look at one of the carbide bits that I invested in tonight.

    [​IMG]

    If you all don't hear from me by Sunday, then it may mean that the RZ got the best of me.

    Til then...
     
  6. Sushi Warrior

    Sushi Warrior New Member

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    What camera/lens do you have? The pics are simply amazing. I can't seem to get proper pics with my D40X and 50mm f/1.8...
     
  7. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Thanks, I'm using a Nikon D40 and 35mm 1.8 Nikkor lens. For light, I have two 1000w softboxes. I use a tripod for studio shots such as the waterblocks and graphic cards, but for build shots I haven't been.

    Alright, another update. :)

    I spent two days over the weekend on hard concrete bent over a workbench and either sawing or scribbling over layout designs time and time and time again because something didn't quite fit. I won't get into the gory details now, but suffice it to say that deciding to mount the PSU in the bottom of the custom drive bay has proven more than a little tricky. I've had to redo measurements and layout several times to make enough room for the components without the design looking too cramped.

    Anyway, enough on that for now. I'll share some shots below from the work that was done over the weekend. Some of it was simply experimental due to the fact that my workshop skills are quite rusty, and I have never worked with a bending brake. And I apologize in advance, because I've found out it's a lot tougher to snap off a crisp photo when you're holding a heavy power tool in one of your hands. So some of these may not be of the level of prior shots when I have the luxury of a tripod and softboxes. ;)

    This little guy was a lot of help and an absolute necessity for the project. You just can't beat a nice sturdy workbench, and the Workmate 400 was just the right size for the cutting I needed to do.

    [​IMG]

    A look at the dimensions of the cutting I needed to do. I'm pretty sure these changed 93 times within the last 48 hours. But then, who's counting?

    [​IMG]

    Somewhere around the 87th design layout, I think it was, I felt a migraine coming on and began to hyproventilate. So I decided to step outside and get some air.

    The weather was kind of overcast this weekend with a low cloud cover. Here I am standing in the driveway looking at a nearby mountain just across from us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ahh, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and I'm starting to get a second wind.. feeling revitalized. I'm near the end of the design stage.. I can feel it. And I'm ready to start cutting. Finally. It's taken about a month and a half to get to this point, but I'm there. I begin walking back through the garden and up the stairs back into the house when the unexpected happened. I found this little guy hiding in the garden...

    [​IMG]

    Ok, ok.. alright already... I'm going. Keep your shell on. A good build takes precise and proper planning, etc. :rolleyes:

    Wait .. am I actually talking to a reptile? Maybe it's not the best idea in the world to pick up a power tool right now...

    Nahhhhh, let's go have some fun. :D


    So, we're back in the shop again. And here we're beginning to measure off the 2x4 050 gauge ALU for the bay cover.

    [​IMG]

    Sharpie's great for this. This sucker will write on anything that's solid.

    [​IMG]

    It's go time.

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    Gentlemen [echo]gentlemen..[/echo] .. start your eng.. wait, hold on a second. Seems like I'm forgetting something.

    [​IMG]

    Can't forget the lube, now can we? Need to have that handy. :rofl:

    This stuff made a real mess, but it did the trick. Graphite, right? Yeah, well it didn't occur to me, even though it said "GRAPHITE" clear as day on the side of the spray bottle, that it would come out black as tar. I thought most of this stuff was clear or like a white grease, but oh well. It kept the blade nice and cool whenever the metal started to burr, and that's what's important.

    I'm afraid that I don't have a finished shot, but a straight cut was made on both the side and bottom of the ALU panel to size it down for the drive bay dimensions.

    A jig is fun in its own right, but this little baby right here was what I had the most fun with over the weekend. It's time to get the bending brake on the bench.

    [​IMG]

    The first experimental test with the bending brake. :D

    [​IMG]

    I don't know why, but I really love this thing. For some reason, I feel a sense of power from it. It's solid steel, weighs about 60 lbs, and just bends the crap out of anything that you put in it. Plus, it's easy to work.

    Some nice bends..

    [​IMG]

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    That's all for now. I have some more shots I'll be putting up in the next day or two. :)
     
  8. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    A very nice project so far. Excellent design and planning, can't wait for more.
     
  9. stuartwood89

    stuartwood89 Please... Just call me Stu.

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    It's nice to see that a D40 is capable of taking such detailed photos.
     
  10. Sushi Warrior

    Sushi Warrior New Member

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    Hmmm, pretty sure my crappy pics are because of A. crappy lighting and B. my inability to manual focus a lens with any certainty.
     
  11. blt44

    blt44 Long Time Lurker

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    Wowww. What a beautiful piece of property your home sits on. Your house is very nice as well.


    I'm watching this thread anxiously! Keep up the good work.
     
  12. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Thanks, man! Much appreciated. :)

    I know, I was very pleasantly surprised. Back when I was purchasing a camera, I posed the question to some professional photographers that I knew: Which is more important, megapixels or lens? And all of them told me to go with glass unless I was doing large prints. The 35mm was recommended by most, and I've been absolutely thrilled with it thus far.

    From my limited experience (we're talking 3 months of photography,) I'd say that lighting is definitely the biggest factor.

    I shoot everything in manual because I find the quality's better.

    Thanks, blt! Yeah, it's quite peaceful, and I'm looking forward to going back this weekend and doing more cutting!

    And here's another update and some more shots from this past weekend. :)


    There are multiple cuts that will need to be made on the case to have the bay cover fit properly. Some unexpected obstacles showed their ugly heads just as I was about to exit the design stage. That's what took up a lot of my time this past weekend--figuring out how to fit the bay cover device in without compromising the overall structure. Again, the concept shot of the bay cover:

    [​IMG]

    Fear not. This thing will be built, and it will be soon. But since the Cosmos is not a huge case, and since the inner frame is a very thin gauge aluminum, careful measurements and consideration for the structural integrity is crucial.

    The first step was to generate a test part that was made true to scale in both width and depth to the concept bay cover in order to test the clearance on both sides for the latching side panels. The below is the test piece that was cut:

    [​IMG]

    The concept has changed a little to accommodate the PSU being mounted into the bottom. The bay cover will need to be enlarged to a length of 9 1/2" as compared to the 8" that it was originally. This will give the PSU plenty of clearance while also allowing a flusher mount with the back of the case frame.

    So after cutting and bending the test piece to spec, here is an idea of how the custom bay will fit. Please keep in mind that the drive cage that's in the way will be removed so that the piece sits more flush with the motherboard backplane. And again, the height on the test fitting is not to scale as this is just testing the length and width of the piece:

    [​IMG]

    The following shot is with the test piece mounted on the opposite end. This is only to check the clearance as it will be mounted to the motherboard backplane on the opposite end where the stock drive cage sits now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That last shot is a little blurry, but as you can hopefully see, there's just enough clearance for the side groove that latches the panel. The frame will be disassembled by the weekend so as to remove the stock drive cage for good. Good riddance, won't miss ya. Unfortunately, I won't be able to rivet it out and will have to actually cut it out of the frame, so it won't go easy and without a fuss. Nothing is ever as easy as you hope it will be...

    Another shot of the sheet metal brake that was used to do the bending for the test piece:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the drawn layout for a final cut of the bay cover. This is to scale. The two windows are marked with Xs:

    [​IMG]

    And, here are some random pictures that I took of our cat, Scully (Mom and dad were huge X-files fans back in the day.) She's a good girl and very friendly. These turned out so well that I thought I would post them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's all for now. Hope you guys enjoy. I'll be doing some more cutting this coming weekend, but there will probably just be minimal updates until then. My goal is to have the bay device completed by the weekend, windows and all.

    Thanks!
     
  13. coolamasta

    coolamasta Folding@Home CC Captain 2010/11/12

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    Great start, will be following :D
     
  14. gabriel_d7

    gabriel_d7 Budget Mod?

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    I cant blame your parents... I was a fan too.

    And I'm still trying to figure out, what is it with modders and cats? I think I'll get myself a goldfish... to be under the food chain. :D
     
  15. DeltaFX

    DeltaFX New Member

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    ...And I'm still trying to figure out, what is it with modders and cats?...


    Maybe both share...
    Curiousity ?
    Appetite for destruction ?
    Irrepresible impulse to put things/themselves in "out of the way" tiny places ?
    ...
     
  16. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Welcome, coolamasta! :)

    Not sure, but they are becoming quite popular, aren't they?

    I think that last one definitely applies to this build. :hehe:

    I've finished the concepts for the drives. I've termed them "zero gravity." The idea is for them to appear as suspended in mid-air to fit with my space theme.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: 28 Nov 2009
  17. Xion X2

    Xion X2 New Member

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    Alright, time for another update.

    So the idea for the work I was to do over the weekend was to finish up the bay cover by cutting the windows for the pumps and (hopefully) the new SSD drive concept that I've coined "zero gravity." (TM ;) )

    I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, but I do want to keep everyone up to speed with how the build is progressing. I appreciate all the support that I've received from all of you on this project. I assure you that, although things may seem to be moving at a slow pace, I am committed to finishing this build in a reasonable timeframe. I'm just being very careful and precise, because I want this project to end as something special. I do expect things to pick up in the next week or two and am hoping *fingers crossed* to have the waterjet side panel by Tuesday. :)

    So it was a weekend of getting to know the RZ. RZ, Xion. Xion, RZ. Xion to RZ: You going to be nice to me this weekend, or are we going to fight tooth and nail to get this done? Well, RZ gave me a little of both. He fought me a little in the beginning, but by the end of the weekend we were pretty good pals.

    Speaking of pals, since I had a few requests for more pictures of Scully-cat, she's making another quick cameo. Here she is looking up at me and begging for treats practically as soon as I walked in the door.

    [​IMG]

    She practically swallows her treats whole. I don't even think she chews them.

    So on our way to the workshop/garage, and I'm setting up the RZ for a test run. I'll go ahead and drill a pilot hole large enough to fit the 1/4" carbide cutting tip on the RZ.

    [​IMG]

    If you're a first-time user w/ the RZ, I'd highly recommend doing this. The motor in the RZ winds up like a Ferrari Enzo on steroids (sounds kind of like one, as well,) and may spin right off the surface if you're not careful.

    Ok, the pilot holes are drilled.

    [​IMG]

    Now we're ready to wind her up for a test run! I'm going to try this freehand to start with (yes, I'm completely nuts) just to get a feel of the power she has to put out.

    Before we begin, here's another shot of the damage seeker.

    [​IMG]

    She searches the metal yards.. seeking for whom she may destroy..

    Oh right, we were about to freehand cut this thing.

    Here we go!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See the spinning blade? How the *#^! does he take a picture while he's doing this, you might ask? Well, if you promise to keep it between us, I'll let you in on a little family secret. My father was an octopus in a past life, my mother a black widow. My uncle, a centipede. You should see me play the drums.

    [​IMG]

    Cutting away...

    [​IMG]

    On a side note, is it raining metal shavings from the sky, or is it just me?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    OK, yeah, that's just downright messy. We'll obviously need a straight edge to help us out. On the good side, 1, 2, 3, 5,.. ok, all my limbs are still intact. So we're safe to do some more cutting.

    By the way, I think it really is raining metal shavings from the sky. I may need a snow plow to clean all this crap up...

    [​IMG]

    Everywhere I walk now, I hear this: "cccrrruuNNCH, ccRRUUNCH, crUUNCH.."

    Good thing dad's out of town! :D (dad, if you're watching, it's just a joke and I cleaned it all up before I left.)

    Alright, I'm ready for the second run now, and things are looking much better with the straight edge.

    [​IMG]

    That line's not too bad! It was time for a fist pump. *fist pump* And.. since no one was around, I high-fived myself. :shrug:

    Ok, now the other side of the window.

    [​IMG]

    Sweet! Cutting in a straight line has never been so much fun. :D

    The finished test cuts. Straight-edge on the left, freehand on the right.

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, clearly the straight-edge cut is larger. It took a little practice to learn the distance needed between the bit and the edge of the guide to get it just on the line. And as is also plain to see, the corners were a bit tricky. I was trying to round them without cutting up too far from the adjacent side, but the RZ can get away from you so easily once it bites into a chunk of AL.

    So, ok.. we're making progress. Still, I'm not quite comfortable with cutting into the final cover piece yet. I decided to cut one more test window first.

    [​IMG]

    This one came out pretty good, I thought. That's getting closer to the kind of quality I'm looking for in this build.

    [​IMG]

    Still a little rough on the corners, but maybe some work with the file could help iron those out. And it's tough to see unless you're right up on it, but some of the sides are just a hair off.

    I gave this some thought, because I was being very careful to keep the guide against the straight-edge... then it hit me. Is my straight-edge really straight?

    [​IMG]

    *Forehead slap* This whole time I'd been cutting with a piece of plywood with several knots down the center. You can see how the square is off at the bottom. See the gap?

    Alright, mental note: "Hey dummy, the next time, step 1 is to square your straight edge."

    Oh well, practice makes perfect.. I'm hoping.

    Unfortunately, that's the end of the update. My jigsaw attachment broke when I was trying to adjust it, and I couldn't get any more cutting done. Just when I was getting the hang of things... :brick:

    I have an appointment at the waterjet on Tuesday. I doubt that I can pick up a new jig attachment before then as the local hardware stores don't seem to carry them. So what I may end up doing is letting the shop cut the windows. There's an initial setup charge that I get 10 cuts for, and I'm going to see if they'll let me use different designs for those cuts.

    Thanks for checking in!
     
  18. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    The roto zip does quite a good job (when used with a guide lol). I should get myself a router, you would get similar results.
     
  19. Reverse

    Reverse Reverse/srvR

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    Your way of writing the worklog is pure win. Thanks for the good read.

    Subscribed!
     
  20. Autti

    Autti New Member

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    Why cut by hand when you have a waterjet at your disposal :)
    Freehand cutting is fun though, i always admire people who can do it and match the quality of jig based or sometimes even CNC machines they are pretty amazing.
     

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