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Scratch Build – In Progress Spark [Completed]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by InsolentGnome, 9 May 2015.

  1. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    So after getting some materials in and spending some quality time with the gf while she visited, I'm back to working on Spark. Since my last update, I've...

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    Taped everything green. Yep. If you wanted to know what this case would look like in Scotch Tape green, here's your chance.

    Actually, I taped it up so I could run it through my table saw without scratching the heck out of it. Yeah, I was a little over-zealous with the tape, but hey, it was on a roll.

    I should be ashamed of that, but I'm not.

    It started out 25"x23 something or other inches, which was a little huge. I whacked it down to a modest 21x23, making it so a 2'x2' sheet could be used on the door, also allowing other things to fit on a desk besides it, like monitors and keyboards and such. :p

    After knee-capping it, did some layout with the mod blocks.

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    6mm spacing inside to sit inside the door and also act as tabs to hold the door with magnets. I'll save the mandatory ICP reference for a later update.

    Drill

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    And install

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    Marking out the layout of my super-cool MNPC billet feet

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    And I now have a box, with feet and no sides.

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    But it's got some good lookin' shoes

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  2. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    The bending did leave me with some nice "flares" for lack of a better term on the corners and I was worried that that would make fitting a side panel a pain. So I tried to work them out a little.

    Before

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    After

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    Hard to tell with the shiny acrylic and my photography skills. But I think it's better and will make the panels fit tighter.

    And now we're moving up in the world, or the case at least. Sizing up the bottom panel and trying to figure how far up I wanted it. The mod blocks work great for this, as long as you like half inch increments.

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    Drawing a bunch of lines

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    And installed

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    Placing them on top of the piece might seem a bit awkward, but I'm also going to be using these for mounting points for the PSU shroud, so they'll be covered up. Same with the ones in outside corners, with the doors on, you'll never see them. Just need to figure out what I'm doing with the bolts for the feet. I was thinking acorn nuts, but I'm leaning to just flipping them over and leaving the bolt head up since they're not that big.

    I ran into a little problem at this point. My original plan was a short PSU shroud that sat tight next to the door, but I started to play around with the idea of shroud that ran the full length of the case, and with this, I wanted some room between it and the door.

    The general idea when I was doing my "hold stuff close and see if it looks like c*** or not" planning

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    I liked it so I held the blocks back to mount it and ran into this problem

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    Whoops!

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    But not to let that slow me down, my case shall now feature "A vibration-dampening power supply mount." At least it will once I find some rubber pads. :D

    And next up is to bend the shroud, once I finally decide what I want to do. I like the idea of a full length shroud to hide stuff, but I'm worried that it might move the fans in the front up higher than I'd like. So I'm gonna play around with it and figure it out.

    The current idea mock up with a scrap piece

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  3. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Did a little more today. Got the PSU shroud made up.

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    It's hard to figure out how to take a picture sometimes, lol. I also figured out how to get around my flare problem that I had with the shell of the case. I made the shroud bigger than it had to be and then cut off the flared parts on the saw. And the finished product:

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    The case is a little out of square so I had to get it squared up to get the correct measurements for the mb tray, so I grabbed some trash wire and whipped something up. I'm expecting the tray to hold it square once I get it all mounted.

    And I started to work up my ideas for the mb tray. I'm planning on using the i/o bracket from the Scout 2 I used for F3. That will give me the ability to upgrade in the future relatively easily. Unfortunately, it's going to require some planning and forethought. Not necessarily my strengths.

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    So I stared at it. And thought about it. And then decided that I'd rather mow some grass than screw something up right now. :D So that's for next time.
     
  4. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Update time! Got back to work on Spark tonight. Part of the motivation was to play with my new toy:

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    I got tired of not having a drill around if I didn't bring my work truck home, plus I was looking for a compact drill to use. This thing is freaking tiny compared to my 18v. It's like a wee baby drill.

    The other part of my motivation was to get moving along. It feels like it's dragging out. And once I get the pieces figured out, I can get to the fun part of figuring out the fan layout, lights, vents and such.

    So, picking up where I left off last time, I got measurements for the mb tray cut a couple of pieces for that:

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    And then spent some time figuring out how to put it all together and keep the mod blocks out of sight. But I didn't get any pictures. Needless to say, it would have just been pictures of tape with pen lines on them, but at least it would SEEM like I'm not throwing this together all willy-nilly.

    And, ta-da:

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    It's impossible to take good pictures of this thing in my work room. Too shiny and too black. Don't get me wrong, it's supposed to be too shiny and too black, just hard to see the details in the pictures. I should have called it the black hole. Of course the pictures also hide the two holes I miss drilled, so it's not all bad. I forgot to account for a corner when I was laying things out and my tray now has an extra two holes. I'll probably just glue a short screw in them and make them look like they're supposed to be there, since re-cutting the tray would require me to double the acrylic I still need to buy and leave me a lot of extra.

    Here's a somewhat better look at things:

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    I sorta mulled over the idea of mounting the GPU facing out to show it off, but since it's going to be behind a smoked panel and I'm going with blue lighting, I'm thinking it won't show off too well. Plus this is just a workhorse, so I'll save the flashy ideas for upcoming projects.

    I also started working on getting the cooling loop ready. The XSPC AX120 rad:

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    I had bought this for F3, but wound up going a different route. Figured this would be a nice upgrade from the AIO's stock rad. Nice thing about this radiator is that when you want to paint it,

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    you just pull out the guts. Pretty cool looking guts if you ask me.

    Then a scotchbrite pad and some primer and you get here:

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    Not so pro tip: zip ties to reduce the number of coat hangers needed. Damn I need to clean my garage!

    After this I proceeded to shoot them with some gloss black, which I didn't take pictures of because it ran on one of the endcaps. Grrrrrrr. So I'll be re-painting that piece and will grab pics with the completed rad.
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :lol: No, you don't.
    She's coming along great. You might want to add some bracing to the base under the feet. Once you add 40+ pounds of gear/water, there will be some bowing.
    I also wouldn't trim the flaring/etc. until you get all the parts fitted and assembled.
     
  6. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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    nice progress, looking good!
     
  7. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! Yeah, Cheaps, the acrylic is a little flimsy. And I've still got to whack some crazy holes and vents in it.
     
  8. Waynio

    Waynio Relaxing

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    Nice acrylic work & nice motherboard paint job, looks so much better than stock. :clap::dremel:
     
  9. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Really nice project, I like recycling ;) (See my works)

    Following your project. :thumb:
     
  10. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    @Waynio @Canardwc Thanks!
     
  11. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Small update and viewer poll time!!!!

    So I'm starting to do the layout for the fans and stuff...

    On the top of the case
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    The front of the case with power and reset buttons. Going to be using black vandal-resistant switches.
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    And figuring out the res that I'm going to mount on the back wall
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    With fittings and the painted rad
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    Tiny little tank with tiny little fittings. I'll be using 1/4" id tubing, but it's an AIO pump, so I think it will work. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I can always change out fittings and tubing.

    The setup:
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    And now the poll. This is what I've come up with for venting in the back panel. I wanted something back there so I don't wind up with a dead spots in the airflow.
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    Shaded spots to be removed. 1/4" slots with a 1/4" between each. I went differing lengths because I really like that look(like that Xforma MKII case, inspiration only, lol). I thought about setting them on an angle, but it didn't really feel like it fit the case. I'm looking for opinions, ideas, and options because they just feel "ok". They're acceptable and have a bit of style, but kind of blah still. So give me some inspiration, the crazier the better!:lol:
     
  12. Freebee

    Freebee Member

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    looking awesome!, great progress!!
     
  13. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thank you sir!
     
  14. Vinch

    Vinch New Member

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    Nice work! The outer frame shape reminds me of the InWin cases.

    For your back venting, try maybe to discontinue the cuts (don't know if you see what I mean).

    And a little tip for your pics: try maybe to not takr them ib front of a window, since the light from the window will overshine the one from your case. Try taking your pics in front of a neutral background.
     
  15. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Thanks! Yeah the window sucks, especially with the acrylic, but my work table is right there and it's about the only space I have at the moment. This hopefully will be changing soon. Starting to work on a basement workshop with more room, better lighting, and no tacky wallpaper, lol.

    As far as the back vent, I had changed up the design some and was cutting it in when my router decided that mesh would look better back there. But that's for my next update.
     
  16. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Did some more this weekend, and I finally feel like I'm making progress on this thing. Yay!

    So first off, I was trying to figure out the vent in the back wall of the case. I wanted something different and cool. I came up with a cool idea and then decided to wreck it with the router. :( It was going good til my jig slid and now, this is the vent:
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    Not very different, but with some mesh, I'll make something of it. Not to leave this being the only problem I ran into, I missed a little bit on another measurement:
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    Whoops!

    I also cut out for the fans and switches:
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    I had planned on leaving a squared edge on everything, but using a new hole saw to cut the fan holes made for a few rough holes. Very grabby, but you have to break it in somehow. To fix the rough spots, I went ahead and routed the edges of the holes.

    Starting to put things together to check fit and layout a few more things like the mb mounts, cable routing holes, res mount, etc.
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    The intake for the PSU, in case I block off the end of the shroud. I'm going to use mesh in this like the back vent.

    Notching the mb tray to fit around the i/o panel:
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    And this is where I'm at now. Put it in a different light so maybe the pics would come out a little better:
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    I'm really debating spraying a matte finish on this thing once it's all said and done. Or maybe I'll try some crazy things to knock the shine down. Brushed acrylic? :lol: Who knows, but the reflections are killing me!
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2015
  17. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    Wow! Feels like forever since I updated this, but it's been for a good cause: NEW WORKSHOP!

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    With decent lighting for pics and a nice table to work on. And now that my workshop is mostly set up and my table is ready and rocking, time for some modding!

    It's nice that I can actually take some decent pics of this thing:
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    As you can see, I used modding mesh to fix my screw up on the back panel vent. I'm not sure if I'm going to go with black like the rest of the case or go with the accent white on it, but I'll figure that out later.
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    Also used the mesh for a grill on the intake for the PSU.
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    Haven't epoxy'd these in yet because I still have some panel work to do and I need to shoot them with some primer.

    Speaking of panel work, the mb tray is ready to go:
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    And there are only a few more interior panel to work on. Have to make one for the drives, which will set over the PSU shoud, and I need to trim the PSU shroud for running cables.

    I'm also hopefully going to tackle the problem of weight bowing the acrylic with these, which I'm also going to use as a chase to get the wire across that huge open spot in the case.
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    But that will be this weekend. Til then!
     
  18. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    coming along nicely :)
     
  19. Icelander

    Icelander Member

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    what is this mobo tray made of ?
     
  20. InsolentGnome

    InsolentGnome Active Member

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    @bionic-Thanks!

    @Ice-The same 6mm acrylic as the rest of it. I just took a sander to it to get it ready for paint.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2015

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