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The poor mans guide to building a wooden HTPC

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Fruitloaf, 3 Nov 2003.

  1. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    Phase 1: The mock-up and starting of the cuttage

    I've been wanting to build a HTPC for a while now but have just managed to set a little cash aside for it. My idea comes a lot from the VesperDeco HTPC idea. I wanted to take some cheap materials and make a HTPC out of the the tools I had wherever possible.

    First things first is to make a mockup of the case so I could get the dimensions right

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thats all been measured up so I went to get a nice big sheet of plywood. Homebase had some but it was £30 for 3 times as much as I needed. Fortunatly there's a nice a wood depot right round the corner to me mainly for building supplies. They didn't have any really decent plywod, just the same exterior finished plywood, 9mm thick however it was £15 for a huge sheet so I went for that.

    Next I need needed to start cutting out strips of wood. These will be layered on top of each other and then sanded together. This would be real easy to do if only I had a big table saw but I only have my very cheap jigsaw. Now I've never done much wood work so I had to figure a way to make sure I could get nice straight cuts and since I had around 80 pieces of varying complexity they'd need to be done relatively easily/quickly.

    The way I did it was by taking a section of the pre-cut edge of the plywood (which seems pretty stright to me) and clamping it just the right amount inside of my cutting line so all I had to do was run my jigsaw along the edge to get a pretty straight cut.

    [​IMG]
    The first cut I decided to do were the side walls. These are simply rectangles 320x30mm so I cut a big piece 320mm wide and am now cutting 3cm chunks off it

    [​IMG]

    Once I've done that I'll give you a little update on the stacking and sanding of those bits and then on to the more complex bits
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2003
  2. korben

    korben What's a Dremel?

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    Cool, looking forward to more posts on this! :thumb:
     
  3. pranks7er

    pranks7er mange tout

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    keep updates comming
     
  4. pranks7er

    pranks7er mange tout

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    heres a drawing of a htpc plan to build later using that vespo style

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    That looks pretty slick, I like the idea of the thick plexi running through the design, it would be far harder to do than what I had in mind with the tool I have. If you had a big saw that could cut through the 10cm+ of wood required to make one of the sides then it wouldn't be all that bad. My design is a little plainer, I'll see if I can do a little photoshopping to show what its meant to look like.
     
  6. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    [​IMG]

    Ok sketch done. I'm going for a more solid and basic look since I don't have the cash to buy any fancy thick plexi. The front plate is going to be copper on some plexi with the edges sanded and some blue leds embedded in it.

    The top will have a 120mm fan ducted straight to the cpu, hopefully it should be able to run real slow so that it doesn't produce much noice. I'll connect a nice quiet fan to the PSU too, which I'm thinking about adding a window to. Ditto with the hard drive, its an old 15GB one so I'm not too bothered if I loose it.

    The feet of the case are going to be some nice think plexi I have lying around. They'll be sanded and have blue leds embedded in them too.

    For the top of the case I'm going to get some magnetic stip and hopefully that'll keep it stuck to the top as long as I secure some plywood to it to keep it from jiggling around.

    So far all I've managed to do is one of the sides and that's taken 3 hours with all the cutting and sanding, this is going to take a while me thinks.
     
  7. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    Update 2: 1 wall done :clap:
    [​IMG]

    Well I finished 1 wall of the case and god damn did it take a while. I estimate maybe 5 hours+ to cut the pieces, stack them, sand them all flat and then stick them together. They're all perfectly flat at the front and sides now. I'm going to leave off doing the fine sanding and staining until I've gotten all the bits finished so I can see how it will all look.

    [​IMG]
    Also thanks to my looking at the layout once I'd done the wall I've redesigned the cuts I was going to do to reduce the complexity of the cutting. My only worry is that where the curve comes to a point that it'll be a bit week, however I'll deal with tat problem when I get to it :D

    Thats it for now, back to the cutting board for me
     
  8. lokki

    lokki What's a Dremel?

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    Cool. Even with the not-so-great pic ;) you can see the great banding in the wood. /me likes!

    So in your 'Original vs. Revised' drawing, this is top-down, yeah? What's the middle bit, I think you drew it in blue? Plexi?
     
  9. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    Sorry, will take my proper digi camera down to the garage next time to take some better pics, they were just taken with my Palm's crappy 640x480 one.

    The banding really comes out in real life especially after I wipped it down, staining should bring it out something good

    Sorry, the sketch is top down, the different colours were just to show the different sections that I'm creating, they're all going to be in the same wood effect.
     
  10. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I really like the progress so far. I especially like the ducted fan to the CPU, I considered doing that sort of thing on the vesperdeco but it didn't work out. :thumb:
     
  11. lokki

    lokki What's a Dremel?

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    Very cool, thanks for the clarifications. I'm watching this one for sure! I've tossed around the idea of a wood case but never came up with the final inspiration. We'll see...
     

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