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Scratch Build – In Progress Twenty - Update 7th September

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by morgansk, 14 Jan 2013.

  1. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Thanks Ocelot, I am very lucky to have the place. Mind you I did save my pennies for years to be able to afford it!
     
  2. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Happy Feet

    Tonight I removed the clamps from the re-jointed wood and sanded with 60, 80, 100, 120, 180 and 240 grits until the baseplate was in pretty good shape. I have to say I'm very pleased with it so far, I must have planed this really square as there's no gap on either side except just at the end, but that's being cut off anyway. Happy!

    [​IMG]

    Here's another view, a bit of a close up (apologies, these images were on my phone, my DSLR needed charging).

    [​IMG]

    I put a layer of sanding sealer on the baseplate and set it to one side, I had some aluminium to cut. Having never tried this before I wasn't sure which tool to use - Jigsaw, Scrollsaw or Bandsaw. I was going to take a leaf out of Waynio's book and use the Scrollsaw, but decided to try the Bandsaw first and boy was I happy I did. It cut through the Aluminium like a knife through butter, I was expecting to get only one cut tonight but instead I got all four done!

    [​IMG]

    As I'd made so much progress I broke out the machine vice and filed one face of these smooth...

    [​IMG]

    And just for good measure I quickly polished one up - this is by no means final, just a quick test to see what it looked like.

    [​IMG]

    Now I have one square face on the feet I can square up the rest the next time I'm in the workshop. I think I'll clamp them all together and try sanding at 90 degrees on my stationary sanding wheel, that should hopefully cut down on the filing a bit, and if it works I can then sand all sides down to size so they fit nicely on the ends of the legs.

    I've got a couple of things on the way from eBay, one is a 10.2mm drill bit so I can drill the legs before tapping them for the feet, the other is some pumice dust that I need for my French Polishing. I'm going to try polishing the baseboard first, it's a big lump but less than half the size of the desktop, and if I can get this right I'll be happier about doing the top.
     
  3. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Nice to see this one rolling again. I haven't had a whole lot of time for woodworking lately, and won't for at least another month, so I'm fairly jealous lol
     
  4. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Thanks Mosquito, it's good to be back. Mind you I haven't been idle as a few other (non computer related) projects happened in the interim period, but I'm trying to concentrate on the desk for now.
     
  5. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Foot Update

    Last night I did a load of sanding and tonight was much the same, I also did a bunch of polishing too as some goodies came in the post this afternoon (Autoglym polish, some oil and pumice I need for French polishing, and a couple of other bits too). I set about finishing the sanding on the blocks (80,100,120,180,240,400,600,1200 - the last three being wet/dry paper), then polished one block on the edges and tried it in place...

    [​IMG]

    I'm pleased with how it looks and the fit is pretty much spot on too. I then drilled all four blocks and tapped the center hole which is for the adjustable foot. The four other holes are to attach it into the leg - I know that four is a bit over the top, but two wouldn't have looked right, not that anyone will ever see these. I also polished up the face of one of the blocks too, again I'm pleased with how this is going...

    [​IMG]

    The adjustable foot has a long bolt with a nut on it and a foot at the base, as shown in this last image for this evening. I'll be able to get just the right height on the bench, and also ensure that it doesn't rock...

    [​IMG]

    Lastly for today I had a splurge. I've decided over the last year that I want to have a watercooled beast rather than the passively cooled machine this was once going to be, so have been lusting after some Admiral radiators and I have a colleague coming over from the 'states in a couple of weeks so ordered them so that she can bring them over and save the mahussive postage. They're a bunch cheaper in the 'states, like most things.

    [​IMG]

    There were two reasons I decided on these (other than the obvious one that they are gorgeous). First off was the end feed - this works well with what I have planned for them. Second was the ability to dismantle the ends, again that will come in very handy. There might be some wood action going on with these. ;)
     
  6. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Fancy Footwork

    I've been working on a couple of other things for the desk this week which are not ready for prime time yet, so tonight I spent some time attaching the feet to the desk. They still need a little work to fit exactly and also polish them up, so now was a good time to get everything test fitted.

    First off I made a jig so that I could more easily drill the holes for the feet to screw up in to...

    [​IMG]

    I made a jig for a couple of reasons - first off it helped me ensure that each foot was central on the leg, and secondly it ensured that the drill was perpendicular to the leg as I drilled the jig on my drill press. I then drilled these all out to 12mm and fixed each foot with some stainless screws...

    [​IMG]

    I'm really happy how these have turned out - there's a bit of cleaning up to do on a couple of the feet as you can see from the image above, but all in all I think these look pretty decent.

    I've also been practicing with French Polishing again and the results are getting better all the time. I want to do a few more practice pieces before I start on the desk itself, but I'm getting better all the time.
     
  7. ali_robb2000

    ali_robb2000 What's a Dremel?

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    The feet look good. I was thinking they wouldn't be very stable as they only screw into the main frame by a single bolt but they look like they're pretty solid...?

    Well done for learning a new skill, I don't think I'm at the stage of trying French Polishing yet but would like to give it a go! Will be good to see how it turns out.
     
  8. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Oh, they are extremely stable. The bolts are 12mm and about 110mm long, so go up into the leg. And the aluminium plates are 10mm and attached with 4 screws which are 50mm long - these puppies aren't going anywhere!

    As for the French Polishing it's early days, but my test pieces have turned out really well - and unbelievably smooth (which is what I am after as I will be sat at this for 8+ hours a day once it is finished). Thanks for your interest.
     
  9. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Back Panel Beginnings

    The weather's been pretty lousy this weekend in Manchester, mainly rain. Every cloud has a silver lining though, it meant that I got to spend a load of time in the workshop on the desk. I took a bunch of photos on my DSLR but have left it in the workshop, so you'll have to make do with a few from my phone.

    Over the weekend I've been working on the compartment where the PC is going to live. I made a new back piece as I wasn't happy with the existing one (it was a bit too thin) and I also cut and doweled the base and front part of the compartment. No images (other than the dowels in the last photo, I'll try to remember to bring my camera back next time and upload a few in progress shots).

    This evening I began work on the backplate. It's another slab of 10mm Aluminium - I know, that's ridiculously thick, but it's all I have for now and I like building things to last. Also it doesn't flex like thinner stuff, and as the rest of the build is large then this might as well be. First off an in-progress shot...

    [​IMG]

    I drilled 6*10mm holes in the rear, then used a jigsaw with a suitable blade to chop out the waste. Then it was time for filing - lots and lots of filing!. Next time I'll make sure that my drill holes are as close to the edge of the aperture as possible. After an hour or so of filing and a bit of polishing to get an idea of how it will look I arrived at this...

    [​IMG]

    Not too bad. These outlets are to power the monitor(s). I have three on my desk at the moment, so I'm adding three outlets here even though I may have fewer monitors on the desk once it's completed (I'm lusting after a rather nice 34" monitor with 3440 * 1440 resolution at the moment, if I get this sometime I might be able to use just the one monitor).

    I have a few more items to add to the back panel, it's being kept deliberately minimal as I want to only expose the minimum of ports on the rear. I'm planning on mounting this plate with machine screws from the rear, so no fasteners will be visible from the outside. I need to cut and file holes for two USB ports, unfortunately I don't have files small enough to finish off these holes at the moment, so I'll have to buy some more tools. Yay!

    Lastly for this evening I did a test fit of a motherboard and PSU (these are not the items going into the build, just some from my last PC). If truth be told I haven't decided yet what I'll be using for the hardware, I have a few ideas but nothing concrete yet. Anyway, it seems I have a fair deal of space to play with...

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if I will add the fan to the left or right of the motherboard at the moment - neither is quite right given the positioning of the other stuff I'm likely to add inside the machine, but I am a little constrained by the position of the DVD drive which is to the right side of the desk (the image above is showing the right side nearest us). You can see the dowels I've inserted, these go into holes on the sides of the desk so that everything marries up nicely. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but due to space constraints I'm building the desk so that it can be broken down into pieces to move it into my office.

    I'm getting close to being able to dry assemble all of the parts of the desk soon, I'm looking forward to getting a glimpse of what the top will look like once it's in place!
     
  10. Ocelot

    Ocelot Minimodder

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    Nice work. The feet look as well made as the rest of the desk. Black and silver looks good.

    I like your power connector plate too. It might be thicker than necessary but at least you have enough material to cut threads.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how your polishing turned out.
     
  11. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Arms like Popeye!

    Not a lot of updates over the past month as all I've been doing is French Polishing. I feel a bit like Daniel in Karate Kid 1, Polish On, Polish Off, Polish On, Polish Off. Talk about repetitive, this takes it to a new level! All I've managed to do so far is a bunch of coats on the inside of the desk, i.e. the part that won't be seen. I don't want to start on anything that could be seen as I'm just learning.

    Anyhow, here's one of those pieces - this one has 5 coats so far (I'm marking the number of coats on the end of the board, so I can see what gives me a good overall finish and then use that on the other pieces, of which there are many!).

    [​IMG]

    Here's a photo from the other end and a bit closer to the wood, it shows off the grain beautifully...

    [​IMG]

    Whilst this is hard repetitive work, it's also producing the most fantastically smooth finish I've ever produced. It's one of those finishes you just want to touch, I can't wait to get this desk finished and back at home to work on, but I think that's a long way off based on how much more I need to French Polish!
     
  12. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Since my last update I've been on holiday and changed jobs, so haven't had a lot of time to dedicate to the build. I've been doing some more French Polishing and getting better at the technique - to the point where I may sand down the original pieces I polished in order to do them again, as I'm now getting better results.

    The bit that I've now learnt how to do better is pore filling - this uses pumice as an abrasive to create a very find paste (together with shellac and a small drop of oil) which gets worked into all of the pores of the wood and therefore creates a really flat surface on top of which you can apply the french polish.

    I've a couple of images to show - these are after just pore filling. The first shows how shiny the wood is...

    [​IMG]

    With the method of pore filling I'm doing now I'm getting a much better surface finish, you can see from the above the amount of shine I'm getting from a light above the work.

    The second is a closer shot showing how the strip of wood I added to cover the wires for the DVD drive has come up a treat...

    [​IMG]

    The smaller holes (if you were wondering) are for dowels that locate the front and base of the PC compartment.

    Like most new skills it takes time to learn, now I think I've got over the "hump" and feel like I'm making some headway. I still have a lot of parts to polish, especially if I strip the ones that I've already done, and I've not begun to tackle the top of the desk yet - but now I'm a great deal more confident that I can do it justice.

    That's all for now!
     
  13. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Getting better!

    It seems I'm getting the hang of French Polishing now, here's the latest photo of the base of the computer compartment (which won't be seen once the desk is closed, but will have all the PC stuff sat on top of it once I get to that part)...


    [​IMG]


    This piece has had 20 or so coats of shellac now, it's really starting to shine nicely as you can see in the reflection above. Now I need to get some more Shellac as I have very nearly run out, so will place an order today so that I get some before next weekend when I hope to get some more coats onto the pieces.

    I'm getting close to being able to fit this thing back together again so that I can start measuring up for the top. That said I have a lot of work to do on the internals yet too as I've not decided on an internal layout, or where I'll be placing crucial items like radiators. This is my first full scratch build, and also my first watercooling build, so it's a baptism by fire in some respects!
     
  14. Mosquito

    Mosquito Minimodder

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    Nice and shiny, look forward to the rest :)
     
  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Nice reflection. The shoes on the other hand...:lol: I need to learn this, but some of my best work has been thoughtlessly painted over.
     
  16. morgansk

    morgansk I've got wood

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    Thanks Mosquito, it's a labour of love!

    Well I had a few false starts Cheaps, but now seem to be getting the hang of it. Works taken a turn for the worst at the moment so I've not managed to do anything since this last update as I'm now travelling a lot and the wife has other plans for me when I'm home. I'm only home for 10 nights this October, hopefully Novemeber will be a little better - but at least work on my allotment tails off during the winter months so I might get some time to play with it again soon!

    And what's wrong with my shoes? :D
     
  17. Furball Zen

    Furball Zen Shut up and Mod

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    Crap... glad this is still alive as i just now found it! :)
     

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