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Scratch Build – In Progress WHY PLY 9th July 2011 (7th August Walnut COMPLETED)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Bugste81, 9 Jul 2011.

  1. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    WHY PLY 9th July 2011
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    I've worked for a furniture making company for nearly six years and been putting together computers for longer. I never thought to design and make my own case. As MDF and Ply Wood are the materials I'm most used to using and the machinery's geared up for it I thought I'd play to my strengths.
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    I wanted my case to be as compact as possible using all the space wisely but to accommodate high end and hot components. I knew dust filters needed to be incorporated and easy to clean which are similar to the Antec P180 case. Finally I wanted it to be without any frivolity just clean and simple.

    System Specs

    CPU: Intel Core i7-930 clocked 4 GHz
    GPU: Gainward GTX 480
    Hard disks: 3x 1TB Samsung F3, 1x 500GB Samsung F1
    Memory: 6GB Corsair 1600GHz
    Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E
    Sound card: Creative X-FI Titanium Pro Fatal1ty
    Power Supply: Antec Quattro 1000W
    Cooling: 2x Silver stone 180mm Air Penetrator, 2x 120mm Sharkoon Silent Eagle


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    My Antec P180 case was getting a bit cramped and hot even after taking an angle grinder to it.
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    The design process started with all the components being mocked up to size out of MDF. It took about a couple of weeks trial and error to come up with a layout. It was like doing a sliding block puzzle.
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    Although modelling up the parts helped, getting them rendered using Autodesk made it much easier to float them into position. This informed what the overall dimensions of the case would be. In the end the layout was more or less lifted from a Silverstone Raven RV03 case, 180mm Air Penetrator fans included. The motherboard would be rotated so hot air is blown upwards.
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    Using the cad software on the CNC router I was able to roughly but quickly get a case built out of 18mm MDF.
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    Many things were added, removed and tweaked from revision 1 to revision 2. These included holes for screw placements including the tricky job of locating the brass standoffs for the motherboard. The big change was opting for 12mm Birch Ply, making it lighter and stronger and changing it to BTX standard as apposed to ATX. This would put the graphics card in the middle and CPU at the back.
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    After a few hours of programming and a couple of hours machining, revision 2 was built.
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    One of the trickier things was to flip my mind round for the BTX layout. I'd mirrored all the parts but shouldn't have with the motherboard stand offs. L-shaped brackets were roughly made from solid timber off cuts and everything went together much more quickly than the 1st revision.
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    Fine mesh was ordered from the internet for dust filters. However for the underneath fans I stretched a pair of my partners tights across 4mm Perspex! This was actually quite hard to do.
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    I'd put a lot of effort into the case so far and there were a few instances where I'd wake in the night with my mind racing how to get something to work (too much coffee) With a few more refinements here and there revision 3 was ready. This would hopefully be the one.
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    A couple of sections were sprayed black to add contrast. Plastic slides were glued in the base for the dust filters.
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    Foam was glued to the side panels for noise reduction.
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    A eureka moment came when I realised I could simply Velcro the DVD drive to the roof of the case! Rather than constructing a complicated bracket.
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    The various filters and mesh panels were cut out and sprayed black.
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    The final hard drive L-shaped brackets were made from bent aluminium strips and carefully drilled. The drill has to be set at a low speed to bite into the metal rather than rub at high speed.
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    This was an enjoyable part of the build to see everything finally falling into place.
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    As the leads were at the top of the case I had to purchase a couple of right angle cables.
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    Foam strips were stuck to the feet to reduce vibration and noise. Likewise silicon pads were put between all the hard drives and fans.
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    Removable tights dust filter.
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    Removable dust filter makes cleaning it a lot easier.
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    Spaghetti junction at the back of the case. Neat and tidy at the front.
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    I made some reusable cable ties out of some more double sided Velcro.
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    On the whole I'm pretty happy with the finished case. However there are a few niggles. With the PSU at the front of the case I was unable to hide the power cable inside it unless I made it wider. I bought a right angle kettle lead but it went in the wrong direction. Even then it would be a tight fit. The noise level is acceptable. It's mainly due to having an open top after the enclosed P180. There are a few vibrations that need ironing out. It does however run much cooler allowing higher overclocks. On the plus side an 8' x 4' sheet of birch ply is enough for two complete cases. I'm underway with a French Walnut veneered case. I think it will give it a much more finished look. Finally as the program is permanently stored on the CNC Router I can produce as many cases and finishes as I want.

    Hope you've enjoyed my case build and I welcome your comments.

    Bugste81
     
    Last edited: 7 Aug 2011
  2. St3ph

    St3ph What's a Dremel?

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    It looks really nice =) I don't like two things though:
    1. The black DVD drive. A wooden cover would have been great.
    2. The sticker with Intel, XFi etc.

    But that's only my opinion^^ no offense =)
     
  3. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    It's terrific! :clap: Ditch the stickers and it will be better still. ;)
     
  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    ^I agree. Lose the stickers and the DUCT TAPE and it will be perfect. I hurt my neck when I first saw the tape. It's criminal to cut corners like that.
     
  5. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Thanks guys appreciate the nice comments. Sticker removal dually noted. Will hopefully have the Walnut case completed in the next week or two. Going to have all the mesh and grills painted white to contrast the darker wood finish this time. Also how do I edit what I've posted?

    Cheers.

    Bugste81
     
  6. BOBDBONE

    BOBDBONE Owner at BS Mods

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    Hey super job on this!

    It's nice and clean. Very good use of the tools from work too. Wish I had that available to me. :thumb:
     
  7. St3ph

    St3ph What's a Dremel?

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    In the lower right corner of your post is the "Edit" button ;)
     
  8. miahallen

    miahallen Team IRONMODS - World Champions!

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    +1 to what the others said ;)

    Also, there are some simple solutions to tidy this up too. Check into some long thumbscrews like what the Blanchetto uses for PCIe card retention :thumb:

    Great build....I love the fact you could start manufacturing these...too cool :hip:
     
  9. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Thanks I'll have a look into those. The funny thing is that I can get a case made quicker than the time it takes to bend and drill the L-shaped brakets. It's always the small details that take the most time.
     
  10. forester joe

    forester joe shhh. can you hear your PC?

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    has the elegance of both the SS Fortress 02 and the TT Level 10.
    great work.
     
  11. MeddlE

    MeddlE Norwegian Blue

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    Loving this a lot. I've been planning a case like this for about a year now and was looking at using either MDF or ply partly because I like working with them but mainly for sound deadening reasons. So I'm intrigued why you needed foam to quieten the case?
     
  12. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    The side panels are only 4mm ply so I thought the more insulation the merrier. The company I work for also does upholstery so there were off cuts of foam about. It seems also to help reduce any vibrations.
     
  13. PabloFunky

    PabloFunky What's a Dremel?

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    Have been watching this.

    As you know i am working on a wood build also,(i know its taking awhile) considered ply, but wanted to do from solid beech.

    I think your doing a great job, looks nice.

    Chances are you may be using some of the parts we manufacture at work, when you upholster?
     
  14. MeddlE

    MeddlE Norwegian Blue

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    Thanks for the response, I'm planning on using 12mm for everything but the front and back which will be 18mm. Possibly a little over the top but I want it to be quiet and strong.
     
  15. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Update 18th July 2011

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    Just a Quick update of the Walnut Case.
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    Its Being Polished at the Moment. I've added an extra hole at the back for more mesh and ventilation.
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    With any luck this will be the one.
     
  16. PabloFunky

    PabloFunky What's a Dremel?

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    Looking great, Walnut is a good choice.

    Making me want to build a full atx wood pc also.
     
  17. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Walnut Case

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    The Walnut Case is Complete!
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    Of course I've got to still transfer all the hardware into it.
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    The Back now has mesh for extra ventilation.
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    I'm going to paint the front USB Ports white. Not sure about the DVD writer. Will see how it looks.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2011
  18. kelmannen

    kelmannen What's a Dremel?

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    k, so the ply one was a prototype =) damn, thats cheating... =P Great build!
     
  19. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Well you know I had a few bits of ply wood knocking about. Seemed a shame not to try something a bit fancyer.
     
  20. Bugste81

    Bugste81 Stephen

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    Disaster Strikes
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    I was hoping to have all the finished images up tonight but no. Due to five dodgy screws getting stuck last night I was unable to. I have now removed the offending screws but at a cost. My first and worst mistake was to try and chisel a slot into the screw head. This worked fine. What didn't was the power drill slipping and gouging the front edge of the case on the side most visible. To add insult to injury the screw hadn't budged an inch.
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    I bought a broken screw removal kit today. This was no good. I did manage to remove them by drilling them out but this damaged the side panels more. I've coved them in resin and will sand it back for now. Just hope there is some French walnut veneer left at work for a remake.
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    On the plus side I've sprayed the front usb header white.
     

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