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Thread: Project: Spork

  1. #33
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: Adding ventilation aka the swiss cheese offensive.

    To improve the air flow in this case not only do I plan on adding a 140mm fans to the top and front, but also adding some ventilation holes in the sides, behind the plastic side decals.

    I wanted to cut some holes out from between the fins it the same way the front of the decal is cut.
    Here's a pic to remind you what it looks like.


    To start with I carefully marked out two holes, that cover about 60% of the length of the decal.
    I didn't want to make them any larger or a single hole as I don't think the plastic is strong enough.
    It is possible to see from the back side where the fins roughly are and I was hopeing to cut it out from this unpainted back side to help preserve the paint work as much as possible.

    I started by drilling 4 holes in the corners of each section I planned to cut out, but on investigation of the back side it's just too indistinct to know where the fins are.
    As the fins are not straight I didn't want to risk cutting it from the back.
    So I just had to be careful and work from the painted outter side, out with the rotary tool and get cutting.


    As you can see from the image this has not been a neat or easy job, which is why I gave myself lots of clearence and didn't want to risk cutting from the back side.

    You may also tell from the image that I tried many different bits, with varying degrees of success.
    Both the normal cutting disc and saw disc could cut down a couple of mm but then got to awkward to go much deeper. (this plastic is about 5mm thick)
    The best bit I found for this was the larger of my two small milling bits (I think that's what they are called)

    However it still took multiple passes and I could only work small sections at a time.
    It was a slow process but I finally got the 1st section cut out


    As you can see from the bit, the biggest issue I was haveing is that it was not so much cutting but more melting it's way through.
    The molten plastic both wrapping around the bit and resolidifying in the cut behind the bit, meaning I had to constantly go back over it just to clear the cut.
    After getting half way through the 3rd line I had to cut I was so fedup with it I decided on a new tactic.


    The trusty spare hacksaw blade and elbow grease.
    My reason were, that I'd had no hassle makeing the holes with my hand drill so I was unlikely to saw so fast that I'd melt it as I was cutting
    And the ease at which this methord had worked on the aluminium which while soft is still harder than this plastic.
    It worked a like a charm Once I'd drilled some extra holes to get the blade in to start the cut.
    Cutting the rest of line for this first section this way took half the time it had taken me to get this far with the rotary tool.

    With the first 4 sections removed and time getting short I decided to just clean up the holes.
    I first tried my files, however they are too fine and designed for metal so gummed up fast with plastic dust.
    I then tried whittleing the excess off with my stanley knife, this was better but was still going to take too long.
    I had an idea and tried to use a drill bit as a cutting bit, it didn't work very well.
    Thinking back to my work with the aluminium I thought I should give the rotaty tool sanding drum a try.
    The sanding drum is too large to fit in the holes So I gave the grinding bits a try.

    Success! after trying a couple to find the best one and best technique, I was soon rappidly carving away the excess.
    I didn't take a pic of the bit, it's the largest one I have, that still has flat sides.
    It looks like this, only a bit thicker

    I worked along the length of each cut, slowly nibbling away the excess as I went.
    I think the combination of the larger diameter and sanding rather than cutting action of this bit is what made it work.
    I still did get some melting, but not as much and what there was didn't get in the way or wrap it's self around or coat the bit.

    I then used my stanley knife to trim off any melted flashing, give it a quick shave to smooth it and square up the corners.
    To shave plastic, use a decent knife (craft knives can work but the snap off blades are often too weak) hold it at 90 degrees to the surface, as if you're going to cut down into it.
    Then draw the blade across the surface, you'll shave off thin layers and get a very smooth finish
    You could hold the blade at an angle like the blade in a shaving razor, however I find this cuts down into the surface too much/often and 90 degrees works better.

    Here's the final resault

    ok this one is not quite the final resault, this is before I finished Stanley knife trimming

    At this point I regret drilling the holes for the 2nd cut out section as I don't think it'll be needed.
    I did manage to catch the silver paint a few times and the shaving removed a lot more from the sides of the fins.
    I'll probably have to fill the holes and repaint these side decals when I'm done.

  2. #34
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Today the cpu arrived, it was the correct one this time.
    Right down to the same thermal paste remnants as shown in the original fleabay picture.
    Which to me is a plus as it shows the seller took the time to take an actual photo of it rather than just use some image off the web, which is what many people seem to do.

    Here she is, ain't she a beauty


    On with today's update,
    Update: Adding ventilation part2 aka the Sponge cake offensive.
    Just a short update today as I slept in

    Today I worked on the left hand decal, to start with here's a correct photo of the final resault of the right hand decal.


    Here's a photo of the left hand decal before I start cutting it.


    I used the same methord as before, minus all the rotary tool experimenting.
    So I drilled some holes in the corners of the sections to be cut out, then went to it with my trusty hacksaw blade.
    I didn't take any pics here but I did take one of myself at the end.

    So much saw dust, it looks like I've got an extreme case of pubic dandruff.

    With the lines cut I then drilled some more holes at the end so I could then cut out the sections out with my stanley knife.

    Here it is already for me to start nibbling off the excess, I also left the grinding bit I found worked best in shot so you can see it.
    You'll also note I've not clamped it down but just held it in place with masking tape.
    I got this tape a while back, it was very cheap, 3 rolls for £1 and is very low tack.
    In fact it's so low tack it doesn't stick down well and lifts off all the time I went out and got some far better 25mm wide masking tape, which is far better.

    I nibbled away the excess, then as before cleaned it up with stanley knife and file.

    Here's the final resault, again I left the tools (file & stanley knife) inshot so you can see what I've used.
    The very sharp eyed amoungst you may of noticed that I made the hole on this side slightly longer.
    I may go back over the other side to match it, but probably not as it would be behind the motherboard tray.

    I'll probably go over it again one last time to neaten it up before I repaint the silver section, but that's not going to happen untill near the end of the build.


    Today I also finalised my list of bits to get from Chilledpc and placed my order.
    the 140mm yate loon red led fans, some cable braid and heat shrink (to braid the psu), edge trim and some red cable ties
    While I was measureing up the psu cables to see what braid I'd need, I realised that I've never removed power connectors before, I've removed 4pin molex pins before, that's easy, the ink tube from a ballpoint pen works very well for that.
    I did some research on removeing PSU connectors, 20+4 pin, 4/8pin eps, sata and 6pin pci-e, but I didn't find that much.
    I found a good guide to sata plugs but all the ones for the other plugs lead to dead links.
    Forum threads mention there's two tabs that need to be pushed in, however on close inspection I cannot see them or how to get to them with out a correct tool.
    Chilledpc do sell a set of plug removal modding tools, but at £13, it's not really worth it for one PSU.

    Noticing that Chilledpc also do a fan cable braid service I sent them a question, asking if they would brade a psu (mentioning the model) how much it would cost? and how long it would take?
    I haven't had a reply yet

    However I did find a molex tool and ATX pin connector tool on fleabay for £4.50 just before I paid I decided to check the sellers felabay shop, and I spotted:
    UV "Red" Advanced Slot Protector Kit @£3, these are covers for unused pci-e/pci/memory to stop dust getting in and look prity. Chilledpc also sell them but for £6
    Molex 4 Pin on/off Power Rocker Switch @£4.75, this is a male and female molex plugs connected by sleeved cables with an extention leading off to a switch, basically I can drill a hole in the case, mount the switch and then use it to turn on/off any thing attached to that molex.

    That switch was a little pricey, in my eyes, but it's already sleeved and I've got a plan for it.
    I have a spare 12" (redish) purple Cold chathode tube that I'm planning on putting inside this case, the molex power switch would be great for it and saves me having to make one.

  3. #35
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Mini-Update, of no fixed abode.
    not much in the way of photos today

    Did a few odds and ends today, mainly going over the supports, back panel and motherboard tray.
    Makeing sure it will all fit together correctly
    Had to trim some metal off the motherboard tray and suport to get that to fit flush. (went through another 4 cheap discs)
    Drilled some more holes ready to put pop rivets in to hold it all together, using screws for now.
    I when through a couple of my bags of screws looking for the ones with the flattest heads that fit the holes, the reason was so I could do a test fit of the side panels . . .

    They still fit! What's more it's become a lot more ridged with all the screws in.

    I cut another length length of the aluminium angle section to make a 3rd support that will go at the front of the motherboard tray to hold it inplace and add more riggidity.
    Trying to hold it in place so I can figure out how to scure it was a pain, so I've used a spot of UHU glue and some clamps to hold it there while the glue dries.

    Why didn't I just clamp it?
    The reason is because I'll need to get it and the motherboard tray out and still in place, to drill some holes to fix them together.
    It was turning into a 5 handed job.

    I then moved onto the PSU and it's back plate.
    While I cannot really try to cut out the metal to make this plate untill my new cutting discs arrive, so for now I made up a template, after test fitting the template, I got the psu out and played around with it trying to find the best position for it.
    I've decided, not in the middle but lifted up off the bottom of the case, with the fan pointed down.
    This way it can still draw air in and I'll also make a vent in the bottom of the case and add a filter to this vent.
    I've got an old black plastic fan grill that should make a great filter, once I've glued some fine mesh to it and by raising the PSU if the filter becomes cloged the psu can still draw in air from the case.


    Here it is all marked out and yet again my technical drawing gcse has had a real practial use.
    I was hopeing to use a couple of bits of this aluminium angle section to make supports to take the weight of the PSU, pop rivet the base of the L to the bottom of the case and have the PSU resting on the top of the upright.
    However they are 2mm to thick/tall. Going to have to come up with something else.

  4. #36
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Nothing specific to say just enjoying watching this progress.

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  6. #37
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    That's fine, it's nice to know that someone is reading it, and all my time writeing this up is not a total waste.


    We've got guests over this weekend again, so I've had to clear everything away, but I'm waiting of stuff to arrive so no big loss.
    I'm planning on setting up all the internals on a spare motherboard tray over the week end, make sure it all works and maybe install windows.

    And I got a couple of other little ideas/things done but I've not uploaded the photos yet.

  7. #38
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Today's update: ARRRRRRGH!
    No photos, I forgot

    Yep thing did not go so well, I got the bits from Chilledpc and fleabay, dug my old El-cheapo free with case PSU out which I only really use for one thing, testing fans.
    I hooked up the Yate Loon 140mm red led fans, very nice there's a bit of motor buzz, but they are very nice for the cost.
    Tried them at 12v and 5v, at 5v the only thing I could hear was the motor buzz, however the air flow feels rubbish, I had to have my hand right up close before I could feel any air flow.
    And of course the led's are dimmer at 5v, however I see no real issue running these at 12v they are more than quiet enough, more quiet than the 80mm fan in the psu.
    Looking at the braiding, I realised 2m of the 6mm may be enough for the psu but another meter or two would of been better so I could braid the fans.
    Same for the edge trim, I only ordered 1m, which is more than enough for one 140mm fan hole, but if I add a case window I'll need a bit more.
    always the way

    I decided to try to set up the motherboard on my spare motherboard tray, so I could at least get it into BOIS and check it's all working.

    Issue 1, cpu cooler, the instructions are not 100% clear, there's a nice colour booklet for socket 939 and 478 an additional B&W one for socket 775, and just a leaflet for AM2.
    There's some additional metal brakets that I puzzeled over untill I figured out that they are so you can rotate the cooler through 90 degrees so it points up/down.
    Now trying hard to follow the instructions, I remove the plastic bracket from the motherboard, locate the correct screws and try to screw the mounting bracket on to the stock back plate, only to find two of the screws just slide in.
    After double checking the instructions, where there's no mention of back plate in the AM2 instructions.
    Looking at the supplied bits, there's an obsious 775 backplate and another one with mulipul holes.
    So I remove the motherboard from the tray and . . . nope that will not fit ether.

    I had a careful look at the screws, the screws that hold the stock bracket to the back plate has the same sized core, but the thread is slightly wider.
    I went ahead and mounted the cooler as the two screws that do hold are diagonally opposite, it holds on quite solidly, but I'm not happy with it, I'll have to see if I can get some A) long screws matching the stock screws or B) some nuts and spring washers that I can screw onto the bottom of the current screws to hold it all tight.

    Well it's good enought for just checking the BIOS, on I go, get my memory out and . . . ummm . . . why is this not lining up? . . . Oh
    Yep while I was sooo happy to get the newer M4A78 instead of the M3A78 motherboard there is a slight problem, it uses DDR3 not DDR2

    So I just ordered some DDR3 from scan



    Oh as I type this I've just had another bad though, I don't think my cpu will work in it

  8. #39
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    Re: Project: Spork

    It'll get back on track mate.. nufink to worry about

    That dodgy case seems to be coming up good

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  10. #40
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    Re: Project: Spork

    It'll still be a cheap, thin steel case, but It will look good and have better cooling.

  11. #41
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Hi Pob, its Sheepdip, (that name was took on these boards ). Anyway, this is just a 'am reading too' message. Keep it going am enjoying it and still getting ideas

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  13. #42
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Hi ya Sheepy welcome to Hexus if you ever have any pc hardware or software issues this is a good place to start
    Hope all is well in Paragon while I'm away, always remember
    Go!
    Hunt!
    Kill Skuls!!

  14. #43
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Well good news, I emailed the novatech ebay shop about the motherboard situation.
    They've offered to arrange collection and refund me yet another plus point in novatech's favour for me.

    The reason being that the M4A78T-E is AM3 only not AM2+, which is why it uses DDR3, it looks like someone tried to fit a AM2 cpu in there before me, as there are 2 holes in the socket where it should be blank.

    Luckly I also managed to cancle my order with Scan before it got shipped, so I don't have the added hassle of trying to send some memory back.

    As a replacement I'm getting a GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 off MadduckUK :helub:

    So here's a mini double update from stuff I did over the weekend and today, no case work as the cutting discs have still not arrived yet

    Update: Cable braiding aka calamari bondage

    While tidying up and putting clothes away one of my hangers snaped.
    What has this got to do with my build you ask? Well I was jsut about to put it in the bin when I realised it's got two nice soft lengths of rubber on it to help grip the clothes hung on it and I thought "they could be very handy for anti vibration or something."

    I then mesured the rubber length against the PSU thinking I could use it on top of a support.
    looks just right, then I got to thinking, while the arms are too tall and tapered so not flat, all I need for a psu support is a U shaped length 10mm thick and it doesn't need to support a great amount of weight.
    And low and behold the arms are 9mm thick and the rubber roughtly 1mm thick, the plastic is actually reinforced on the inside so that when the weight of the psu is spread out along there length it sould be fine.
    So I pulled off the rubber, grabbed the hacksaw before I had to put all my tools away, quickly hacked the arms into two lengths and droped them into my bag of bits.

    On sunday I managed to make a start of the braiding of the psu.

    While my pin removal tool worked great on my El-cheapo psu, trying to get the pins out of the motherboard plug and pci-e plugs was really hard work on this Seasonic psu.
    The pins are held in far tighter and I had to resort to pliers to get some of the more stubborn ones out.
    At first I just wrapped the wire around my finger and pulled hard on the stubborn ones, however after one came out suddenly it also sliced my thub open

    I've managed to braid the 20+4pin motherboard lead, the pci-e lead and 1 of the molex leads so far.

    This is my first time cable braiding a psu and with this braid, this braid I got from Chilledpc is backwards.

    The stuff I've used before is basically Tubular Crin, this stuff is a loseer weave that holds it's shape and diameter.
    Due to the weave it has a lot of strech and when streched the diameter shrinks, but it has less compression and when compressed the diameter expands little.
    Here's some tubular crin images I've found on the web.

    Tubular Crim is mainly used to make funky hair peices like this and before anyone asks no I don't know who that is nor can I give you her phone number

    The Braiding from Chilledpc is the opsit, it has very little strech but a lot of compression and when compressed it expands a lot.
    In some ways I can see why this is better, you compress it as you work it onto the cables, then when you release it it should shrink back to it's original diameter tightening onto the cables.

    Well that's the theory, not quite so easy in practise.

    This would be fine on single stright lengths of cable, in fact once I got the motherboard connector off that cable was fairly easy to do, the issues arrive when I tried to do the cables with pin's along there length, like the molex lead.
    The pins just will not lay flat along the length of the cable and would catch on the braid as I tried to work it over.
    Wrapping them to the cable with some masking tape stopped them from catching but didn't help the width issue much.

    To make matters worse the heat shrink that fits the thin braid I got doesn't expand, so while I could work the braid over the pins I couldn't get the heat shrink over and had to use the next size up, so it's really a bit too lose after it's shrunk down.

    I also remembered the trick of securing the braid with a cable tie before putting the heat shrink over both.
    This is the methord you have to use when using Tubular Crin as it naturally wants to expand back to it's original width, however naturally wanting to hold it's larger width means it's easier to work over plugs and other obstructions.

    Here's some close ups of the ends of the cables.

    trying to do a short length of braid between the two pci-e cabels was more hassle than it was worth so I just used a long length of heat shrink.


    You can see the lumps of the cable ties here under the heat shrink.

    I think my mesurements where slightly off and I may need to get some more braiding to finish it.
    I've also spotted another large potential problem, the sata power cables.
    The plugs in the middle can be removed, they are self crimping ones that cut into the wire type 3b here
    However the ones on the ends are molded on, so no way of removeing them short of smashing them.
    I should be able to work some of the wider braid over them but I don't have enough of it and I thik only my widest heat shrink will go over them and that's going to be too wide to shrink down to the wire thickness.

  15. #44
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: continued aka Yate Loonacy
    Sorry about image quality, my camera doesn't seem to like energy saving light bulbs

    Here are the nice 140mm Red LED yate loon fans I've got for this case


    Here's the details on the sides of the boxes, 1000rpm, 140mm by 25mm, sleeve bearing


    And here they are with a Antec Tri-Cool 120mm fan so you can see the size difference.

    Left one fliped over so you can see the spec number.


    I've braided these as well.

    It's much eaiser getting the braid over these small pins and unobstructed wires


    I've also replaced the 92mm fan in the Asus cpu cooler with a 92mm Enermax twister, I did a quick comparison of the two fans pluged into my test psu at full 12v speed.
    I really could notice no difference in air flow or noise, however the Enermax has 4 white LEDs (which can be turned off) and is a PWM fan.
    I much prefur the automatic fan control of a PWM fan on a cpu as the heat output varies so greatly and is fairly idiot proof.
    Also it looks great with the light shineing out from inside the cooler (shame I couldn't find any 92mm red LED PWM fans )
    I did snap out the fan blades, just to see how that feature works and it's very nice a feature I'd like to see on more fans.

    I'll try to get a photo tomorrow if I remember

  16. #45
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: Cutting fan holes aka Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
    I'm still using 1280x960 res images, thumbnailised, so click on an image to see the full sized version

    Yep, today my new cutting discs arrived.
    They are bigger, thicker, reinforced and overall soooo much better

    Just look at that difference and I've yet to break a single one.

    So with the new discs here it's time to start cutting up the case.

    First the top 140mm fan hole

    As you can see I've replaced the rubbish masking tape with some better masking tape that actually stays down and marked out the fan hole location stright onto the tape.
    I've gone for my standard octagonal hole, I find these far eaiser to cut than a round hole, while still not restricting air flow and looking very good.

    A bit of careful cutting and fileing later, it's all looking good So good I decided to drill the screw holes, cut some of my mesh to size and show you what it should look like when finished.

    Job's a good'n


    On the the front 140mm fan.
    To start with I flattened out the lip at the top of the current 2x80mm fan section so I could get the 140mm fan behind it.
    I then cut a couple of slots out of the lips to the sides so I could fit a length of aluminium angle section to act as a top mount for the fan and help strengthen the case.


    Next I needed to cut out a curved peice out of the angle section, so as not to get in the way of the air flow and generally look better.
    I'm getting used to working with this aluminium angle section now, I started by drilling a series of holes so I could snap off most of the area to be cut away


    Then I attacked it with my curved file, to remove the excess and smooth it out a bit.
    I then swap to a sanding drum on my rotary tool, to give it a nice smooth arc and a final going over with the filt to remove any burrs and the worst of the sharp edges.


    After drilling a couple of holes so I can secure it to the front with screws (for now) it's ready for the fan for a test fit.


    It sits in there great but it's a real pain to get the fan in and out, plus the angle section gives the case far more strength than that original fan plate.
    So that original 2x80mm fan plate is going to have to come out and drill some screw holes as well.

    The new cutting discs make very short work of it, the hand drill is working very well and after a spot of oil it no longer squeeks

  17. #46
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: PSU mounting plate aka the bargin bonus double update

    Yep two updates
    It's time to make the PSU mounting plate, for this I need some metal and I have doner all ready for transplant
    Namely my girlfriends old El-cheapo case which I replaced a while back with another cheap case ebuyer used to sell.

    For thoes who are intrested, ebuyer don't sell the replacement case I got her any more, which is a shame because it isn't that bad, I tried a quick google to see if I could find pic's of it and I did . . . my own pic's I put in a thread a while back when I did the swap I forgot I made that thread http://forums.hexus.net/chassis-syst...heap-case.html

    Back to the subject at hand.

    This old cheap case doesn't have flat side panels or even a flat base, so the only area to cut metal from is the top.
    I layed out some masking tape and used the template I made before to mark out where to cut.


    I started by cutting out the hole from the middle, carefully working inside the lines and leaveing space not going right up to the lines.
    There was a good reason for both, I cannot put back metal if I over cut and with what I have to work with it's eaiser to cut it out in situ.
    If I had cut out the whole plate it would of been next to impossible for me to cut the hole in the middle as all I have for a work bench is a bit of chipboard, some G clamps and a chair.
    Speaking of the chair, you may of noticed a lack of it in that photo, this case is short, there's just enough height for a ATX motherboard with PSU directly ontop of it and no gaps above, below or in between.
    This slightly reduced height made it impossible to brace against the chair, so instead I had to brace it against the wall and bit of chipboard, while holding it inplace with my foot as I cut.

    Glad there wasn't any health and safty offical around, they would of had a fit.

    One thing I should mention here is that while this case is also thin steel, I think the steel is harder or something, because I managed to ware two out cutting out this plate.
    However I still haven't managed to break one of these reinforced cutting discs.

    After carefully cutting out the section that will become the psu plate, I had to file it down, to remove all the burrs so I could handle it safely and smooth off and square up the outter edges.

    I found the simplest way to keep the edges stright was to lay the file flat and run the plate along it, instead of the correct way of holding the plate and running the file over it.
    I would do this the correct way, if I had a vice or simular to hold the plate, but as I don't have a vice my way seemed to work better.

    The next step was to take my original card template, remove the fold sections and then glue it down on top of the metal plate.

    The reason for glueing it into position is so the template will stay put as I try to fold the ends and get it ready for a test fit.

    I quickly made up a metal folding jig out of a bit of angle section, the chipboard and a couple of G clamps.
    A quick "adjustment" with a hammer and the first end is folded.


    The other end soon followed and it all looked good and very neat, so I tried a test fit.

    Now the sharper eyed amoungst you may of noticed that rather large gap at the far side, this is not because it's not fixed down, I needed to drill a hole in the folded sections to get the side screw in that holds it all together, which is the reason for the clamps.
    The reason for the gap is that while folding the 2nd side it must of slipped in my jigso the fold was about 1mm out and jsut that bit too narrow to fit correctly.

    This next section took me ages, but there's no photos as there wasn't much to take photos of.
    I had to reflatten the 2nd fold and try to rebend it.
    This time I didn't try to do it all at once, I bent it a little, checked, bend it a bit more, checked again and so on.
    I also didn't do a continuious bend along the whole length as the previous bend made it hard to get a new bend in the correct location, also because of the jig slippage I decided to try to bend it in situ.
    So I focused on getting the lower corner bent correctly, so I could get a screw into it, to hold both the upright, the plate and the bottom panel together solidly, hten neaten and tighten up the rest of the bend.

    It was hellishly fiddly, took a lot of adjustment and the first screw hole I drilled wasn't quite in line, so I had to redrill without the bit slipping back into the first hole.
    This was not the smoothest part of makeing the psu plate

    However in the end I got there.

    It all fits nicely, the clamps in the photo are to help hold it all flat and not bend as I drill the psu fixing screw holes.

    I've still got to neaten up the edges of the psu hole in the middle, but it's nearly finished and my list of remaining tasks is getting shorter.

    Hopefully I should have the case ready for a working test by the weekend . . . if I haven't just jinxed it.

  18. #47
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: Smoothing and sanding aka . . . Ummm . . .

    Today was mainly spent Cleaning up all my cuts and edges, a few other minor bits cut out, a couple of more holes drilled and other very minor clean ups.

    So not much in the way of Photos here, you really wouldn't see much change when I did was to file off less than 1mm to strighten an edge out.

    The largest area I did hack out was at the top of the motherboard tray.
    It did look like this


    After a trim it now looks like this.

    I'm planning to put a section of mesh behind it to fill in the gap.

    I did do one major change today, I cut a large 120mm hole in the bottom of the case for a PSU vent.
    I don't want the psu sucking up dust from beneath the case so I'm going to make a filter for it, by using this handy black plastic 120mm fan guard.

    My plan is to glue a sheet of fine black mesh to this fan guard to turn it into a filter, I mesured the mesh against the mesh in my antec p180 dust filters and it's near enough the same.
    the p180 filters are a square mesh. The mesh I have is hexagonal, it's slightly smaller across the sides and slightly larger across the corners.
    This fan gaurd also made a handy template to draw out where I needed to cut.

    I decided to risk making a circular cut, for many reasons,
    It's at the bottom of the case with the psu above it and the filter below, so if I muck up it'll be hidden anyway.
    I've not tried to cut a circular fan hole before and importantly I couldn't be bothered to spend the time calculating and marking out a hexagonal hole.
    So I just tarced around the outside of the guard and the largest hole, so as long as I keep my cut within the area it'll be hidden.

    Right from the outset my cut wasn't that accurate.


    As I went I got into the flow of it and it got better.

    The final hole looks pritty good, although the edges are pritty ripped up by the rotary tool.


    After a bit of trimming and a load of fileing it looked even better, untill you see something that is actually circular behind it.

    Good job it'll be hidden.

    After that I went round the whole case again and sanded all my cuts and edges with some coarse emery paper, not sure of the grit on it, I guess about 200.
    Then I went round again with some finer emery paper (my guess, 600 grit) all the edges and cuts are nice and smooth now
    I also used the fine emery paper to do a light sanding over all of it (execpt the top) as I'm planning to paint it all black.

    Finally I dusted it all down, then took it into the bathroom.
    I rinsed it down with the shower hose, wiped it all down with a clean wet sponge, gave it another rinse and finally left it to air dry.

    That's it for today, not many photos, there really wasn't anything much to photo, ok I could of taken some of it all striped down and wet in the shower.


    But it's not that kind of case.




    Should be all ready to paint tomorrow

  19. #48
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    Re: Project: Spork

    Update: Painting the case aka You missed a bit.

    Yes an update before dinner time

    Today I've been painting the case, which also means my other got to have a nice long lay in with out being woken up by the screaching of metal being cut up, she's nearly killed me twice so far

    I started off by fully masking off the top of the case, ok I could of removed it but I couldn't be bothered to drill out the remaining 7 rivets holding it on.

    I went around a carefully cut off any excess and masked the inside too, no real need for that but why repaint an already nicely painted surface?

    Out with the trusty air brush and matte black acrylic, that I used back on the keyboard.
    Ok I'll admit Acrylic is not the most robust of paints, it's probably going to get some damage in the course of the build and an air brush is not really the best tool for covering large areas.
    I did consider walking down to my local Halfords and getting a couple of cans of Plasti-kote but that's more expense and I'm trying to keep this low cost.
    Although I may give in and go but just to get a spray can of clear coat/varnish, we'll see

    To help with coverage I removed the choke, this increases the angle of the spray but also makes it more splattery and leaves the needle exposed.

    First light coat.
    Bottom panel

    As you can see it's a bit patchy and a lot of metal is still showing through, but that's ok, this is just a first light coat.
    Rear panel

    As you can see I did go a bit closer and heavier on the back, but this is going to be exposed when it's all finished so needs the most protection.

    With the paint this light it's touch dry in minutes, but I still gave it 10 minutes before starting the next coat.

    I'd just started the 2nd coat when I spotted something, while I'd not missed any when painting, I did miss removeing a bit of excess masking so out with the knife to sort it out.

    Then back to the air brushing.

    Half way through this 2nd coat, my paint flow rate suddenly decreased at first I thought I had a clog.
    So I emptied out the paint, rinsed off the air brush and ran some water through, flow rate still low.
    After checking I've managed to bend the pin and after I was being extra careful, still don't know how I did that
    I've been shown how to strighten a pin with tweezers many years ago, so I got the tweezers, sorted it out, put the choke back on and went back to painting.

    Two coats done and the sun comes out.
    Bottom panel


    Drive bays


    Rear panel


    Much more solid now, but still needs more, it looked ok at first, then with the sun out I could see the patchyness.
    The sun also made the cases get quite warm after its 10 minutes drying time.

    Coat 3.5, yes with the sun out, going over black with black and very short drying times, it's hard to tell what I had and hadn't done.
    I did go over the back twice (maybe three times) and gave the whole case light all over spray at the end, it's all nice and solid now.

    Bottom panel


    Back panel


    The Sun has made the look a little grey in these photos, but it's not, it's nice matte black

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