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Thread: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

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    M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    disclaimer: I am fully aware that placing a few hundred watts of electrical components inside an old wooden desk may appear a touch fool-hardy to some... I am also aware that the level of workmanship and planning that went into this project are 'light' at best; however I would love to have some feedback!

    I've always wanted to build a PC into an old pedestal desk but have been put off in the past by three factors:
    1 - the prohibitive cost of a decent looking pedestal desk
    2 - justifying taking a jigsaw to a piece of old furniture
    3 - fire

    I dealt with the first two factors by finding a pretty beaten up desk on eBay for 81 squids (the cost of a half decent case, I mused); and I managed to bury the third factor deep enough in the back of my mind for it to no longer be an issue.

    Here's the desk; it has a large marble top which isn't pictured:



    If I removed the central shelf I could, I guess, just put a tower in one of the cupboards:



    Where's the fun in that?, right I'll cannibalise my Antec 180 for cages etc, but first I need a motherboard tray:



    fixed
    Right, let’s get some airflow on the scene, flip the desk over, hole-saw-tastic:



    a little rougher than I would have liked, hey ho it's at the back though.





    that'll do for the mobo, hard drive cage and fan; now I need somewhere for the PSU and DVDR...

    thank you Antec



    the brackets for the drive are just small galvanised L brackets from B&Q/Homebase etc, fit perfectly.

    OK - those are all the pics I can find; after this stage I added a power button and jigged out appropriate holes at the rear - then it was done. When I get home I'll take a couple of pictures of it in its "completed" state, and post on where I feel I went wrong and what I'll be changing.

    Hope you like it.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Looking good mate, I've always wanted to do something for a media centre, so even more compact.

    Will be keeping an eye on this project.

    Thanks!

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Looking good so far.

    Wow this section of the forum was always pritty dead, now we've got a few on going builds.
    Maybe I'm self-conceited, but I wonder if I've kicked off something good with my log

    Back to the build at hand.

    Did you see MoonPig's desk pc? http://forums.hexus.net/chassis-syst...ml#post1757534
    It's basically the same thing you're trying to build.

    I loved his layout of the motherboard at the top then a glass window in the top of the desk so you can see the motherboard through it.

    Here's an idea for you, if you're going for it totally concealed in the desk.
    • Get some big assed 200mm+ fans, cut holes in the back of the desk at the bottom for them.
    • Mount PSU vertically, i.e. cut a hole in the bottom of the desk so the psu is drawing in air from inside and pushing the air out of the desk through the hole in the bottom.
    • Make a front panel for the cupboard or a latch to keep the door closed and some methord of sealing the edges. (some PaxMate around the edges of the door or cupboard should work well )
    • Cut a good sized hole in the front of the middle shelf for air flow
    • Cut a large hole in the upper section of the back of the cupboard, possibly fit another 2x 200mm+ fans

    This layout should mean that air is drawn in at the bottom half of the back of the cupboard, flow through the lower section, up through the deviding hole at the front of the shelf, flow through the upper section and finally out at the upper half of the back of the cupboard.
    Thanks to the 220mm fans that should give you plenty of air flow while keeping the noise level very low.
    Oh and you'd probably need to make some form of dust filter and the intake fans.

    These are the sort of fans I'm talking about
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/220mm...LUE-LED-lights
    I've also seen a non-LED version of that Akasa fan.

    And you could try asking on the Antec section to see if they could supply you with the top fan from the 1200, as that has both speed switches and led on/off switch.
    Or the top fan from the 900, as that has no LED's, just speed switch.

    If the wood is decent then it should be easy enough to sand down and re-varnish it to make it look less battered.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Damn you!!

    I was planning this sort of thing ages ago (when you posted here about it) and I still haven't done it.

    So jealous
    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Very nice! I look forward to seeing it completed, I don't think you should worry to much about fire I think your computer will start complaining long before your desk has a problem. Combustion happens about 500-800 degrees C, and bad things only start happening (gassing) about 300. The main problem with wood is it is a good insulator, it will not radiate any of the heat so do need a good air flow which you are doing. If that is not enough, water cool the things and mount those on the back of the desk. You have a lot of space so you could even duct/box the area so the flow comes in from the back and is vented out the back and never comes near the rest of the computer!

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    As oolon said, I doubt it'll get hot enough to burn the wood, just make sure there's no sawdust left in there

    Heat build up, which could probably damage hard drives and other components would be a bigger issue without air flow.
    Which is why I posted that 200mm+ fan ventalation idea

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Looks good, but remember to keep the airflow high so as to avoid "server disease" i.e. trying to cram too much into too small a space and overheating the lot.
    Last edited by laywill; 14-09-2009 at 07:01 PM.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Looks to be interesting! Just out of interest what kinda spec is going in it?

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Quote Originally Posted by woody_294 View Post
    Looks to be interesting! Just out of interest what kinda spec is going in it?
    My system in the "my system" tag under my avatar. Nothing special, but want to make sure the idea and execution are solid before spending any dollar on a new one

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    this is a great project mate, where you gonna have the power on switch? on the outside of the door?

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Quote Originally Posted by M0nkeyb0Y View Post
    My system in the "my system" tag under my avatar. Nothing special, but want to make sure the idea and execution are solid before spending any dollar on a new one
    The funny thing is, looking at your specs if you did an upgrade the main thing I'd carry over would be the p180 which is the thing your replaceing with your desk.

    p.s. keep it up, we're waiting for more

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    The funny thing is, looking at your specs if you did an upgrade the main thing I'd carry over would be the p180 which is the thing your replaceing with your desk.

    p.s. keep it up, we're waiting for more
    Ha! it was a good case and served me well, but that time came to an end when I took my drill to it!

    I'm waiting for more too , but I only get time to work on it at the weekends, and with my kids running to and fro that makes it a little hard. I basically had this built as a dry run (the above pics were from that build), but it wasn't really fit for purpose, so I set about finding a motherboard to base a proper build around, and start again.

    Oolon very kindly gave his old tray to me after seeing my thread in the 'wanted' section. I'll be giving him kudos in this thread next time I post pics, as that was certainly 'above and beyond'.
    Last edited by M0nkeyb0Y; 23-01-2010 at 01:01 AM.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Quote Originally Posted by vti View Post
    this is a great project mate, where you gonna have the power on switch? on the outside of the door?
    It's currently on the top of the middle shelf. I'll probably keep it there. will post more pic hopefully after the weekend.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Ok - update time is overdue...

    After the original post I decided that a more systematic and thought-out approach was needed to the design. I have now removed the rear of the pedestal cupboard and am building a 'flight case' to house my components; this will, in theory, give me a sealed unit in which I can determine airflow with some degree of accuracy. It'll also make the whole thing a little more upgrade-friendly if I can slide the box out and work on it.

    Now because the job has suddenly become a much larger project I've decided to 'do it properly', which involved some google sketch-ups that I'm too embarassed to show here, and a lot of sanding...



    a fair amount of riveting



    Which went wrong


    I love drilling rivets

    After a while things were starting to take shape, and I had the base of a case that would hopefully fit snugly into the pedestal.



    right, now some credit (as mentioned above in not big enough font): many thanks to oolon!! for providing me with a motherboard tray free of charge.

    I have no dremel so I got to work on it with a hacksaw and jig...





    add a little electric tape and who's to know?



    Right, I made those washers so I could attach the motherboard tray to the batons on the inside of the case using grommets to absorb any vibration...

    Anyway that's all the pictures I have at the moment, but there will be more to come, probably next week.

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    fter the original post I decided that a more systematic and thought-out approach was needed to the design.

    Half assed and bodget FTW!

    Although electrical tape says you've not truely given up on that approach

    Plan and plot but never put it on paper, although flattened out fag packets or chocolate bar wrappers are allowed

    Keep up the good work

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    Re: M0nkeyb0Y's Tinderbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post

    Half assed and bodget FTW! Although electrical tape says you've not truely given up on that approach
    Ha! Go easy! I thought the electrical tape was a stroke of genius.

    Unfortunately these are just the pics I got on my phone, I was also using my wife's 'proper' camera but that's not available at the moment; otherwise I would have had some more/better pictures.

    I've re-sanded (240grit) and stained the desk, and need to oil and polish it. I'll stain the case the same colour so it doesn't look out of place.

    The case is coming along nicely, the motherboard tray is in and appropriate air holes are being cut into the base and rear.

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