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Smokie

[Worklog] Building Aluminium Case From Scratch

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Current Status Of Build (08-02-09):

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Sorry fellow atomicans but i have already strarted and almost finished this project. But i will post the pics of where i am up to at the moment...

 

I have very little modding experience. Im only 17 and have only modded one other computer before this and that was an old server tower. The project has spanded over 8 months. So without further adue here are the pics up to the present date.

 

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http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh79/smokiemehpot/Exhaust.jpg

 

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh79/smokiemehpot/MoboTray.jpg

 

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh79/smokiemehpot/Bottom.jpg

Edited by Smokie

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Looks simular to my case i am building ATM.

Just need to weld the front on and I'm finished as well.

 

Post pic's shortly

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Thanks for all the positive feed back!

 

maxamatosis Posted Today, 07:43 PM

Impressive work man! You worked with metal much in the past?

Never in my life really. All i have done is welding gates and large industrial/machinery gear for my dad. But nothing like this.

 

More updates to come very soon.

 

-Smokie

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must be tough work to get it to all fit together but as the resident pesimest i say meh

 

if you integrate some insane cooling i will redeem your project and give it my thumb of approval

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Outstanding craftsmanship (show-off!). You can come work for me anytime. I gets lots of scrap aluminum sheet metal from old aircraft repairs, but I usually just use it as a sealant-mixing palette. btw, is that chicken-wire?? (chuckle) This is better than watching "Orange County Choppers."

 

I hope the final product works and fits well for you. I had a ton of trouble-shooting work at the last sheet metal manufacturing plant I worked for. Seems no matter how well you measure the assembly (we used a giant scanning table with an auto-cad program comparing the scanned product to the schematic), it just seems to go horribly wrong at the last second ... but seriously good luck with your home-grown mainframe.

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wlayton27 Posted Today, 04:43 AM

Outstanding craftsmanship (show-off!). You can come work for me anytime. I gets lots of scrap aluminum sheet metal from old aircraft repairs, but I usually just use it as a sealant-mixing palette. btw, is that chicken-wire?? (chuckle) This is better than watching "Orange County Choppers."

 

I hope the final product works and fits well for you. I had a ton of trouble-shooting work at the last sheet metal manufacturing plant I worked for. Seems no matter how well you measure the assembly (we used a giant scanning table with an auto-cad program comparing the scanned product to the schematic), it just seems to go horribly wrong at the last second ... but seriously good luck with your home-grown mainframe.

Thats the beauty of angle on the outside. It can hide alot of the little problems ; )

 

Where abouts are you? Do you sell your scrap aluminium? I am interested as i am considering building an external watercooling box.

 

-Smokie

 

PS. Updates very soon.

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Sorry, I work for US Military and they're busy recycling this scrap. It's really not that much scrap metal anyways.

 

btw, I noticed the blind-rivet fastener you were using, I don't see the stand-outs in the corners on the pix ... did you do something special to hide 'em? My first thought was how blind rivets take up too much space and could interfere with the installation of the mobo standoffs.

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Nice work so far smokie; just one thing to keep in mind as you keep building power cable lengths. It's a large case, not ridiculously large but certainly comparative to the likes of lian-li's full towers, so i'm wondering how you're currently planning on getting an 8pin connector to the top of the case where most motherboards have their headers, the 24 pin might be a bit of a stretch too.

 

cheers

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wlayton27 Posted Today, 09:04 AM

Sorry, I work for US Military and they're busy recycling this scrap. It's really not that much scrap metal anyways.

 

btw, I noticed the blind-rivet fastener you were using, I don't see the stand-outs in the corners on the pix ... did you do something special to hide 'em? My first thought was how blind rivets take up too much space and could interfere with the installation of the mobo standoffs.

Im not exactly sure what you are talking about here lol.

 

m0zes Posted Today, 10:32 AM

Nice work so far smokie; just one thing to keep in mind as you keep building power cable lengths. It's a large case, not ridiculously large but certainly comparative to the likes of lian-li's full towers, so i'm wondering how you're currently planning on getting an 8pin connector to the top of the case where most motherboards have their headers, the 24 pin might be a bit of a stretch too.

 

cheers

The 24 pin will reach however i will have to extened the 4 pin that attaches to the motherboard up near the CPU.

 

-Smokie

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"Standoffs" are brass or plastic spacers that prevent the mobo from making contact with the metallic casing. The positions of these "standoffs" may vary depending on the specific mobo that you install to the casing. "Blind rivets" as I call them use a soft metal spacer in combination with a harder metal core that threads through a pilot (small hole) in your metal case pieces ... in short the soft spacer expands as it is forced into the hole and the harder core breaks off eventually as too much force is pulling it through the hole. This fastens the two metal pieces together but it leaves that bit of core with "balooned-out" spacer attached to the assembly on one side... That is the "stand-out" that I'm referring to. I'm guessing these "stand-outs" are all on the inside, which is where your "standoffs" will eventually need to be installed to keep the mobo "floating" off of the case... Just sure you understand that the completed installation is going to require that you don't have these blind rivets blocking any "standoff" positions when you go to install the mobo...

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HDD bay.

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HDD bay installed

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Mesh and persprex attached to side pannel

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3X120mm fans attached to inside of front pannel. One day this will serve the place for a 360 Radiator.

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And now the case is all together

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Im not sure if i will get anything else done today. Got a few other things to attened to. So what do you all think?

 

-Smokie

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Outstanding. You should really get your own TV show with custom computers and such. This is going to be an outstanding tower. I hope you're still using it five years from now without any probs at all.... Cheers.

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Are you going to spray the chassis or leave it like it is? Because it seems like I can see a lot of finger marks etc and I'm sure a powdercoat would do you good :D

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c0nc0n Posted Today, 05:18 PM

Are you going to spray the chassis or leave it like it is? Because it seems like I can see a lot of finger marks etc and I'm sure a powdercoat would do you good :D

I am going to pollish the inside of the case and the oustide im going to brush the aluminium and have some blue paint as well as i am going with a blue theme.

 

-Smokie

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Are you going to spray the chassis or leave it like it is? Because it seems like I can see a lot of finger marks etc and I'm sure a powdercoat would do you good :D

Powder coating is one resilient and beautiful finish, but it could easily be too thick (even with this monster-sized mainframe). Most powder coating jobs we did at the MFG plant (we built multi-ton-sized computer cases for city tran ballast systems) ended badly because the designers forgot to accomodate room for finish work to their original plans. This is mainly where our troubleshooting jobs pointed faults after finding out the final product just won't fit together.

 

A 120 grit sandpaper etching should work fine as the primer and an acrylic aerosol paint should provide a smooth finish and brilliant appearance to the final product. Also this finish should only add about 0.0002 inches to the material thickness (I believe this equates to about 5 micrometers in metric).

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Thanks for the advice. I will be keeping that in mind. More updates to come today.

 

-Smokie

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I have decided to paint the case blue as i am going for a blue theme. It wont be all blue. For starters im only doing the edge but i have some plans in mind of what i am going to do to the large bare side... So here are the pics of what i got up to today...

 

Got it all taped up...

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First coat: Self Etching Primer...

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And this is it with the two coats of paint...

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And now that it has dried time to remove the paper and tape...

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Couldnt resist putting my computer parts in it : )

 

So what do you think???

 

-Smokie

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Looks like it's coming together nicely ... btw you're just polishing the inside and priming/painting the outside? ...looks to me that as long as you keep paint away from the door's mating flanges you don't have to worry about finish thickness...

 

Also couldn't help but notice you painted your "trim" first...that's the easiest part to mask off (with that newspaper you used), so I reckon that's the last part you should be painting...you could always paint over your solid face color with your trim touch-ups.

 

If you wanna change your mind and go with a powder coat finish on the outside (it lasts friggin' forever and it's effin' gorgeous)... you're gonna need to pull the components back outta there. Powder coating works best in combo with an 90+deg Cel. oven for "drying" the finish on. I'd have to recommend it tho. You just find a good shop in your area where you can get it applied (or apply it yourself)...it's worth the pounds.

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Thanks. THe only problem with getting it powder coated is that where i live i would have to travel 2 1/2 hours to get it painted. So its not really worth it. This project is more of an experiment for me. I will be definetly be using for years to come but it is more of a training case for me as i have plans to build another from scratch and make something extreamly original and unique.

 

-Smokie

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Thanks. The photos dont do it justice really. The colour in the picks looks like a sky blue. It is a midnight blue and it has a really nice luster and shine about it. I will see if i can get a better photo as it looks much nicer.

 

-Smokie

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