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Smokie

[Worklog] Building Aluminium Case From Scratch

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I think this photo show the true colour of the paint much better...

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I couldnt resist. Has to post this photo as well i just took. Its name is Whisky...

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-Smokie

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I really wanna see that full stencil-work! You didn't have that there before! And as an experiment, I think this case came out beautifully.

 

If you really wanna get your hands dirty, you may wanna try welding the next one you assemble instead of using rivets, and for a real challenge you may wanna take a shot at installing quick-release hinges on the inside of the case ... (you would have to have someone hold the panel straight up in the open position while you fix the hinges and mark the holes for the halves...)

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Understandable. I personally never touched a welder in my life, but I've always been fascinated by it. I hear there's only one option for welding aluminum -- "tig." Ya' think arc welding might be an option? And there are alternatives to welding ... 3M Hysol products makes a two-part adhesive that results in a fiberglass material once it dries ... only used it once -- strong stuff.

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DAM IT!!! I was supose to edit that part of the painting out. That part is a suprise. Havnt finished that section quite yet. An ARC welder will just melt holes straight through it. A TIG is the only choce. A mig will be to messy as well. Except i only have access to an ARC welder so i cant really do much there. What i was thinking of was having the angle on the inside so it is hidden. That would look neater.

 

-Smokie

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yea my experience with welders is that like you said an arc or mig uses to many amps and aluminum like that would only need probably 20-30amps at the most, maybe try and find a mechanic that could let you borrow their tig welder for an hour or so for a carton of beer on the side or something also if you have a localish tafe they might have a metal shop that has one.

Edited by nesquick

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Thanks for the feedback. I am hoping my parts will be here in the mail tomorrow. I should also find out if i got accepted into uni as well. Fingers crossed i get it :p

 

-Smokie

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Ok so im ready to post pics of the side pannel now. Unfortunatley some paint ran under the template so i still have to fix that up by sanding.

 

I decided to go with something simple but what i beleive to be eye catching. I liked the idea of flames but the sharp points would make it a bit difficult i thought and i have never really done much painting. I also wanted to be a little abstract with it. So this is what i decided on...

 

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This was cut out of contact paper. I call it bubble flumes ; )

 

Contact is the hardest thing to put down and having cuts all over it doesnt make it any easyer. The only way i could overcome this problem was to cut it up into small sections and put it together on the pannel. Hence, all the masking tape to cover up joins.

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This is it with the primer down.

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Now for the paint.

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As you can see if you look closly the paint has some how drifted unter the contact. Wasnt very happy about this. Just means more sanding for me. YAY...

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The remaining bare aluminium on this pannel will be sanded and polished.

 

Enjoy!

 

-Smokie

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That is some very fine stensil work you're doing. Sometimes there isn't much you can do about paint running inside the pointy edges of the stensil, but with practice you can minimize it by keeping the coatings fine. As for putting the stensil in place, for a one-time use you should be able to get some sticker stock at an office or copy store (we have Kinkos) and just use a hobby knife to cut the mask out with the sticker in place (much like what you did with that contact paper).

Edited by wlayton27

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I didnt actually get paint run on the blue flumes. It managed to seep under the stencil. Thanks the the heads of on the thicker contact paper. I didnt know you could get it any thicker. This is just what i had around the house.

 

-Smokie

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Yea I think (as already said) the only way to do stencils without getting any leakage is to do like 10 really really fine coats although it still looks the part.

 

A question though, when you sand the alluminium are you going to do it like horizontally with like 1200grit wet and dry so it looks brushed? because that would be so awesome.

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Got myself some tools for cutting 120mm holes a hole lot easier.

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I have decided to add another two 120mm fans to the top as blow holes. This is where my hole saw comes in hadny ; )

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Now let the endless task of sanding and pollishing begin!

 

I am using 2000 grit sandpaper as well as the tough wool on the back of the scrubbing brushed to get this sanded as fine as i can followed by a pollish. The process for this one side took be betweed 4 and 5 hours.

 

This is what it looked liked before i began.

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...And after sanding

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Here is my mighty little workbench for sanding. Beats the heck out of standing the hole time.

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Starting to apply the polish. Just goes to show how big of a difference it makes.

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And here are some pics to show off the final finish.

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Enjoy.

 

-Smokie

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WOW. Let me reiterate that. WHAOOWWEE!! Amazing finish work. Demonstrates a ton of patience using a 2000grit (damn near porcelain diamond-cutter grit) FOLLOWED by a thorough polishing job. That whole finish is comparable to the edge of a samurai sword or the wood-polished rifle bore of an antique Kentucky long-gun. Simply incredible it used to be generic aluminum sheet metal.

 

About the 120mm holes (you called "blowholes?"), the airflow should run top->bottom and front->back... so your PSU and forward-facing fans should all blow aft and there should be two 120mm fans (if you got space to spare) blowing down the mobo and out the ports near your BUS. Let us know how that works out in the end...

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This is how i am figuring the air flow map looks like...

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Or have i stuffed up the physics of air flow completely lol?

 

-Smokie

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Very well thought out airflow schemetic. I think that port you show air coming in through the back is just going to let warm air out, and the down-aimed fan beneath that port will likely draw air from your main flow from the front fans. Not sure if you can flip those fans you show blowing upwards, put if you can aim them down I'd recommend it.

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Close to $200 than the cost of paints and tools that i had to buy has to added on top of that so a little over $350 i am guessing. I could have bought a kick ass case for that amount of money but i would have never had the fun of building it.

 

-Smokie

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Yeesh. I was just thinking about how much this custom build must be costing. Look at the bright side: you could have spent a whole lot more. :P

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I supose i could have :p hopefully i will have so progress to report by then end of the day ; )

 

-Smokie

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Thanks. I am going down to toowoomba today and hopefully will get some switches to control the fans or maybe some variable resistors as a fan controller.

 

-Smokie

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Back again and got some more progress to report back on : )

 

My parts arrived however they were the wrong handles so that is getting taken back today. I did a bit of a touch up on the frame where a bit of paint had misted accross to.

 

Before:

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After:

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I decided to give the back of the motherboard some vantalation as well so i set to work marking out and drilling holes around the key heat areas ie. CPU, MOSFET and NB and than worked my way up through the drill bits util i was happy with the size of the holes.

 

Motherboard with ventalation:

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I also decided to get rid of the dagy bit of metal at the end of the motherboard tray as well.

 

Before:

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After:

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I than finished it off with a paint job. I used a satin black so it is not as glossy which will be better for cable managment,

 

Preperation:

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Finished Product:

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While i had the paint out i decided to also paint the electriacal boxes that comes with lights. This is there status now:

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So this is the progress i have to report on to date. Im welcome to all forms of feedback. Enjoy!

 

-Smokie

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I was wondering when we'd finally get a fresh update on your case! Thnx for the new pix and waow if you haven't done some excellent work. I think it looked professional enough before the black satin paint on the inside...but that's just my opinion...I can't wait to see it after everything is complete!!

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Hey Smokie, where did you get your Aluminium sheets from? Because I have an old MSI case missing side panels, and would like to try and do a case to it.

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