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Fueler

It's Modding Time Again

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In an effort to get my electric bill under control I shut down 8 of my folding rigs (I donated these to a local charity...I can use the tax write off) and have replaced them with 2 E6300 rigs running the new SMP client.

 

Now I need a case for them....here's the plan:

  1. Put both PC's in one case
  2. Run both PC's from one power supply
  3. No optical drives
  4. Integrated video
  5. Minimum number of fans

I have also set some parimeters for the case.

  1. It has to blend in with the rest of the furnishings in my office
  2. I'm shooting for a retro look (sorta like the stereo receivers from the 70's and 80's with the wooden end caps)
  3. Keep the case as compact as possible (I'm using mini atx motherboards but two of them still take up alot of space)
  4. I don't want anything on the front bezel (no switches, ports, nothing....)
  5. Unlike my previous cases this one will be made from aluminum not steel
  6. For ease of maintenance the front bezel and side panels will be held in place by magnets (no tools required)

Ok that's enough to get started the rest I will just have to figure out as I go along.

 

I will be using 3/4" square aluminum tubing to make the frame so I needed to find a way to bolt or rivet them together, nothing I found at the local hardware store would do the trick so I decided to make the "L brackets" I needed from scratch.

 

I picked up a section of 1 1/2" angled aluminum rod and cut it into a load of 3/4" wide "L" shaped brackets

 

Folding-Rig_1.jpg

 

That was just the start though, to finish them up took quite a bit more work....First they all (30 pieces) needed to be milled to exactly the same size.

 

Folding-Rig_2.jpg

 

Each bracket will have 4 rivets going through it so the next step after sizing was to counter sink the brackets for the rivet heads. Four counter sinks per bracket times thirty brackets.....It took awhile. I used a dial indicator that reads in .001inch increments so that I could make sure that every bracket was done identically.

 

Folding-Rig_3.jpg

 

I used the same proceedure to drill the holes for the rivets to go through.

 

Folding-Rig_4.jpg

 

Finally after a run through the bead blaster and the better part of a days time I had the brackets for the case.

 

Folding-Rig_5.jpg

 

 

Now it was time to cut the tubing for the case so some decisions needed to be made. I sat there and laid out those mobo's for a couple of hours trying to get the best fit and still have good airflow when I came across the idea of mounting the boards back to back. In order to make this work the case would have to be wider than a standard case (about 10") but the other dimensions could be kept to about the size of a mini or mid tower. I fired up the bandsaw, cut the tubing (I cut them a little oversized) and cleaned up (read squared) the ends using a bench mounted belt sander.

 

Folding-Rig_7.jpg

 

The tubing then went to the mill and using the same proceedures I used for the brackets predrilled all the holes for the rivets.

 

Folding-Rig_8.jpg

 

This is where all the time spend milling and drilling to exact tolerances paid off.....It took me all of about a half an hour to assemble the case frame and everything fit like a glove.

 

Folding-Rig_9.jpg

 

More to come B:)

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You know, we all know that Fueler builds some amazing stuff.... but he also puts together a mighty fine worklog as well.

 

I love following these! Good luck man, and I can't wait to see more. :)

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It's like reading a novel published bit by bit in a magazine - can't wait for the next installment! This will certainly look a LOT more professional than the two folding rigs I have running off one power supply - they're just sitting jumbled up on a set of Wal-Mart plastic shelves :P - I call it my WallyWorld rack mount.

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awesome fueler, I'm already deperate for more! Putting 2 rigs in one case is always a hard thing to do. I tried, and failed miserably (was a wooden case, I didn't think the PSU would be as heavy.... when I mounted everything and moved it into my room, put the case down, the psu falls out of place and breaks the mainboard and GPU... was old stuff, but still...)

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i'm sure somebody has asked you this before Fueler, but what do you use to design your before you start cutting?

 

As much as I'd like to say I use one of those fancy 3D design tools (like Sketchup) the reality is I don't have a clue how to use those programs so it's all in my head (probably explains the headaches). :lol:

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As much as I'd like to say I use one of those fancy 3D design tools (like Sketchup) the reality is I don't have a clue how to use those programs so it's all in my head (probably explains the headaches). :lol:

 

wow, thats even more impressive then

 

do you draw a basic layout design on paper first before you do anything?

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wow, thats even more impressive then

 

do you draw a basic layout design on paper first before you do anything?

 

Yeah, sure....here's the work sheet for this rig

 

Folding-Rig_22.jpg

 

 

It ain't much but it's all I need B:)

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wow, props to you man :)

 

but i guess when you've been at modding for as long as you have, you start to get the hang of what you need & what needs to be done to get there ;)

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It ain't much but it's all I need B:)
Some people (like my father) cant do anything without making a list, diagram, or sketch and some people (like you and I) can just go off of a whim or a mental picture.

 

I always enjoy your builds fueler, everything you build has a purpose and you build everything so precise so it fits the first time...

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