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Thread: Midlag Crisis

  1. #1
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Midlag Crisis

    Midlag Crisis

    Story behind the name, my main current project is called Lean & Green or LAG for short, I was midway through & I had a hissy fit over something stupid which made my progress come to an emergency stop so had a little timeout to regain my sense, or at least some of it could call the project anything since I never have it in writing on my projects, great story...

    But Iím using this one to get me right back in motion to continue LAG straight after this.

    Itís a small practical HTPC I'm making for my dad as a present, he's in Australia until the 8th of February & I aim to have this project completed well before then.

    It holds an SFX PSU, mini-ITX mobo with support for regular height expansion card, Internal IR receiver, Internal 3.5" e-sata HDD dock which can be switched on/off & 1 3.5" HDD & 1 SSD & 1 140mm custom fan, 1 of the parts of the custom frame is the front panel too, got all the hardware covered already & this is my first rig without an optical drive.

    Some concept shots.






    The internal custom e-sata HDD dock has a sliding piece which 3 rods guide it so it goes forward/back nice & straight that has enough room to free the drive & then the HDD clips in/out of place with it's own little side panel for quick access.








    After making it all printer ready.


    The only material I had to buy was the 2mm panel & an acrylic tube with 16mm ID for the marble power button, everything else is scraps.


    Cut into manageable pieces.


    Drilled.


    Cut & undressed after a nicely productive 10 hours, so that's the front, back, top, bottom, both sides, mobo tray & most of the HDD dock pieces & back IO piece but all the acyrlic bits need the adhesive before I can complete them.
















    Also cut some acrylic pieces but I can't find my tensol 12 adhesive so I'll have to order a new bottle & get it on Tuesday but this lets me complete everything else in the meantime.


    This project should be a quickie.

    Feels good to have done some modding after such a big timeout, I'll do more tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Awesome start!

    I'm trying to remember, you use a scroll saw for all your cuts? Are the pictures you show after filing? The parts look amazing.

  3. #3
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
    Awesome start!

    I'm trying to remember, you use a scroll saw for all your cuts? Are the pictures you show after filing? The parts look amazing.
    Thanks D yes, straight from the scroll saw.
    Sometimes on straight edges I let myself be less focused & finish the flat edge on the disc sander.

    3MM day doing the PSU support bars, HDD dock slide system & extra trim bits for the front fan & wow what an awesome mess, I intend to clean up very soon.


    Drilled & cut, peeled the templates off with messy glue left on the aluminium, I only stick them on the protective stuff if it's laser film because that doesn't come loose & when pulling it off it comes off in 1 piece showing perfect surface, wish all sheet aluminium sellers used laser film.


    Wiped them all with thinners on a sponge because tissue leaves loads of fluffy bits difficult to get off & gave them all a wash & assembled to see what it looks like, also put a 16mm marble in place but.

    I thought why doesn't the rear 3mm panel have symmetrical curves, what the heck went wrong? looked at my design again & yep, I some how forgot to mirror the left side to the right side for that piece so they are odd, oh well lol had to have a hiccup somewhere, not doing another unless it bugs me & I find myself waiting for the adhesive delivery & I get bored.














    This was a job for my big countersink bit, lot better than filing for these marble button holes.




    Another bit of the 3mm stuff, part of the HDD dock piece that lets me slot the drive in place, works perfect, the plates fixed to the bottom panel are tapped but I need to shorten the 6mm screws & where I put the thin piece mounted to the HDD will let me dunk it into normal HDD docks.










    Up to 16 hours in now, yes I'm measuring how long this one takes me for a change, started late on this progress though, 7PM until 1AM.

    More soon.

  4. #4
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    1mm Day & I skipped posting last night.


    Drilling with a clamped aluminium flat bar with 3mm holes pre drilled into it for perfect targeting.


    Cutting.


    Peeled, just need the 4 rod pieces & to fix a fan inside to complete this fan.




    IO pieces but they are twins, they shouldn't be, the main rear IO hole is meant to have a 2mm smaller diameter to the acrylic & external hole, so even with printing your designs, the same old rule applies of measure before marking lol, I'll re-make the wrongly done piece along with the wonky curve front 3mm piece & also make very sure I take off the wrong acrylic guide & put the right one on, that would have made a time consuming mistake.


    Back to 2 of the 3mm strips I cut & drilled on last session, had to drill mill 1mm depth for the SSD tray so it sits flush to the strips, it's not perfect but not bad at all considering it's not a mill.


    Didn't take shots of me bending the strips but I placed them in the vice & used a chunky piece of aluminium to bend them to shape so the bits I wanted to stay straight stayed straight, slight problem with the bends though, in the design they are more of a round curve rather than sharp bends so it's about 1 to 2mm stretched out too long, I'll work it out though & the bends line up with the guide I printed, I'll just have to extend the screw holes on 1 end into a line & grind some of the end down or relocate the front mount points to the right distance & grind the excess off.








    Not sure how long sank into this session, didn't keep tabs on it so I'd have to take a wild guess, call it 5 hours lol which brings me up to 21 so far, probably another 20 if including the design part & so far I'll be re-making 2 pieces which I'll include on my next session along with the bar pieces & acrylic sticking because the adhesive came today, had to order some 5mm aluminium rod though so hopefully that will get here this week.

    Ordered some bits for experimenting with surface finishing too, may or may not work out how I'd love it to but I'll post my findings either way when I try it out on scraps, if it works though it'll be a pretty sweet addition for finishing choices in modding for people on a budget &/or don't like to outsource.

  5. #5
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    I think I need to get a better scroll saw. Mine uses the pin-end blades, which don't come in as many varieties. I couldn't imagine doing aluminum with it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    I def need a scroll saw. Looks amazing man!

    Keep it up!

  7. #7
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
    I think I need to get a better scroll saw. Mine uses the pin-end blades, which don't come in as many varieties. I couldn't imagine doing aluminum with it.
    I had the same problem with my first scroll saw, need bigger holes to do internal cuts also, might be worth checking out if you can get different parts for the one you have so it could use pin-less blades.

    I know others who find cutting metals with a scroll saw quite difficult, it mostly requires good patience, hold it down well & don't force it to cut faster which can make the alu stick to the blade which then throws your work piece up & down lol, does have a bit of a learning curve for all different thicknesses too.

    So patience, good focus & steady hands makes it work, a good thing for preventing aluminium or acrylic melting & sticking to the blade is once you are good enough to do it almost 1 handed, get a small chunk of copper & add a tiny slit in it, hold it up against & pressed down on the back of the blade while cutting, gives a tiny bit more stability & keeps the blade cool, having 2 or 3 at hand is handy for continuous cutting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie Daddy View Post
    I def need a scroll saw. Looks amazing man!

    Keep it up!
    Thanks Scottie

    Idea I hope will work.
    I'm hoping this is something new lol, got these concentrated dyes & metal lacquer, going to try for an anodising alternative & will be able to make any colour, makes sense it would work, I'll test on scraps ASAP, I used metal lacquer all over stealthlow & it's great stuff hard wearing & invisible so should be a great alternative to anodising enabling more creativity.


    PCI/IO mobo tray
    2 1mm alu panels & I re made 1 of them because I did them the same on first go & 1 was meant to be 2mm diameter smaller for the IO shield (mixed the templates up accidentally), 2 5mm & 1 3mm acrylic piece which is fully stuck together with tensol 12 & then cut & I drilled & added brass inserts for the bent PSU support & SSD mount strips & inserts for the connecting to the mobo tray & the expansion slot, I'll be using 10mm female to female spacers, this would have been easier logging for me & easier reading for you if I took step by step pictures with brief descriptions lol d'oh.






    Marble vandal switch
    Stuck the acrylic bits together for the marble button, it's 2 3mm pieces with 1 of them having a 4mm larger hole so the 16mm ID 20mm OD pipe fits into it, 1 3mm piece & a 1mm piece with an OEM Lian Li switch inside held firm, I added brass inserts to it to mount to the front panel also, it's a bit rough looking but I don't care, it functions spot on & is smaller than I intended it to be with the front being countersunk deeper than intended which is a nice bonus, I'll have to get a side by side shot of this switch & a vandal switch for size comparison, also re made the 3mm panel which had mismatching curves.






    The HDD dock connector piece.
    Mix of 4mm alu for the grip piece, 3mm alu for a strong cover & 1 5mm layer with pass through & somewhere to mount the cables & then a 3mm & 5mm piece below for solid support, this piece isn't complete yet & hope it goes to plan, requires real high accuracy to work right but it all seems on track.








    Cut a 140mm akasa apache fan frame away ready for fixing to the custom frame, I'm keeping the 4 legs for extra stability, these custom fans I had to make 1mm deeper than a normal fan so they are all 26mm.


    Apologies for the slack logging on this update, I just got on with making it & took pictures after which makes it more difficult to explain what I did lol, I'll try to get back to regular step by step logging from now but things like using tensol 12 acrylic adhesive I don't mess about because it dries fast & is very toxic so messing about with the camera while doing stuff like that isn't a good idea.

    I think I'm going to be gutted this isn't for me lol, it's really turning out pretty sweet I think.

  8. #8
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Bars & rods cut to size & given perfectly flat ends.


    Even templates on rods seemed a good idea & it was.


    Done, and that guide tool I made for drilling the center of rods I did the same for square bars & it works awesome.


    Fixed things together, need longer screws for the fan.




















    Bye for now.

  9. #9
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Looking great. Awesome work as usual.

  10. #10
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midlag Crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
    Looking great. Awesome work as usual.
    Thanks D.

    The egg has hatched & the chick has stumbled out & I name that chick Salamick, Salami mixed with a lick.

    Firstly this is just some basic experimental colour finishing looking for an alternative to regular methods that can be done quickly & easily without need for a special setup or special conditions, I took quite a bunch of shots to show how it looks from different angles too because it does look not too far from perfect on some & very imperfect on others depending on how the light catches it.

    Could have just shown the best view points of it to blag everyone but I'd rather show how it really is.

    About 30 drops of black added to a bottle of metal lacquer & shaken, gave 1 coat & also masked a few strips for a 1st attempt, gave it some adidas stripes on a shark fin lol.




    Then emptied the whole bottle in & shaken, become far more potent.


    Salami, or even black pudding that's what this dotty finish reminds me of lol.












    Then applied a 2nd coat & the trouble with 2 coats is it needs to be applied perfectly or it can look messy.
















    Tried green, emptied the full bottle in & gave a shake.






    1st coat covered better than the black but still had dots, just not as many.










    2nd coat produced some interesting effects but they can only be appreciated on a macro shot with direct light bouncing off it otherwise it doesn't look so good.










    Not sure what to make of it, on one hand it's kinda like flip paint with how different it looks from angles, on the other it's not quite as awesome as I imagined but it is hard wearing & the theory does work just not as nice looking as I imagined, as it stands it's no comparison for a good anodising job but I should give a scrap piece a brush finish to see if that helps, this was all done on freshly peeled aluminium scraps without any prep work.

    Ideally I would like to get this technique so it's doable with 1 coat so the surface texture of the aluminium is visible like anodising but with a solid consistent colour so I'll have to continue playing with this idea to see if I can improve on it, it's already proven to work, just needs perfecting.

    Opinions are very welcome on what you think of it, awful or has potential so worth persisting to get the method perfected?.




    My dad got back today 2 days earlier than I was told of the 8th & the 2 days before that I was cleaning up the house, the screws still haven't come so I'm going to get everything else done tonight so it's ready for assembly tomorrow "if" the screws come, ordered a load of countersunk & button head screws.

    During the night if there is time I'll also try some other ideas for anodising alternative.

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