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Project: Aluminum Water Cooling Case

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Spotswood, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. theJesus

    theJesus

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    Yes, an all-in-one server farm :laugh:

    You have to go big though if you want to fit a bunch of monster-sized rads.
     
  2. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Two cutouts were routed out of the back sheet for the bottom mounted PSU (left hand side of the pic) and intake fan, and two intake fans up top.

    [​IMG]

    Eventually, some "adapter plates" will be mounted over the two cutouts.


    To attach the MB tray to the back sheet, four PEM cinch nuts were pressed into the interior side of the .10-inch thick aluminum sheet. I love these nuts because they make quick work out of adding some threads to sheet metal.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    You're gonna love my nuts.
     
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  4. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Another awesome feature of this case is the "false" back, which is simply a sheet of aluminum between the removable back panel and the motherboard tray. The "false" back prevents the case from racking and is the primary cable management feature. In this case, the "false" back consists of three pieces of .10-inch thick aluminum.

    The sheets that make-up the "false" back are threaded along the top via PEM nuts. Fastening them to the top support beam is simplified via the addition of slots routed out of the support beam. These allow the hex wrench to be raised into position as the socket cap screws are driven into the sheet.

    [​IMG]

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    Along the bottom, the sheets are fastened to some 1/2-inch angle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. theJesus

    theJesus

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    This is coming along very nicely.
     
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  6. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    It is such a monster. I am entirely jealous of it.
     
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  7. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Ah, the old false back trick! :D
     
  8. arnoo1

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    are you dead? haha
    can't wait for the next update;)
     
  9. micropage7

    micropage7

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    i love aluminum things
     
  10. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Top and bottom sheets cut. Still needs to be fastened though.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. arnoo1

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    Spotswood says thanks.
  12. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Slots for wire and tube routing were cut out of the top and bottom shelves. I attempted to use a pattern router bit, but the deep cut forced the bit's bearing into the 3/8-inch thick particle board, ruining it.

    [​IMG]

    So I switched to using a pattern to guide the base of the router.

    [​IMG]

    The slots along the edge of the bottom shelf were cut in such a way to allow tubing and wiring to pass without significantly weakening the 1/2 x 1-inch u-channel.

    [​IMG]


    Bottom shelf slots:

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    Top shelf slots:

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    Finally, two slots were also cut out of a portion of the "false" back:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Good to see an update.
     
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  14. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The three pieces of "false" back were attached to the bottom shelf via three pieces of 1/2-inch angle and some socket cap screws.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  15. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Up until now the front of the case has been held on with masking tape, but its now time to attach it securely. I had originally planned on drilling through holes and bolting the front to the case, but there wasn't much room for my hands to hold onto a nut, so I increased the size of the through hole a bit and pressed-in some PEM nuts.

    [​IMG]


    The front frame consists of 1x1 and 1/2x1 u-channels.

    [​IMG]

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    Button head bolts were used to attach the front to the case.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. DeAtHWiSh

    DeAtHWiSh New Member

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    This is filled with pure awesomeness!
     
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  17. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The side panels were cut via the help of a large makeshift square made from a small square clamped to a ruler.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The radiator ventilation cutouts were made with the help of a router template. Some bits of scrap aluminum were bolted to the underside to eliminate any errors with placing the template accurately on the sheets.

    [​IMG]


    Determining where to make the cutouts was easily done via a dab of India ink on the head of a screw and some masking tape. The panel was repeatedly pushed up against the inked bolt.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll round the corners later.
     
  18. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    In order to accurately drill the bolt holes to attach the perforated aluminum to the side panels, I fabricated a drill template from some left over flat bar stock and a drill bushing I had lying around the shop.

    [​IMG]

    A couple of spacers was used to quickly and accurately place the jig on the work piece (to avoid having to measure/layout the location of the holes).

    [​IMG]


    Some .063 perforated aluminum cut to size:

    [​IMG]



    To accurately cut the rounded corners on the side panels a router jig was fab'd from a piece of the corner round used on the body of the case, 1-inch u-channel and a couple of 1-2-3 block hot glued to some particle board. Two strips of Mylar from an old drum head was used to smooth out any irregularities.

    [​IMG]


    Tah-dah!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
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  19. Chicken Patty

    Chicken Patty WCG Moderator Staff Member

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    God this thing is coming out beastly!
     
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  20. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    the best thing i love about spotswood is that i can tell he really thinks about it and carefully measures everything out. also the attention to detail and perfection begs for :respect:
     
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  21. Sinzia

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    That decorative looking "corner round" or whatever you'd call it... where do you get that? I've been thinking of using your build as a bit of inspiration and make one myself, but I have -zero- ideas on where to get the materials.

    -Oh crap, you're in NH? Hi, neighbor!-
     
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  22. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    I had to order $100 of the corner extrusion, which means I have a ton left over. PM me if your interested in a chunk.
     
  23. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    you are so awesome i would work with you for free, just because i would learn so much from you lol.
     
  24. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    Another requirement for this case is a hidden door latching mechanism.

    Look Ma! No latches!

    [​IMG]


    A length of .125x.75-inch flat bar was bolted to the bottom of the door to act as a lip that will hook into the u-channel along the bottom of the case, for example:

    [​IMG]


    Along the top of the door, there is a piece of angle with three "hooks", which were routed out using a cobbled together router template.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A thick piece of flat bar was filed down to where it'll slide easily inside the u-channel along the top of the case. To that three "posts" were bolted to it. When slid forward, the posts will engage the hooks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    A large area of the right side panel was cutout for a 16x15-inch acrylic window.

    [​IMG]
     
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