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Project: Server and Gaming Case

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Spotswood, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    This is a project/build log for a custom case to house both a storage server and gaming rig.

    This fairly compact case is designed to hold:
    • Two EATX motherboards
    • Two ATX PSUs
    • Twenty four 3.5-inch hard drives
    • Six SSDs
    • Two 120x3 water cooling radiators

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    The size of the case is to be kept as small as possible, which is mostly driven by the size of the motherboard trays. But until those arrive, I fabricated the PSU mounting plate from some 2.5mm aluminum sheet.

    The cutouts were made via a hand held router fitted with a flush pattern bit, guided by a template.

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    That's it for now!
     
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  2. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    24 drives? I hope you plan to have rubber grommets everywhere! This thing is gonna be loud, hot, and vibrating!
     
  3. D4S4

    D4S4

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    dude, you are insane. subscribed
     
  4. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    You mean only in comparison to your last build? :roll:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The backplate of the stock motherboard tray from mountainmods.com was too tall, so I fabricated a shortened duplicate out of .10-inch thick aluminum sheet (once again, via my trusty router fitted with a pattern cutting bit):

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  6. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    This case will be shipped flat-packed so it needs to be easily assembled by the owner. The simple back frame consists of some u-channel with its ends plugged with some blocks press-fitted and pinned with a #4 screw. The blocks have a though-hole into which a #6 1-1/4-inch flat head stainless steel socket cap screw is bolted. Simple, effective, but time consuming to fabricate.


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  7. Loosenut

    Loosenut

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    Great project and beautiful work Spotswood, can't wait to see more :toast:
     
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  8. MT Alex

    MT Alex

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    Very informative and encouraging, since I assumed I would have to take a sheet of aluminum stock to a CnC to get good results.
     
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  9. gumpty

    gumpty

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    I'm predicting another masterful build. Can't wait.
     
  10. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Subbed just for the hugeness of it all ;)
     
  11. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    Looks like it's going to be very nice! :cool:
     
  12. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The first step toward routing-out the motherboard cutouts in the back panel was to modify a standard size motherboard router template I had made some time ago.

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    The modified template was used to create yet another template in 1/2-inch thick particle board.

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    Unfortunately the router wobbled ever so slightly in one spot, but was quickly repaired with some autobody filler:

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    In order to save wear-and-tear on my flush cutting router bit a first pass was done freehand (gulp!) with a standard endmill.

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
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  13. Brandenburg

    Brandenburg New Member

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    Subbed
     
  14. blu3flannel

    blu3flannel

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    Subbed, this is gonna be a monstrously awesome project. :toast:
     
  15. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    I had to make a new router template for the PSUs cutout. A router guide template is quickly fashioned from some MDF held together with pocket screws.

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    A mock-up of the back panel:

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  16. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The posts for the front frame are made from .125 x .5 x 2-inch tubes. First thing was to stuff the bottoms with the screw blocks/nuts in order to eventually attach them to the bottom sheet.

    Following standard operating procedure, the aluminum was cut on my miter saw (fitted with a standard carbide tipped blade). The clamp that came with the saw is used to hold the material against the fence.

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    The blocks were then drilled on the drill press with the assistance of my self-centering vice (I love that thing because I don't have to waste time measuring for center).

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    Threads were tapped via my bench mounted "hand" tapper.

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    The blocks were pinned to the tubes with flat head self-tapping screws.

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    Always looking to improve my speed and quality, the cross supports offered the opportunity to use PEM cinch nuts. The nuts were pressed into the screw blocks.

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    Which were then pinned inside .5 x 1-inch u-channel.


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  17. Bow

    Bow

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    :respect:
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. codyjansen

    codyjansen

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    this is going to be epic
     
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  19. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    I added some "legs" to the motherboard trays so they'll rest nice and level on the workbench.

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  20. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    I spent the day correcting a big mistake, which was I relied on the incorrect posted dimensions of the Swiftech MCR320-DRIVE 3x120 radiator, and thus the case wasn't wide enough by 16mm. (Swiftech has since corrected the diagram on their website).

    [​IMG]


    Actually, the case was exactly the width of the rads, but that might have resulted in some pump vibration getting transfered to the side panels. So the case had to be widened by one inch.


    To speedup the process of pinning the bolt blocks to the u-channel I switched to using split pins.

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    I also had to re-cut the back sheet.

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    Altogether, it only took me about a third of the original amount of time. Phew!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
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  21. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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  22. mATrIxLord New Member

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    subed... another awesome build on the way...
     
  23. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The bottom support beams were made from .5x.1-inch aluminum flat bar. I wasn't keen on having to hand drill and tap them, so instead, I routed grooves to accept nuts.

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    I like this fastening method because its wicked strong and offers just enough "play" for easy assembly.

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    The frame is bolted to the front inner sheet.

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    And then the entire subassembly is bolted to the front frame.

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  24. d3fct

    d3fct

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    sexy ass aluminum work, nice!
     
  25. Spotswood

    Spotswood

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    The sides of the HD cage consists of three pieces of .125-inch thick 1x1.5-inch u-channel held together with some threaded bolts. The cage will be bolted to the frame of the case via some .5-inch angle.

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    The holes in the angle were used to guide the drill bit into the side pieces.

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    Quarter inch slots were routed out of the u-channels to eventually accept .25-inch threaded rods.

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