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Wooden ITX box

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Vario, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. james888

    james888

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    You should get some non shaky, better light, sexy up close pictures of those fans and post them in the up close sexy hardware picture thread.
    Vario says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  2. Vario

    Vario

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    I have a family member with a Nikon D40. I was planning on getting the Cosmos photographed in a more professional manner and will probably do the same for the wood cube once I get the wood paneling on here.

    Right now I am using my galaxy 2 and its so small its hard to hold steady!

    And yeah, the fans are sexy: got them for about $8 a piece off ebay!
  3. james888

    james888

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    I have an old cheap canon a100 point and shoot. I have taken some pretty good shots. All you need is steady hands and good lighting. Example here. That galaxy 2 has a surprisingly good camera. You can rest your hands on something, especially if your getting a close up.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. micropage7

    micropage7

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    And one more most phone camera give you kinda crappy result on low light so make sure you have enough light to get better result
  5. Vario

    Vario

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    The button you push on the screen for the phone camera makes the camera shake :laugh:
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  6. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    Does it have a timer? I use the timer on my camera when taking pictures on the tripod because of the same thing.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. Vario

    Vario

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    Good point. I'll be doing some more cutting and grinding today. I'll get some better quality pictures of all the gear by friday when my Z77E board, power supply show up. Then we can get the good stuff :)



    Krylon Ultra Flat Black Interior / Exterior Spray paint is a 90% match on color to the factory paint. I just sprayed the cuts with minimal prep to hide mistakes and gouges etc. It looks pretty good up to about an inch away. Also the stuff dries in like 10 minutes and the odor is gone in about 3 hours. Its great. All of that is going to be inside the wood anyway so it doesn't matter. Main difference is factory texture is rough, this is a bit smoother. Wanted to protect the bare metal a bit better and hide some of the dremel bites.

    Okay guys, just for the FAN CLUB, I got some better pictures of the fans. This time I used timer mode. Apparently thats the way to get good pictures with a camera that weighs about the same as a feather.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The dual ball bearing on these fans is amazing, soooo smoooth

    Here is the radiator install
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I am hoping that the ITX board will not hit the end of the radiator. If it does, I will need to move the screw holes forward :( Still waiting on the damn board to arrive, its been like 2 weeks. Thanks amazon.

    Naked, this box is now all ready for its new, beautiful wood skin. I will start the wood working this weekend assuming the itx board and power supply arrives Friday and the watercooler doesn't start leaking or the thing doesn't explode or something. Bought the Asetek mounting kit from Corsair for $9. Not bad, since I got this AIO loop for FREE! This Asetek is essentially a first generation Corsair H50.

    The fan that will exhaust downwards from the radiator will be a Koolance 120mmx25mm dual ball bearing (basically a server fan). I am running all dual ball bearing fans because I want maximum reliability and don't want to open this thing up very much. Its going to be incased in wood and it might not be easy to open. I will probably modify all the fans to run at 7v.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
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  8. Vario

    Vario

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    Ok guys... Bunch of pix inbound. Built it in about an hour and got to bios. Ill post pix in an hour, got a ton.
  9. a_ump

    a_ump

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    can't wait to see finished product. I did some quick modding on an old Gateway 2000 case to use for recording box for camera's. never used a dremel before but you learn quick lol. Not too pretty, your work looks nice so far buddy
  10. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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  11. Vario

    Vario

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    Mounted the Z77E Board
    Notice I had to trim away portions of the Corsair/Asetek mounting bracket so it would fit around small components on the backside of the ITX PCB.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    2550k Installed
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Phanteks/Noctua Thermal Paste Compound
    [​IMG]
    Asetek/H50 Installed
    [​IMG]

    Finished:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Neighbor's cat
    [​IMG]

    Done:
    [​IMG]

    The XFX 6850 will probably be replaced with my XFX 7850 2GB DD but it must be removed from a family member's pc first.

    Bios Picture:
    [​IMG]

    Ghetto turn on:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See guys! It boots! Its ALIVE!!!! Idle was around 32*C!!! the orange fan will be replaced with a dual ball bearing, I've heard that cougars don't like horizontal. I was so worried the end of the radiator was going to hit the MOBO or prevent the 24pin from plugging in...
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
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  12. a_ump

    a_ump

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    only thing, mess of cabling in there lol, be bad airflow. are you going to use some mini zip ties? they're my favorite
  13. james888

    james888

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    I like the layout. Mitx cases are hard to cable manage. I would suggest looking at the fractal node 304 and try to mimic how it handles cable management. In might help some, but mitx can't be helped much.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  14. Xenturion

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    It's good to see that you're modifying the case. I had to admit I was a little worried on the first post when I saw the plans for watercooling and then "Elite 120" and "ideal chassis". I've got an HTPC build using one. It's really not the most well thought out case. Probably why Cooler Master recently announced an updated version, the Elite 130, which is largely identical, except that they replace the whole front panel, including the plate which sits directly in front the 120mm fan, with mesh. They also removed the hard drive cage in favor of a mounting bracket and mounting points on the bottom of the case and underneath the 5.25" bay. With the Elite 130,you can install a 120 radiator in push/pull on the front intake. They've got a video of assembly on YouTube that shows how easy it is. Makes me want to get it even though my HTPC is far from a performance machine. Too bad they won't offer a trade-in program.

    Anyway, looks as if you've corrected the cases shortcomings. I look forward to seeing the final result. I love SFF builds.
  15. Vario

    Vario

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    Still waiting on my short wiring kit from silverstone. When that comes, expect cables to be reduced 30%. I can also move this power supply forward an inch, which will reduce overall dimensions! The mess of cabling you guys see is I put all the cables up in the 5.25 bay (not used). Theres no cables elsewhere ;) You guys are also seeing the clump of turn on wire and case headers that I threw there. The only front panel header to be connected is power and reset. So that whole bundle is going going gone.

    I am a cable management fanatic. I was just so excited when I opened the box from amazon and it had my PSU and MB at 4PM that I had to get it booted by 5PM!!


    Edit update: cut backplate hole, getting the wood and a few other things in a few to make the enclosure for the chassis.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  16. Vario

    Vario

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    Today i accomplished:
    Cut backplate hole in the motherboard to make it easier to service the cpu backplate.
    Painted bare metal cuts and dremel scars on chassis flat black.

    Received:
    hdd wd blue 1tb
    Koolance 120x25 rad fan

    Bought:
    2 sheets of beautiful flat, smooth, knot free pine
    T nuts, fasteners
    3.5 to 5.25 adapter for the harddrive.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  17. Vario

    Vario

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    What do you guys know about tnuts? This is to attach the top clamshell to the wood base (the elite 120 chassis frame is bolted to the base)

    Gonna hammer it in (countersunk hole, pack full of gorilla). Never had a whole lot of luck with tnuts when I tried them once before with a subwoofer build. Its going into the end part of a solid pine 3/4" wood piece. Not the flat side, the end side. I can't draw it in with the bolt because its going into the end piece of the 3/4" pine wood sheet. I want to have all my fasteners only visible from the bottom side.

    I personally dislike gorilla glue, especially with carpentry but it has this nice expansion property which I figure will work well with locking a tnut into a hole. I don't want my tnut to free spin.

    The wood sections are just going to be butt-joints with tite-bond-2 and clamps, no visible fasteners. I have built a few subwoofers with this method.

    Should I be using hurricane nuts?

    Size I picked are 6-32 t nuts. I want to actually be able to remove the wood if I have to LOL.

    My fear is it will free spin and I won't be able to separate the wood.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  18. Vario

    Vario

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    Okay so got all the wood measured out and ready to cut. Cutting tomorrow probably (Radial armsaw). The big thing is its gonna be about 2" wider and taller than the stock elite 120, its no small cube but its gonna be so purdy! The wood isn't flush against the elite 120, actually theres a 1/4" space in each dimension around the chassis. This might help with the cooling, wiring. Mostly its because it makes the wood work easier and thicker wood is easier to get nice smooth router curved action. I am doing all simple 90 degree butt joints, glue, clamp. Not doing fancy carpentry. I come from a speaker/subwoofer car audio background so I am not a fancy carpenter.
  19. Vario

    Vario

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    Got all the server fans rewired for PC mode.

    These puppies are quiet! No need for a fan controller. For a 92mm, they move about the same amount of air as a medium speed 120mm and are barely audible. Supposedly they have some kinda temperature sensor that boosts speed automatically? Idk.

    Love em!

    Process was:
    1. Cut off server connector.
    2. Remove insulator.
    2. Twist wire into a thick strand.
    3. Stick into the fan pin.
    4. Needle nose the fan pin's clamps.
    5. Put a tiny drop of solder on the insulator to first crimp area just for strength.
    6. Stick into the black plastic fan plug.
    Colors from the side with the two bump guides, left to right: Yellow Red Black.
    7. Back-push them with a small screw driver.
    8. Verify they work.

    [​IMG]
  20. Vario

    Vario

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    Wood is coming along now:

    Radial Arm Saw is a useful tool to own, this is my father's.

    [​IMG]

    Wood floor mounted to case with 1/4" bolts and nuts
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Clamshell design roof/front/sides is glued and clamped:
    [​IMG]

    All joints are butt joints, glued and clamped. No nails. screws, pegs, mitered, etc. I am a simple man and not much of a carpenter, more of a former car audio enthusiast who used to build subwoofer enclosures.

    I am now 16 days post operative from the spinal cord surgery (detethering of tethered spinal cord), love being able to do stuff and the strength in my arms is returning thanks to this project (used to be a weightlifter). I am no couch potato now! Sadly I had to move back home at age 27 while I await recovery but love access to my dad's wood working equipment, particularly the saw. Most of the other tools besides the saw are mine however.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  21. Vario

    Vario

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    So it finished gluing enough for me to start the finishing work:

    Filled all the inevitable thin gaps in the butt joints with wood putty, got almost 90 degree joints so it ended up very nice when installed. Some of the putty is still caked thick and I need to do more sanding. But for now its pretty good.

    Heres two pics, one with the clamshell on and one with it off:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The front overhang is deliberate: it hides some of the fasteners when viewed from the front and compensates for any height addition from tnuts if I go that route.

    I wonder about a way to make it open up like a corvette: the front could hinge forward. Not sure how that could be accomplished. The gluing seems strong but at only 8 hours of drying time I am not ready to test it's strength :toast:.

    I will be cutting two horizontal openings on each of the sides and adding modders mesh, this will provide the intake airflow for the system. I will probably run 3 92mm fans on one side and the other side will just be ambient air intake for the 7850 2GB.


    After a month of operation and I am satisfied with its cooling etc, I will be applying a cherry minwax stain.

    If you guys have any ideas on a hinge that would give me a corvette style forward hinging clamshell, please let me know.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
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  22. micropage7

    micropage7

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    looks good so far
    just watch the clearance dont make it too tight that may give you some difficulty when installinv or removing things
    Vario says thanks.
  23. Vario

    Vario

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    I am on it ;) I got about 1 cm between the wood walls and the metal chassis on all sides except the back which is open!


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
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  24. Vario

    Vario

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    Things slowed down for 2 days because I had to trouble shoot components, it ended up being the mobo which is being exchanged with Amazon. The computer would just turn off randomly, especially when presented with a high cpu load. No overclock and its not like my CPU's are power intensive. Thought it was PSU, but that was fine with phenom2 965, i5 2550k, and the xeon 1230v2 with p95 and ibt and 3dmark and all kinds of other situations. Needless to say, its resolving. So thats good. Probably defective VRM or something. All the pins were fine though.


    Heres the modders mesh progress:
    http://www.staples.com/Brighton-Pro...Mesh-Square-Wastebasket-44-gal/product_592648
    [​IMG]

    Flattening it out
    [​IMG]
    MT Alex says thanks.
  25. Vario

    Vario

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    left and right are fairly square. Need to sand and woodfiller sand the cuts to get the smoothness I want then the mesh will be bent and flush fit to the sides.

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