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Classic Computer Desk / Entertainment Center

Mussels

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yay! you routed the CPU blocks tubes!


whats your plans for the inevitable dust buildup?
 
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yay! you routed the CPU blocks tubes!


whats your plans for the inevitable dust buildup?

Move into a clean room?

I've actually got some dust filters for the intake fans that haven't made it on yet, and beyond that I'll just have to blow it out with compressed air.
 

manofthem

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I like it alot! The build quality looks terrific, but I really like the way you've cleaned up the cabling and tubing. It look svery neat and downright sexy, nice work!
 
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Did a bit of work on the dvd drive to make it look presentable. I took the drive apart to paint the sheet metal the same black as the hard drive tray.




And now it's a stealth drive.



Unfortunately the paint got all scraped to heck as I inserted the drive, so I decided to go for a quieter mod. The drive first got a layer of acoustic foam.



And then a layer of black sheet metal. The sheetmetal should act as a mass loaded layer and block some of the noise that the foam lets through it.



I've also done some work on the speakers, wiring the crossovers and mounting them to mdf trays.




Then those trays got a layer of the acoustic foam, and then they were screwed into the speaker cabinets.


 
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I love this build. Looks great man. :toast:
 
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The pictures can probably speak for themselves here.






Had a few hiccups in the beginning. For starters it seems that my second four channel ram kit made my graphics card unstable somehow.

And then I tried to flash the BIOS to a new version and it really screwed the pooch and wouldn't post. Luckily this mobo keeps a backup BIOS you can get into with the push of a button. I'll have to give ASUS a call on Monday and see what can be done about the update.
 
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steamboatbob

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nice job there
 
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Man that is so nice. :toast:
 
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It's been a while since I've had any updates for this desk, but I just went through and added some finishing touches and niceties.

First up was work on the fan system, as I've been running without the exhaust fans, and without a speed controller. I added a Lamptron FC9 to the rear wiring chamber of the desk, and have it set up to control the front, mid, and rear zones with three of the knobs. My computer no longer sounds like a jet taking off in the distance, so that's good.



Then the intake fans got some dust filters to keep things nice and tidy. You can see the mesh between the blades.



And finally, my ASUS wifi card lasted all of six weeks before quitting, so I've replaced it with an Intel unit with a remote antennae. I don't know if heat was a contributing factor to the ASUS's failure or not, but just to be safe the new card gets a dedicated 80mm fan.

 

N!ck

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jjgoertz
Awesome project! Wood texture and matched style speakers look really nice :rockout:
Any plans for video watercooling? BTW Featured your project on my web site
 
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that finished up very nice, now where can i buy one lol, no very good work, big thumbs ups :)
 

mediasorcerer

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Wow thats great, love the way you can see the internals, and i love wood, worked with it all my life carving and creating etc, great work, funny you painted the dvd drive as im thinking of doing that myself atm for new case im doing. now i know its feasible, g1.

you should put a dust filtration device in there maybe. look at all those crossovers too hehe!!
 
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It's been a while since I updated this log, but the build recently changed to reflect how I really use this computer. It became apparent after some use that the thickness of the desk resulted in the top surface being too high to sit at comfortably. The desk has now become the main focus of an entertainment center, and to increase usability I have built a new set of legs with an integrated hardware shelving.


The new base started with single sheet of maple faced ply, to which I added a solid maple skirt. The main purpose of the skirt is to hide the wheels the stand will ride. Below you can see the skirt being glued into place. The corners between skirt pieces are simply chamfered together.


The top of the skirt was then brought down to flush with the plywood with a hand plane, and then sanded smooth. The vertical corners were rounded with a 3/4" radius bit, and then a decorative edge was routed into the top edge. You can also see the back plane of cabinet, with rounded pass-throughs for the cables of everything that will be loaded into the cabinet, and plenty of surface area for cable management to keep everything nice and tidy.


The backplane was then attached to the vertical legs, before being attached to the base of the platform.




The front and rear faces of the vertical legs got a piece of filigreed oak trim.


And then the back and leg assembly was attached to the base.


Glue squeeze out needs to be cleaned up immediately on a piece like this, and everything that didn't come off with a wet rag was allowed to dry, and was scraped off later with a carbide cabinet scraper.


Vertical supports for the equipment shelves was the next thing to go in.


And then the shelves. It's somewhat hard to see in this picture, but the shelves and the vertical supports also got the filigreed oak trim treatment.


That's it for construction, and we'll move on to finishing next.
 
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We'll start out with a before and after picture for the staining process. This is the same Minwax Early American that was used on the rest of the project, but this base is made from maple instead of birch. It's very similar in color, but harder and more densely grained. The wood was sanded down to 320 grit and thoroughly cleaned of dust prior to staining.




And then I moved on to staining the rest of the cabinet.


The cabinet was varnished with two coats of Minwax satin poly-urethane, sanded down to 320 grit between coats.


I then attached the wheel, and the assembly was ready to be moved inside.


In this shot you can kind of see how little the wheels protrude below the skirt. The end result being that the cabinet floats about a half inch above the carpet.


It was now time to get started with the cable management system. The centerpiece being this 10 outlet power strip mounted to the back.


And then a plethora of zip tie anchors to keep everything organized. I wanted to have enough routing paths that my signal cables could be routed separately from my power cables, and only cross perpendicularly. This is really unnecessary for anything except RCA cables, but it make me feel good.


A couple beauty shots in it's new home, but still empty.




Time to start loading it up with gear. A PS3, a Marantz reciever, and a pair of Dayton APA150 power amps.




Then it was time to drop the computer on top.








And finally the assembled entertainment center.


 
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Pretty cool wood work project.
 
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What brand and model router do you use? My cheapo router tends to explode softer woods so I'd like to know what you'd recommend.
 
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What brand and model router do you use? My cheapo router tends to explode softer woods so I'd like to know what you'd recommend.

It's not the router, it's the bit your using in your router. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a bit made for softer wood.
 
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What brand and model router do you use? My cheapo router tends to explode softer woods so I'd like to know what you'd recommend.

It's not the router, it's the bit your using in your router. Go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a bit made for softer wood.


Basically any sharp carbide bit will work. On a cut that removes a large amount of wood, like the profile in the top of the skirt you need to take multiple passes or the wood will split no matter what bit you use.

As far as routers go I use a 2hp Rigid plunge router, but I wouldn't recommend it. The plunge base will stick at full extension if you let it come up too quickly, and requires some persuasion from a mallet to get it to retract again. Also the collets it uses have a snap ring as the lip that gets pushed against to remove the bits. This snap ring breaks down after you change bits a few times, and after it falls off your bits are stuck in the router.

The collets Dewalt uses are much better, and have a machined in lip. Can't comment on the quality of there plunge base tho.
 

t_ski

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Sounds like a little lubrication will work wonders. (Waits for the "that's what she said" remarks...)
 
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Sounds like a little lubrication will work wonders. (Waits for the "that's what she said" remarks...)

The plunge base has oil impregnated bronze bushings, they are just a combination of too short, and machined to too large of an ID, so that they rack sideways at full extension, binding on the shaft.
 
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