I promised a worklog for this project, and here it is! I only started a few weeks ago, and I documented most everything, so it should be pretty coherent. I know that there was a big question about whether or not they sent you a whole case, and the answer in short is no, they do not. They send you a case cover, as such:
I figured that anyone who was serious would get a case, so I shopped around and picked up an old socket 462 shuttle for $20 on craigslist.
It turned out that I overestimated the competition, which is never a bad thing. The reason the original silver case is taped and marked up is because I thought that I would be using it. However, it had the shuttle logo embossed in the side, and since at the time I was planning on using a circle cutter, and circle cutters don't play nice with uneveness, I untaped it and retaped the new cover.
My first step was to make a model in sketchup. Here is my model.
I got the model online, but I added the curved edges and updated the dimensions. Then I calculated the position of the holes down to the 1/32". Let me tell you something, all that measuring and calculating was a lot of math!
First to arrive were the faucet connectors.
Here they are after about a half hour of lable stripping.
Remember how I said I was going to use a circle cutter in the beginning? I tried the circle cutter that I found in our garage, and merely using it bent it all out of shape and actually stopped the drill press. So I bought some knockout punches.
It was actually cheaper to buy four of them on ebay than to buy just the one I needed at an actual store. Funny, huh? And yes, the punches are packed using random pieces of cardboard and styrofoam.
The last thing I ordered was the conduit nipples (Stop giggling! It's what they're called!). I have one of those forehead-slapping stories about this one. Ok, so I called this store downtown for a price check, and they said that they'd call me right back. I waited a couple hours with no response, so I went ahead and ordered them online for 29 cents each from some electrical supply on the East coast. The next day the local guy calls me back and says that they have them for 24 cents each and that I could pick them up that day! Forehead-slap!
So, after a good two weeks of materials-acquisition and planning, I was ready to begin, even though my nipples hadn't come yet. I taped off the new panel and marked a grid, then spring-punched it on the intersections. Here my next problem arose: How to get the thing on the drill press! Because of the bend, I couldn't just lay it on there like normal, so a spacer was necessary. I cut a 2x4 to length. However, even with the stand on the lowest setting, There still wasn't room for the bit.>
So I moved the stand out of the way, and then the bit couldn't reach!
2x6's to the rescue! The perfect height.
So here are the holes before being chassis-punched.
Chassis-punching in progress.
These are the knockouts from one side.
Dassa lotta knockouts!
Now for the top.
And drilled, with a couple holes knocked out.
Here's the whole thing done.
I let it sit like this for a couple days, waiting for my nipples to come.
And here they are!
I couldn't resist getting them all ordered and laid out. Lol.
Here's my next problem:
There's about an eighth inch too much space between the end of the faucet connector and the bushing of the nipple. So I asked my father to pick up 90 1/2" locknuts from Lowes on his way home from work.
Here's the whole apparatus with the locknut added.
I later discovered that the cause of the extra space was the rubber washer inside the faucet connector that seals it when it's actually being used to hold water. I removed the washer on certain faucet connector ends to allow for more room for interior components. When you see a nipple without a locknut, it's because I took out the rubber washer. And yes, my desk is now littered with the little buggers.
Here are some cable installation shots.
Kind of looks like a backbone.That's when I was putting the locknuts on the outside. I realized that it looked bad that way, so I installed them on the inside of the metal.
Here is the completed cover. These look like big fuses on some big spaceship or something to me.
I later took off the locknuts on the outer rows on the top panel because they interfered with the internal structure. I still have to modify the frame a bit to get the panels on enough to be fastened.
So here are the (semi) completed shots.
My father is a hobby photographer (he has enough equipment to make a darkroom), and here are some shots that he took of it using my camera. Personally, I can't tell a difference :P.
Actually, I can. I'll put photography on my list of things to get good at.
So there it is for now, there are still a lot of loose ends to take care of, and I will update you on the progress of said ends being tightened.