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Thread: Atomic [COMPLETED]

  1. #1
    A Loganberry Agent FredCompany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Kent, England

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    This is what the title says. I wasn't sure whether to put it in this subforum or not, but I couldn't find another section that seems relevant. I could always mod the case once I've finished so it fits in this category :lol:

    This is my WIP Mini ITX case. I bought a working system from my friend (although I've changed the OS a few times since then), and I decided it needed a case. It needed room for expansion - I'm currently using a pico PSU - and it needed space for cooling, because although the specs are only slightly better than my Dell Mini 10v, I want it to run a lot cooler. The 10v easily reaches 70C just surfing the web, due to its passive cooling (read as "lack of cooling&#34

    So here are the specs:
    Mobo: Intel D945GCLF2
    Proc: Intel Atom (not sure of the model number) Dual core (1.6GHz)
    Graphics: Onboard Intel 945GC Express chipset at the moment (I may upgrade to a PCI graphics card if I decide it's worth it)
    Networking: Onboard ethernet, possible PCI WiFi card (depending on whether I go for the graphics card or not)
    HDD: 80GB 3.5" SATA Seagate Barracuda, taken (I think) from a PowerMac G5. VERY noisy, so will be replaced when I get the cash.
    RAM: 2GB Unknown Brand
    Cooling: Stock 3cm fan (may be replaced due to horrible whining noise, but it seems to be sufficiently muffled by the case) and 8cm intake fan (Probably overkill, but the HDD can get very warm)

    So, that's what's going into this. I hope I haven't forgotten anything

    Finally, onto the important bit:
    The case will be made out of MDF (yeah, I know you're thinking "cheapskate" but I seriously don't have any money left after buying this). At the moment I'm leaning towards a gloss black finish. I'm not sure how to implement this. I have some MDF primer and black spray paint, but should I buy some gloss varnish/clearcoat, or get gloss black spray paint? Any advice would be appreciated.

    I don't have any pics of my original design, as it's already varied greatly from that, and it really only showed the size of the case, and not any of the details. I've decided on the lid design as I've build it.
    It's a bit tall compared to a conventional Mini-ITX case, but that's to allow for adding more HDDs or a DVD drive, and a more powerful PSU.

    So onto some pics (not sure if these'll work, but I'm hoping copying Photobucket's IMG code will work):
    My lovely glowing power switch:

    My bodged wiring job for the switch and LEDs (this will be tidied up at some point):

    A shot of the internals (it's pretty tight in terms of length):

    The LEDs working (eventually):

    Acrylic LED covers and a fan grille added to the lid:

    Everything lit up:

    It looks terrible compared to everything else on Modders-Inc, but hopefully once it's sanded and has a coat of black (and some I/O holes :lol: ) it'll look sleeker.

    I'd like any suggestions or opinions you can give

  2. #2
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    It looks terrible compared to everything else on Modders-Inc
    ... BS, it looks great!

    A mod is a mod...if you like it then that is all that matters. I have seen some mods that cost 1,000's of dollars that I thought were just down right terrible, while other that cost much less where so much better.

    Oh, btw Welcome to Modders-Inc!!

  3. #3

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Getting a piano black finish is a bit labor intensive but the end result is always favored by many.

    I've heard of people sealing MDF with an epoxy but I don't think its necessary if your project can allow for fine sanding. I'd suggest to get some medium and find grit polishes don't use any heavy duty polish as it will be to rough and just scratch your work. Your looking for HIGH gloss so take your time with your finishing techniques.

    I will explain how to prep then get right into finishing techniques.


    Primer - Use a water based primer and perfer 2+ coats for proper seal.

    Paint - Oil based paints will always leave a great shine if prepped right. Look for High Gloss Oil based paint.

    Roller - You will need a 1/4" and shorter nap sleeve. And roller. {A short nap is used with enamels and gloss finishes}

    SandPaper - (Wood/MDF) Using MICROGRIT paper. Sand with 240-400. Working up in grits will be easier for you. {Note if money is an issue just buy the Silicon Carbide Sandpaper for both wood and paint}

    Sandpaper - (Paint) Using Silicon Carbide[SCS] Sandpaper will get you great results. Starting Grit 320-800 then working up to 2000 grit or higher. but rubbing compound should be good enough after 2000 grit.

    Polish - Rubbing Compound & Hand Glaze these are a must for the high gloss finish.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

    Prep wood/MDF with using 240-400 sandpaper working up in the grits will be much easier for you to get any deep scratches out. Once sanded and ready for primer apply 2+ coats to really seal in that MDF sanding in between with 400g SCS waiting a few hours to cure between coats.

    When undercoat (primer) is fully dry we can move onto paint. When working with oil based paints, it can tend to dry fairly quick but as your project is quite small this should be a factor.
    Just simply apply paint with roller and cut in with oil paint brush. Sanding in between coats with 400-600 girt sandpaper be sure to let your paint cure each coat so that means leave it over night per coat. Trying to rush this wont leave you with a finish you want so take your time. Once your satisfied with your results its time to sand.
    So once you get about 3+ coats you can move onto sanding.

    After your paint is fully dry start sanding with 600 grit working your way up to 2000 grit. Once satisfied you can move on to Polishing. If you have a deep orange peel as most call it, start off with a lower girt sandpaper like 320 and then move on to the higher grits.

    Clean up:
    Clean up your work using soapy water to remove any sandpaper dust and then wipe dry.

    Alright here comes the nice shine. Starting off with your rubbing compound start to make passes over your work, keeping in mind that the more you work the rubbing compound the finer it gets so keep working until you see a slight glaze over the paint.
    Repeat two or three times working until you see a light glaze. Once completed you should really start to see the shine.
    Keep in mind try using new finishing cloths each pass. And each pass make sure you take great care in not to grind the rubbing compound in to the paint and scratch your work. So light at first then when it turns into a think fine paste continue on until slightly glazed.

    "Fine" Polishing:
    Now for the HIGH gloss, this hand glaze is pretty fine stuff so make sure you are satisfied with the previous step before moving on to this stage of the game.

    Ok so your ready for the final product, just remember to always keep a clean finishing cloth with you each pass but this step you need to repeat at least 3-5 times maybe more if you desire.

    Thats it you should be able to see your self and not be able to see any scratches.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Oh and Welcome to Modders-Inc!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  5. #5

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Welcome Fred, it's great to have you aboard .

    You really think that's a terrible build? Hmm I think it's VERY cool to be honest! While it may seem simple in concept (to you perhaps?) you've added some very nice touches to it and you're going outside the box in just building something yourself altogether which says a lot!

    Could you please do a complete worklog of your building experience on this mod or at least as much as you have time to capture and share? It's builds such as this which inspire others to improve on certain ideas or follow something someone else did and yet still make it very original. EVERY build is a reference point for those who may not have the same skills that you and others may be able to offer to the community. And any fresh build is always an inspiration!

    Sanding is a very important step in getting a high gloss finish too! Then the polishing of course which adds that "POW" awsomeness to any paint job!

    Looking very forward to seeing your worklog posted here!

  6. #6
    A Loganberry Agent FredCompany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Kent, England

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Thanks for the replies! I'm in France now (on a skiing trip) so I can't do anything, but once I get back, I'll get back to work Looks like I have a lot of sanding and painting to do Fun fun fun!

  7. #7

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Right on man! Enjoy your skiing trip!! Wish I could take a few days and go up to Mt Washington resort, I haven't been in years. So i'm in fact I am jealous. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    So enjoy your trip!! We'll see ya when you get back!

  8. #8

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Thats kinda cool and very tiny.

    I'm not a serious modder, but I've had ideas for years, but never the guts to break out the dremel.

    I would build a riser for your mother board and take all your wires and tiddy them up and run them underneth to hide all the slack. Just keep in mind that its made of wood and wood doesn't transfer heat as well as metal so keeping it cool should be some kind of priority. You can pickup a pretty quite 80mm or 120mm fan pretty cheap.

    Man now you have me conidering stripping down one of my machines and building something like this. LOL

  9. #9

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    Looks like the top has holes for a 80mm fan >< lol But very vaild point kizer air flow is a must!

  10. #10

    Atomic [COMPLETED]

    FredCompany see that you've inspired someone else with your build, and for that your build is PRICELESS. sh4rkbyt3 sure hit that on the nose and I couldn't agree more with you, builds like this are thee best!

    FredCompany make this build shine!!

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