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Thread: GIGABYTE 30th Anniversary Mod Challenge -- Rehab

  1. #11
    PROGRESS!!! It has computer parts in it now! W00T!

    But first, let's start off with another episode of "That Panel Just Isn't Quite Right".

    Our contestant this week is the front radiator panel. I'm just not digging it. It works, but it feels like a boarded up window to me. Plus, it didn't fit very well on my radius'd corner.

    To the CNC!

    I measured it out a lot closer this time and fancied it up a bit. So close that I actually had to file it down a hair to fit. Just what I was looking for. And after matching the radius, this is what I got.

    I haven't slapped the rad in it yet, but I'm liking the look.

    After getting that out of the way and off my mind, I started laying out for components. My chicken scratches.

    Pro Tip: When laying things out to be cut, cut them the same night so you don't forget what side of the line you're working with.

    After figuring out what I had done the night before, I got my back panel cutouts done and the pump mounted.

    I managed to get rid of one of my mistake screw holes. Still have to fix the other 4.

    Getting the board standoffs mounted.

    And the back panel with actual components in it.

    I'm thinking some stylized grill areas cut into the blank spots to liven it up a bit and also to let the back panel exhaust some air. Might even do acrylic windows on standoffs with a resin design. I've been looking for places to work my resin ideas in and I really like how a window on standoffs breaks up the blandness of a flat panel. Over the PSU and next to the I/O panels are the main spots since I've got ideas for the area over the pump. As far as the pump/pump top goes, the model I got has 3 inlets and 2 outlets. Have to plug the two on the bottom so I can use two of the side ports. And for the top to sit flush on the panel, I had to drill out a couple of holes for the plugs...which I now deem fill ports.

    Interior shot of what's going on.

    MB plays the role of engine, pump plays the role of master cylinder. At least in my head. That's part of why I chose that pump top, it had the closest look with the right ports.

    And next, playing the role of heads and valve cover, our GTX1070.

    Yeah, I've got one hell of an imagination. LOL!

    With our hood on.

    I'm still playing with the angle a bit. Originally I was going to mount this on a bracket and hang it out in the air to center it more in the case, but seeing how long it is, I'll probably mount it to the back panel. That should be easier on my riser as well.

    Now, I'm gonna throw off the whole engine compartment theme with...gauges!

    I have a problem. The gauges totally throw the engine bay theme off for this side, but totally match the interior theme on the other side. So the choice should be easy right? But working gauges on the other side would be totally useless since you'd never see them because it'd be the off side and there's a side panel that will cover them(and I don't want to window it there because of the paint scheme). Add to that semi-removable panels and water lines that have to run through panels, plus the whole res mounting...I'm actually stuck on where to put them at the moment. I've got some ideas, just need to work out the details. But they look effin' cool, right?

    Oh yeah, almost forgot...The Lonely PSU.

    All by itself. Waiting on some aluminum for the panel on that side so it's all alone. And freaking tiny....damn!

    Thanks for following along!

  2. #12
    And the project rolls on...

    I did figure out the gauges, where to put them and how to hook the tach to read a fan. I won't go into it in this update since I need to make a bracket to get them actually mounted and I'm still uploading a vid covering the tach. But YAY!

    What I will go into is the off side of the case. I finally got some more aluminum in, this time .08" 5052 alloy. Almost 2mm thick and bends like butter.

    I started with the bottom plate, this will be my main mount point and will get covered in some sort of interior material. I haven't decided yet. Maybe a suede or a leatherette. Sumpin fancy, hehe! I worked all this out in Sketchup so I could CNC the pieces and everything would fit together. The base after milling.

    Next up were the SSD plates. Once again milled.

    And mounted up.

    They don't really stand out, but with the base panel covered in material and these painted to match the exterior, they ought to set everything off nicely. Still thinking about rounding the outside corners of the plates, but I'll cross that bridge later, right now, I've still got another piece for the puzzle.

    I was planning on figuring out a mounting setup that was invisible for the base panel, but finally decided it would be easier to just make a trim piece that would cover the mounting screws. This also gained me some room for another idea I had. Back to the CNC.

    .75mm cuts in my .08" Al for a little bit of flash.

    And the trim piece finished and mounted. It doesn't really stand out right now, LOL. But it'll be brushed Al in the end with SS screws holding it in. Nice and clean. Also mounted an SSD. Nice and tight tolerance on the connectors which was another reason I wanted to CNC these pieces. I suck at cutting things out by hand.

    Closer look.

    The extra space I saved not making up some complicated mounting allows me to put in a little hot rod touch.

    A fire extinguisher. Not needed, or is it... I had some space to kill and had thought about different ways to put it to use, but I kept coming back to either gauges or some sort of bottle, be it NOS or an extinguisher. I'm going to use the gauges on the other side of the case since they'll be visible there and NOS has been done and I figured most hot rods have a fire extinguisher in case bad things happen, so why not. It just barely fits but I think it's a interesting touch.

    The bracket does need a little work though.

    That 1/2 inch of bracket put the extinguisher in the door, so it had to go. Next up, figuring out how to mount this piece of the bracket so the extinguisher doesn't roll around and break things.

  3. #13
    Quick little update. I spent some time trying to get a tachometer working and reading the fan rpm. Made a little video.

    I did the video working on a 12v power inverter which apparently puts out a little extra. Running off the 12v of a PSU, the tach read 4k rpm which should make the fan 2k rpm which sounds about right. I also tried it on the 5v and the 3.3v outputs. Worked fine on the 5v, wasn't happy with the 3.3v, but it did work. It was a little wonky though, the tach had to be on the PSU 12v for it to read the fan on the PSU. So 12v from the inverter + fan on PSU was a no go. But switch the tach to the PSU 12v and it was fine. I don't know why, but it works now, so I don't care.

    Also mounted the gauges in the case. Had to make a little aluminum bracket for the 2" gauges since the one supplied wouldn't clear the case frame and was also a 3 gauge bracket. I gave them a little more angle than the side of the case so they'd be easier to see when the case is setup on a desktop and also for a bit more clearance for the wiring against the radiator.

    That's all for now!

  4. #14
    Couple of quick little updates while I'm trying to wrap up fabrication.

    Got the fire extinguisher mounted up.

    And also my wire pass throughs done. Or at least the ones I know of.

    Feet mounted. I went with MNPCTECH billet feet cause I love them and this mod screams for billet. Put the mITX version on the front and the full size on the back to give the case some stance.

    For the back panel, I needed some ventilation. Not necessarily a fan mount, but just something that lets air flow over the board and not form a little hot pocket. pocket. So let's throw it on the CNC. It's a build for a Gigabyte contest, so why not a Gigabyte logo?

    Should help with air movement. Wanted to do the same or similar for the other side since I had a lot of blank back panel over there too. I got started but then my router died. I heard it popping and thought it might get through the cut but no. Luckily my spindle is the Dewalt 611, so a trip to Lowe's that night and we had a replacement.

    Re-homing the spindle was a little nerve wracking, but I managed to hit x dead on and was within 1/2mm on the y, so damn near perfect. And the almost finished panel. Still have to fill some holes and mount a GPU somewhere.

    I'm really digging how it came out. I was hoping it would look good, but this blew away my expectations.

    So all that's left now for fab is to hinge the hood panel, mount the GPU, mount the reservoir(which is on it's way and totally cool), do a little work to ease my wiring, and make a front panel. Man, it didn't seem like a lot till I wrote it down...

  5. #15
    So keeping on keeping feels like I've disassembled and reassembled this thing a million times so far! *But let's put it back together to layout some more hardware.

    Getting ready to mount the GPU. *I want this to set with a bit of angle, sort of like a valve cover on a V engine, and just peeking out under the hood panel. *I think that will look good with the lighting on it. *First thing is to check that we've got the right riser cable. *Last time I picked one up from Li-Heat, I went ahead and got a few other sizes. *Saves on the shipping costs down the road. *Right length and right ends, perfect!

    After marking the tab location, I took the bracket off to layout my cuts. *Pretty basic, just a rectangle. *Then I cut three sides and bent the remaining piece of metal out for my bracket to attach to. *That 6061 alloy is pretty tough so I grabbed a torch to help with the bend. *I was afraid of snapping the tab off without some heat.

    After that, I trimmed the tab down and tapped a few holes, and voila! *That's one screw on the main*tab and two more on the slip in tabs. *I don't want this sucker going anywhere.

    Even though it's mounted and not going anywhere, it does sag quite a bit, so I'll be adding a bracket to keep it level.

    While I had everything apart to drill and cut for the GPU, I decided to mount up the res that came in as well. *I picked out an overflow/catch can to use for the reservoir, I really like the look of it.

    Let me tell you, that is a hunk of stainless steel. *You can see how thick the end caps are with the fittings removed.

    I don't think holding pressure will be a problem for this thing. *But it does have a few drawbacks, no sights for fluid level so that'll be sort of an educated guess, and only two 1/4" NPT ports. *Plenty of ports for basic function, but I'd also like a fill hole, a drain outlet and I've got this cool temp gauge that needs it's sensor put somewhere. *The idea*in my head right now is to use the top 1/4" port for temp sensor/fill duties, the bottom 1/4" port for the drain. *That leaves me two holes short and they're the most important ones. *For the inlet and outlet, the plan is to drill and tap the holes in the bottom. *Notice I say plan. *Once I start trying to drill and tap the stainless, we'll see how well it goes. *But for now, let's get it mounted up.

    Had to make sure it cleared the GPU.

    Couple of bolts, easy as pie.

    You can really see how bad the GPU sags in this pic.

    Up next, the hood panel...hopefully.

  6. #16
    More work. To get the GPU setting level, I made up a little bracket out of some scrap 2mm Al.

    Simple. I thought about securing the GPU to it as well, but this works well and will function with any GPU. I did make it slightly adjustable as well, so I can fine tune it later.

    Next up I had to bite the bullet and get the hood done. I've been putting this off for a couple of reasons, partly figuring out how I wanted to attach everything, but mainly I was worried about screwing it up royally.

    So first of, we have a hinge. Nothing special, just a 2 foot aluminum piano hinge.

    Cut it down to size.

    For all this to work the way I envision, I've got to notch each half so the hinge mounts on the bottom and pops up in the middle. This was the first thing I was worried about screwing up. 2mm notch on each half.

    Test fitting. It came out pretty well. Nice and tight fit, which makes the next part, lining it all up straight and square, a bit easier

    To attach it, I had thought about rivets, but I didn't want them showing on the top. Then I thought about brazing it, but would have warped the panels and done who knows what to the epoxy and filler on the original half. In the end, I used some JB Weld epoxy, I've been having some pretty good luck with it lately.

    Clamping side one to the hinge.

    Side two took a little more ingenuity. I cut some square tube to spread the pressure out and make sure I got the best contact possible.

    Some quick and dirty tips for those who may not know. When clamping something for epoxy or whatever, tape the clamp. Tape gives, good epoxy doesn't. Also, I'm not sure if anyone else does this, but I lay down a square of tape for mixing epoxies and fillers. I used to use some scrap acrylic or whatever I had laying around, but I'm really liking the tape. It doesn't move around so you don't wind up covered with epoxy trying to hold a little piece of scrap and you simply ball it up on itself when you're done. I'm liking not being covered in epoxy after I'm done. It's a perk.

    After a little bit of cure time.

    And mounted on the case.

    I've got a bit of tweaking to do and some filler to clean up the hinge, but I'm loving it! :S

    Down to two main items on my fab list before paint now. The first is the off side panel. I love the solid feel of Fractals doors, but the soundproofing material has got to go. Putty knife to remove the material, some goo off to get rid of the sticky stuff and then a quick run over it with some 220 grit to knock a good portion of the paint off.

    Next up was figuring out the window for this side. I decided that basing it off a back window of a coupe would be pretty cool. It would give at least a partial view of the components without just following the outline of hardware, which would have looked funny, and it also fit the theme to a tee. The con of this idea is that at least half the coupes I looked at for reference were chopped and had a non-standard window. The pro of this idea was that half of the coupes I looked at were chopped and had a non-standard window. So really all I had to do was to make it look window-ish. Figured out what my size constraints were and made up a little template so I could mirror my ends.

    Next up will be cutting it out and starting to figure the front grill.

  7. #17
    Quick materials and paint update with a small bit of modding. First off the modding...

    Off side panel window is cut. Now to figure out how I want to feed air to the PSU. Rely on the little bit of space between the window and the fan to provide enough air, do some sort of grill on the window(yuck, not a fan!), or put the window on standoffs? I'll have to think about this one.

    As far as materials and paint, I stopped and picked up what is going to be the base color for Rehab...Viper Blue.

    And the biggest news of this update are the fittings for the loop.

    EK rotary 90's because they're nice and compact and some spanking new MNPCTECH hardline fittings that Bill was awesome enough to hook me up with. I had to have them cause they fit this theme so well. They just look like they belong in an engine bay!

    A big thanks to Bill and MNPCTECH, and expect a video detailing these little babies soon!

  8. #18
    Since I've got fittings now, I figured I'd put a bit of the board together to get a feel for the upcoming loop. Have to get all zen with it.

    My pretty little i7 installed.

    I'd say this Heatkiller block is the whipped cream on the top, but it weighs a ton.

    And decked out with the MNPCTECH fittings.

    I want a blue or red anodized look on the fittings, similar to AN fittings, but Bill said they're only going to do black, which I totally get. So I've got two options to get the AN look I want. Number one is paint, which with the knowledge of Brad at DDG, seems pretty doable. Adhesion promoter, candy, then clear. Number two is to actually anodize the caps. Yes, there is a home brew method. Yes I tried it. Yes, I was worried I would blow up my garage by accident.

    I just did some trial pieces of Al to work out the feasibility of this crazy plan and I'm pretty happy with the results. They aren't great results. In fact they look pretty bad, buuuuuutttt, it worked. Now to just refine the process.

    First trial piece.

    It's got some blue tint. I'm pretty sure that this is from to weak of an acid solution.

    Trial number 2.

    That is definitely blue. This was after adding some more acid to my solution. I'm not sure why it came out streaked, whether it was cleaning, or my solution needed to be mixed better, or something in the dyeing process. But hey, it worked! Just a few more trials to get the kinks worked out and I might be able to anodize these on my own.

    Switching gears, while I was picking up the dye for the anodizing experiment, I decided to pick up the fabric materials for my interior side and start getting that lined out.

    First up, smoothing the edges of my panel so it didn't rip the material.

    Then I used some spray adhesive to lay down a bit of padding.

    The fabric I chose was a tan suede with flocking on the back. Didn't need the flocking, but that's how I found it. I stretched it around my piece and tacked down the edges with some more spray adhesive.

    And voila! An aluminum pillow!

    I think it's going to look pretty trick with everything installed. And I really like the pillowing effect around the components. Though I am going to go back and give the SSD trays rounded edges and they will be painted to match the blue on the exterior.

    And again, thanks to my sponsor:

  9. #19
    Sooo....anodizing....yeah...HEY, WHAT'S THAT? A video??? Nah, I'm totally not trying to draw your attention away from my anodizing these fittings...

    And to go with some fittings, we need a reservoir.

    It's got a 1/4"NPT inlet and outlet, but I need a couple more holes, specifically 2 extra G1/4 holes for my loop inlet and outlet. So out comes the tape and pen.

    Let me tell you, this thing was a beast to drill. Near impossible to clamp down, hard to hold onto, and the stainless...well let's just say it doesn't like to be drilled. At all. But after a lot of WD-40 and cooling periods so I didn't cook anything, I wound up with this.

    Notice how one hole is nice and pretty and the other is a ragged mess. Lets just say that it's hard to hold a polished stainless tube covered in WD-40 when a large bit in a drill press catches. The damn thing swung around, jammed my thumb, beat against the drill press leg a few times till it knocked the chuck loose and then fell to the floor....<-all of that...twice. So you'd think it'd be a mess right?

    Yeah, it got a ding and a scratch. I thought the drill press was going to be dead and my thumb broke, and you can barely tell anything happend to it. My damn thumb still hurts.

    So after my "stress testing" to make sure it could handle the rigors of being in a computer(it will outlast any component in the system, especially if drill presses are involved) I went ahead and threaded my holes for G1/4.

    I'm missing an o-ring on one of the fittings because the rough hole didn't tap so well, I've got to do a little thread repair on it. If it goes well, I'll tell you what I used. If not...more stress testing on a new catch can.

    With that done, I'm trying to get some little details taken care of. One of them is notching the motherboard tray support so I can sneak some wires through while hopefully keeping some of it's rigidity.

    I'm also at the stage of prepping for paint. Most things got a pretty aggressive sand to remove a lot of paint before a nice coat of primer, while the radiator got a shot from a sandblaster to knock it's paint off.

    Another part of prep...filler. Got to fill in some of my mistakes and also clean up the top panel and hood.

    In between waiting for the filler and primer to dry, I decided to work on the finish for the motherboard tray. Since it's a classic hot rod theme, I thought doing some engine turning on the aluminum would be perfect.

    I tried a few things for the turning. Above is 400 grit paper on a 3" polisher, good but not great, not a lot of bite. I also tried a 2" green removal pad on a air grinder, but I had problems with either too much bite in the center of the circle or not enough, depending on the brand of pad I used. Also, they tended to build up aluminum so I got some gouging. In the end I went with a 350 grit 3M Trizact disc on my 3" polisher. And the finished product.

    You can see where there was buildup on the pad, but I like the concentric ring look. Plus redoing it with an emery stick(I think that's recommended way) would take forever and the pattern would be too small for my taste.

    Thanks for following along, and once again, a huge shout out to Bill.

  10. #20
    Administrator crowTrobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Wow, those rings turned out great. Keep up the great work bud.

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