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Craig Tate

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I've learned a couple *valuable things that I want to pass on:

1) When using a blow torch, there is a VERY good chance that something around you just *might* be hot. Be careful of your reflexes and what you reach to grab. I'm just saying...

2) Angle Grinders and flap wheels are AWESOME. Eye protection is a must (which I was wearing), but also EAR PROTECTION should also be worn. I'm stubborn, and now I cant hear my family harassing me... so I'd call that a win! BUT DONT YOU DO IT!!! ;)

3) When brazing aluminium, be careful not to overheat your work... otherwise sheet aluminium just goes molten and falls apart like a wet paper towel... dont ask me how I know that. 

4) Build flexibility into your design so that when you %*#$ up, you have a way to fix it! ;) (See number 3)


I will try and post pictures later, I'm out bending sheet aluminium to achieve a desired effect! :D


More later! 


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Ok.... so what all have I learned? 

Let's start at the very beginning... 


Initially what I tried to do was to take the side panel, and just fill in the holes! 





What you are not seeing here is the back side that had gobs of the alumaweld that had dripped through be cause I had not applied it properly. It was also during this initial learning phase that I had my next painful lesson: Dont grab hot stuff!


2nd/3rd degree burns on my thumb and index finger, right where I pinch together. You simply dont realize how much you use your primary hand's grasp/retrieve functions until you burn yourself here.... not debilitating, as I know many others that have had far worse, but annoyingly painful. A daily reminder to my momentary stupidity. ;)


So, realizing that my initial techniques to apply the alumaweld were not working properly, I went to a friend that had welding equipment, and hoped that our combined mental prowess  could solve this issue....






Nope, nope, nope, nope.... Going the wrong way here folks... 

Had some success with this, but as you can see the aluminium is too thin for this method, and we ended up melting the base frame aluminium while trying to fill the itty bitty holes! This was  a MIG welder using argon, on the lowest voltage. Well, crap....


So if you have watched my video above, you will note that I figured out a way to use the weld product in a way that gave me a great chance at success... back the aluminium with sheet steel (that the welding product will not bond with), and clamp that to a 1/8" thick sheet of aluminium, using the steel and the aluminium as a heatsink to try and wick as much heat away from where I was working. So, I whipped out the flap wheel, and went after the welding work done previously, and ground out the scorching and flattened that weld work. 



Then I set to applying the welding product using my new found knowledge:


And it was working!!! Looks ugly, but once ground down it will look much better. Additionally, this step is not for direct cosmetics. I am only wanting to create an environment where light will not be leaking through this. There is more to be done to this after the grinding and flattening. But so as to not give anything away, I will just say that is highly likely that none of this work will even be seen. But it needs to be done. 



one entire piece completed, but not ground down 

Both sides have effectively met the same treatment, and I will have them ground down tomorrow. 

Which should mark the end of my focus on this structural part of the mod, and I will then be moving to the next stage of the case frame build out. 

Excited to finally have a solution for this part of the build. I've been kind of fighting this to get the end result that I wanted. And while not as clean as I would like, if will give me the effect that I am looking for. 


More as I progress!



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Ohh, hope your fingers don't hurt to much and that they heal fast :o but what execly did you do when it did not work? and what did you do when you manage to fix it?

I am a certified sheet metal worker, I never took any welding licences but welding where mostly what I did before the factory I worked on got closed down and I lost my job :( so I know a thing or two about metal fussing or welding :) I will be happy to help if you have any question about welding or metal fussing, or maybe you friend knows a lot


"edit" aah, I see you used a MIG welder, Usually work if you have the right fill material, but usually I TIG all aluminium, with good result even on thin plates, but aluminium bends quite easily so you have to weld one side like this --- and the other side like this ------, if you understand what I mean :P also, weld it like relay slowly, patience is time if you don't want aluminium to warp.


any way, keep on going, I am excited to see what you can come up with and make :D 

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14 hours ago, Pål-Marius Stavdahl Hansen said:

"edit" aah, I see you used a MIG welder, Usually work if you have the right fill material, but usually I TIG all aluminium, with good result even on thin plates, but aluminium bends quite easily so you have to weld one side like this --- and the other side like this ------, if you understand what I mean :P also, weld it like relay slowly, patience is time if you don't want aluminium to warp.


Yup, I get what you are saying, just didnt have time to practice the TIG welding. Time is everyone's enemy on these contests, and I could not loose any more. So I used what I learned to give me a solution that I needed. It did not need to be cosmetically perfect, just flat and sealed. :)


Work today to move closer to my end goal.


Time to break out the aluminium diamond plate. Has to be cut to accomidate the radiator hole in the front/center: 



To do that, I break out my super dremel (Saw Max):



And a short time later, nice straight cuts that need some filing:



Then mark and cut the backing pieces for the inside of the drive bays:



Line up my panels, and this is an evolution of what the sides will look like:



Significantly more to go, but it is getting there! 






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So, while working on my mod this last week, and specifically thinking about a problem tonight, I was inspired to write the following:


I would be interested in you, the enthusiast and/or modder giving this a read and let me know how you would feel about this. 


Will have updates in a few days. Doing a lot of cutting and planning... ;)


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while I have been doing some really boring stuff, like visualization, and part placement, I do have a couple update pics to show some of the pieces that will be in use:

My primary colors are going to revolve around blue and black


Metal flake blue radiator with blue anodized Monsoon hard line compression fittings:



Monsoon DDC pump cover, with black nylon pump top, and anodized blue Monsoon hard line fittings:



I have to get my final placement for all of the parts, and finish drilling and cutting my mounting holes, before prepping for color on the case. 


Next couple pics are me working with the PSU area, and as per my last post, I am not going to mount the PSU in a standard fashion. The cables will exit behind the motherboard tray. So I am working with a semi modular PSU to practice with, and get a feel of what I will need to do from a construction and demolition standpoint to make this element work. The weird looking finish of this PSU is due to the adhesive that came off when I pulled the side stickers needed to get to all of the bolts. You are looking at the back of the case, where you would normally insert the PSU into the holding cavity. Installing the power supply in this manner currently requires me to remove the top, insert the PSU, reattach the top. Solving this problem will be.... interesting. ;)



Looking from the back side, at where the power supply will be presenting the computer cables, if I were going to be using the PSU, the modular plugs are obscured by the lower sides of the roof piece, used to reinsert the side panels. Not only will I have to solve the installation issue noted above, depending on the back port height, I may have to lower the unit as well, to make the ports accessible. 



Just looking at the back pieces and top piece together, to get some ideas on making this functionally rad! 



If you notice on the floor behind the D5 box, there was my old Bitpower sparkle chrome D5 hood, with the stock input/output endcap. Would not have worked for rigid tubing, and I needed the g1/4 holes so that all of my fittings would match, so that had to go!


I hope to have some very exciting news to share with you all here in a few days, meanwhile... mod on everyone! 

Stay safe! And good luck!! 


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Ok, my end mill bits are *FINALLY* on the way (there was a price discrepancy that needed to be resolved), but ahead of those bits arriving, I can practice the layout and dimensions of the part using wood. 


Buuuut, some exciting news! In preparation for my power supply modding I am going to have to do, I would like to introduce EVGA as a proud sponsor of this build!




Quality products and exceptional customer service are what they are routinely known for. Build quality is always top notch. They have shipped me 2 of their 80plus Gold G3 *fully modular* power supplies. I asked for 2 just in case I horribly screwed up one, I can recover on the second unit! ;)












The shape and fully modular setup will lend itself perfectly to this build. I cannot thank EVGA enough for giving me 2 of their G3 PSU's to try this mod out on! 


So excited!!! 

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