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Iron and Wood: Project Vertical

Mike Dulay

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Hello everyone!!! The idea for the scratch build came when I decided to visit a friend, Mark Luken, who was selling a computer table that he made as a hobby and I was intrigued by the materials he used. I was impressed because he used wood pallet or what we locally call palochina wood from the local wood scrap yard and turned it to beautiful furniture. This inspired me to use the same material for the scratch build. I asked him if he would teach and help me because I have less than admirable wood working skills 😅. He obliged and started teaching me the ways of the force!🤣.











We had a few goals for the project as we only had a limited budget and time as I can only work on weekends and I don't have a workshop to build the project:

- The use of materials that are readily available in my home and his workshop

- Use of wood pallet or recycled wood

- Use of recycled steel angle bars


As for the case:

- The design should be simple, double chambered case that can support a 240mm or 360mm radiator.

- It will house an itx motherboard, a twin or triple fan graphics card and SFX or ATX size PSU.

- Modular

- No welds, only screws, inserts wood glue and nails.


With these goals in mind, I made a mock-up of the case by using several sheets of Sintra board and glue. This mock-up will also be used as template for the different size pieces.










Edited by Mike Dulay
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After making the template, we started to prepping the wood.








He showed me how to cut the wood I proceeded making cuts using his DIY table saw. Funny thing is that the first time I used it I nearly got my hand cut because I didn't hold on to the wood firmly 😅.















After cutting the pieces needed, I needed to sand it down to 5mm remove the imperfections from the wood.










These sanded down planks will be used for the front and side panels.


After getting the desired measurements, I needed to join the planks by using wood glue and press them together.








I let it dry for a few hours to get the desired results.









*Note: Mark warned me that because of the rainy and moist weather I might end up redoing some of the panels which I did. He also warned me to not to remove the press keeping the wood together too early or I might end up with bend panels which I got. I did get a small bend which is noticeable but not a deal breaker and decided to use it.


Edited by Mike Dulay
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Next was to cut the wood for the base and top of the case. I used a phone cam in these photos because the last time I used my camera wood dust covered the whole camera 😅.









I needed to use a handsaw because the blade could only reach a certain height.






I used a belt sander to smoothen out the wood.









Once I got the desired thickness, I went ahead and started to cut the middle part of the panels with a router machine to put in the steel mesh.








I had the bright idea of taping the panels together because during practice runs with the router the 5mm thick wood would crack I actually ended up wasting 1 panel hehehhehe.






The panels were only 5mm and due to my inexperience using the router, there were cracks in the wood and I had to glue them together. Even though the wood was taped together I still ended up with cracks.





Edited by Mike Dulay
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After doing the wood part of the build, I need to cut the steel mesh based on the size of the cuts I made on the panels.


The steel mesh needed a lot work done because of the rust build up. It was kept outside of the house and was almost forgotten but fortunately it was not thrown out with the trash.




Comparing the the steel mesh that can be seen in the picture, the rust is extensive but I was able to remove it by using a steel brush and sand paper.












The rust removal took almost a day because of how embedded it was in the mesh but fortunately I was able to remove it.


Test fitting the steel mesh to the panels.










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After test fitting the steel mesh on the panels, next to be done was the angle bars.






As with the steel mesh, the rust had to be removed from the angle bars. Again with the use of the steel brush and sandpaper, the rust was removed from the angle bars.

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Time for the base and top to be attached with the angle bars. This will serve as the front support and attachment for the planned radiator mount and front and side panel.


The angle bars were attached to the wooden base and top by means of metal inserts and M5 sized flat head hex screws.






Additional holes were drilled for the radiator mounts....











*Note: the radiator/fan mounts came from an unkown case that I got from Paul Perez, a fellow modder based in Manila. I was supposed to use it for a case mod I planned earlier in the year but due to the current health situation it did not push through and I almost threw it away. 


After the attaching the radiator mount to the front support, I test fitted the front panel a 360mm copper radiator and fans to check for any issues.




















**Note: You can clearly see the cracks in the panels that I mentioned earlier because of the thickness of the panel. I should have gone with atleast 7 or even 10mm but that would have made the case heavier. But using the panels now I have been more careful in handling the pieces.






Edited by Mike Dulay
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A look at the case with 2 steel cabinet handles installed on top. Wooden inserts were used to attached the handles. I choose to use wooden inserts to attach the handles to keep with the goal of the case being modular. The placement of the handles was inspired from the carry handles tha can be found on the Cooler Master C700 Cosmos case.
















Edited by Mike Dulay
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Next up the motherboard tray. The original plan was to use the same 5mm wooden planks for the motherboard tray but I decided against it because of the bending issues I experience earlier. Instead, I used angle bars. 



The angle bars proved to be the best choice because it provided stability and was sturdy enough that you can carry it using the top handles and shake it.










Used wood inserts to attach the bottom and top angle bars to the base and roof of the case.







Hand carry without worry!







Next was the PSU mount. I got this for use on a my personal rig but looked good on the project. It is a 3D printed shroud for the NR200P. The file can be downloaded from the official Cooler Master website.





Attached the mount to the motherboard tray using M3 screws and nuts.
















Edited by Mike Dulay
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