Project: Digg (custom case) Finished

Qtip42

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It's time for another big project. Not as big as the last case though. This time I'm turning my attention towards a tech related theme:

digg.png


The goal of this case is to make it as user friendly as possible and, of course, to look good. Some of my other cases have required a bit of effort to add/remove hardware, this one will change all that. The guts will be as easy to change as any regular case (except for the power supply). The case will look much like the graphic above, following the Digg color scheme on the inside and outside of the case. To keep costs down and build time to a minimum, I'll be using MDF (fiberboard). It is readily available at local hardware stores and is cheap (per foot) compared to acrylic or aluminum. There will be acrylic windows on the case but they're relatively small. MDF might be a bit more of a pain to paint though.


Now on to the pictures:

This will be the front of the case. The letters will be raised and lit up by LEDs or some tricky cathode work. The outline of the entire word is also raised and lit up. Below the G's is the space for a VFD or LCD (or series of smaller ones). We'll see what happens there.
digg1.jpg


Rear of the case has been cut out so an aluminum panel can be attached for quick removal. The left is cut differently because I recessed where the motherboard sits. This allows me to hide the cabling on the back of the case (will come out of the bottom instead).
digg2.jpg


General mock up of the case.
digg3.jpg


Fans will sit inside the cutouts.
digg4.jpg


Taddaa.
digg5.jpg


Fans in place...
digg6.jpg


A little work done on the side of the case. The power supply will sit on the far right wall and the wires piped around the case. Need to order a Hiper 580watt power supply next which will also require a ton of modifications. The DVDRW will sit at the top and possibly an MDVA (courtesy of Mashie) above it (if it fits).
digg7.jpg


The hard drives will be staggered inside the case. Note these are all just template drives that I'm using right now. I don't put real hardware in till the end.
digg8.jpg


Another pic of where the drives will be sitting.
digg9.jpg


The fans+grills to go with them.
digg10.jpg




If Kevin Rose by chance reads this, please don't sue me!
 

eleclipper

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pretty damn sweet i like that you are making everything more accessible

C:\ELECLIPPER\SUBSCRIBED
 

Destos

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Nooooooooooooooooooooo.... remember what I told you of the dark side!! once you turn, you can never go back!

Otherwise it looks like its going to be quite big :D
 

Legion©

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Looking good! Nice to see yet another custom case from Qtip42, with a nice original design (well, for a case anyhoo :p).

As far as painting the MDF goes, you shouldn't have any probs. After the first primer, sand off all the little 'hairs' and primer again, sand back with 240 and you should have a very nice surface left to work with.
 

Qtip42

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Legion© said:
Looking good! Nice to see yet another custom case from Qtip42, with a nice original design (well, for a case anyhoo :p).

As far as painting the MDF goes, you shouldn't have any probs. After the first primer, sand off all the little 'hairs' and primer again, sand back with 240 and you should have a very nice surface left to work with.

I've painted it before don't worry. As far as doing another logo goes, ya it probably isn't best to get attached to doing logos but it's next in my notepad of drawings. I'm just going in order :p
 

uzor

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Looks interesting. Not sure I'd have gone with that same logo, but, hey - it's your case.;) Next time you update with pics can you include something to give us a sense of scale of the case. To me it looks really big, but I'm thinking that might just be an illusion.

Looking forward to more.

 

Qtip42

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I'll have a small update tonight. It's about 27" left to right, 18" at it's highest point, and 12" deep.

The shop comp case (regular one) is 17"x16"x8"

Anyone in favor of an Ipod dock on this thing? I mean Digg has a ton of mac fans....
 

Qtip42

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Scorpionjwp said:
Looks Nice btw, so how long is it going to take on this one, a year or earlier?

Verrrry funny :p

The time depends on the VFD. That's the only thing I don't know how to do myself so however long it takes to find a guy who's smart enough to get it working. The mockup you see was done in about 2 days. I've been waiting on a motherboard tray (hurry up performance-pcs!!!) to finish the rest. Nothing can be glued till the front lighting and VFD is done/mounted. I'm working on that after the mobo tray is in place.

Anyway here is a pic from the other day. Basically all the routed parts are for blue acrylic. The holes on top are going to be for some pipe. I did a quick bend in some PVC using a heatgun and some sand (inside the PVC, so it wouldn't collapse while bending) but I wasn't happy with the look so I'm looking for something that can be plated instead:
digg11.jpg
 

PS-RagE

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Good old MDF! One thing I learned from using it (unless you are using speckle paint) is to prime before painting.

Guess this project will take a whole lot less time huh? :p
 

Legion©

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It looks like things are progessing nicely there Qtip!
I've got my eye on this one for sure.
 

Qtip42

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Ya painting on MDF is one of two drawbacks associated with the stuff. It absorbs like crazy so I'm probably going to spray a polyester on it first, sand that, then regular primer, sand that, then basecoat/clear. That is if my hands don't give out on me before that. I'm having carpal tunnel problems in both hands probably from sanding/computer use over the last 10 years...I'm sure bad posture had a role in it. Both hurt like hell now so I wear a braces when I work. Meh, probably shouldn't be on the computer either but oh well.

Back to the case. I got mashie's mdva's today. I only need one for this project though.
digg12.jpg



Also got the replacement lian-li motherboard tray from perf-pcs and got her into place. Next I figure out how to light the front of the case (the lettering). I'm still debating on using LEDs because they're just not easy enough to string up (in large quantities). CCFL's would need to be bent unless I made a light box but that might not produce the correct lighting. It's a shame with all this lighting technology nobody makes a CHEAP alternative for small/narrow spaces (EL sheet isn't bright enough nor does it have many colors) *sigh*
digg13.jpg
 

Yashu

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I love digg.com... nice.

why the MDF, though..? it sure is going to be heavy!
 

Qtip42

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Yashu said:
I love digg.com... nice.

why the MDF, though..? it sure is going to be heavy!


Won't be that heavy. Maybe 30lbs. I needed a change up with the materials I was using. In terms of cost though, MDF is quite a bit cheaper than acrylic or aluminum especially for it's thickness. The thickness allows me to play around with the walls a bit more. It's also easy to cut. You won't even be able to tell it's MDF when I'm done with it, paint covers everything.

In comparison, acrylic and aluminum are both expensive in thicknesses above 1/4". They're also harder to cut. On top of that, you need to find creative ways to bond both materials. I dislike using fasteners (screws) because the heads will typically show. If you've seen most of my work, I try to hide screws as best I can. So if I had a TIG, none of this would be a problem with aluminum. It's next on my list of tools but I really don't have the bank for that now.
 

Yashu

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I understand the choice compared to acrylic and aluminum... but in my mind I guess I was thinking compared to other woods... I never even thought of acrylic or aluminum when I made my post.

(I used to work alot in a woodshop... and I guess I am biased, hehe...)

if you pick dry lumber you wouldn't have to worry about warping. Usually MDF is used either because you can't have warping or you need the acoustic properties. (and it is less expensive compared to the less common wood types)

...and I guess also because it comes in large flat sheets. though plywood does too... but it is almost as heavy and can be of questionably quality.

MDF is a good choice for what you are doing now that I think about it. Bolt through where you can because wood screws into MDF the holes will strip easily.
 

Qtip42

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Ya that's another problem with MDF, no tapping holes. It's ok though, the glue holds pretty strong.

As far as other woods go, I don't have enough experience with them. I've only used MDF because of the custom car work I used to do/still do.
 

Qtip42

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I'm trying to figure out where the 12,000 people who just viewed this came from.....anyone care to update me on this? :D Thought it was [H] but apparently not..

Anyway, hello people.


edit: it's from digg...................lol hey guys.
 

Qtip42

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Sorry to the folks hoping to see a finished case already :D I've only had it going for a week or two.

I started in on the front of the case. I decided that a light box would probably be the best way to get some lighting in the letters so I bought 4-24", 3-12", and 2-6" blue cold cathodes. It was either CCFLs or LEDs and I'm not a fan of soldering LEDs for hours so that's the main reason I chose CCFLs.

Here's the look I'm going for (it's just a mock up). Disregard the tape between the two layers of acrylic. The top layer will be gray (refer to the logo) and the 2nd layer of acrylic will glow blue.
digg14.jpg
 

SpeedSlayer

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Im thinking its probably going to go over 1500 posts...
Btw QTip, nice idea, congrats on the Digg...
 

SpangeMonkee

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Qtip42 said:
Anyway here is a pic from the other day. Basically all the routed parts are for blue acrylic. The holes on top are going to be for some pipe. I did a quick bend in some PVC using a heatgun and some sand (inside the PVC, so it wouldn't collapse while bending) but I wasn't happy with the look so I'm looking for something that can be plated instead:
[.IMG]http://www.computer-choppers.com/projects/digg/digg11.jpg[/IMG]

Can't a special primer be used on plastic so that you can plate the plastic? I thought I remember the ORAC case using a lot of chroming via that method.
 

Qtip42

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No idea on the plating thing. I ordered a 3ft - 3/4" aluminum rod from mcmaster yesterday. I can bend that just fine and tapping it isn't a problem. The rod can be polished or painted, I'm waiting to see what the rest of the case looks like before I decide on final colors.
 

xLiquidx

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This topic has a massive amount of views :D, but I can't wait to see this project near the final stretch.
 

Qtip42

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xLiquidx said:
This topic has a massive amount of views :D, but I can't wait to see this project near the final stretch.

Ya digg just wasted my monthly bandwidth

edit: back in the game woo.
 

mrmagoo_83

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If you need image storage space let me know, I have 400GB of bandwidth sitting 99% unused ;)
 

Qtip42

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Back in business thanks to mr magoo. Thx sir. It's amazing to see 40gb of bandwidth gone in 1 day.
 

mrmagoo_83

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well with that kind of bandwidth we should be up for 10 days, then we might have to worry
 
T

Tresk

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Qtip42 said:
Back in business thanks to mr magoo. Thx sir. It's amazing to see 40gb of bandwidth gone in 1 day.

Ouch, the effects digg never cease to amaze me!

The builds looking good, can't wait to see more.
 

trxjw

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This looks like it's going to be very cool. /subbed

I also do woodworking as it's my family business. For a long time I've wanted to try making a case out of some type of wood but never thought it would work.. guess I was wrong! :)

I think I'll be making mine out of Ipe and Bamboo we have left over from an old job. You think working with wood is difficult.. try working with grass. :rolleyes:

And for the record.. MDF isn't actually a type of wood, its sawdust and glue. Theres no such thing as an MDF tree. ;) If I had a nickle for everytime someone asked me what type of tree MDF comes from, I'd be buying the whole board new Conroes. :p
 
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