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Mahogany/Steel Computerdesk [SCRATCHBUILD] Dreamhack Summer Masters Winner

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Huskybongs, 10 Dec 2017.

  1. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    Hello,

    I've been building this a while but wasn't confident enough to put it up on these forums before now.

    The idea is to take that grand piano feeling to a pc. We'll be using fairly nice materials for this such as teak, mahogany, oxygen resistans steel and a lot of chromed parts. The build has been in the works for about 2 years with an estimated finish this spring. (currently doing bespoke cables). With that being said let's go over the parts and into the actual buildlog.

    A massive shoutout to Mikael who's helped me with a lot of the woodwork. This build would not have been possible without your help

    PC parts:

    Motherboard: MSI BigBang Xpower 2, x 79 lga 2011ยจ
    CPU: Intel i7-3930k @ 4.6Ghz
    RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator 1866Mhz
    PSU: Corsair ax1500i
    GPU(s): 2xGTX 980s overclocked to whatever I can reach:)
    HDD/SSD: 2xWD red 6tb+3xV-Samsung 500gb. 2 in raid and 1 as bootdrive

    Watercooling:

    Radiators: 2xmonstah 560mm,1xalphacool 360mm
    Pumps: Plexitop EKWB d5x2
    Piping: Iodized copper
    Reservoir: Custom Singularity Dual loop acrylic reservoir.
    Fans: Various Noiseblocker fans 25 in total.

    Sponsors:

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    Lets start off then.

    Solid drawing

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    Let's weld. Starting off with the basic shape. Table will be roughly 1800x780mm

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    Radiator bay:

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    Parts started to come in

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    After a few more hours I have room for my legs and some placement for the fans

    http://i.imgur.com/UKIGtMkl.jpg

    Space for knees

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    Gonna want some monitoring

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    The wood was ordered like this. Huge chunks of birch. The will be shaped to be the outer panels of the chassi. It's a really dense wood and it's been dried for years properly before being used.
    Quite heavy actually. These 3 parts weigh about 50kgs or about 110 pounds

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    After using different bits and sanding roughly down ending at about 320 grit paper I managed to shape them to the shape I desired.

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    Playing around a bit with some of the parts. That's an ST8 Motherboard tray from a caselabs pc

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    So I contacted Singularity Computers and he luckily agreed to make my design of a dual loop reservoir come to life. The plan was something like this

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    Then I needed some legs. Used 60mm hollow steel pipe and some 40x40mm steel for the upper bars.

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    And the mounting for the screenstand was lathed by some shaft steel

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    Got ze legs in place

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    And this will be the placement for the screenstand. Mirroring the design of the legs

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    A very professional way of planning:)

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    Wouldn't be a proper desk build unless we had support for 3 screens

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    We used some 12mm thick steel for this. It's incredibly overkill but it can handle whatever I decide to mount on it

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    The legs are connected to the frame with 5 x 8 mm bolts (oxygen resistant)

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    Trying to make the angles "talk to each other" if that makes sense:)

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    Testmounting some stuff

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    Last edited: 9 Jan 2018
  2. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    Continuation

    Had to play around with the parts to see if they fitted properly. They did:)

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    Big radiators but they will be completely hidden:)

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    Even though it's quite a tight fit

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    All the major watercooling parts testfitted

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    Playing around with the fan controller

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    Got my reservoir back and Singularity Computers also made a video of it. Very very happy with result. It's just fantastic craftsmanship.

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    Le Video



    And on to the interior wood. Now this is actually a pretty long process. But to roughly summarize it:
    I had lying around some teak and mahogany plywood and it had been drying up since the mid 1990s so it was just too good to not use for this. I'm just in love with this stuff

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    Very tedious process of fitting each panel in individually as well as matching the lines perfectly

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    After several hours all the panels fit.

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    Had to rework the starboard side a bit

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    Got a new cover plasmacut from the local workshop

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    Looking decent

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    Time to make the holes for the fans and PSU

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    In order to cut this out a special tool had to be made.

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    Lathed out room for the fans as well. Despite the desk being really big there's not any extra room to work with

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    Happy with the result

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    The starboard side

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    Fused 3 panels on each side together to get them in and out of the table

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    Custom PSU mount that also fits 3 ssd's and 2 hdd's

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    Made a bottom plate for the Reservoir also to mount it more easily

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    Slowly but surely getting progress

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    Got some parts back from paint:)

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    Time to mount the sidepanels. Had to make incredibly sturdy mounting for this since they weigh so much

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    From the side

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    The front:)

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    Started with the varnish. Ended up redoing all this but you'll see soon enough:)

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    Couldn't cut these at home due to the thickness so went to the local woodshop. They were rather confused when I said it's a pc:)

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    Angles worked out fine

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    Starting to look better

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    Wanted to get a feel for how it will be to work at this thing

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    DX racer for scale

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    Got the hardened glass that I ordered

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    Rounded corners same radius as the fans:)

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    After some work with a CNC I got the sidepanels fixed to have openings for the fans and the fancontroller

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    Liking the look now

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    Was a bit worried before I testmounted this whether or not it would line up properly with the interior. Gladly it did

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    This is not the actual fancovers but wanted to get a feel for how it will look before I drew them up in CAD for the waterjet

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    From the inside

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    The nightmare of the top part of the wood:) To get this to fit properly we had to get all the angles right and shave off half a millimeter at a time until it fit properly. This was a lot harder than I expected but it was worth it

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    It fits!:)

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    And now to the gluing. Using Marine glue here. Takes a long time to harden but it's incredibly strong. Also tapping her up so it doesn't move

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    Gotta protect the painting

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    Probably not the best method but it works:)

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    After a bit of manhandling it it's finally glued and won't be touched for 2 weeks

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    Just had to test with the glass on.

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  3. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    The 2 weeks had passed and I put it back on the legs.

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    Didn't mention it before but the outer shell is actually removable and will remain so if a fan breaks or something like that

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    All alone in the corner:)

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    Reinforced the on some points just to make sure

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    Time to get those holes needed done

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    1 Radiator ventiolation hole

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    and 2 holes + the mountstand hole

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    Getting closer

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    That's not how the mountstand will sit. You'll see later

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    And the glass hole:)

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    Yeah, lets do key ignition. No real reason except it would be really cool:)

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    Sits pretty well at it's place

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    Trying to get some harmony with the design. Maybe you think that's jibberish but there's some thought put into this:)

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    The glass is finally inside

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    My friend testsitting it

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    And the last cavity needed is for the USB, 6.3 mm audio and volume controls etc. Will be using a homemade potentiometer solution here and hiding the DAC/AMP inside the table

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    Had to continue filling up the glue until there was enough to go sanding

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    First round of sanding down to 320 grit paper. Will go down to about 2000 eventually

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    Wasn't completely happy with the interior panels so I actually redid all of them with 8 layers of 2 component diamond mahogany varnish. It's resistant to heat and water so it will have a long life inside

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    Looks a lot better now

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    Had to make a solution for getting all of the pieces together so had some long screws that goes through the interior panel and the steel frame and end in the outer panel. These can't be seen unless you're actively looking for them

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    Mounting solution for the back panel

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    Back panel fitted

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    Ordered some more watercooling parts from Highflow

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    This is what I'll use for audio. The sennheiser hd 650s and and ODAC amp/dac solution from Mayflower Electronics

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    Had to make custom hinges or we would never get the glass out easily. Will also install electric motors for this so you don't have to do anything else than push a button

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    Might as well mention this is just prototyping. The actual hinges will be made out of 6mm steel

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    Instagram filters:) jk

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    Made a short video



    Started drawing out the design for the fansgrills. I'll get these chromed

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    Made some longer videos where I go through the build



    Lathing out a volume knob

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    Playing around with the stains

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    And a video update again



    That's it for now will start cablework very soon!
     
  4. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    Let's do an update:)

    My ODAC came home. I just love the sound of this thing. Paired up with my sennheiser hd 650s listening to Pink Floyd has never been this good:) What a beast this little thing is. Lathed a new volume button though since I prefer the feel of metal:)

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    Got my CAD drawings watercut. Well they were supposed to be watercut but the machine was broken at the place so they plastmacut it. Also got my custom hinges watercut but you'll see those pictures later.

    Gonna be a riddiculus amount of filing and sanding before I can send these to get chromed but we'll get there, fingers crossed.

    Sry for the pictures but I cant place it inside yet but at least you get a feel for what I'm trying to achieve here

    These are the sides (port-side specifically)

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    both

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    Big radiator grills. 566 mm's across

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    Actually lathed them in so you have a skirt of wood covering the first 4 mm's

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    Here's the stuff from Icemodz huge shoutout once again! Thank you for believing in this project

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    So finally getting some components in. They will go out and in quite a bit before it's all said and done but still feelss like a great milestone

    Here's some overview shots.

    Chassi only

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    Body on

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    Made some custom steel mounting pieces for the pumps. They've been powdercoated after that

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    The motherboard tray is also in it's natural habitat now. We made a cable hiding tool behind the motherboard tray and had a panel lasercut to make it look nice. The 2 holes are for some temp-monitoring

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    And on the starboard side there's the 360 rad, the ax1500i psu as well as the custom mounting bracket for the psu, harddrives and ssd's

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    Had to level the reservoir. This was a bit of a headache but the solution was to cut a 3mm thick solid steelplate and have that as the reservoir mounting and at the same time leveling it perfectly.

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    Bolts and bricks Cheesecake

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    Decently happy with how the radiators are being hidden, but they are big. Hopefully the fangrills will clean up everything a bit

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    That being said I can't wait to see these things in action

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    Redid the back holes and added these hexagon nuts. they look better

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    So I've been waiting for the watercut parts for a while and they finally arrived! There's a fair amount of sanding needed before I can send them to get chromed but I'm back on track now:)

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    Temporary workbench:)

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    Tested how they would look before they got screwed to the frame

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    Pretty painful as we had to lathe the entire inner wood in about 2 mm's to fit these

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    I will be updating more often again as I'm not waiting for parts now

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    Test fitted some hard drives. I'll take away the stickers don't worry!


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    Gotta have key ignition. This solution is a bit overbuilt but when in rome:)

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    From underneath

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    Gotta have an usb panel for the usb audio and especially the ODAC. So i cut some holes for the usb and then proceeded to measure out. Had some welding help from michael again. Thank you:)

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    This oughtta be strong enough

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    Anyone know if I voided the varanty here?

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    Will get this plate engraved with some stuff. You'll see later :)

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    Well I can connect my headphones now but there's not a lot of sound yet:D

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    There's some plans for decent audio outside the headphones too if anyone was worried. Gonna have to change the membranes on these and change the shells but they pack a hefty sound. More on this later too

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    So after a lot of work which you will see later the table is finally getting the stain and varnish it deserves. I had to move it in order to get it painted because I'll be using some fairly toxic stuff.
    That being said here's the painting rig and the color which I'll be going for.

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    Underneath is a pingboll table frame:)

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    Here's the color. However it will be really shiny and not "muddy" as in the photo
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    Well long time no seen but a lot has been done!:)

    Finally it's stained to the mahogany colour I wanted varnishing stars the following monday. I should have the table back by friday in it's full gloss and glory.The finish I wanted for this really pushed the amount of work.

    For the ones interested here's how the wood has been prepared,

    Dried inside for 2 years. several years before before taking it inside.
    Then filed down to the desired shape.
    Then sandpaper. Going through the different coursnesses. 120 grit 2 times (every step is dried in between with azetone), 240 grit 2 times, 320 grit 2 times, 400 grit 2 times, 500 grit 3 times, 600 grit 2 times and finally 800 grit 2 times.

    After the first coat of varnish I'll sand it to 1200 grit and then to 2000 grit before the next coat and repeating this until it has 4-5 layers of varnish.

    Mixing 2 different industrial strenght stains.

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    Made the bottom of the corners a bit tidier

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    Let's get staining!

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    The back panel

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    The rest of the table

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    I went through a riddiculus amount of rags and asetone. As well as an insane amount of sandpaper.

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  5. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    Sneakpeak of what's been happening. Big update coming soon:)


    12 layers of varnish on. I'll get this sucker waxed up and then we'll get a better camera but for now just a few pictures indicating that I'm still alive^^
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    Chromeprepping at 2500 grit sandpaper

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    Mobile phone pick, it's really hard to capture the gloss. I'll get back to you shortly:)
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    Started with some cablework:)

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    My living room is a mess... :)

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    Some radiator fan connectors being born

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    And yeah btw I'll make a keyboard (after the table is done) using ebenholtz and moosehorn like an old timey grand piano.
    That black piece is the wood from madagaskar

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    Well hello again :)

    I'll start off with some pictures of the table after the varnishing (yet to get nanowax treatment) and if you scroll further down you'll see some of the cablework.

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    nevermind the dust:) It will dissapear

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    Now onto the cablework. Thanks again to ICEMODZ for chipping in and helping me out on this!

    First things first I had to get everything out. My living room once again is a mess:(

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    Just did a bunch of y-splitters for these cables and I run them on 2 different knobs on the fan controller

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    Might be a tip for anyone new to this to grab one of these so you make sure you get it right without blowing any components up

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    Then I proceeded to hide pretty much every fan cable in the actual frame.
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    Sneaky sneaky cable management:)

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    Had to heatshrink all the y-splitters

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    The 360 radiator fans did get sleeved however because they will be somewhat visible

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    Testrunning everything. Worked:)

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    This is just a temporary solution because everything will keep going in and out

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    For those wondering the fan cables from the back radiators (the 560 monstahs) will be run underneath the side fans and completely hidden

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    My first sleeved cable:) this one will run the fan controller

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    And this is what comes out after the wood comes back down

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    Last edited: 8 Oct 2017


    Well happy halloween, I dressed up as usual to my "homeless elf" costume and did some cablework:) This is pretty time consuming stuff I'm learning as I go but after 2 attempts on my harddrive cable this is what I ended up with

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    And by some miracle it worked

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    Going off the rails here a little bit but I wanted something that suited the table where I could rest my headphones when I'm not using them so I made a custom headphone stand.

    Plasmacut some stainless 4mm thick circular plates and lathed and treaded some 30 mm stainless shaftsteel. Then proceeded to make some holes and this is what the mounting device looks like.

    And yeah It will get the same Birch style wood with 12 layers of varnish:D That being said I sent the wood off for some final treatment so it doesn't get scratched by the heavy use. So you will see it all together on friday evening but heres the metal at least :)

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    Here's the finished headphone stand. It became a little bit overbuilt but I like it. Got 10 or 11 layers of varnish cant remember..

    Pictures :)

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    Soon I got a complete office:)

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  6. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    Well finally prepped for chrome:) Or technically nickel-plating. Think is went a bit overkill but these are the hinges that keep up the glass:)
    They're covered in oil atm to not get surface rust so it looks a bit weird but you will get more pictures as they're all nickelplated and shiny

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  7. dholdi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Apr 2010

    Posts: 1,221

    Location: Preston

    Superb craftsmanship !!
     
  8. famas

    Mobster

    Joined: 12 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,136

    Location: the south

    Yep, this is next level work!

    Can't wait to see it finished.
     
  9. marco.da.man

    Hitman

    Joined: 9 May 2012

    Posts: 848

    Location: South Wales

    dont show my misses this she would want it.

    absolute genius workmanship
     
  10. mattyg

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Jun 2007

    Posts: 7,769

    Would it not have been easier to buy a Lian li of OCuk









    I jest

    That is some phenomenal workmanship there mate. Stunning, Simply stunning
     
  11. HoneyBadger

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Aug 2016

    Posts: 2,953

    Location: Kent

    Astounding! You got skillz!
     
  12. Rannoch

    Soldato

    Joined: 15 Apr 2012

    Posts: 5,478

    Location: Rannoch / Edinburgh

    Very nice,
     
  13. johnny sublime

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Jul 2009

    Posts: 841

    Location: DONcaster

    This is beautiful.
     
  14. NMBlack

    Hitman

    Joined: 21 Sep 2013

    Posts: 582

    Location: London

    Beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project.
     
  15. gary996

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Aug 2003

    Posts: 3,296

    Location: Gillingham Kent

    Wow

    That's all I can say
     
  16. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    First of all thank you for the nice comments!

    Ye for those who missed it the screen has been decided. I'm gonna get myself a 49 inch samsung. Drew up a size comparison as well. Unfortunately I will have to remake the whole monitor stand but I got an idea for it which you will see in due time.

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  17. dholdi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Apr 2010

    Posts: 1,221

    Location: Preston

    Perfect, 1 screen is the way to go. I would never be able to get on with the bezels between multiple screens. Keep us updated.
     
  18. Van_Dammesque

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 May 2004

    Posts: 2,205

    Location: NE England

    When I win the lottery you are building my PC case!!
     
    Last edited: 16 Dec 2017
  19. Minibiker

    Soldato

    Joined: 27 Mar 2016

    Posts: 5,797

    Location: Bristolian living in Swindon

    That is a stunning build, Next step Build me one Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease :)
     
  20. Huskybongs

    Associate

    Joined: 10 Dec 2017

    Posts: 49

    I intend to make a version 2 that you can indeed buy. All though it will be a bit more extreme