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Thread: Custom Cube Case (Scratch Build)

  1. #1
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    Custom Cube Case (Scratch Build)

    Hi everyone, this is my first build so thought i would share it with you,

    I was using an old Thermaltake case that wasn't cutting it any more
    after moving into water cooling.

    So my search for a case that would meet my requirements began.

    Here's my 2 favorite cases

    Silverstone's Tj-07

    I love the lower section this case has.

    MM-UFO Horizon

    This case has so much room in it.

    But neither of those cases were right for me.
    So I set out to designing a case that would suit my needs.

    This case would utilize all the skills i've learned as a cabinet maker, and my newest career as a Mechanical Engineering Technologist.

    I decided on a case size of 20"wide x 20"deep x 24"high.
    I wanted a lower section to hide as much of the water cooling gear as i could.

    Here's the case frame.


    I used a jigsaw to cut the aluminum 1x1x1/8" angle, and cleaned the cuts up with a lot of filing.




    I pre-drilled using 7/64" drill bit and tapped for 6-32 threads


    Using a 2" piece of aluminum as the corner braces.


    showing the frame that supports the middle panel, as well as the 90degree
    brackets that i made from scrap cut-offs.
    I was really surprised how sturdy the frame was, to only be stronger when all
    the panels are attached.

    Home made 5x5.25 drive bay







    Masking tape protects the finished side of face plate.



    See what it looks like without masking tape.

    Hope you enjoyed the pic's.
    I'll post some more pic's tomorrow.

  2. #2
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    Nice work. I look forward to this!!

  3. #3
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    That frame looks great.

    Looking forward to seeing more.

  4. #4
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    Very nice. I like how you made the frame and corners great idea, I'll have to store that idea for the future.

  5. #5
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    +1 this looks the way forward and could possibly cost less than the prefabbed cubes, orbs and what not suscribed.
    ******************************************
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    System:Bunch of crappy overclocked PC's that cost an arm and a leg


  6. #6
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    Nice frame! I wish i could work with aluminum to that standard...

  7. #7
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    Looks great, can't wait for more!

  8. #8
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    Todays Update

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Before we get into the aluminum case panels i thought i would list the hardware
    that i will install in this case.
    I will continue to upgrade the hardware and show pic's after the case in finished.

    CPU -Xeon E3110
    MoBo -Gigabyte X38-DQ6
    Mem -Gskill DDR2-8500 Pi
    Video -Ati Radeon HD3870
    PSU -Corsair HX520
    HDD -3x Seagate Sata2 1Tb total

    WC Components

    D-Tek Fuzion V1 cpu
    Danger Den Maze 5 gpu
    Swiftech D5-Vario x2
    HWL BIX3 rad
    Swiftech Micro-Res w/custom case mount
    MasterKleer 7/16"x5/9"

    On to the Panels

    I found a local supplier for aluminum and was able to have the 7 panels cut to size, sure saved a lot of edge filling.

    I used Google Sketchup to design some of the case, but mainly for dimensioning.



    Top, bottom test fit



    Removeable Lian-Li Motherboard Tray from PPC's




    Here I did the layout on the top and back panels with spacing for ThermoChill 3x120 rads.



    Made the cut out for MoBo tray and PSU bracket



    Cut and fit the 5.25 drive bay



    Had to notch mid and bottom angles so i wouldn't have any clearance issues
    when installing the PSU.



    A close up shot of PSU bracket



    Here's a close up of the Mobo tray



    Started the Layout for the side panels, have to make sure to make them in mirrors of each other.



    Top panel markings for plexi window and fan spacing

    Kind of back tracking here, but using jigsaw on the middle panel with straight edge reduces filing




    Some notches for the 1/8" thick angle

    I have to upload some more pictures so will update shortly

  9. #9
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    I'm going to be watching this one closely!! Excellent work thus far!

  10. #10
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    Looks very good so far, cant wait to see how it ends up.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnee View Post
    I'm going to be watching this one closely!! Excellent work thus far!
    Thanks skinnee

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
    Looks very good so far, cant wait to see how it ends up.
    Thanks Scubar

    I will update the build shortly, I didn't realize I had so many picture's.

  12. #12
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    That's awesome. I tried making an aluminium case, but the cost was putting me close to a MM case, so I just ended up doing that. You have amazing skills. Subscribed.

    Utnorris
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    W/C System
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  13. #13
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    Very impressive, I'm pretty sure MM is coming out with something similar to that bottom part of your case, fits something like 4 3x120 rads

  14. #14
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    nice. although i though you were going horizontal mobo tray with your build as most other scratch builds do. hehe. keep the pictures coming.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utnorris View Post
    That's awesome. I tried making an aluminium case, but the cost was putting me close to a MM case, so I just ended up doing that. You have amazing skills. Subscribed.

    Utnorris
    Thanks, I wish MM had come out with their Ascension case earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
    Looks very good so far, cant wait to see how it ends up.
    Thanks, hope you like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    Very impressive, I'm pretty sure MM is coming out with something similar to that bottom part of your case, fits something like 4 3x120 rads
    Thanks, I think they are calling it the Pedestal.

    Quote Originally Posted by septim View Post
    nice. although i though you were going horizontal mobo tray with your build as most other scratch builds do. hehe. keep the pictures coming.
    I will be, just picked up another panel for the back.
    That's why I built this case, so I can change any panel
    whenever I want to.

    Will be updating with lots of pictures today.

  16. #16
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    Some new hardware

    The pic's are coming, thought I would show you what the Purolator driver
    knocked on my door with on Friday.
    Where on a first name basis now.

    eVGA GTX 260






    Swiftech Apogee GTZ block



    Those are the steel plugs Koolance uses in the T fitting I bought.
    I kept the silicone o-rings to add to the BitsPower compression fitting needed for the GTZ and tossed the plugs.

  17. #17
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    Here's the left side panel, I tinkered a lot with the window and mesh openings
    hoping I got the scale right, or at least something I could live with.



    Here's the right panel, the modders mesh will be attached using Stainless 6/32 Socket head cap screws.



    A bad picture but, a close up shot anyway.





    I cut the acrylic top window on my table saw and required very little filing.





    I used different diameters of doweling and 320 grit through to 1000 grit sandpaper to finish the inside radius.



    I had a total of 13-120mm fan holes to make, I went to a couple of steel fab
    shops for a quote and quickly found that I could buy a decent case for what
    they wanted to charge me.
    So after a week or so of thinking I came up with this simple jig that should
    help my shaky hands.













    The front case panel, got a lot of filing to do.

    Will post another update soon.

  18. #18
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    Nice work. That's a good design and I see you are accomplished with the tools of the trade
    20 Logs on the fire for WCG: i7 920@2.8 X3220@3.0 X3220@2.4 E8400@4.05 E6600@2.4

  19. #19
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    That is awesome. Great idea for cutting the 120mm holes. I used something similiar with my dremel to cut 120mm holes in acrylic. Build is coming along nicely, any idea what your material costs were?
    Thanks,
    Utnorris
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    W/C System
    (CPU) Swiftech HD (GPU) EK HD7970 with backplate (RAM) MIPS Ram block (Rad/Pump) 3 x Thermochill 120.3 triple rads and Dual MCP355's with Heatkiller dual top and Cyberdruid Prism res / B*P/Koolance Compression Fittings and Quick Disconnects.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberDruid View Post
    Nice work. That's a good design and I see you are accomplished with the tools of the trade
    Thanks, I've seen a lot of your great building skills.
    I might even ask you if I could commission you to build me a custom reservior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Utnorris View Post
    That is awesome. Great idea for cutting the 120mm holes. I used something similiar with my dremel to cut 120mm holes in acrylic. Build is coming along nicely, any idea what your material costs were?
    Thanks,
    Utnorris
    Thanks for your comments.
    Sure, as far as my costs are, 32' of 1"x1"x 1/16" angle at $3.50' +14% tax
    cost me $128.00

    4 sheets at 24"x20"x1/16" aluminum I got for $115.00
    3 sheets at 20"x20"x1/16" aluminum I got for $80.00

    Although I have my own woodworking shop in a garage I still had to buy
    some files i didn't have and quite a bit of wet/dry sandpaper as well as three
    2"wide rolls of masking tape at $5.00 a roll.
    All the stainless steel cap screws and pozi-loc nuts had to set me back at lease $35 to $40.00.

  21. #21
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    With a case width of 20", there's enough room to mount an inverted
    motherboard on the right hand side and still have enough room to tuck
    cables in between them.




    I seen this Aquacomputer Aquatube for a tube reservior and really liked it.
    It's kinda Nautical which correlate's to water cooling.
    But I couldn't find it here in the great white north as they say.



    So I got a Micro-Res, and designed my own mount for it.
    Hope you like it.





    Used the same 6 hole pattern as the Aquatube and drilled a 2 1/4" hole for the round window using a holesaw.



    Now for a lot of filing work as you can see.



    Here's a test fit, think it will work OK.



    Made a top and bottom plate that attaches using cap screws which will be hidden from the front.
    It will have to be mounted from behind, but I can live with that.

    Couple of pic's showing the reservior attached.





    I used a 4mm piece of acrylic, secured that with 6 screws to the face plate.
    So I now have to attach the 4mm acrylic to the micro-res and i couldn't use any kind of fastener I could think of, so i used 4 small triangular pieces of double-sided mounting tape made by 3M.

    You can barely see the triangular pieces in the lower left and right side.



    That's all for now, will post an update tomorrow.

    zuess

  22. #22
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    I'm usually wary of tapes and glues but that is a really really neat idea, never seen a mcres done up like that. Do you think the tape is strong enough? Would it loosen or detach over time?

  23. #23
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    Man that is great work. I love the jig you made for cutting the fan holes, brilliant. I never thought you could get that clean a hole with a hand saw. When I first saw the case I though you used a drill hole saw to make them. Very creative looking forward to seeing more. I also like your mount for the MCRES interesting idea.

  24. #24
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    That res sure is neat, but I'm also bit worried about that tape's strength.
    Not into xtreme builds anymore, just like to keep things silent.
    Asus P6T Deluxe V2 - Intel i7 920 3.6 GHz - 6 Gb 1800 MHz DDR3 - AMD HD5850

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibbler View Post
    I'm usually wary of tapes and glues but that is a really really neat idea, never seen a mcres done up like that. Do you think the tape is strong enough? Would it loosen or detach over time?
    I was very wary to but after i went to 3M's website and seen that they had a Heavy Duty mounting tape that was clear i thought i would give it a try.
    I used the tape to attach the plate to my jigsaw, and after all the holes were done i tried to remove it, and couldn't no matter how i tried.
    I assure you that whatever you stick this tape to is there forever.

    Here's a pic of the tape



    Quote Originally Posted by shabranigdo View Post
    Man that is great work. I love the jig you made for cutting the fan holes, brilliant. I never thought you could get that clean a hole with a hand saw. When I first saw the case I though you used a drill hole saw to make them. Very creative looking forward to seeing more. I also like your mount for the MCRES interesting idea.
    Thanks, the jig for cutting the fan holes took me quite a while to come up with, so i don't know about brilliant.

    The fan hole jig is only as accurate as the connection used to secure the plate to the base of the jigsaw, you dont want any movement.
    The 3M tape works so good I cant believe it myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lagaaja View Post
    That res sure is neat, but I'm also bit worried about that tape's strength.
    Thanks, but this tape is, TAPE OF THE GODS.

    I'll be updating the worklog tomorrow, see you then.

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