Build Advice Spirit of Motion - Scratchbuild PC Log

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May 30, 2020
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Before I continue welding I want the hinge and back plate to all be attached. I want to ideally weld the upper grills to the back plate with it attached to the main frame. This way there will not be the chance of misalignment of the grill to the frame once its is welded fully.

I picked up a pretty beefy hinge because it needs to be able to have some large screws hold the grill to the frame securely and squarely. The air spring is going to be in the ball park of about 80 pounds of force pushing the back plate so I want a nice sturdy hinge and screws.

The low profile piano hinge I bought was too long so I cut it down the 8" width I need and filed the ends square.


I then closed the hinge and drilled my holes to fit a 10-32 screw (I should have used 10-24 as course threads are usually better in aluminum).



I threw on a single flute, 82 degree countersink and simply drilled down until the head was below the top face. Rinse and repeat.



Cleaned up the deformed steel on the back side of the countersinks with a deburring tool and the hinge was good to go!


 
May 30, 2020
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With my hinge made up I know its actual length. I now need to notch my frame to fit the hinge's width and thickness. I notch the hinge into the frame so that the hinge is out of the way of my grill welding and to add some strength against twisting/torsion from the air spring that is off center.

I threw the frame inside a CNC mill but was just manually jogging the tool like a manual mill. It was simply the only equipment available in the little machine shop that lets me use their stuff. Using a 1/4" endmill I cut out the slot.



I drilled the holes in the frame and upper grill plate and then tapped the 10-32 threads by hand. I used the single flute countersink to chamfer the tops of the holes to fit the screws heads. When the screws are sitting in the hinge, the screw head's chamfer stick out below the hinge so I need my holes in the frame and upper plate to be countersunk to fit the rest of the head.



I could finally test fit the hinge and it looks great! It closes a little past 90 degrees which is what I wanted. This means the grill will be able to fully rest on the frame and won't be held up by the hinge binding or not closing far enough.


I will probably polish this hinge or paint it black later. I have not really decided yet which way I'm going. I am glad to have this fitting and working well though!
 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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Quick update on wrapping up the back plate for the upper section of the grill. This is the piece that the upper grills are welded to and the air spring is mounted to.

I needed a shouldered slot for mounting the bracket so that I have a little bit of adjustability in terms of height. Quick layout, drill, full depth slot, and them the roughly half depth shoulder slot.



 
May 30, 2020
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I also had time to tackle welding the outside edges of the grill now that is was shaped to fit. I used a big chunk of aluminum to hold them down and lined each grill up one at a time to be flush on the outside. Align grill, weld, align grill, weld...




The MDF spacers and tape got a bit toasty (caught fire a couple times) but held up really great and maintained my spacing for the welding.

It was going really great until the ends of each side. I used a small clamp to hold the steeply angled grills up against one another before welding. On the first side I tried I put just a little too much heat in the 1/4" aluminum strip and with the weight of the clamp hanging on it... it fell right off and onto the floor.


Devastated by the horror of seeing my grill now in more pieces than it should be I sat there and took a break for a bit. After I psyched myself up, I put the clamp on the other side to keep it tight, and this time I attempted to weld it with less heat. Clanging metal rang out shortly after watching the piece fall from my helmet's small, tinted window haha


I walked away, drank an ice tea, then returned. I REALLY took my time and slowly repaired the damage I had done. First putting tiny tacks on the pieces and then building it back up. With that fixed the lower section of the grill is completely welded.

 
May 30, 2020
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Upper grill welding can now happen!

I slotted each grill into the front spine and then grabbed some more MDF spacers to hold the back close to its final location. I placed a chunk of aluminum and brass on the top to hold it all down tight before I started welding.

These grills are all long and I will probably cut them off flush with the back plate when the shaping is all complete. We'll see how it looks.


With the back of the plate welded I could lay the grill on its back and weld the inside of each.


I then oriented the grill onto it's face so I could weld the inside of each grill to the spine.


Now the grill is fully assembled! The work is far from over as I made the artistic choice when I started this project to shape the entire outside surface to match the contour of the spine. Hours of sanding, grinding, filing, buffing, poilishing, etc. are next.

I am excited for how it coming to life from those original render ideas. I'm learning so many ways I should not do things haha



 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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I want the components of this system for my dad to be as awesome as the case, so I reached out to a few companies. I'm very thankful and excited that EVGA and NVIDIA stepped in to sponsor two amazing items that take this computer to another level!

EVGA provided a fully modular SuperNOVA G5 power supply.



NVIDIA sent over a GeForce RTX 2080


Huge thanks to the support from everyone here on the forums. You have all been incredibly nice and quick to build up fellow modders of all skill levels. Without this community these sponsors probably wouldn't be possible.
 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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Time to kick off the shaping of all these square grill pieces.

I 3D printed the front chunk of the topper so that I would know how far to shape the very top grill.


Without this physically in place, I would have no idea where to shape this grill up to. You can see in this next picture clearly that I have a lot of material to remove to bring the curved grill up to the topper.


This was hours of work. Aluminum is tough to shape for one, I also wanted to be very careful I was removing material evenly. When you polish metal (or any material) it REALLY shows how wavy a material is. I want the reflection to look consistent across the grills and for the flat sections of the side to reflect relatively evenly. It would be unfortunate after all this work to have a finished product that has a wavy/warped finish.


I used the disk grinder with a 40 grit flapper disc to do some of the heavy removal and then used the belt sander with 40 grit paper to finish the rough shaping. I used that belt sander in a motion similar to block sanding a curved fender or something. Relatively large sweeping motions. Never stopping in one spot.


The hours of handling and vibrations from the sander and grinder did break a few welds so I will have to go repair those before I start tackling the polishing of this beast.



I am really happy with the lines of this grill really coming together how I wanted. I'm excited to start polishing soon!!



 

GarrettL

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Dec 4, 2019
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Congratulations!!!

Very nice to get that kind of support. And when they saw what you are doing they knew it would make the rounds in the internet.

Your craftsmanship is top notch.

Make sure you get a picture of your dads face when he see’s it.

I’m just a huge fan of that old grill. Cars use to have such style.
 
May 30, 2020
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Congratulations!!!

Very nice to get that kind of support. And when they saw what you are doing they knew it would make the rounds in the internet.

Your craftsmanship is top notch.

Make sure you get a picture of your dads face when he see’s it.

I’m just a huge fan of that old grill. Cars use to have such style.
I will for sure be getting pictures/video of his reaction to the gift! Thank you so much for the support too. You're too kind
 
May 30, 2020
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Had some more time to spend on the Spirit so I started by working to finish all the grill shaping.

The very top most grill pieces have some compounding curves that I want to look good so I finished those up with a file. I also used a file to smooth some of the areas where I noticed some inconsistent light reflections.


I then started what turned out to be the VERY long process of getting all the grinding marks out of the grills while keeping the surface curves smooth. I had to go over the entire grill with a coarse fiber first and then jump to a fine fiber to finish the process. You can see in the photo below that I was grinding on the left side of the upper two grills to eliminate the markings left from the aggressive shaping.


I was using a simple harbor freight die grinder and quickly found the limitations of my air compressor. The die grinder was a great tool for the job, but the compressor simply couldnt keep up with tthe CFM demand.


I also made the choice to finish the aluminum with a fine brushed finish that goes along the direction of the grill. Using long straight strokes by hand with 120 grit sandpaper. I am happy with the bright shine I am getting.


I then jumped over to the air spring bracket. I drilled and tapped a hole to mount to the rear plate of the grill.


I have a small spring scale but it didn't have the capacity to lift the grill. To fix this limitation I 3D printed a small pulley and mounted it to the bracket attached to the grill backplate.


I strung some paracord through the pulley, held one side and tied the other to the spring scale. Pulled both ends up and was SUPPOSED to get the numbers I needed to choose an appropriate spring.


After getting the numbers from my pulley setup, the poundage didn't make sense as I should have been able to lift the grill just outside the range of my scale. When I lifted the grill with the scale I could clearly tell I was more than a few pounds beyond my scale's range. Because my bracket is so close the backplate, the diameter of the pulley was actually playing into the test more than expected! I ended up using a very smooth 1/4" oak dowel and retesting. Numbers are now making way more sense at about 25lbs of force required to lift the grill from its closed position.

I'll get that ordered soon! I'm excited to see this working.
 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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Who else is happy about this long weekend?!

So that back of the grill had some tails that needed to be cut off now that the shaping is all done. I started by putting a little tape on the back plate to protect it slightly. I grabbed a reciprocating saw, threw a couple drops of oil on the blade and chopped the pieces off as close to the backplate as I could.



The vibrations of the saw broke one of the little welds on a grill unfortunately. With the hours of grinding, sanding, sawing, ect. I've definitely learned that small aluminum welds are not really as strong as you would hope.

I started grinding what was left off with a rough fiber wheel on the grinder.



I was a little discouraged at the welds being less strong than I hoped and the one that was now broken. These welds to the backplate are where all the force of the grill hangs from the grill is opened. So they need to be well attached so this lasts a very long time.

I made the choice to screw them to the back plate. Using some nice looking M3, black, button head cap screws to be exact. I marked out the center points to start.



Now most of these were welded so I had to drill through the grills and backplate together with my 2.5mm drill (the one for tapping M3 threads) I then came back with a 3.5mm drill and drilled through only the grills so that I was only tapping the backplate. I then ran my M3 tap through all the holes in the backplate.



I put my screws in and like how it looks a lot! Kind of gives your eye something to stop on when you look down the length of the grill.

 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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Grab that drink and/or snack. Update incoming!

Priming the case first with some simple gray primer. I put it on heavy and about 4 coats so that I could wet sand it once dry. It took out a lot of the small scratches and gives me that bond I want for the following paint. I used 400 grit sand paper and used a little flat piece of oak I had laying around as a sanding block.



While I was doing this I went ahead and painted the hinge black (the wrong black). I will have to repaint this later to match some other stuff I painted. The can said this was satin but it came out impressively glossy... Whatcha gonna do except repaint with something else.



The plan for paint was to hit the frame with probably three coats of the red depending on how opaque the paint was. Then chase it with about an entire can of non-yellowing gloss clearcoat. I ended up doing about 4 coats of the red and 6 of clear. I now have to apologize for not having a photo of painting the frame red! I did it as fast as I could with the daylight left after work one day and the pictures I took were terribly blurry... Enjoy this photo I just took instead. It is of the cans of paint I used haha



I got my air spring in the mail so was super pumped to try it out as soon as paint was dry. It was really bitter sweet. The spring worked and was really classy feeling as it opened with just a couple pounds of force and closed with the lightest of pressure. With an air spring, the force is always being applied and when the lid was in the down position there is still the 20lbs of force being applied to backplate/hinge. The hinge has just enough play to allow the right side of the hinge/grill to lift slightly. This means the grill did not close perfectly square in the front and looks terrible. Huge huge disappointment and one I could remedy easily if I could have another air spring on the left side of the case to balance the twisting force. That is exactly where my motherboard is so its not an option here however.



My solution is a small compromise in the form of a latch that simply locks up when open by extending past center. Not AS exciting but still allows my grill/hood to open and close really nicely. And the big feature is in the lower position there is no pressure pushing upward on the grill.

I used some steel bar. It was 3/4" wide by 1/8" thick. I used the air spring as my length reference since I knew it opened the case almost the amount I was wanting.



To make things look more finished I rounded over the ends.



I drilled my holes and grabbed some hardware that I thought would work from the hardware store. You'll have to trust me that it worked great and look forward to some pictures later of it installed inside the painted frame.


 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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Had some fun and started work on the radiator mount. I had a general shape in mind that I printed on some paper and then glued to a piece of 3/4" aluminum angle. I cut each to length with a table saw first and then I used a piece of wood I had laying around to hold the angled aluminum flat. I brought it over to the old bandsaw and went to cutting.


I confidently drilled my holes as one does when thinking a perfect layout is glued to the materiel being drilled. A quick test instantly showed me that the holes were not in the right spot for the second fan. There is a decent gap between the fans that Corsair designed in there that I assumed wouldn't be there. Another set of holes fixed it up and now the hole case is a little bit lighter! haha



With the test fit done I drew on some lines to make a shape that looked less like aluminum angle and more stylish. I cut these with the bandsaw as well and cleaned up the edges with a file.



I didn't have holes yet drilled through the angle or into the mount because it is not a simple thing to drill given the strange angle. I used the trick of some gel super glue to hold the pieces together exactly as you want, drilling them while glued, and then smacking them apart so you can tap your threads in one half of the setup.



I couldn't help but mount it to the frame and see how it was going to look. I then was more excited and mounted the grill on to see the entire setup in place and test the opening for clearance.





Everything looked awesome so I finished shaping the bottom of the angled aluminum to match the mount by sanding and filing it flush. I went over the pieces with a fine file to soften some edges and then lightly scuffed them up to prep for painting.

I also prepped the frame for painting the interior by sanding the inside of the frame lightly with some sandpaper and then taping all my edges carefully with some painters tape. (The two colors are simply because I ran out of one and not for any special reason)



I hung the mounts from wire and an old piece of bamboo before proceeding to spray paint them with a few coats of satin black.



I sprayed the case interior with the same satin black. A few coats here as well. I am very happy with the results. My tape lines came out very clean and the paint sheen is really what I was hoping for.



 
May 30, 2020
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I was evacuated with my family twice this last week from my home due to the wildfires here in Oregon. My place is fine but both coworkers and friends have sadly lost their homes. Needless to say the last week has been an intense week for many many people. Please keep those affected by these event in your thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine the feeling.

To lighten the mood a little back up please enjoy this reflection of some paper craft in the frame's cherry red paint!



I tested the 2080 in the case for the first time and it was instantly clear this card was not going to fit the same as the old W8100 I was originally planning to install before NVIDIA set me up. There is a large bump along the cards edge that lifted the card up significantly.



I started cutting my existing 3D printed shelf down substantially so that any card would more likely fit. I also removed material to simply add more airflow on the lower side of the vertically mounted card. There is somewhere around 1/2" clearance below the card now.



The other "fit" issue was the optic drive. It stuck out around 1/16" from the rear I/O panel. Kind of sticks out. Literally haha



I added a washer behind the bracket so that the optic drive would sit perfectly flush with the back panel. I could 3D print a new one to fit perfect but I don't want to waste plastic and the washers worked out great!

I have been hanging the GPU from the top bolt until now but it was time to make the lower bracket that will lock the card in. I cut a little chunk of aluminum, marked it up as needed, used the band saw and a small hand saw to cut to shape, then sanded and filed to final shape.






I then mounted up the 2080 with the top bolt and lower bracket. An M3 screw goes up, through the GPU mount, and into the bracket I just made that is attached to the back panel.



You can now all see the painted and installed hinge. Not attached to the grill in this picture but it is easier to take a picture of when that isn't on. I am really happy with how well it works AND how it looks.



I spent a good hour adjusting the rear hinge as well. I didn't have the foresight to make my grill fit loose before the frame was painted unfortunately. With the many layers of primer, color, and clear coat, it would not close how it should. I used a chamfer drill bit and slotted some hinge hole a bit to allow the grill to come forward. Closes well again.



I did some painting too of the remaining raw metal components of the rear panel.The same satin black I've been using.




You can't tell me that isn't a nice rear panel!

I also had a goal to wrap up the grill finally so I can be done with the metal working and get the metal chips cleaned up for a bit again. I'm always worried one of my boys (1 and 3yo) is going to walk into the garage barefoot with metal shaving/chips down.

I did some final sanding of my brushed finish and rounded some of the sharp edges. I then taped off the brushed finish with some gaffers tape along the spine so I wouldn't accidentally hit it with the polishing wheel. Polished the spine back to a high shine to compliment the brushed grills.



I did a lot of cleaning of soot, oils, tape adhesive, ect. with acetone and then I ended up sealing the faces with clear paste wax. I thought about clear coat (paint) but after reading some forum posts I saw paste wax was relatively common for low wear applications. I happened to have some already for wood working so I buffed that in to a lovely finish.


 
Reactions: GarrettL
May 30, 2020
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The painted portion above the grill will have to be 3D printed in three separate pieces because of its size. I started by printed the rear most piece as it has some additional work I can do to it while the others print. I designed in a channel for an intake or exhaust within the print! First of all it looks stupid cool and secondly I want to have a little active air movement. It is designed to fit a single 140mm fan.

The first unfortunate thing I noticed when I took the finished piece off the print bed was that the bottom had pulled away from the buildplate slightly. I needed these to be perfectly flat so I could glue them together. I'll have to figure something out to straighten that edge back up.

In the mean time I want to make this intake/exhaust grill look cool! I have some old pieces of mesh and grill from an old Corsair case I salvaged from somebody who threw it out. I traced out the shape first and then kept trimming little bit by bit until it fit in there nicely. I used a scissor for the mesh and tin snips for the grill.



I had many screw holes in the design but only think I'll use three of them. I painted the grill black and used some Elmers spray adhesive on the back of it to stick the mesh to the grill. It worked great.

I don't know if I will run this down into the case or use it as exhaust. The case it totally open but I would like to have some kind of air moving actively through it to help. You all should let me know what your feelings are on this one please.

 
Reactions: DSzymborski

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