Project: Hush!

Soldato
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Thanks for the nice comments guys.

Time for an update:

Here's the dents in the backplate from the hammer (x2!). Think I won't be able to sand out easily so I'll probably need to use bodyfiller and then paint after. The backplate is a little scuffed up, but that'll clean up nicely enough.
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Here's a PSU bracket I've made. Not secured in to the rest of the case yet.
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It's a little ugly with the screw-heads, but they'll sit hidden under 1cm thick neoprene cushioning. Still undecided on whether to remake the PSU bracket from thick aluminium plate (~1cm thick), and simply cut out the fan hole.

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Here's the back of the case from the back

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Here's the back of the case - Using countersunk screws inside means I need to have nuts on this side. The I/O bracket is inserted from the back to unclutter the look inside. However, the 1mm aluminium IO&PCI bracket has flaps to attach to the case. One of these extends down at the bottom where the nut is at the bottom of this pic. To get everything sitting flush a 1mm step was cut into the inside of the thick aluminium frame with a dremel milling bit.

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I decided to use more countersunk screws for a nice clean finish inside. :)

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IC cooling are kind enough to send out free samples of their Thermal interface material if you agree to test it against your previous paste and send them the results.

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So after sorting out the kink in the watercooling loop and testing my previous paste, MX-3, using Intel Burn Test, and using InterBurnTest and MSI Kombustor/Furmark simultaneously (to produce as much heat as possible - around 550W!) I swapped out the TIM and remounted the blocks.

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Here's the back of the case - Using countersunk screws inside means I need to have nuts on this side.

I guess this is a bit late now, but have you seen the rivet nuts that Piggin used in his project? It might have made a neater finish inside.

Rivet nuts post

IC cooling are kind enough to send out free samples of their Thermal interface material if you agree to test it against your previous paste and send them the results.

So after sorting out the kink in the watercooling loop and testing my previous paste, MX-3, using Intel Burn Test, and using InterBurnTest and MSI Kombustor/Furmark simultaneously (to produce as much heat as possible - around 550W!) I swapped out the TIM and remounted the blocks.

And the results are? Are you deliberately teasing us? :D
 
Soldato
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Those rivet nuts aren't bad - bit big though, and I'd like to still be able to take the panels off in the future should I need to.

Haven't given temps yet as I'm still waiting for the IC Diamond stuff to bed in properly to test.
 
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Those rivet nuts aren't bad - bit big though, and I'd like to still be able to take the panels off in the future should I need to.

I agree that the rivet nuts are probably bigger than regular nuts, but they will stay in place when the panels are removed. Since these are rivet nuts with an internal screw thread rather than plain rivets you can remove the panels in the same way as you will be able to with your nuts and bolts.
 
Soldato
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Small update atm, another to follow with new watercooling bits...

I've made a replaceable front plate for usb, eSATA, audio etc. Still need to get my hands on some USB 3 ports though, so leaving it as just a flat plate for the moment without holes for the ports for now. Anyhow, the plate is removable so I can attach the aluminium plates (the bits with HUSH milled in) to the 37 copper fins with resin (in the 37 slots in the back) once they're ready and anodised, and take out the plate to adapt to attach new ports (or replace) in future if needed. Only a small piece, but filing it to just the right size and the tabs to the right depth by hand took a while!

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I did have a small tab of aluminium cut almost to size, but it's a different grade of aluminium and I expect it wouldn't anodise to be an indistinguishable colour, so instead I cut and filed a section from the piece of aluminium angle in the picture.

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The finished piece with some of the tools used to make it... missing the big file...

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The finished plate (upside down).

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In place, viewed from the back:- I'll need to cut into some of the fins for the USB/eSATA/headphone ports to attach the the little inset plate....

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In place and screwed down:

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Thanks for reading.
 
Soldato
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So this project was started in 2009, and got to a working stage with hardware in etc, but as I was moving every year or more frequently for work (sometimes out of the country) I switched to using a modded Lian Li PC7 watercooled case, or briefly a gaming laptop for covenience.

Last Summer when changing water in my loop I rediscovered this under a table, and for some unknown reason thought polishing it and finishing it would be a good idea. So what do we have?



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Some work is needed... Those dribbly gummy looking bits on the boxes at the end are polyester resin that was used to fill crinkled valleys left when originally casting the polyester for the water distributor boxes using acrylic sheet for the mold (the polyester resin pulled the protective sheet on the acrylic off as it set). That'll need sanding down...

Polishing was tricky - it's an intricate design with pipes in the way and is difficult getting between the cooling fins and pipes....
 
Soldato
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Pro-tip: if you plan on polishing something to a near mirror shine (or as best as possible) do not first get it material blasted.

It's quite a large hefty case (don't be fooled by the scale from the cat, who is a large Maine C-oon cross). It weighs something like 25kg iirc without the aluminium frame, and the copper back wall would need supporting to sand easily with power tools. This calls for a jig!

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I constructed a wooden slatted support frame that the pipes on the copper wall would sit between and then slide in a supporting plate, to allow the copper wall to sit horizontal without the pipes scruffing, and a large 10mm thick plate of aluminium to be drilled for the copper wall to bolt down onto and rest on to keep it flat for sanding.

To get at the copper wall behind the copper pipes I used a 3" sanding disc rotary padworking up the grits of hook and loop attaching sanding paper discs (400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000 then polishing compounds on soft wool pads/mops then cellulose thinner to clean) powered by a variable speed drill. To get clearance to avoid the pipes, the sanding pad shank was replaced with a longer bolt with the same thread. To avoid the weight of the copper from damaging the polester resin covered end boxes I bolted two heavy duty polypropylene stacking boxes together to act as a table sitting inside to take the weight, with a neoprene pad cut around the PP crate shape/lattice, and taped in place to give friction to stop it sliding.

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Soldato
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It's a dusty business this sanding, and I'd need a spray booth for the lacquer. I made a spray booth with 12 x 1m long16mm diameter wooden poles, some cheapy cast aluminium 16mm pole corner connectors, some thick polypropylene 2m wide sheeting and heavy duty tape, and two cheap high speed 8" extractor fans, ducted to exhaust to a large 170 litre plastic storage trunk half-full of water (the idea being much of the dust would be caught by the water) with the air ducted down to flow across the water surface by sheets of thick polystyrene, exiting the top of the large box via a large hepa filter (~25cm x 35cm) , followed by an activated charcoal filter layer (both replacement filters for air filter units) added after that as final stage when needed for volatile organic compounds from cellulose thinner use and spraying). The wall of fans is 9 x gentle typhoons to blow across the sanding surface or help ventilate the room when needed.

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One of these and good ventilation still needed!

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Soldato
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The rotary sanding disc/wool pads got the central bit up to a mirror shine. The tubes and between them on the copper wall part was done by wrapping fine grit sandpaper around a 6mm square bar of tool steel, and the pipes by using perhaps 2-3cm wide strips of microfibre cloth soaked in brasso and flossing the pipes wrapped between pipes like you'd imagine a system of pulleys.

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Click on pics above for videos.

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Soldato
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So, the back wall and pipes was tricky to polish with the sanding/polishing pads on the drill, and with polishing the pipes with sandpaper strips and brasso on strips of microfibre cloth. The radiator fins and pipes inbetween were another matter - the gaps are too small to get power tools in to sand easily, and flossing the copper pipes of the backwall involved 96 of them.

I had tried using sanding discs on a dremel to sand the radiator fins/plates near the surface, but the handmade slightly wonky nature of them from making the radiator meant they were often slightly off perfectly flat so this didn't really work very well.

I found this handy mole clamp- think it's meant for clamping for welding, but works very well for straightening wonky 0.9mm copper fins!

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The gap between the fins is around 9mm - I used sandpaper wrapped around a long 6mm square bar of tool steel to sand between the fins, and strips of sandpaper of p1000 or p1200 around 7-8mm wide, cut from standard 230mm x 280mm sheets of wet'n'dry paper with a paper guillotine.

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Not perfect, but the sanding with the wet'n'dry-wrapped bar did get the fins nice and pink in the centre.

It's actually quite quick to thread the wet'n'dry strips around the pipes, and the sanding for each one took maybe 10-15 seconds. There's 48 6mm diameter pipes running between each set of fins, and 74 fins in total, and sanding each needed sanding twice (up and then down from the other side. Thank God for podcasts and audiobooks: This took a while....

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20220217_225553 (shiny, noisy video!)

That's all for now folks
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Soldato
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So after polishing everything it was time to spray it with Incralac lacquer to keep it shiny. I got a lovely second hand mini spray gun called the Iwata G6, thinking this would be better for a smaller more precise spray pattern to get between the fins and pipes, but unfortunately this didn't work for spraying lacquer - it's too thick for the small 0.6mm diameter nozzle size, causing cobwebbing (needing too high an air feed pressure and spraying dry strands as a result). I then got a cheap spray gun with a larger nozzle and it worked much better.

Wrapped up for spraying the pipes/back wall:

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I don't have any pics of spraying, as it's all messy and a case of 'open window with fans blowing out, do spraying, seal up spray booth and leave room and shut door!'

After:

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Videos:

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