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Thread: Is that a coffee maker?!

  1. #1
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    Default Is that a coffee maker?!

    Ok, so by now you all know I'm crazy. So, when I explain all this you might actually be able to follow.

    Last week we were doing some house cleaning and going through some stuff my sister-in-law had stored in our shed and throwing out the useless. One of the things she threw out was a coffee maker that didn't work anymore. My brain being the strange place that it is, instead of just chucking it at the curb thought, "I wonder if I could fit a computer in there."

    (You can skip this paragraph if you like, it has nothing to do with the actual case.)
    Now, let's go back a bit. My daughter has a friend who had been working and saving up money for me to build her a PC. She's currently using my old (OLD) laptop that I gave her when hers (even older) crapped out and was done for. She had become a very hard worker and paid back her parents for the cheap car she bought, and loved treating her friends to things she couldn't afford before getting a job. Somehow she actually DID put some money back and we had planned what she wanted to build. Unfortunately, she was working a bit too much and her grades were really suffering. She finally had to decide between failing, or quitting her job, picking up extra classes and studying her butt off to graduate. I was proud of her for choosing the latter. Unfortunately, shortly after that her car broke down and she was once again broke. She absolutely loves metallic red and black and we had spent more time picking out cases than anything else. Small, red, sleek, and different, were her basic wants. So, when I saw this (pics below) my brain went totally off the rails and decided it would be awesome if I could build her a PC with a combination of spare parts and a custom case to at least get her by until she can afford an upgrade. So...

    Because I'm a lunatic I decided to take it apart and find out. It turned out that the main body of it was mostly molded plastic and would be useless for making anything else with. However, I did find that the side panels, which were the best part of it, came off without much difficulty and so I salvaged them.
    Is that a coffee maker?!-20170430_222312.jpg Is that a coffee maker?!-20170425_225707.jpg Is that a coffee maker?!-20170430_222444.jpg Is that a coffee maker?!-20170430_222547.jpg
    After lots of examining and measuring, I've come up with a plan to cut the back panels off a couple of old towers to accommodate the i/o panel, PCI slot, and PSU mounting. For the bottom, front, and top I'll be using a combination of aluminum sheet (left over siding trim coil) and metal mesh for intake and exhaust sections. I then had an even crazier idea since perforated sheet metal that looks decent is more expensive than I thought and my budget is basically nil. My wife and I have done various types of chain mail for jewelry and crafts. So, instead of metal mesh or perforated metal I'm going to weave my own material using steel/aluminum wire that I have spools of laying around. The idea is to cut aluminum sheet to wrap from the top of the back plate around the top, down the front, and under the bottom. I'll then cut out the fan openings, then make a piece of woven wire to overlay the whole thing. For the sides (above) I'm going to un-clip the metal panel, remove the chrome strip, spray paint the red plastic black, then reassemble it. I haven't decided whether to paint the sheeting red, then make the wire black, or to paint the sheet black and use red wire, or perhaps even black and red wire woven into a pattern.

    As for the hardware, I've got a good PSU, some spare HDDs, etc. but I still have to come up with a MoBo (preferably ITX, mATX at most), CPU and RAM. I have several old PCs to cannibalize, but their main hardware is so old it's obsolete. For the GPU I plan to bake and re-paste my old HD6770 and hope for the best. If it fails, then I'll have to come up with that too OR perhaps find a good deal on a used APU (any gaming she does won't be very demanding). The hardware I come up with may affect my design as well. If I get a cheap Dell off eBay and use the guts from it, then hiding the internals will be fine. If I somehow manage to come up with a nice, modern MoBo and RAM for a black/red scheme, then I may do something like make the entire front of it wire weave for an even cooler look.

    Anyway, just a peak into what's in my head. Once I actually get my hands on all the hardware I'll have more details to share. If nothing else it should be "interesting." :lol:

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    i know this is probobly not the normal sugestion amungst profesional builders, but you mentioned budget prodject paramiter

    thats my specialty

    so, sheet metal, (and everything else) have alternate approach opportunities.
    any item you want has an alt approach that is a tiny fragment of cost in comparison. or free. scrap metal, any trash refrigerator, laundry machine, old thrown away pc case, old license plates

    if you want it, theres an alternative approach. if you cant define a result from parameters required by the project, come on here and ask for a idea jumpstart. these boys on this website are pretty darn smart and have the ability to think outside the box.

    im pretty sure you are familiar with the rasberry pie group. that is a massive case on those standards, and that group would fit a beast into it
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    My progress so far...

    I didn't care much for the red plastic, so I removed the metal panels and chrome strips, then spray painted the plastic frame black and reassembled.
    Is that a coffee maker?!-20170510_204823-1-.jpg
    I know the only thing you can see after all that is the thin lines on either side of the chrome, but I think it's a big improvement. It should also better match the black wire weave I'll be making for the rest of the (visible) chassis. I've decided to go with black wire over metallic red sheeting. I'm still debating on keeping the chrome strip and incorporating a pattern of polished silver wire in the weave to match it, or making the strips match the metal panels using a spray paint that turns chrome into red metallic (that just happens to nearly exactly match the panels.) Chrome strips, or red metallic strips? I'm gonna proceed with the plan to keep them chrome, but will see how it looks as I go along.

    Now onto the framework. After examining all the old towers I have laying around, I found one with a suitably laid out back panel, and cannibalized it along with the motherboard tray.
    Is that a coffee maker?!-20170510_204528-1-.jpg Is that a coffee maker?!-20170510_204612-1-.jpg
    Using a pair of tin snips I surprisingly managed to cut down the tray to a size that will serve as the spine for a new frame without mangling it. I'm thinking I'll cut down the back panel by removing the section between the black lines to A) make it the same length as the partial tray, and reusing the slots for the GPU.
    Is that a coffee maker?!-20170510_204612-1-2.jpg
    I'm planning on doing a dual chamber design with MoBo and PSU on one side and GPU (using a flexible riser), drives, etc on the other. The chopped back panel will be used upside down from it's original configuration making it PSU on bottom with Mobo above it. On the backside of the, the GPU will mount vertically. As I said earlier the tray will act as the "spine" of the frame by adding cross beams at the top and bottom corners to attach at the bottom to these points...
    Is that a coffee maker?!-20170510_212304-1-.jpg
    ...that currently have screws holding the ends of the chrome strips in place temporarily and will be replaced by bolts that the cross beams will attach to. The top will be slightly more complicated and I haven't completed designing it yet. I may resort to threaded rod or, if I manage to work it out, a couple of hinges to allow the sides to pivot upward when the case needs to be opened rather than requiring disassembly.

    There's still a a LONG way to go and several more things to work out (including finding "the heart" for it) but I'm actually thinking it will turn out pretty nice.

  4. The following users thank 2 For this above post:

    calemus (11-05-2017), Smiki007 (11-05-2017)

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    A little more progress...

    I took the pieces of the chopped back panel and riveted them in place to the tray leaving exactly enough room (I hope) for the motherboard and PSU. I also rivetted on a cut down portion of the donor PC's internal front frame for structure.
    Attachment 8059 Attachment 8060 Attachment 8061

    Here's the side panels that I began with held up to give an idea of their final arrangement.
    Attachment 8062
    Looking at what I'm working with I've begun to rethink my original plan. I'm not sure if I should go with my first idea of having the GPU and HDD in a separate chamber behind the tray or just put the HDD in front of the PSU and place the GPU across from the MoBo facing it with the slots about here:
    Is that a coffee maker?!-frame1edit.jpg

    I'm also thinking it might run cooler if I flip it back around so the MoBo is below the PSU so that any pockets of heat will rise away from the MoBo rather than on it. If I place the GPU in the main chamber as well it would be lower in the case and help draw heat away from it as well. The main intake would basically be blowing directly between the MoBo and GPU and the exhaust at the top drawing the heat straight up. I'm still going back and forth on this and haven't decided which way should be up OR if I should try for a single chamber instead of two.

    ...and on it goes.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    +1 for concern of chimney effect

    is it can you post a link to the psu model?
    this is starting to get me curious
    learning is good .....understanding is better .....pleas teach with wisdom............................................ ..............calemus

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    This is a spare parts build, so the PSU will be my old one that I swapped out when I upgraded my GPU. It has run strong for about 5 years now in a top position drawing air from inside the case.
    Is that a coffee maker?!-2017-05-16-14.33.45.jpg

    Getting it out and looking at it, though, reminds me how many freaking wires a non-modular PSU has. I might need the whole space I was thinking of mounting the HDD in just to stash all those wires. Lol
    Is that a coffee maker?!-2017-05-16-14.22.34.jpg

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    you could reduce the wires to stagered lengths, and ant each end put a male / female connector
    if it's not needed, it is potential opportunity.

    if it's needed, hopefuly you didnt reduce it, & if u did, viola' la plug
    learning is good .....understanding is better .....pleas teach with wisdom............................................ ..............calemus

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    I'll just use it as an opportunity to practice some hardcore cable management. lol There will be some empty spaces just above the PSU and on the sides between the frame and the side panels, for example. I still haven't decided how tight I want to try and make it. Part of me wants to go with the original two chamber design and part of me wants to make it work so it won't be that extra 3 inches wide. I've even thought of using the 1/2 inch gap left between the two halves of the back panel to create a special intake for the PSU, but not sure if it's really necessary.

    Mainly I need to go ahead and decide if I'm going to have the second chamber because my next step is finishing the framework. I'm also hoping my measurements were right and that I left enough room for the MoBo and that the PSU won't be in the way.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    as a plumber / modder/ hacker / diy'r

    dryfit dryfit dryfit
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Yeah, but I don't actually have an ITX board laying around... and I want to go ahead and build as much as I can while I slowly save up and hunt for a bargain.

    Actually, I'm mainly itching to start on the wire weave, which I can do as soon as I figure out the total measurements for the piece. All I need for that is the distance around the panels from the bottom of the back plate to the top of the back plate (which is why I built the back first), and the width between the side panels. Once I decide between the narrower single chamber or wider two chamber design, I can start testing out weaves.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Sloth,

    I'm with Calemus on this one. I'd reduce or eliminate some of the PSU Harness! I opened up an old PSU recently and snipped all the unnecessary "old style" Molex Hard Drive connectors out (kept one for fans I think), which reduced my harness significantly. I slapped a little bit of heat shrink tubing on the end of each snipped wire to ensure I didn't get an accidental short, and off to the races. There's a small risk that you'll eliminate something you need in the future, but...well, that's what makes this stuff fun!

    I have a Molex Crimper, and I keep meaning to shorten and sleeve some of my remaining PSU leads, but that's "on the list" of things to do, and probably will be for awile <grin>. I've also thought of using the Anderson Power Pole connectors to make a non-modular harness into a modular one...but well...yeah. LOL

    Excellent work so far! Can't wait to see the finished Toaster...er...coffee maker...er PC...yeah, PC!

    S.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gu3 View Post
    Can't wait to see the finished Toaster...er...coffee maker...er PC...yeah, PC!

    S.

    ^ this
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    So, I'm still undecided on the one or two chamber design. I'm leaning farther and farther to one chamber, but want a little reassurance. Do you think it will cool well enough or be too crowded (relatively speaking)? I keep thinking that a second chamber will be cooler, but getting proper airflow in that area seems like it would be just as complicated. I'd have to basically direct all the air from the bottom intake into the second chamber to force cool air up through it. However, with a simpler set up of having both the bottom and front intake simply blow into the heart of the case and the top exhaust draw it out seems like a better option... assuming it wouldn't be too much heat in one small space.

    So, would I really get a much better effect from widening the case to incorporate a second chamber and give it it's own intake, or would it be just as good having the GPU opposite the MoBo and all the air flowing to both of them together?

  16. #14
    Gu3
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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Gah. One of the smart case modders here should chime in this one.

    I would say that unless you're throwing a fire breathing monster in the second chamber, an intake vent, and a low speed fan, coupled with the GPU fans should keep it cool enough. If you throw a GTX 980/1080 or some crazy hot AMD thing in there...well, fire is pretty right?

    Seriously, a lot will depend on the heatsink design on the GPU, and how many watts it pushes out. If you provide some intake venting, and the card pushes heat out the back panel, or you provide a low speed 120 or 140 mm fan to pull heat out, I should think you'll be fine.

    So, this really ends up being an aesthetic decision I think.

    S.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Well, aesthetically I'd prefer to keep it narrower so I think I'll go ahead with the one-chamber plan. Time to start finding the right position for the GPU and cutting the slots, I guess. Or, I could save that for later so I can do it with the MoBo in place and "dry fit" for the best result possible. Soooo... I think I can get started on the wire weave material now.

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    Default Re: Is that a coffee maker?!

    Update: This project isn't dead. I merely had a bit more difficulty making the wire weave than I anticipated and now the girl I'm making it for has come to spend the summer with us so it's nearly impossible to work on it without her seeing it (and it's going to be a surprise).

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