The Drive Bay Covers
So haven't had picture updates in a while, thought I'd post where I'm at now. I mentioned before some of the work I was doing, so I'll let the pictures do the talking:
After doing some measuring, I saw that the little metal shingles I got wouldn't quite work - both in the amount of material and the gauge of the aluminum. So I went and picked up a 6"x18" piece of sheet metal
I measured off the length of all the 'tabs' and cut lengthwise across the sheet. Used the old score and break method to get a nice clean cut
As usual I got caught up in my work and didn't take many pictures of me cutting out the individual tabs. I scored and broke the first two off, but decided to use my tin snips instead to make quick work of the cuts. After cutting out the amount that I needed, I got to filing...
Lots and lots and lots and lots of filing, lol
Here are the set of bay covers before I started going at them
Here's the first 5.25" bay cover with a tab riveted to the side. The indentation of the Lian Li bay covers worked out quite well with how I'm attaching these metal tabs
Here's the same bay drive completed with both tabs riveted to the sides. Came out nicely I think
Sooo... here's where things get interesting. I finished riveting all the 5.25 and 3.5 bay covers and they came out great. Next step was prepping for polishing. I decided to experiment here, as I know the process that needs to be done - tons of sanding. I decided to use my angle grinder to work on them. Got a 120 grit flap disc to strip the current finish, came out great. Got a 220 grit PVA disc and it started looking good. Got to 400 grit PVA disc and noticed that although I was getting the 'job done', I was not getting it done right as the angle grinder is just too fast for making smooth, even sanding. Here's a shot at when I realized this just wasn't going to work
Well - time to get out the 120 and even it up to start again right. I used the 120 flap disc again, as that worked like a charm. Then I took out a 220 dry sand on my orbital sander and got to work. Here's where the 'stuff' hit the fan. I got a little overzealous with the sanding and sanded right through the corner of the 5.25 bay drive I was working on
Yeah.. you can imagine the amount of cussing that went on in that garage. Well, I don't cuss... much. So may have been somewhat tame, but good thing I was in the garage. So here I sat in my office staring at this thing for about 15 mins, thinking of what I was going to do. Then I said "screw it". Got another one of the 5.25 drive bays out and started out the right way from jump. Stripped it with the 120 grit, moved up to the 220 grit on the orbital - looking good. Moved up to the 400 grit on the orbital - now we're talkin
Then I took out the 800 grit on the orbital as well - starting to really look good now
Now I got out the 1000 grit and my sanding sponge and got to work with wet sanding. Didn't take a picture here as I was getting into the work, I was tired, and my hands were wet. After working the 1000 grit, I moved up to 1500 grit. On a side note - my opinion on polishing metal... I think it's a balance of the higher the grit you use with what polish you use. I messed around with the emery polish, the tripoli, and the white rouge. I have some red jeweler's rouge too, but haven't touched that yet. I wasn't really satisfied with the look I got. So that's why I moved up in grit. Again, I think the higher grit you go, the less polish you have to use for cutting and coloring. Anyways - after the 1500, I cleaned up and here is what I got
I rushed the 1500 here, so I think I can do much better... but it's late and I wanted to see how it looked. So I got some of my fav 3M rubbing compound and applied it with a buffer. Here's what I finished the night with
Very slick feel and nice reflection. I think I'll clean it off and go at it with the 1500 for a while to get a better finish. Now that I have an idea of how to approach the others, I think they'll come out quite nicely.
So after crapping on one of the drive covers, I debated doing some JB Weld or something to repair it and decided that no matter what I do, it just wouldn't be the same and would be out of place. *sigh*.... so gonna order another 5.25 drive bay cover. I'll remove the rivets from the broken cover so really not much work needs to be done. Once I get it I can just line it up and drill the holes, then rivet it together and be ready to rock & roll. The company I ordered heatshrink from sent me the wrong thing (some open split 1/2" sleaving). They're sending me the right stuff now, and I get some free sleeving to use for....... something, lol. I have my vinyl sample on the way too, so will play with that once it arrives to see if that's what I'll go with or something better quality. I'm ready to get the case portion of this build done and get to the sleeving and lighting with my current parts. Once I get the work of the case done, I'll setup the little studio and take better quality pics - as everything's been with an old point and shoot. I think you guys will like the CF and powder coating that was done
Thanks for watching guys - more to come!
Edited by Colonel Zay - 3/21/12 at 11:42am