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Wooden Coffee Table Computer (PICTURE HEAVY)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So while browsing the web for interesting doable computer cases, I came across this.

http://www.damngeeky.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Coffee-Table-Computer-mod.jpg

It seemed like a cool idea, but I thought I might be able to do a cleaner job, (no offense to the original builder). At first, I was going to construct it out of 2x6's like he did, but after purchasing them and having them sit in my garage for two months, I went out and found them completely twisted and warped due to the cold weather. Because of this, I decided to just make it out of birch plywood, luan plywood, and solid oak.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to start taking pictures until I was already a good way into the project. Before the first picture was taken, this is what I had accomplished-

Making the Legs of the Table
  • Planed/joined the 2x6's down to 1x5's
  • Cut them down to ~2ft in length
  • Joined them together with biscuit joints

Everything Else
  • Cut the top down to size
  • Dato'ed cuts in legs to fit the middle piece in
  • Dato'ed cuts in middle for divider
  • Cut out hole for rear I/O panels
  • Glued frame together


The specs of the computer are as follows-

  • Intel i3-540 processor (yea, I know.)
  • Biostar T5XE CFX-SLI Motherboard
  • 16Gbs G.Skill RipJaws RAM
  • EVGA limited edition GTX460
  • OCZ Vertex 4 128Gb SSD
  • 500Gb WD Caviar Blue HDD
  • OCZ ZX Series 850W Modular PSU
  • Dual 12" Cold Cathode Tubes
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212Plus CPU Cooler
  • Various fans, adapters, etc


And now, onto the build!

Getting ready to cut the motherboard tray out of an old case.
AppleMark

Gluing it all together.
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Seeing how the motherboard tray fits in. I mounted it on wood blocks to keep the processor raised off the wood.
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Plexiglass window!
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Alternate shot of the window.
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Adding solid oak trim to the luan top.
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Had to cut an indent in the fan so the wires wouldn't get caught.
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Pre-stain.
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First layer of stain down!
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FInished the top.
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I put a solid pine piece across the bottom to keep it from bowing.
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Clear shot of the holes where the fans will mount.
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Seeing how the light top looks with the black stain.
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First shots of the semi-assembled computer!
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Finally got around to cutting out the piece the monitor will be mounted to.
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View of the underside of the top, you can see how it will screw into the bottom.
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It's in! (After 5 coats of polyurethane)
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Mounting the hard drive turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be. I screwed a plastic tray into the wood that the hard drive would mount to. Then I realized that I had to screw the hard drive into that tray, and I couldn't access the screw holes. So I drilled holes through the wood where the hard drive screwed into the plastic, stuck a screwdriver in the holes, and screwed the hard drive into the plastic. After about half an hour of matching up the tray with the drilled holes, it worked!
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Finalized rear I/O panel.
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Looking pretty good so far.
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Before the top was finished, I hooked it up with the monitor just sitting on the left half to get the software installed.
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Cutting out the hole for the plexiglass window!
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Getting ready to stain the top.
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Installed the plexiglass and mounted the monitor. Made a template of the holes on the back of the monitor, drilled through the wood, and screwed the monitor through the wood and into the monitor. It worked a lot better than I thought it would. At this time, I still had no way of holding the monitor up. It's either closed, or 180 degrees open. Not the most functional. I screwed 4 L shaped brackets onto the table (2 on the top near the front and 2 underneath near the bottom of the monitor) to hold it while it was down so all the stress wouldn't be on the piano hinge. I know now I could have used a sliding bar underneath so there would't be anything on top.
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FInally came up with a method to secure the monitor in an upright position. I took two square blocks, and cut them at about 120 degrees. I drilled two holes in the bottom of them, stuck bolts in, and poured wood glue in around them. After it dried, I had two slanted blocks with bolts sticking 1.5 inches out of the bottom. I drilled slightly larger holes in the table top for the bolts to fit into. I sat the blocks in them, and Voilà! they fit. I secured them with nuts underneath so they wouldn't budge. Now, when you lift the monitor, it rests on these blocks, and they're far back enough that if someone bumps into the table, the monitor won't slam shut. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the blocks, as they still haven't been stained tongue.gif When you're not using the table, you can loosten the nuts, take the blocks out, and store them underneath, so you're left with a flat table top.
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The table- now in place in my room.
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Isn't she beautiful?
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I have to say, I'm extremely surprised with how this table turned out. When I started, I was not expecting anything nearly this nice to come out of it. I don't have a whole lot of woodworking experience, but I think I managed to do alright. What do you guys think?
Edited by Bobertbarker - 1/4/14 at 9:16am
post #2 of 13
I love it very good build
Stryker-PC
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Stryker-PC
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post #3 of 13
I am amazed at how it turned out. Looks better then the other one IMO. Plus it is made for a right handed person. biggrin.gif Also you put cathodes in them thumb.gif

How much did this project run you?
Gladiator
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Surprisingly low. The most expensive thing in the entire build was the power supply. Hah. The computer itself was around $700, and the stuff to build the table wasn't over $200
post #5 of 13
This was amazing. Makes me want this haha. Though, is the SSD easily removable? Can you somehow open it in a non-damaging solution to get at the hardware?
Wrecking Ball.
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Wrecking Ball.
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Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate 1TB 7200rpm HDD Crucial M4 256GB ASUS 24x CD/DVD drive Corsair H80i 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 home viewsonic 27 inch 1ms response Corsair AX750 NZXT Switch 810 
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razer deathadder turtle beach x12 Sennheiser HD280 
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GSkill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz G skill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz Crucial M4 512gb ssd Corsair H100i 
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by General121 View Post

This was amazing. Makes me want this haha. Though, is the SSD easily removable? Can you somehow open it in a non-damaging solution to get at the hardware?
Well the side is a door that latches magnetically, and the plexiglass on top can be pushed up from inside. So, very easy. The entire top only used about a dozen screws, so it's very easy to access and upgrade. The motherboard tray is held in with 4 screws.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobertbarker View Post

Well the side is a door that latches magnetically, and the plexiglass on top can be pushed up from inside. So, very easy. The entire top only used about a dozen screws, so it's very easy to access and upgrade. The motherboard tray is held in with 4 screws.
Very nice..Man this truly is amazing haha!
Wrecking Ball.
(18 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K Asus p8z68-v/gen 3 Asus 670 top 16 GB (total) G.skill ripjaws 1333mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate 1TB 7200rpm HDD Crucial M4 256GB ASUS 24x CD/DVD drive Corsair H80i 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 home viewsonic 27 inch 1ms response Corsair AX750 NZXT Switch 810 
MouseAudioAudio
razer deathadder turtle beach x12 Sennheiser HD280 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 3770k ASUS p8z68-vpro/gen3 Gigabyte 7950 3gb Gigabyte 7950 3gb 
RAMRAMHard DriveCooling
GSkill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz G skill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz Crucial M4 512gb ssd Corsair H100i 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Auria 1440P 27" IPS Ducky OCN Cherry MX blue Silverstone 1000w NZXT switch 810 
Audio
ASUS xonar DG 
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Wrecking Ball.
(18 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K Asus p8z68-v/gen 3 Asus 670 top 16 GB (total) G.skill ripjaws 1333mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate 1TB 7200rpm HDD Crucial M4 256GB ASUS 24x CD/DVD drive Corsair H80i 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 home viewsonic 27 inch 1ms response Corsair AX750 NZXT Switch 810 
MouseAudioAudio
razer deathadder turtle beach x12 Sennheiser HD280 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 3770k ASUS p8z68-vpro/gen3 Gigabyte 7950 3gb Gigabyte 7950 3gb 
RAMRAMHard DriveCooling
GSkill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz G skill Ripjaws X 8gb 2133mhz Crucial M4 512gb ssd Corsair H100i 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Auria 1440P 27" IPS Ducky OCN Cherry MX blue Silverstone 1000w NZXT switch 810 
Audio
ASUS xonar DG 
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Reply
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's another shot of the original table, this shows more clearly why I think mine turned out better. My computer is a lot neater, and my stain is much clearer, though his is still very impressive.

http://media.techeblog.com/images/coffee-table-computer.jpg
post #9 of 13
Awesome!!! biggrin.gif great end result...
I don't understand why you have that keyboard so low, down there. (?)
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanlabrie View Post

Awesome!!! biggrin.gif great end result...
I don't understand why you have that keyboard so low, down there. (?)

It's really just where I store the keyboard. You can sit it in your lap, and I have a wireless Xbox controller I use to play games on it
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