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[Build Log] Downsizing to the Air 540 + No bends PETG loop: Modding required

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have been planning to move to a newer case now for a while. It all became necessary when my motherboard started butting against a newly installed radiator. Here's what my poor equipment looks like in the TJ09.




Shortly after I bought the Air 540 and starting posting in the 540 owners thread. Since then I have come up with a list of tasks that need to be accomplished in order for my new case to be a proper replacement for my old one. My first and second posts can be found HERE

My main inspiration for taking this so far is Kier's 540 MBK build found HERE
This guy has absolutely stunning skill working with metal. I'm amazed and I can only pray that mine looks half as good as his when it's done.

Why I'm switching cases:
-The TJ09 has no cable management
-The TJ09 only accepts 120mm fans
-The TJ09 is almost 2 feet tall
-The TJ09 has no USB3
-The TJ09's back door no longer closes cleanly because of modifications necessary to fit it to a 280mm radiator.

Why I'm modifying the new case:
-Low structural integrity
-Low case alloy quality
-Construction design and material lends to amplification of resonant frequencies, low amounts of heat transfer between compartments, and misguided air flow that seeps in between cracks of the case walls.
-I have 3 3.5 inch drives and the case only provides room for two.

What I'm going to do:
-Cut an additional 5.25 window from the front panel for a 5.25 inch, 3.5in drive hot swap bay.
-Cut out the cheap 140 fan mounts and obstructing 120 mounts from all air ports
-Modify(Cut) the bent 3.5 tray framing from the base to prepare for some pending changes
-Line motherboard with 1.5mm 7075 aluminum alloy-Cut and prep cable access-Line that with dynamat
-Line base in .5mm 6062 and reinforce with 1.5mm 6062-Decide on an additional intake-Line that with dynamat
-Line front panel in .5mm 6062-Cut and prep intake port, testfit fans-Line that with dynamat
-Line the top panel in .5mm 6062-Cut and prep exhaust port, testfit fans-Line that with dynamat
-Fab a heat shield/SSD mounting plate for the drive compartment with 1.5mm 7075-Rivet some threads to the shield and test fit to case
-Paint it black
-Seal it clear
-Drill and rivet down the liners
-Cut the fascia, cry because of my shaky hands.

I'm moving to the design stage now after writing that second post and purchasing some tools and materials, my Westward swivel head rivet gun will be here tomorrow for example. I can't wait to get started and be finished! Anyways here's what she looks now, it's kind of a depressing photo haha. Like I said in my post on the owners thread, this was ten minutes after it came through my front door. Notice the fans missing, its because they're in the garbage. xD

A major roadblock for me currently is getting an additional Air 540 5.25 drive bay, please if anyone can help me get one I will pay for it. PM me PLEASE!
Like I said, designs soon.
Cheers
Edited by BrooD - 1/29/16 at 10:08pm
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 
Things I bought for the build:
-The Corsair Air 540
-3 additional Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-2000s
-More artic silver 5
-A complete set of Silverstone PP06 fully sleeved cables
-A Dremel 4200
-A Westward 5TUR2 rivet gun
-Hex mounted drill bits
-1/8 inch aluminum rivets
-Non-ferrous cutting dies for the dremel
-A tungsten-carbide bit for cleaning the die cuts.
-18sq.ft of .5mm thick 6062 aluminum alloy
-Liquitex carbon black spray paint
-3M 1601 insulating enamel spray
-18" steel hammer point shank for shaping the aluminum

Things I have yet to purchase:
-1.5mm 7075 aerospace grade alloy for the SSD mount/heat shield and motherboard tray lining.
-Air 540 5.25 drive bay
-2x5.25 (3x3.5) actively air cooled hotswap drive cage.
-Threaded nut rivets

Things to record for later:
Air cooled GPU is making me sad
Open loop coolers are making me happy
Edited by BrooD - 1/29/16 at 11:12pm
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Update heeuh

So I was way more busy this weekend than I thought I was going to be, really disappointing progress...
Anyways I got home late tonight and made myself do something. I downloaded a CAD model of the case to start drawing up my liners, but the file I found wont draw to Inventors sketch program so I abandoned that for now and got out my sketch pad and some tape. I wanted to make it as similar to the other 5.25 bay as possible but the dimensions made it impossible to line up symmetrically, so its offset in the -x about 5mm. Check it out.

I made way for the support tabs on the top, bottom and one side. If I ever find someone who will part with their 5.25 drive bay I'll ask if they can give me their bay support bracket too. I also had to choose a full set of fascia snaps that would need to be removed. Since the left side of the fascia is screwed down and the right side isn't, I chose the inside snap clip to remove. That should minimize much loss of strength in the connection between the pieces. It's certainly better than losing two.

I just started cutting but it's 1am and people started screaming out their windows because I live in an apartment complex haha. I'll have to try again when everyone isn't asleep.

Oh I also finally purchased a drive cage for the new bay. I went with the Vantec 3 in 1
The 70mm fan doesn't make me the happiest but I'll see what's out their for replacements. This drive cage was one of very few that wasn't made a cheaply as possible, it's housed in a sealed aluminum unit and contains three solid aluminum trays each containing spring assisted drive balances to keep my platters sitting pretty.
Edited by BrooD - 2/1/16 at 1:42am
post #4 of 29
Looks fun. I do love my Air 540.
post #5 of 29
Drive bay? Explain because I don't use drives tongue.gif
Ryzen wide awake
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AMD 1700 MSI TomaHawk Arctic ASUS RX 470 Strix Gskill TridentZ RGB 3600 c16 
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3tb hgst Mushkin 128gb ssd eco2 Corsair H110 Alphacool 280mm st30 
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ek evo block Win 10 MSI 27" 144hertz 1080p FREESYNC 1byone blue kailh one hand 
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Ryzen wide awake
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1700 MSI TomaHawk Arctic ASUS RX 470 Strix Gskill TridentZ RGB 3600 c16 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
3tb hgst Mushkin 128gb ssd eco2 Corsair H110 Alphacool 280mm st30 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
ek evo block Win 10 MSI 27" 144hertz 1080p FREESYNC 1byone blue kailh one hand 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX750 white paracord sleeved Corsair Air 540 logitech g403 wireless Glorious Pc XXL extended 36x18 
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post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldeio View Post

Drive bay? Explain because I don't use drives tongue.gif
I wouldn't either if I could get high cap SSDs, however until I can do so my 4TBs drives are indispensable. Working/scratch files, version controlled files, music, video, large PSDs, Large ZTLs.
If you used your computer like I do then you might need more space than SSDs can provide.

I decided I shouldn't rely on other people to provide the extra bay so I bought two Case Labs 5.25 flex bays
That should work. I'll fold some aluminum and rivet them together when I have the hot swap cage in my possession.
post #7 of 29
Nice plan, keep going dood!
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Update




The plan to roll braces for the drive bay didn't work, the outside edge was too weak and it rolled inside my edge and the inside edge was butted against a riveted edge on the opposite side of the front wall. I had to stop because of the time but I measured and the bay isn't wide enough. I'll have to cut out the bit I rolled over to make the space.

I had some time to do some more planning... I thought about making fan cradles for the top and front air ports. So I bought around 100" of 6063 1" square tubing. Along with 5 more Noctua a14 iPPC2000 ip67s. These fans have a width of .98 inches, the 1inch wide tubing is .06 inches thick. I concluded a fan would fit in there after cutting a wall off but that's without having the parts in my hands so unless that changes I'll run two rails along the top and then run the span down the front of the case. Here I'm going to cut out all the mounts and add room for 420 spacing. I haven't decided whether I'm going to rivet it in to place yet. It would make getting the fans out a pain but rivets can be drilled... Anyways more in a bit.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey Overclock
I'm going kind of crazy waiting for my parts, and so today I was thinking how badly I needed a hand brake to bend some of the pieces of aluminum for the liner. I decided to see what I had laying around after work, and now I'm going to show you an easy way to make one DIY style. You can tell it's DIY because of the kitchen sink. xD
It all starts as a plan with me. Though it didn't turn out exactly like the picture, I think the result is pretty good. Won't do 90 degree bends because I couldnt find a smaller corner brace for the actuating piece. That and I need to run to a hardware store to get some longer carriage bolts so that I can adjust the fulcrum. Anyways enjoy, and all my stuff will be here by Thursday! Can't wait.















I planned on making it just 18" wide but ended up with 24" wide. This should be strong enough to bend a lot thicker sheet metal than I'll be getting. Sweet.
Edited by BrooD - 2/3/16 at 2:38am
post #10 of 29
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