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Building a frame out of Aluminum stock?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know several of you "bigtime" modders can probably help me figure something out, so if you can, please indulge me.

I aquired some flat aluminum @ 8' x 1/8" x 1.5" Also a "stick" of 1" angle, plus had some 3/8" x 1/2" x 4' angle. I have a desire to build a project I have in my mind, that has to be very light in weight. Is this a good way to go about this? What I want is a cube type of frame, similair in size to an Ultra or any other case like that. will the Aluminum and rivets/6/32 or 8/32 bolts and lock washers/nuts work ok? I know from stiffening up a regular case with some of the smaller angel, that it's pretty sold afterwards...

Yeah, I'm a dolt.
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post #2 of 21
i dunno about rivets, but the bolts should be okay. i also have some aluminum they use for rack cases, and they hold up very very well with bolts.

for designing. im not a designer, im only a builder
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can design it just fine, I just thought more people would have some thoughts on whether it was a good idea to make my own.

Thanks tna
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post #4 of 21
If you think you can do it you might as well give it a shot. As long as you are not planning on banging around the thing rivets will work just fine - that's all that the case manufacturers use, after all.

I would also recommend 10/32 if you're going to use bolts just because that's standard size for cabinet hardware, which means that if you want to add handles you can just buy some from any hardware store no problem.

As far as tools, I would recommend a Klein nibbler, a set of long metal files, and a smallish chopsaw with a metal blade,sharpies, tape- measures, builders square, and drill and bits.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks Jarhead. I have all the tools I need in my shop. Even have handles already.

I was planning on doing at least 2 rivets on each "side" where I attach the pieces, so it wouldn't have much if any room to move.

Last night going through a box of picture frames, I came across 3 brushed aluminum frames that are just about the right size for the overall case. I thought I'd drill holes and rivet them to secure them, then use the angled stock from there. That'd save me much work right off the bat.

With the finish I plan on putting on it, if it get's banged, someone's gonna get a foot somewhere they don't want it.

thanks for your reply.
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post #6 of 21
lobi,

I have experiences of how to build a frame for accomondating equipment and devices for overclock player. It needs not any rivets for strengthen but he frame itself is stronge and flexible enought to hold a lot of items you would like to hold. I attached a picture of the aluminium frame that I built. Give me a reply to see if it is what you are wanting?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobi View Post
I know several of you "bigtime" modders can probably help me figure something out, so if you can, please indulge me.

I aquired some flat aluminum @ 8' x 1/8" x 1.5" Also a "stick" of 1" angle, plus had some 3/8" x 1/2" x 4' angle. I have a desire to build a project I have in my mind, that has to be very light in weight. Is this a good way to go about this? What I want is a cube type of frame, similair in size to an Ultra or any other case like that. will the Aluminum and rivets/6/32 or 8/32 bolts and lock washers/nuts work ok? I know from stiffening up a regular case with some of the smaller angel, that it's pretty sold afterwards...

Yeah, I'm a dolt.
That is one of my favorite mediums.

I use rivets unless I need a part to be removable.

3/16" medium rivets wrok great for the size stock ou have. You will need a 3/16" drill bit and drill.

I usually cut the stuff up on a power mitre (Chop Saw)

You can make it rigid witout x braces by pop riveting 1/8" acrylic panels to the frame. That will square it up and keep it from collapsing.

You drill and tap that angle for stand-offs or 6-32 machine screws and mount the mobo that way...ditto you can drill some of the flat stock to mount up to the HDDs and ODDs.

Sometimes I get lazy and just use Industrial doublesided tape to hold drives in place.
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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
nice, I like that kind of "stock", but it looks expensive, thanks man.

The idea here was to build with what I had available, which means it had to be cheap or free. Most of what I had on hand was free. The only thing not free was the time, labor, hardware (screws & rivets & misc tools) gas...

Here's what I got so far. I mocked it up with 6/32 3/4" machine screws and lock nuts, then aligned it better, and went to town with some hefty rivets. The good thing about Harbor Freight is their tools are cheap. The bad thing about Harbor Freight is that their tools are cheap. 50ish rivets so far.

This frame is super light so far, and with the smaller p/s it's even lighter.

Here's what I ended up with -
Using a very few pieces of Aluminum stock:

1 - 1"x1" 1/8" angle 6ft. long. (given to me)

1 - 1/2"x3/4"x1/16" 4ft. long - actually used very little of this, with one more smaller piece to be used for PCI card brackets. (bought)

1 - 1/8"x1 1/2" 6ft. long. (This was given to me years ago. Now I know why.)

2 - Brushed Aluminum picture frames - salvaged from a previous employer throwing them out. Again, now I know why I saved them(?).










I know there's lots of work to do, including filing down the very rough edges on some of the support pieces.
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post #9 of 21
Good work
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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks CD, I saw after I posted. I actually used 1/8"x5/8" rivets and they're all holding very strong. I've got something else planned for the mobo "tray", trying to stick to mostly all aluminum. But have to get a 6/32 tap. Maybe I could just drill the hole and screw a screw in to tap it out?

I'm rushin' myself to get something done before tomorrow. Gonna be a long slow build, soon I'll think about switching over to a mod worklog. Can I call it a mod? hmmmm

A few notes -
The two squarish holes on the bottom front are just in case I decide to put
fans there. They would fit into the overall design, should I go with fans.

There will be an exaust fan above and behind the DVD-R. Size to be
determined.

I totally got lucky measuring for the p/s on the back frame. The small one I
want to use is just the right width for that opening. I just need to cut
another piece to fill in above, or maybe not, since there will be an
outer "shell" on this case.
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