After cutting the front and back panel to their final size, they were finished off with a 1/4" round-over.
It was a nice day out and since polishing is noisy, messy and I need lots of light to see what I am doing, I took everything outside. I'll be breaking out the big tools for this step. Here's what I need to polish.
And my angle grinder converted to a buffer.
Clamped the piece to a saw horse and went at it.
When using overpowered tools like that for acrylic, you need a light touch and you have to keep moving. If you stay too long in one spot it's nothing but bad news. I am also using a white compound I normally use for polished aluminum. It cuts more than compounds like jewelers rouge people normally polish acrylic with so I finished this step in no time. It also helps to be thorough when sanding. I find when I use this method to polish, I only need to sand down to 400 grit which also speeds up the process. After an hour I've polished all the edges I can reach with my 9" angle grinder.
I tried to get some up close shots of the polished edges outside, but it is just too bright out.
Time to go inside and work on the small holes and the smaller pieces that couldn't be done with the big buffer. I find I need two different Dremel accessories to polish acrylic. The first step is to use the hard cone shaped one to buff out the sanding marks and then I follow up with a soft drum buff to shine it up.
First, you sand it down to 400 grit.
After polishing with the hard buff it looks like this.
Then you shine it up with the soft one.
Repeat too many times.
For small pieces like the dvd mount and the cable management pieces I used a less aggressive wheel chucked into my drill.
And everything is polished.
On my way home from work tomorrow I'll pick up some clips to secure the PSU extension cord. After I clean up my work area the next step can be started: gluing everything together. After that is done I can finish up the cover. Once I paint the PSU, I/O panel, fan grills and a couple other small pieces the major work will be done. After that all I have to do is rewire the PSU and assemble. I can see the finish line, it's starting to get exciting!
Picked up some cable thingies and routed the power cord.
I cleaned up the workshop and laid out my pieces.
This acrylic was on clearance at Delvies. It was apparently quite old and the paper is really hard to take off, they claimed it was near impossible. But I have a little trick.
Soak a rag in it and wipe the paper down. Wait a couple minutes and the paper backing comes right off. If you don't soak it in mineral spirits it will rip off in small pieces. I removed the backing and cleaned up a couple piece to get ready for gluing.
Weld-on #3 is my friend. All the strength of #4 but dries to a decent bond within a minute or two. 80% strength still takes a few days. Now to glue the rear panel on.
Here's a shot of the front panel soaking in mineral spirits and more gluing.
Bonded the PSU mount and the fan mounts.
Some glamor shots and installed a few components for a test fit.
Now it's time for a sneak pick into my cabling plans. I wanted all white PSU cabling, but I didn't want to buy white sleeving from MDPC-X. So since I will already needed to adjust cable lengths, I just bought some white wire and will just rewire the whole PSU. That's the reason I purchased the Silverstone Strider Plus. It's a reasonably good performer, but most importantly it has fully modular cables making the rewiring job easier.
I need to force myself to let the case sit for a day or two for the bonds to strengthen up. I might try to paint the aluminum pieces in the meantime.Edited by shinji2k - 6/12/10 at 9:46pm