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Sabriel XT10 (Antec 900) - Page 5

post #41 of 188
I painted my A900, didn't let the paint dry for days, most of it is fine but the HDD bays really love to scratch >_< so watch out for those. But this looks like a really neat idea I might even re-do mine lol, leaning towards a Corsair 800D though... that case is just <3
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post #42 of 188
Thread Starter 

Rawr.
No, that's not a cute rawr, that's a rawr as the politest thing I can think of to express my annoyance with triggering the censor.


Main Body
With the scratches on the main body of the case, I decided that finishing the case quickly was more important than a perfect finish. So I lightly sanded the areas around the scratches with some 800 and then 1200 (I have no idea why I did that), and painted right over it in those areas.
While I waited for it to dry, one of the wet edges got stuck to the newspaper I sat it on. By the time I realised, it was too late. As I removed it, the paper ripped and was stuck to the paintwork. Removing the paper took the paint with it.

So I sprayed that area with primer, let it dry for a few hours (it was in the sun, hot day, I made a judgement call and it worked out alright) and then painted over it.

Side Panel
At the same time, I gave the side panel a wet sand with 800/1200 and then another light coat. That turned out really really nice.

Today, I decided to paint my logo onto it. So after a few painstaking hours, trying to get it perfectly centred, I took it out to the shed and started painting the red right on the black.

First sign of trouble - it wasn't as vibrant as I expected it to be. The last time I used this paint, it was on grey primer and it immediately showed up as a beautiful bright red but on the black it didn't.
I persevered. Gave it another two coats at 10-15 minute intervals, then waited 30 minutes for the final very light spray. Again, I don't know why I did that, but I also did it on the black yesterday and that turned out perfect.

Now, I know that there is no environment in my house which is even close to ideal for painting. It's like I have invisible clouds in every room that just rain dust. The shed isn't much better - little specks of dirt/wood/dust always fly on to the paint while it's still wet. So to counter it, I had a fan nearby. I did it with the black too, no problem. I simply put the fan to the side of the panel and faced it towards the panel so that any dirt that comes close just gets pushed aside before it can touch the paint.
Hey - it kept it clean.

So, I sprayed it red, 3 times flat and the final light spray while it was standing (leaning back on a box). And I left it . A few hours under the hot sun with a nice constant breeze from the fan, and it was done. I took the stencil off. Looked good... until I noticed the flaw staring right at me. And now, it's the only thing I can see when I look at it.

There were a few parts of the stencil, which I'd made out of a cereal box, which were raised off the panel. So, to prevent that from ruining the design, I put some masking tape underneath it in a few key locations to hold it down.

When I took the stencil off, I immediately noticed that there was a lot of spray around the shape. If you've ever used Photoshop's "Outer Glow" layer style, you'll know exactly what I mean. It looked fantastic. But in trying to prevent a screw-up, I screwed it up. The masking tape from those 4 key locations had done their job and prevented the paint from getting through - and their locations are blatantly outlined by the absence of spray/glow.

The spray/glow isn't uniform either, so in some places there's too much, in others there's none at all. Where there's none or a little bit of spray, it's great, but on the more intricate parts, there's too much. I'm not sure how well the photo's will convey this but I'll give it a try.

In addition, the fan blew a lot of spray onto the main body of the case and the entire case floor and some of the edges had gone red. I got most of it off with a cloth, then got some more off by washing it. The bit that is still there will stay there.

I'm just not happy. Really not happy.

[Re-]Painting
A perfect Brilliant Black and then a screwed up application of Laser Red

Hidden Text Below! (Click to show)

Brilliant Black
Doesn't look so black in the sunlight


[A]
Alt title - Spot the mistakes [Multiple Photos]


The flash killed the spray, so it looks kinda embossed and what it would have looked like if it had no spray at all as I had originally intended




Close up


So, it looks like I've got no choice but to sand the entire panel down to bare metal again and start from scratch.

Rawr.


Edited by [Adz] - 1/20/12 at 7:07pm
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post #43 of 188
Why not make your stencil out of just masking tape? (when the black coating has dried for about 4+ days). make sure you don't over do the red paint, but fine, far away layers and then leave that to dry before taking off the tape

Really like the black, it just seems to like shine better than the stock Antec paint
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post #44 of 188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thealex132 View Post
Why not make your stencil out of just masking tape? (when the black coating has dried for about 4+ days). make sure you don't over do the red paint, but fine, far away layers and then leave that to dry before taking off the tape

Really like the black, it just seems to like shine better than the stock Antec paint

I was thinking of that, but I have no idea how to actually do it right. The way I did it this time was to print off my logo on normal paper, stick it a cereal box and then cut it out.

If I cover the panel in masking tape and then cut it, I'll probably scratch the metal as I'm cutting.
If I just temporarily stick the masking tape to the cutting board, cut out my logo and then put it on the case, it'll be damn near impossible for me to get it perfectly centred. My lack of fine motor skills makes accuracy to the millimetre impossible.

How about corrugated cardboard...like an Amazon box?

It shines better because it's quite a glossy paint. I got it from the car shop, it's one of Audi's colours


Edited by [Adz] - 1/20/12 at 7:07pm
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post #45 of 188
Adz,

You need to make you spay template large enough that it is easy to index and give yourself some placement guides on the side panel itself. For example, say you where to make you logo into a rectangle or square exactly the size of the widest parts. Say that is 12" wide x 10" high. Now, set up a layer of overlapping blue tape larger than 13"x11". Trim that to 13x11. Now draw your logo centered on that. You can also print out the logo as before and temporarily tape it to the tape. Now cut through the logo, through the tape and into your cutting board.

Now for placement. The top of your 13x11 template has the center marked. on your case, position a piece of tape 1/2" high than you want the logo (cause your template is 1" bigger over all). Have it run straight across the case. Measure from the top or bottom of the case and both sides, stick the tape at one mark, pull it really tight and position it at the other. This should be pretty straight and it will be square since you measure from both sides. Now mark the center of your case. Then, take you cutout template and align the top edge with the bottom of the tape on the panel and align your center marks. You can use the same technique of pulling the template tight and carefully positioning it. Since its tape, if you start it wrong, pull up and try again. Now carefully, roll the template down and press it down, trying to do this evenly.

If you want the logo centered differently than "centered", use whatever marks you need on the case to align a pattern o a known size.

One final trick, use your finger nail or a blunt object like a popsicle stick to press down all the edges of the template. If you don't do this, no matter how good it looks, you will get some places where the paint bleeds under.

Good luck!
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post #46 of 188
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I'm kinda lost with the second paragraph, but I kinda understand what you mean. If I'm understanding correctly, this is what you mean and should hopefully work:

- Cover the entire panel in masking tape, except for a square in which the logo will go. I'll use the numbers you said: 12" wide x 10" high. The centre 12" x 10" won't have masking tape on it.

- Create a 13" x 11" square of masking tape, put it on the cutting board and cut out my logo.

- Back on the case panel, mark out a square that is 13" x 11" and keeps a constant 1/2" distance from the 12" x 10" square.

- Stick the 13" x 11" square with the logo cutout into that location so that the stencil is perfectly centred.

Makes sense, and sounds so easy, even I should be able to do it
Thanks, +rep.

One question - after spraying, should I remove the stencil immediately or give it x amount of time? (where x = what??)
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post #47 of 188
That's about it. That method should work fine.

One word of caution, your template may pull out of square since so much is missing. Personally, I'd cut the template directly on the panel. A light touch with a brand new razor blade should be fine. If your cutting deep enough to really score the panel/paint, your cutting to deep.

Try practicing right now to see if that is feasable for you.Stick a few pieces of tape to a cutting board or something and experiment to see how much pressure you need. A couple of light passes is better than one heavy one. Also, since your cut is technically on the side of the tape edge that gets painted, the cut will no show.

As for how long to leave the template on, you want the paint just barely dry to the touch. The actual time will depend on they brand of paint and your temp/humidity. You can test the paint on the pattern to see.

Also, if the black is really, really dry (like weeks old), carefully scuff inside the template before you spray the red. Steelwool or a red Scotchbrite pad would work great. 400-600 grit sandpaper would also be fine. This will provide a good mechanical bond and prevent the red from peeling off with the template. If the black paint is fresh, within a week, then you will get a good chemical reaction between the red and black, so sanding is not essential, though you still can if you wan to.
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post #48 of 188
Thread Starter 
I just thought I'd update this. I am still working on this, but university is taking a lot of time from me so it's hard to actually do much.

Since my last update, I recoated the main chassis because of the red spray over it.
Also, my QX9650 was had a nasty scratch in it, so I had that replaced. The replacement has some minor scratches but I couldn't get 4.0GHz stable on air.
So, I now have a Q9650 which did 4GHz on air, with everything on auto.

Tomorrow, I have an exam. After which, I intend to clear coat the main chassis and practice cutting the stencil out of the right side panel without scratching the paint. Then I'll need to sand that down.

Also, I'm considering creating a new front panel out of the gloss black acrylic I have in order to accommodate my water cooling loop.
Yep, that's right. I decided get wet, so I went with a nice introduction to watercooling kit: XSPC Rasa 750 RS240 kit.
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post #49 of 188
Thread Starter 

Fortunately for me, university gives me a long weekend. I've got Friday afternoons off, and I'm free through until Tuesday mornings.

So I took advantage of that and got some work done on the case. It's been waiting for a recoat of black which I did last week, and since then it's been waiting for clear coat. So I reassembled the bulk of the main chassis (the only things that still remain are the PCIe/IO Panel, the PCIe slot covers and case doors).
When I reassembled it, I discovered a design flaw in my cable management.

Design Flaw

Hidden Text Below! (Click to show)

Assembled and painted




Needs some TLC


Whoops


Fixed


Yep, I forgot about the lid covering the hole I made for the 8pin ATX, so I spent a few hours filing my way through that. Which of course, roughed up the paint in the surrounding areas.
So I gave it yet another coat of black, and then the clear coat.

I spent today tidying my room because it's been a mess for far too long. I figured I might as well rearrange my power cables too, since I'm moving my computer from its original location in the back corner to the front right of the desk. All in all, most of my day was spent on that today, but it looks much better for it. Mum just walked into my room 5 minutes ago and was shocked, she hasn't seen my room this tidy for the last 6 months

Anyway, I put the pieces together loosely, and took photos of a Beta Assembly.

Beta Assembly

Hidden Text Below! (Click to show)

First Impressions
I still need to redo the side panel, but it's a rough idea what it'll look like


Queen at her throne




As stated, I need to redo the side panel, but my main priority was to get the system in a usable state. The panel can be done later when I have more time on my hands. But when someone walks into my room, it's the first thing they'll see. Also, they won't be able to see my monitor from across the hallway any more and I won't have my back half to the door, so I can't be sneaked up on any more while I have my headphones on.


Edited by [Adz] - 1/20/12 at 7:07pm
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As usual, long text post followed by photos. Skip to the end if you don't want to read the whole story

I bought a new camera in Amazon's Black Friday deals, so my photos should be much better. But I'll still resize them to 1600x900 so that it's consistent with the photos I've already taken.

This weekend, I painted the screws and hard drive mounts, but I'm not going to bother uploading those boring photos.
I spent Sunday evening/Monday morning (it's 3am on Monday at the moment) test fitting my gear. I know that fitting a 240 rad in an Antec 900 is not an easy task, especially if I wanna keep my hard drives mounted properly. So after a while, I figured it out.

I have a total of 9 drive bays to work with. 2 will be taken by the res/pump. 1 will be taken by the fan controller. That leaves 6 for the rad. Now I know from the stock Antec configuration that a single 120mm fan takes 3 bays, so it's logical to assume that a 240 rad will take 6 bays. Perfect. Except, it's not. More on that in a few minutes.

Now, I needed to figure out how to prevent the rad from jutting out past the front of the case. Normally, the bays are recessed approx 15mm, but because I need the additional space, I'm going to have it flush at the front.

So, I spent a few hours playing around with mounting the hard drives. I tried mounting it on the side, but much to my annoyance, I couldn't get it to work - the mounting holes would not align - they'd be out by half a millimetre in different directions so I couldn't get the screws in straight.
Which means I'm back to using the Nexus Doubletwins (hard drive mounts). But rather than mounting them fully with all three screws, I'm only using two. That means that I can have the hard drive about 1.5 inches further back than it normally would be. Excellent.

Back to fitting the rad. The rad+fan on the front comes flush to the front of the case and it's hitting the hard drive mounts. But I need to make the front cover which is another 3mm of acrylic. So the solution is the shave off the edges of the hard drive mounts. Yeah, it's not pretty, but it's the only solution I can come up with. I can lose 5-6mm off that which will give that room I need.

And now back to drive bay count. As I explained earlier, I've got a total of 9 bays and all of them get used up perfectly (1: fan controller, 2: res, 6: rad). The problem is that I didn't account for the inlet/outlet. That adds to the height and makes it too big to fit in the available slots.

I raged for a bit. But then I figured it out. There is the 1-inch bar with the Antec logo at the bottom where I was going to put the power button and usb ports. But now I have a better idea. I'm going to use that space to drop the fan controller, lowering the controller to the bottom of the case. That gives me the extra room I need for the rad.
But what about the power button and usb ports? I've thought of that too. Initially, I wanted to have the rad centred in the front. Instead, if I align that hard right, I have a mass of space running along the height of the rad where I can put anything I want.

Picture time.

Mockups

Hidden Text Below! (Click to show)

Front cover 1
This is the one that I originally intended to do, but the rad doesn't fit


Front cover 2
This is the new plan. I've got a sheet of frosted plexi sitting around. I might use it to make a backlit logo on the front of the case. If I've got the space, I might put my DVD drive in there, or possibly buy a slimline one to fit. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a slimline DVD drive that has LightScribe.


Test Fitting
Pretty much what I've been doing this evening. It's actually now 4:43 AM, so I've been here typing all of this and making those mockups above for nearly 2 hours


Hidden Text Below! (Click to show)

Full frontal nudity
This case is shameless . I've just got the rad sitting there, ignore it.


Closer
You can see what I mean about only mounting the hard drive on two screws rather than three.


It's too big
That's what she said If it didn't have that extra section for the inlet and outlet, it'd be useless, but at least it'd fit


I'm not raging now though. I'm actually quite happy about it - it's a better design now IMO.


Thinking about it... the res cover is brushed aluminium and so is the fan controller. Glossy black acrylic will look out of place
Where can I buy a sheet of 2mm black brushed aluminium in the UK?


Edited by [Adz] - 1/20/12 at 7:08pm
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asus Maximus V Gene Asus Radeon HD 7970 3GB Mushkin Blackline 16GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCaseOther
2x Samsung 830 256GB Seagate Barracuda 3TB Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E BeQuiet E9-700w 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 ASUS P8B75-MLX Corsair Ballistix Tactical Western Digital Red 
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Ubuntu Corsair CX500M Norco RPC-4224 LSI SAS 9207-4i4e HBA 
Other
Chenbro CK22804 24-Port SAS Expander Card 
  hide details  
Reply
Echo
(8 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asus Maximus V Gene Asus Radeon HD 7970 3GB Mushkin Blackline 16GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveCaseOther
2x Samsung 830 256GB Seagate Barracuda 3TB Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E BeQuiet E9-700w 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i3-3225 ASUS P8B75-MLX Corsair Ballistix Tactical Western Digital Red 
OSPowerCaseOther
Ubuntu Corsair CX500M Norco RPC-4224 LSI SAS 9207-4i4e HBA 
Other
Chenbro CK22804 24-Port SAS Expander Card 
  hide details  
Reply
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