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Discussion Starter #1
Back in Late march, early April, I came across this YouTube video of DSLR Video Shooter's Project. It was a good looking project that seemed fun and useful, and fairly cheap as I already had many parts laying around. So here is my take on it. I had 3.5" drives lying around rather than 2.5", which automatically made it different (powering them largely). So this will have 4 HDD and 2 SD Card Readers. This is not the best way of doing it component wise, but for me it was cheapest, and it is largely a test to see how my idea of a scratch build computer case will look (I'll give sneak peeks of drawings at the end). But we aren't here to talk, let's get to it!

MATERIALS:
1/2" x 8' x 1/16" aluminum angle
4' x 8' sheet metal
Reclaimed Wood
x4 Tie (Nail) Plate 3-1/8" x 5"
1/8" Pop Rivets
Flat Black Spray Paint

FIRST, Some drawings I made:


I've since tweaked the design. Originally I planned to use wood like he did, but I then saw the potential of sheet metal, and wanted to learn to use it, so I decided to go with a sheet of 4x8' sheet metal to work from. I then moved the SD card inserts to the top, otherwise it largely remained the same at this point. On to fabrication.

SECOND, I needed somewhere to actually mount the drives and didn't want to buy one of those expensive cages for $15-30. I made one from cut aluminum angle, tie plates, and rivets. The holes lined up perfectly on the tie plates with the hard drive. Just needed something for the hard drive to sit and slide on.


THIRD, Drew up some specs, then got to cutting. Cut out one piece with the front, left, and right side, with flaps on all sides for helping mount the top/bottom/back (and slits so the flaps could fold).


FOURTH, I got to bending the metal into shape.

After seeing how ill fitted a metal top would be, I was presented with the idea of wooden sides to hide the creases. A great idea! Though there were more creases on top, bottom, and back. So this launched the idea of a wooden top, bottom, and back to the case out of reclaimed wood (to be made).

FIFTH: now to test fit everything.

Everything fit beautifully, and after some cable management the inside won't look terrible, and still be fairly easy to access.

SIXTH: The Paint! Time to paint the case. I've started with the inside, and I am currently letting it dry to see how it looks. With the metal so smooth, I'll likely have to paint-sand-paint to get a nice, solid coat, then find a flat clear coat to protect it from scratches. But anyway, here is when I spray painted the inside:


That's all I have for now. Updates to come. This isn't exactly a COMPUTER case, but it IS a case. And it is from scratch. If it is off topic and not supposed to be posted, just shout (nicely) and I can move it to a better place or remove it completely. Don't worry too much though. Shot most of these with my phone really fast, so these photos are of questionable quality. The finished product will (hopefully) be so beautiful I'll break out my Nikon d7100 and lighting equipment! Until next time!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Alright, I need your help. I have tried 2 different styles of painting it flat black. I've used primer and paint, and this primer/paint combo. Both ways scuff/scratch WAY too easily (see first picture below)


I would normally use clear coat, but haven't been able to find any flat clear coat to protect it. I live in the Jackson, MS area and haven't been able to find anyone to powdercoat it. Anyone know of any way to coat/protect this flat black without making it glossy?
 

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BSME
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you can try clear + sanding combinations to give it that matte look while still protecting it

cool idea and kudos for going with the metal!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sanding the gloss down isn't a bad idea! I'll have to try that. I'll have more pictures soon of the stained wood and the painted body. I've currently gone with a Satin Black finish, for that provides decent protection while still low gloss. I'll have to try your idea though, and redo it if it works well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Onward it goes! I've gotten some old wood, and I'm lightly sanding it. I ran out of sandpaper for my electric sander though, so doing it the old-fashioned way! Below you see the stain trials (a piece I cut split so I used it for testing), the bottom left is heavily sanded (crazy how beautiful a beat up board can become), bottom right is lightly sanded, and top is not sanded at all. For this project, I like the rougher look of the lightly sanded piece.


Previously, I was having trouble with the flat black paint being FAR too easy to scuff, so I tried a satin black, and it works well. Not too much of a glow about it, but noticeably harder and more protected. I do intend to try out dirty elf's suggestion, though, about sanding the clear coat to make it matted. Here is the paint and stain I used:


And here is how the colors look together!


It's finally coming together, though I still have to make some miter cuts on the wood, and make the holes for the PSU, USB, Fan, and intake vent. Stay Tuned!
 
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