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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #1
Welcome to my very first SCRATCH BUILD!
I hope I can produce a decent quality product as I have seen tons of insanely good works of art created by many more experienced builders, but it all takes practice and I feel that I can pull this one off.

My concept is a small end table made from 1/2" oak plywood that will be 24" wide x 18" deep x 24" tall (if I am remembering correctly) and it will contain 2 drawers and an open bottom cubby. The top surface will also have a plexi or real glass square to view inside.
I plan to try and build the end table without the use of any screws, instead I will use wood glue and dowel rods.
The top drawer will house the majority of the PC, but the PSU and optical drive will actually be hanging underneath the top drawer and extend into the space of the bottom drawer. The lower cubby will likely house my wireless aio printer.
To keep it clean and simple I am going for a white and black theme.

A bit of background:
I have had the idea for quite some time now, but I don't have a way to work on it at my current apartment.
I have spent a lot of time modeling it in Inventor and making changes and all of the real work I get done is when I visit my parents (most of my large tools are there plus the space to work).
It's going to be awhile before I visit them again so there is down time in between trips. I hope to get as much done as I can every time I visit, but not at the expense of poor craftsmanship.
With the down time I try to map out the little details and still have a few odds and ends to purchase. I am also considering trying to work on little pieces at my place and not make too much mess or noise, every bit should help.
*Edit: I now have some pieces at my apartment and am committed to work on them as much as possible so I can get this build done sooner*

This PC is more of a budget build that I put together a year ago when I had the initial design drawn up and hoped to be constructing this desk much sooner. Luckily the sacrificial case I bought has worked well to keep things running and usable all this time.
It is a low use secondary PC that currently gets used for Netflix/Hulu in my bedroom on random nights, but was also planned to be an extra mediocre gaming PC if I have anyone over that wants to mess around on something.
It has also been fun to tinker with Linux Mint for a short while as I have never tried a Linux OS before, but I haven't really put any time in learning how to use Linux so I have only scratched the surface there.
I installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a partition to see what it was like before launch and have since been running the now live Win10 Pro that it upgraded into and have been using that the majority of the time I boot it up.
Lastly, I was intrigued by the overclockability of a budget chip (G3258) and wanted to give that a try so I had to get the remaining components to allow me to test out the chip.
Unfortunately since it is a budget build, I had to go with a basic air cooler. I would like the aesthetics of an AIO and will hopefully swap one in later, but for now this will do.
I would really like to have tried out a true water cooled setup since I haven't had the luxury of one yet and they look awesome, but that certainly wouldn't have been cheap.
Maybe just a simple CPU loop can be put in some day, but then again my main gaming rig would likely be a better choice to spend any money on water cooling.
If you happen to come across a closeout deal of WC parts at insane discounts, let me know and maybe I will squeeze it into the build
biggrin.gif


The Components:
CPU - Intel Pentium G3258
Mobo - Asus Z87 Gryphon with Thermal Armor Kit
Ram - 8GB HyperX Fury 1866 (White)
GPU - XFX R7 250X (received from an RMA of my old GTX260 that died)
PSU - Corsair CS450M
Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper T4
Wireless AC Card - TP-LINK Archer T9E AC1900
HDD - 150 GB 10k rpm WD VelociRaptor (from my very first PC)
SSD - 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO
Case - Custom Wooden End Table (with a mobo tray from a sacrificial case)
Intake Fans - 2x 140mm Phanteks PH-F140MP
LEDs - CableMod WideBeam LED Strips Thanks to their event on OCN and sponsorship of my build.
Custom Sleeved Extensions - CableMod ModMesh (Black and White)
Sleeved SATA Data Cables - CableMod ModMesh (Black and White)

Renderings of the End Table:
The following are from Autodesk Inventor, I haven't really used the realistic rendering side of it much so they images probably aren't the best, but they get the point of the design across.

Top Drawer:



Bottom Drawer:

Base Cabinet:

Assembly:



Final Comments
I think this will be a lot of fun and turn out to be a pretty slick and unique build. I welcome anyone to follow along with me and provide feedback, ask questions, or just enjoy the journey.
It'd be great to see that I am bringing some enjoyment to my followers and even better if I end up inspiring someone to give a custom build a try.
I hope to do a decent job with the build log itself as well and make it easy to follow and provide plenty of photos of the milestones, this part is also new to me so I may have to edit my posts a few times.
Lastly, as of now I don't have quite everything figured out yet or purchased (such as what specific power button I want to use and where to put it) so I may ask for some general thoughts on those things throughout the process.

Thanks for checking this out and I hope you enjoy!

**Edit: I welcome and thank the generosity of https://cablemod.com/ for sponsoring my build.**
 

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Looks like it will work out nicely.

I'm not sure if the psu and hdd hanging from the top draw will work you won't be able to open the top draw without them hitting the front of the lower draw.

You might also want to think about the cables exiting from the rear io panel.
When you open the draw the cables will get pulled.
Some extension cables that are hidden behind the draw would work but will add some complexity.

I would go with a glass top, acrylic is cheaper but will get scratched easily.

Are you going to paint it white?
 

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EhmayWuntee
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1,419 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holst View Post

Looks like it will work out nicely.

I'm not sure if the psu and hdd hanging from the top draw will work you won't be able to open the top draw without them hitting the front of the lower draw.

You might also want to think about the cables exiting from the rear io panel.
When you open the draw the cables will get pulled.
Some extension cables that are hidden behind the draw would work but will add some complexity.

I would go with a glass top, acrylic is cheaper but will get scratched easily.

Are you going to paint it white?
I should be able to open both drawers at the same time if I need to open it that far, kind of like the last final assembly photo. The only time I would imagine opening it is for a quick cleaning. Also I could pull the glass insert out and go from the top down if I need to access something, but thanks for being sure I was aware of it.

I am not following the cables in the rear io panel issue. The only ones that I should have back there are keyboard, mouse, and monitor cables which should have more then enough slack for an opened drawer (PSU power too, but thats not the io panel). Everything else like SATA cables and what not will all be internally fed.

I agree glass is likely the smart way to go and honestly probably not that much more expensive. I used acrylic on an old bar shelf I made (I will edit this and post a pic of it) which has held up just fine, but I also just have things resting on it so it doesn't exactly get a chance to scratch. Plus if I get a custom piece of glass I could have them put a nice bevel edge on it or something for a better look.

Yes, I plan to use a white enamel paint in some form of gloss finish (after a primer coat) and already have the drawer pulls purchased which are similar to my design, a simple black metal circle.
The cheap sacrificial case I purchased to cut out the mobo tray I made sure had the interior in black metal as opposed to some cases with silver interiors so it will fit into the black and white theme well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alltheGHz View Post

Wow this looks neat, it reminds me of the ikea server farm shelf mod.
Thanks, ya someone mentioned the Ikea cabinets previously and that was the first time I had ever seen them, they do look pretty neat.
I unfortunately have never been to an Ikea store to see what all they have to offer, but I do see/hear of many OCN users that have utilized Ikea's products for various things especially table tops and legs for a quick and rather decent looking desk option.

*Edit: Below is some info and pics of the bar shelf I mentioned.*
I made this to be a floating bar shelf, but seeing as how I am currently in an apartment, I cant exactly secure it to the studs. Luckily I have a mantle above the fireplace that worked out nicely to rest it on.
It is painted in basically the same type of paint I plan to use for this end table.

I am sure just about everyone has seen the RGB LED strips by now and how they have patterns to change colors or can select a specific color etc so I wont post 20 pictures to prove that mine does this, I will just show the basic white and then a single color to get the idea across. There is also an up close photo to show the strip housed in the inner frame and under acrylic. Plus you can see my Christmas dogs protecting the shelf
smile.gif

Now if only I could find someone with more expensive bottles of liquor that they are finished with to really make it look fancy, I cant justify spending $200+ on a bottle of Patron Gran Platinum or other things like that so I'd have to get lucky from someone else.



 

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EhmayWuntee
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1,419 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Finally able to post my first update for the project.
thumbsupsmiley.png


Unfortunately it has been raining like crazy at my parents house, I think they forecasted almost a foot of rain over the weekend, the golf course near by is now a lake and I am sure every other low spot is under multiple feet of water.
This has caused me to try and work in the garage which isn't as ideal and is slowing me down a bit. I also lost a bit of time trying to setup my old belt sander that I got from my grandfather many years back, one piece is broken and I couldn't figure out how to get it off so it wouldn't rattle and move all over.
After too much wasted time trying different ways to remove it, I think the bolt is stripped for the part i need to remove, I just went with the simple fix of duct tapping it in place.
I also was unable to acquire some fresh sanding belts, the local Lowes was out of 80 grit that I wanted and even said its other 2 nearest locations were out as well.
It was raining too hard to travel another 20 minutes to a Home Depot and Walmart doesn't carry belts over 18 inches (I need 4x36).
Lowes did have 36 grit and maybe 120, which i didn't want either. I imagine 36 would just chew through everything very quickly and might be designed for stone or tile? I can't imaging needing to use 36 on wood...
120 was too fine, I have a handheld block and paper for the finer grits so I was stuck with my only piece of partially used 80 grit on the belt already.
I really need to get a random orbital sander or palm sander, but I am hoping to get a cordless one that matches my new tools that I will show in a moment, they don't make one yet though.
I also need some wood files and more long clamps to make things easier, I will try and remember those for next time.

Here is a quick photo I took of the belt sander:


As I briefly mentioned earlier, I got myself some fancy new tools for Christmas which will come in handy for this project.
I got the newest Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drill/Driver and Impact Driver combo kit along with an M18 Jig Saw, I am very happy with the quality of these and hope they last me for many many years.
This is where I was hoping a palm or random orbital sander will be made so it matches the battery line I just bought into otherwise I will likely find a corded one at some point.
Here is a photo I took of the drill and jig saw I was using:


So now onto the actual progress thus far.

I mentioned earlier that I already had most of the parts rough cut on a previous trip, you can see it wasn't the cleanest table saw work, but it got things down to a point that I can sand it to size.
I was using a neighbors basic table saw and a plywood blade to do this and didn't take any pictures back then, but here is a photo of the pile of rough pieces:


After using the jig saw for a few things and seeing how clean it cuts, I kind of wish I did all my initial cuts with it instead, but I also didn't know I was buying one back then and all my pieces are still usable.

For the rest of the day I worked on getting my lower drawer built, I thought it would be smart to start there since its the least significant component and if I had any mistakes or issues with the process, it'd be easier to remake.
I seemed to move at a somewhat slow and detailed pace with this, partially due to things mentioned earlier with weather and tools I had on hand, so I didn't get as far as I was hoping and can tell that this project will take me longer than I had originally estimated.
Hopefully I can work on it a bit every time I visit my parents and slowly knock it out, but I don't come out here too often since they are 6 hours away. I also won't be buying a house in the near future so bringing my tools to me isn't feasible yet.

Here are some photos I took of the drawer in progress. Sorry I didn't get any more or of additional stages, but I figured this would work for the start and I can also do more for other parts.

Bottom Drawer with sides attached and drying:


Bottom Drawer about to get the front put on, I somehow had the base flipped or something when measuring for the lower dowels so that's why there are 2 sets close to each other, I had to re-drill my holes like 1/2 inch over:


Front of Bottom Drawer attached and drying, you can see I didn't quite drill all my holes deep enough for the dowels, but I already put the wood glue in before test fitting so I had to go with it and will cut them flush later:


Another angle of the Bottom Drawer with the front attached, ignore the large bottom board, it is just my working surface across 2 saw horses and is not attached to the drawer:


I apologize for the random background items in the images, since I was forced to work in the garage, I didn't take the time to clear everything away perfectly for clean photos nor did I have a ton of space to move large objects out of my way.
Also some of these were done in lower lighting so the quality might not be the best they can be.

Hopefully you enjoyed my first update, I certainly had a good time working on all of this today even if the weather was trying to keep me away. It's been awhile since I've done any woodworking so it was a treat to get back into it.
Feel free to comment, ask questions, or give feedback on how I can improve my build log write up.
 

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Looks great! Makes me kind of sad because my parents decided to go with a Fire TV Stick instead of my similar idea. Nevermind about me though. Good luck with your own project!
 

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BSME
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776 Posts
neat concept, subbed to see it come together
 

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EhmayWuntee
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1,419 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by obikenobi27 View Post

Looks great! Makes me kind of sad because my parents decided to go with a Fire TV Stick instead of my similar idea. Nevermind about me though. Good luck with your own project!
Thanks, maybe you will be able to still follow through with your build eventually though. Its fun enough to just to create something even if you don't have a specific need for it right away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirty elf View Post

neat concept, subbed to see it come together
Thank you, I have been trying to think outside the box a bit on ways I can keep working on this where I live instead of only when I visit my parents for a few days maybe 2 or 3 times a year. At that rate it may take 2 years to finish!

My best idea so far has been to find a storage unit that I could rent for a few months and work on it there, but I don't really want to spend $35-$75 per month, plus most wont have electrical to let me plug in a belt sander.

I may see if I can work on a few small things in my apartment with the jig saw and then a metal file and sandpaper, but I don't a room full of sawdust in the air and I am on the second floor so I would have to catch all the debris if I try to work on the balcony.

I still have to get myself to pick out the last few parts too, like the power switch and led strip, I just keep putting those two off for now.
I have been working on my OC for the system at least, which isn't looking like the greatest chip, but at least it will be dialed in soon and thats been fun to tinker with.
 

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BSME
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i hope you figure something out! i dont want to wait 2 years lol

im guessing it's quite a ride to your parents place?
 

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EhmayWuntee
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1,419 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yea, 6 hours one way, so its easily doable in a day, but not like I would jump up there Friday night and be back to work for Monday morning.

I typically try and go for some holiday so I get a free day or 2 off and then can take a vacation day on top of it, giving me like a 5 day stretch (2 of them for driving). Although if I am visiting them, I cant work all 5 days lol, I have to spend some time doing what they want too.
I think Easter is my closest realistic chance to take a trip to see them (and my tools).

They happen to be coming down to see me in late February and we will take a small trip so I might have them bring down some of the smaller pieces for me to work on with hand tools. Worst case, I can get the pieces like 95% done and wait to finalize and assemble it when I go to them. Then I can have a lot better/faster progress.

I will certainly figure something out to speed it up a bit, because I don't want the project to be finished when my HTPC is super outdated lol.
 

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EhmayWuntee
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1,419 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
My plan is to find the right power switch and purchase it this weekend, I came across this and thought it'd be pretty funny, but after shipping it ended up being way more than I want to spend.
100mm Button
This thing is a massive 4" in diameter!

I will update this later if I find the real switch I end up getting.

As a side question, My PSU I was trying to figure out how much air it would need. I plan to have it upside down so the intake fan is pulling air in from the 2nd drawer.
Do you think I need to have a fan or anything to bring air into that space or will just a few holes be enough, or perhaps nothing is needed and the minor gaps and passive area in the drawer is enough?
I have no idea how much air a PSU draws or requires but this one will be by itself in its own little system and I want to be sure it functions properly.

*Edit: Just purchased my switches. I got 2 momentary (power and reset) and one latching (accent LEDs). Never used this site before, but they had good prices, quality information, and seemed reputable.
Momentary Switch
Latching Switch


Still could use some help with the PSU airflow if anyone has experience.*
 

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BSME
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sparkfun and adafruit are (in my experience) reputable suppliers.

not always the cheapest, especially in small quantities but responsive and helpful
 

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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #14
^ good to know dirty elf, thanks. This time, as far as I could tell at least, the switches were indeed the cheapest from them even including shipping.

I also wanted to post a small update (unfortunately without pics or progress) that when my parents plan to visit me the end of February I will be having them bring down some of the smaller pieces so I can try and shape and sand them at my apartment.
Hopefully I don't make too big of a mess or too much noise if I decide to try and use the jig saw or dremel because I wont have a wet vac to help clean it up.
This should allow me to minimally get a good amount of pieces to 95% complete and possibly even assemble some if I feel confident in my work space here.
I think at the max I would have both drawers complete and as of now I don't plan on having my parents bring the larger pieces for the actual cabinet, but this will put a big dent in the prep work at least.

I did give a few storage units a call just to see what rental prices are like and if they allow wood working for personal use in those lockers, but it ended up being more than I cared to spend for a few months (especially if I wanted a unit with a power outlet).
I'd rather put the money towards some PC upgrades, accessories, or something else along those lines.

I hope I don't lose any of you during the down periods and will try and make it up to you with amazing photos and quality work as it comes, so stay tuned!
 

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What about looking into communal workshops, you go and use a work space and only pay for the time your there. Some places have all the wood working tools you'll need as well

Something like this place, here is another place.

Have a look for this style of place, might work out well
 

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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakn View Post

What about looking into communal workshops, you go and use a work space and only pay for the time your there. Some places have all the wood working tools you'll need as well

Something like this place, here is another place.

Have a look for this style of place, might work out well
Thanks, that is a pretty neat idea that I didn't realize was out there. I have a feeling nothing will be local to me, but I will certainly check into it and utilize it if possible. +rep for the tip.

*Edit: I also considered asking my place of employment if I can use some of the open yard space to work after hours, but I didn't feel comfortable with that.*
 

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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #17
I am currently working on some mock ups on poster board to get a better visual of how things will look/work. (Such as the top drawer with mobo tray and hole locations for wires)
I will toss in a picture or two for the heck of it, and if I remember, I will also add a photo of the pc as it sits now in the temporary case just because I don't think I have shown it in here yet.

The main reason for this post though, is that I keep thinking about how I would really prefer to be using sleeved extensions to make this look a ton better, but originally passed on the idea because the initial cost for tools and materials was higher than I'd like ($140+).
I know I could order custom cables, but that would likely be near the $100 mark anyway so I wanted some opinions on this.

I think my options are:
1) Build without extensions for now and can always consider adding them later.
2) Take the plunge and buy the tools to do it myself. (Even if I don't sleeve a lot, the tools will always be there in case of future builds or I can attempt to sell them "used" to recoup some cost.)
3) Order custom extensions from a reputable company.
4) See if a random member would do custom extensions for me at a reduced cost, but not necessarily be as reputable or trustworthy.

I'm not afraid of the sleeving, I think I would actually enjoy it, but it just comes down to that initial cost and then how good will it look for my first time vs. paying a profession for their custom job, but have no tools afterwards. Plus afterwards i want to feel like it was money well spent with the overall look.
If I do get tools, perhaps I can find cheaper ones since I wont really wear them out or benefit from top of the line, but I also don't want complete junk with the "you get what you pay for" mantra.

By tools I believe I am referring to: Crimper (most expensive component and riskiest if I go too cheap), heat gun (can likely go cheap), flush cutter (perhaps I can get by with scissors), and a pin extractor (unless the staples or w/e DIY method will be good enough, I am making extensions so may not need to extract anything).
Then there are materials which would be: Wire, plastic sleeving in black and white, heatshrink (likely just black), metal connector pins (unsure on name), a couple cable combs, and the male/female plastic ends that the wires go into.
I may have missed something, but I think that's the bulk of it.

I suppose one other option is see if someone is selling used tools (mainly a good crimper) or even willing to let me borrow theirs for a month or so and return it, so just the cost of shipping.

Also to clarify, I do mean custom in the sense that I want a color scheme of my own and likely specific lengths or at least probably longer than the 12" standard (maybe 18"? I'd have to plan the length properly). *Edit: 12" should be more than enough actually because I would connect to just below the surface, kept thinking I needed to run the extension a good ways underneath.*
I believe all I need are one 24 pin, one 8 pin cpu power, and one 6 pin pci-e, but may get an 8 pin pci-e too in case i swap in my main rigs GPU once i upgrade soon. Also, possibly need a few SATA cables so they dont stand out unsleeved.

Here is what I envision for my cables by the way:


Let me know what you guys think I should do or if you have sources for good pricing on tools/custom extensions.

*Edit: Also, i am still looking for input on my "side question" (PSU air) in the middle of this post: LINK*
*Edit2: I just did some closer calculation of materials cost and found it to be even more than I expected so the gap between ordering a set of extensions and buying all the DIY components is even wider. I am leaning again towards buying pre-made custom extensions for the lower cost now, but risking not owning tools for the future. I need to look further into companies that offer custom extensions and find the lowest price for decent quality.*
 

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BSME
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id definitely say get the tools and do it yourself. dont underestimate the satisfaction of doing the job yourself and gaining the experience.
 

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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry for the lack of updates during my down time, but I have great news!

I recently got most of my rough cut parts delivered to my apartment when my parents visited last week so I will be able to start finalizing the small pieces for sure and probably assemble a few as well. I think the large pieces I will hold off until my next visit to my parents house later in the year where I have more space to work.

Now while that is pretty good news, the even better/greater news is that @CableMod has decided to sponsor my build along with 5 others because they have a new product released!
If you haven't seen their thread on here which was on our homepage rotating banner for quite some time as well, here is a link.
Their new product is called CableMod WideBeam LED Strips and the post in the thread linked above sums it up pretty well.
Also, here is their post showing the selected 6 members so you can track down their use of the LED strips as well.

I am pretty excited to be able to incorporate this product into my custom build and think it will really help complete or even exceed the look I have in my head.
Thank you for the generous event you held in our community and letting us experience and show off your unique LEDs.

For all of your following along with my build, I will be sure to post initial thoughts and review of the LEDs before my end table is complete and then a follow up once they are installed inside, but first I need to receive them which may take a few weeks since I think one strip was out of stock.

Lastly, the one good thing about not just going to town and building this as fast as possible is that I am working on a slight revision to the underside of my top drawer.
I realized that the optical drive will likely conflict a bit with the cables running across or near it especially when trying to open the drive.
Below is a rendering of where I slid the ODD over to the edge to give it better clearance and also gives a better slot between the ODD and PSU to run a few cables.
I turned the floor of the drawer to a clear material to better show how the clearance should be acceptable and you can likely imagine the problem that would have occurred if I kept it flush to the side bracket of the PSU like in my original renderings.

The only other thing I will likely revise is that since it will be on its own now, I will probably move the ODD forward a few inches so its easier to access and will shorten the SATA data cable length a bit as well.

Hopefully I will be able to get some more progress done over the next few weekends now that I have the wood here and I will of course provide photos as I go.
 

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EhmayWuntee
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Discussion Starter #20
I had a pretty productive weekend since I was able to get my tools and materials out and built the PSU bracket that will hang off the bottom of the top drawer.
It was tough to line up and hold things still while marking and drilling my holes for the dowel rods. That took a lot more time than I anticipated, but the end result was a near perfect bracket so I am happy with it.
I will have to go back after this dries and fill in the chips with wood filler and sand them down along with the excess length of dowels. This is probably the only drawback of plywood, but it should look just fine after painting.

I also had to spend some time getting the PSU out of my case since I was using the PC while I waited for the desk to be built.
It took a bit of work and the removal of some other components to get it to slide out, but luckily I was able to leave the mobo and cpu cooler in.
The dimensions I was using for the PSU from online were correct, but it still helped to have it in my hands to compare and line things up.
Also I had to get the right measurements for the hole in the back so it could vent and fit a power cable.
I did make the rectangle opening a bit smaller so the screw holes wont be so close to the edge like they are on a metal bracket and it is also a simpler design than the metal tray was.
By being a touch smaller it does cover up a line or 2 of the holes for venting, but should still run and cool just fine since the majority are wide open.
I also noticed the fan is not centered to the PSU so one side is slightly covered by the support brace. I could have made a curved cut or some notch for the fan, but again I think it will still run just fine with a minor part covered. (I forgot to take a photo of this)

On to the photos!

Here are the sides being built, one photo shows the parts and the other is of them drying:



Here is the back with the opening already cut out as well:


A quick test fit of the dowels to be sure everything lines up and 2 photos of the glued bracket (I propped it up with the help of the closest thing to me):




Test fitting the PSU and a closer look at the vent opening:




During the week I hope to find time to use the wood filler and then sand everything to completion. I also need to drill the 4 screw holes to secure the PSU to the back (hopefully I get them all correct).
Next weekend I will likely work on this some more and probably complete the bottom drawer that is already close to finished. I just need to build and put on the back and do some sanding.
I will include a few final photos after each are done.
 
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