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  1. #1
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    [Project] Copper-Framed, MDF Station

    I started this project because I like the open look of of bench/tech stations, and it's much easier when messing around with components.

    My first design was for a future watercooling setup, which would use some of the copper pipe as tubing to get to the lower tier where the pump/reservoir and radiator were going to reside. After much consideration I decided not to go the watercooling route, but I still wanted to continue with this station. With watercooling out of the equation, it made the air cooling design much simpler. I no longer had to worry about having to use dual purpose pipes, as closed waterways + support, and I don't have to solder the joints anymore. (I still have my watercooling design just in case)

    I've slowly designed and tweaked this station for about a month, and I finally got started with building it recently.


    Goals
    - No scews/bolts for support, pipe only.
    - Small as possible and still easily hold components.
    - A unique and clean look.

    Materials
    - Medium Density Fiberboard
    - Well Nuts
    - Nylon Screws
    - Copper Pipe
    - Copper T
    - Copper L
    - Copper Caps
    - Gorilla Glue
    - Sandpaper
    - Goo Gone Xtreme

    Tools
    - Dremel
    - Circular Saw
    - Drill
    - Tubing Cutter


    Day 1

    I went to Home Depot and Lowe's to pick up a sheet of 1/2" thick MDF (4'x8'), some 1/2" copper pipe (10' Type M), copper T's, copper L's, nylon screws, and well nuts. When I got back home I started putting my dimensions on the MDF and I tested if the nylon screws would fit in the motherboard screw holes. The nylon screws were the smallest bit too big for the holes, so I had to fix that by grinding the upper half of the threads.



    Day 2

    I used a circular saw to cut the 2 shelves, the bottom tier being 14" x 14.5" and the top tier being 12" x 14.5" and I sanded the edges smooth.



    Then, I started measuring the copper pipe and fittings for holes in the MDF. 1/2" copper pipe has an ID of 1/2" and OD of 5/8" and fittings have an ID of 5/8" and OD of 11/16." The holes will be 12/16" or 3/4" so there won't be much spacing between the pipe/fittings and the holes' edges.



    Day 3

    Started measuring and cutting pipe to fit the holes drilled on Day 2; using a tubing cutter is easy and makes straight, fast cuts. I worked on the "feet" of the station, more like rails underneath the bottom tier. Gorilla Glue was applied using Q-Tips to the inner surface of the fittings. The pipe goes into the fittings about a 1/2", take that into account and that cutting pipe to the perfect length everytime isn't going to happen, there will be some lee-way in the fittings. So, after a "rail" was made it was put directly into place to make sure the spacing turned out right. Gorilla Glue take 24hrs to completely cure, so on to Day 4.



    --------------------
    More to come! (only 10 images per post)
    Last edited by MattNo5ss; 03-06-10 at 04:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Member Grosjambon's Avatar
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    Looking Good.
    Looking forward and MOOORE PIC

    Edit: can u try to resizeeee pic
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  3. #3
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    Agreed, looks awesome and sounds like a cool design but please resize the pics because it makes it harder to read what your saying. Good job and good luck though!

  4. #4
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Thanks.

    Sorry about the size, is the auto-resizing not working for you guys? On my screen they are 2.5" x 3" pics.

    EDIT: How is the size of these pics? I'll go back and edit the others.

    Day 4

    Since the feet have dried, I started on the supports for the upper tier. First, the pipe columns were cut and glued into place. While the columns were drying, I started forming some supports to hold the tier up and glued them together. I let the columns and supports dry separately for ~2hrs, then I glued them together. As those dried, I also made supports to hold the top tier down, but these will have to wait for glue so I can do them like the feet/rails to make sure the spacing is right.



    --------------------
    This is where I stand as of now.
    Last edited by MattNo5ss; 02-22-10 at 07:06 PM.
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    Projects: Copper-Framed, MDF Station | PVC-Framed, MDF Station | Custom Cascade Cart/Case | Untitled TJ07 Build

  5. #5
    Member nd4spdbh2's Avatar
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    VERY cool... NEVER seen this done before... looks like it should turn out awesome.
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  6. #6
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    Looking great will be watching for more updates,

  7. #7
    GIXXERGUY6's Avatar
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    Nice. I bet it's going to look good.
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  8. #8
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    Cool, interesting concept, what colors are you going to paint the MDF?
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  9. #9
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    I haven't decided if I'm gonna paint, just polyurethane, or both (I'm up for suggestions). I need to test a scrap piece of the MDF first, since it's fiberboard, I wouldn't want it to absorb the paint/poly and swell like a sponge. I'm just concerned with possible swelling on the cutting planes (cross-sections).

    I was planning on putting at least a layer or two of polyurethane to cover one of JDNXC's "Overclockers" decals. I wouldn't want that piece of art to get messed up



    OFF-TOPIC: BTW, Did you ever finish the HDD mod on your case?
    Last edited by MattNo5ss; 02-22-10 at 11:48 PM.
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    Projects: Copper-Framed, MDF Station | PVC-Framed, MDF Station | Custom Cascade Cart/Case | Untitled TJ07 Build

  10. #10
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Day 5

    Well, I didn't have much time today since I had work then classes until 10PM. I did get a few things accomplished though. I cut and glued the existing 2 columns. I've got one of the upper supports made and drying; I don't have the support glued to the columns, just the other connections. Again, this is to get the spacing right, plus I still have to drill holes in the top tier for PSU/SATA wires, so I need to be able to remove it for drilling. One thing I decided to change was to put a cross brace between the feet/rails. Here's a pic of the support and columns, I'll have to get a pic of the cross brace tomorrow.



    --------------------
    EDIT: Changed the size of the pics in my first post.
    Last edited by MattNo5ss; 02-23-10 at 11:54 PM.
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  11. #11
    Mobo Cooking Member
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    This is neat
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  12. #12
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    Well my project has been hold because I've been so swamped with school lately. I should be able to pic it back up in the summer. This project looks pretty cool, I can't really tell where all the components are laid out though... well besides that the mobo is probably on the bottom piece of MDF (or top?).
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  13. #13
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    I understand that, the only time I get to work on this is Monday and Wednesday. I'm looking forward to seeing you finish up yours.

    I got some work done on it yesterday, but I didn't find time to post pics yet. I was busy trying to increase my HWbot scores . I'll put some more pics up later today/tonight.

    The mobo will be on top, and I haven't decided if or how I'm going to mount components on the bottom.
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  14. #14
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Day 5 (Continued)

    Here's the cross brace pic as promised:



    Day 6

    After the drying on Day 5, I was left with this:



    Next, I worked on the other top tier support rail with a T on one end for the PCI-E support.



    Time for the motherboard holes. I used the motherboard as a template for the holes and just made a dot for all 9. After I drilled the holes, it was time to bring back the nylon screws and well nuts from Day 1 to use as standoffs.



    The last thing I did was make a small support with a T and some caps. I made sure to make it low profile in case I get a GPU longer than my motherboard sometime in the future.



    Glued and left to dry...



    --------------------
    Next update will be Monday or Tuesday.
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  15. #15
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Day 7

    For the PCI-E support, I just used pipe to go across right under where the brackets will go. The PCI-E device (GPU in my case) can move back and forth a little, but not enough to be a concern or potentially break a PCI-E connection. It's simple, does its job, and stays within my goals.



    Here's the Overclockers decal installed. JDNXC does a great job on these, and I recommend getting one if you haven't already.



    I haven't really planned much past this point, so suggestions would be appreciated.

    I'll probably drill a couple more holes, one for 6pin PCI-E connector and one for the 8pin CPU power connector. Maybe some polyurethane to protect the decal at least.
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  16. #16

    reap3r's Avatar
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    Haha, that's awesome man, it looks cool

  17. #17
    Jolly-Swagman's Avatar
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    Looking great man well done , and the OC sticker looks awesome

  18. #18
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    Where'd you get that decal from? And it looks like it's aluminum? Pretty cool. I'd suggest taking the stickers off the copper pipes
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  19. #19

  20. #20
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Thanks guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooms101 View Post
    Where'd you get that decal from? And it looks like it's aluminum? Pretty cool. I'd suggest taking the stickers off the copper pipes
    Jolly-Swag has you covered on the decals or there's a link in a previous post of mine. I'll definitely be taking the stickers off using Goo Gone or something. I'm in the process of testing polyurethanes (oil & water based) now.
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