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

    This is a revision of my previous project here: [Project] Copper-Framed, MDF Station

    The main reason I decided to make another station is b/c my copper-framed station only fits motherboards no bigger than standard ATX (9.6" x 12") form factor. When my EP45-UD3Ps (yes, that's plural) got bricked, I decided to go X58 with the E760 Classified which is EATX form factor. So, my LGA1366 system has been just sitting on the motherboard box wishing it had a station to call its own

    I started thinking about how improve upon my previous station. So, I thought of a few things which would have been nice in my copper-framed station:


    1. Quicker build time; waiting for gorilla glue to dry takes 24hrs, and I couldn't just glue everything at one time. So, it ends being at least a week just to get everything glued.
    2. Modular design; if any changes are needed in the future.
    3. Non-conductive framing; the copper framing is pretty close to the electronics in my other one.
    4. Reduce the cost of materials.


    To accomplish my improvements, I knew I needed a material that would either fit really snug or screws together. I leaned more towards the "snug fit" concept to reduce the time to break down the station if needed. I pondered my thoughts for about 30 mins or so, and I thought about PVC pipe. I was pretty sure the fittings were snug before any glue was applied from helping my dad "rough-in" houses back when I was 8-10 years old. So, I went to Lowe's to see if my memory served me right, and it did

    One problem arose with the "snug fit" idea: How would I pick up and move the station with components installed?

    So, I thought about that for a few minutes and I decided to use a little bit of glue. I decided to only glue the pipes underneath the station, and add glued handles that come from underneath. Just gluing the pipes underneath the station allows it to still be modular; and the handles make it easy to pick up, so I won't have to put my hands under the station to pick it up.

    So, 4hrs after I got back from Lowe's and Home Depot, here's what I had sitting in my room



    The only con I can think of is the looks. The copper just looks so dang good, but, in my opinion, the functionality of the PVC outweighs the the looks of the copper.

    I may add a few more things, but it's usable, as is, with only 4hrs of work.
    Last edited by MattNo5ss; 09-10-10 at 12:18 AM.
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  2. #2
    Jolly-Swagman's Avatar
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    Looks great Matt,, certainly will be much lighter build too!
    Also if you still wanted the Copper look you could always paint the PVC tubing Copper colour, then clear coat it,
    Well done!

  3. #3
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    I too think it looks great! Even if you don't, function > form when you're benching.

    If you don't like the industrial white PVC look, paint the whole darn thing whatever color you want.

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  4. #4
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    you should use the PVC glue.. it sets up within minutes.. might cost more, but you could save a week of dry time!

    looks good.. if you really wanted to make it look custom, get some silicone caulk and taper the edges of the pipe connectors into the pipes and then paint it all up!
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  5. #5
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Thanks guys! The bare PVC looks pretty good IMO, maybe a 7 or 8 outta 10, but copper is a 10 outta 10 I'll probably look into some paint, would any paint stick to PVC? Just some type of outdoor furniture paint or something?

    Oh yeah, the materials only cost about $30, not including a drill and saw. So, $30 + 4-5hrs of time = easiest station ever (Okay, maybe not ever, but the easiest I've seen)

    I'll get some more pics up this afternoon/tonight. I didn't want to post an entire log since the concept was basically the same as the copper-framed one.

    Quote Originally Posted by psionic98 View Post
    you should use the PVC glue.. it sets up within minutes.. might cost more, but you could save a week of dry time!

    looks good.. if you really wanted to make it look custom, get some silicone caulk and taper the edges of the pipe connectors into the pipes and then paint it all up!
    We think alike. I definitely used PVC glue on all the pipe under the station and on the handles, b/c of the quick dry time and I had some laying around Everything else will remain unglued in case the need for any unforeseen changes pop up.

    The silicone idea would be a dang good one if I didn't want modulation, but I dunno if I'd want to peel caulk off the fittings if I need/want to change the the design in the future.
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  6. #6
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Still haven't had time to research or do any painting or staining. But, I cut a hole in the top tier for access to the VX back plate. I did this for future heatsink and thermal paste testing

    I just used a 3/8" drill bit to drill the corners of the square, then I used my Dremel to cut from hole to hole.

    Something I have noticed is that the MDF used for this station is different than the MDF I used for the copper-framed one. This MDF seems much softer or something, holes and cuts aren't near as "clean" as they were before. I'm not sure if I got a different type or what...

    Also, notice the sweat drip from being in a garage when it's ~95F with 75% humidity...lol.
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  7. #7
    Jolly-Swagman's Avatar
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    Tip - when you go to stain or paint the MDF on the side ends is best to cover with a layer of Wood filler if staining or even Spakle if only painting helps for better finish once sanded, and less soaking of Pant/Stainer ect

    Looking great so far!

  8. #8
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Finally had time to start working on some aesthetics .

    First, here's the station, as is, with my X58 system on it:



    My plans are to stick with the Black and Red theme of my E760/RAM/FC-5, and maybe have some bare metal in there to match the MK-13 and VX.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to paint the shelves matte black. Here's the gist of what the color will look like (painted on a piece of scrap MDF):



    Too many particles floating around my house Good thing I did a test piece...

    I got some 1/2" wide, 1/16" thick aluminum to go along the edges of the MDF. I cut the aluminum at 45 degrees on the ends, so I can either butt them together to make a sharp corner or turn them the other way to make a 45 degree bevel. I haven't decided whether to leave the aluminum bare (just scrub with steel wool) or paint it black or red. I actually just thought of painting it red so I don't have a pic of what red would look like yet. Here are pics of the saw used, paint/steel wool, 45 degree ends, and the black/scrubbed aluminum:






    As for the CPVC pipe, I'm not quite sure what color to do them. Maybe I could use some red anti-kink coils for watercooling tubing to go around the pipe, after painting it gloss/matte black



    I'm in an indecisive stage, so any comments or suggestions are welcomed!
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  9. #9
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    I decided on matte black shelves, and to scrub the aluminum with steel wool and just keep it bare.



    Aluminum edges with the 45 flipped to create a bevel:



    The station put back together until I decide on what to do with the CPVC pipe:



    This is exactly why I wanted to keep this station modular, so if ANYTHING comes up that I'd like to change or add, then I can just take it apart
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  10. #10
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    Looks perty hawt, do you plan on having an outer-shell of some sorts to close it, or do you just plan on leaving all your parts on there without a "case"
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  11. #11
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Just open air, no enclosure

    Before/After this weekend pics:




    The huge mess to clean up in my garage...lol.
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  12. #12
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    Looking great Matt, just goes to show what a little Paint job and some alu strips can make a huge difference to the final outlook, well done!

  13. #13
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Thanks! I really like the aluminum strips, it finishes off the edges nicely. Now, I just have to think about what to do with the CPVC pipe. IMO, the paint and strips actually make the bare CPVC look better than before.
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  14. #14
    Member infam0ussteven's Avatar
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    This is very nice, and I love your copper station, too. I think the anti-kink coils will be a nice touch to the pvc.

  15. #15
    5up3r m0d3r4t0r
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    Thanks for the compliments on both of my stations.

    I just need to do something to the CPVC before I add anti-kink coils. I wouldn't want them to look like candy canes...
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  16. #16
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