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  1. #1
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    Project Log: Server and Gaming Case

    This is a project/build log for a custom case to house both a storage server and gaming rig.

    This fairly compact case is designed to hold:
    • Two EATX motherboard trays
    • Two ATX PSUs
    • Twenty four 3.5-inch hard drives
    • Six SSDs
    • Two 120x3 water cooling radiators







    The size of the case is to be kept as small as possible, which is mostly driven by the size of the motherboard trays. But until those arrive, I fabricated the PSU mounting plate from some 2.5mm aluminum sheet.

    The cutouts were made via a hand held router fitted with a flush pattern bit, guided by a template.










    That's it for now!
    Last edited by Spotswood; 04-16-11 at 08:26 AM.
    Rich
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  2. #2
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Subscribed to follow your progress, the results of your past work were great.
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  3. #3
    Bijiont's Avatar
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    Subscribed as well, very interesting case layout!

    Can't wait to see it completed.
    AMD 1100T BE | MoutainMod Ascension | 4.5Ghz [200x22.5] @ 1.48v | 16GB 1600 DDR3 [7-7-7-24-2T] @ 1.652v
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  4. #4
    TheQuadFather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
    Subscribed to follow your progress, the results of your past work were great.
    +1, this man is amazing.
    This is not the signature you are looking for.

    Please Fold For Team32!

  5. Thanks!

    Spotswood (04-16-11)

  6. #5

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    subd.

    the plans look awesome, cant wait to see the final result
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  7. Thanks!

    Spotswood (04-16-11)

  8. #6

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    Plans look great. Hope it all goes well for ya
    Current rig:
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  9. #7
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    psionic98's Avatar
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    Scary heavy monster gonna be built there.. sub'd!
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  10. #8
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    Yea that's going to be heavy
    System:
    i5-750 @ 4.4GHz (and beyond), 1.368v under LinX & 1.225v VTT
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  11. #9
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    Yikes! This is a "FEATURED" project...yeah, um, no pressure!


    The backplate of the stock motherboard tray from mountainmods.com was too tall, so I fabricated a shortened duplicate out of .10-inch thick aluminum sheet (once again, via my trusty router fitted with a pattern cutting bit):







    Rich
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  12. #10
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    Seebs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spotswood View Post
    This fairly compact case is designed to hold:
    • Two EATX motherboards
    This part made me LOL hard... The words compact and Two EATX motherboards definitely seem to contradict each other...

    I guess "compact" is a relative term.

    Regardless of all that; I am anxiously awaiting your updates on this one my man... If this thing is even remotely close to the quality of work you put into your previous project; and with your track record there is no reason to think otherwise, whoever gets that puppy will have an amazing case for years and years to come.

    Daily Driver: GA-890FXA-UD5 - Ph II X6 1090T - 16GB DDR3 1333MHz - MSI R9 280X Gaming Edition/HD 5670/HD6570 - Venomous X Black + G1238B12BBZP-00 - TX850V2 - CM 690 II Advanced
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  13. Thanks!

    Spotswood (04-16-11)

  14. #11
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    This case will be shipped flat-packed so it needs to be easily assembled by the owner. The simple back frame consists of some u-channel with its ends plugged with some blocks press-fitted and pinned with a #4 screw. The blocks have a though-hole into which a #6 1-1/4-inch flat head stainless steel socket cap screw is bolted. Simple, effective, but time consuming to fabricate.








    Rich
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  15. #12
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    The first step toward routing-out the motherboard cutouts in the back panel was to modify a standard size motherboard router template I had made some time ago.






    The modified template was used to create yet another template in 1/2-inch thick particle board.




    Unfortunately the router wobbled ever so slightly in one spot, but was quickly repaired with some autobody filler:




    In order to save wear-and-tear on my flush cutting router bit a first pass was done freehand (gulp!) with a standard endmill.





    Last edited by Spotswood; 04-24-11 at 10:09 PM.
    Rich
    Custom Case Builder

  16. #13
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    I had to make a new router template for the PSUs cutout. A router guide template is quickly fashioned from some MDF held together with pocket screws.






    A mock-up of the back panel:

    Rich
    Custom Case Builder

  17. #14
    Member pwnmachine's Avatar
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    Wow this looks like it's going to be amazing, subscrizzled.
    i5 2500k @ 4.8 gHz. 1.3v..................Q9650 @ 4.0 gHz.
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  18. #15
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    The posts for the front frame are made from .125 x .5 x 2-inch tubes. First thing was to stuff the bottoms with the screw blocks/nuts in order to eventually attach them to the bottom sheet.

    Following standard operating procedure, the aluminum was cut on my miter saw (fitted with a standard carbide tipped blade). The clamp that came with the saw is used to hold the material against the fence.




    The blocks were then drilled on the drill press with the assistance of my self-centering vice (I love that thing because I don't have to waste time measuring for center).




    Threads were tapped via my bench mounted "hand" tapper.




    The blocks were pinned to the tubes with flat head self-tapping screws.




    Always looking to improve my speed and quality, the cross supports offered the opportunity to use PEM cinch nuts. The nuts were pressed into the screw blocks.



    Which were then pinned inside .5 x 1-inch u-channel.








    Rich
    Custom Case Builder

  19. #16
    Member Mjolnir's Avatar
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    Care to head over to Aus and make me a custom case? haha. Sub'd! Looks great! Can't wait to see the final =D
    \m/ OverClockers mATX L33T Club \m/
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  20. Thanks!

    Spotswood (05-01-11)

  21. #17
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnir View Post
    Care to head over to Aus and make me a custom case? haha. Sub'd! Looks great! Can't wait to see the final =D
    Hey, maybe you could drive over to his house and take a look because you both live in Sydney.
    Rich
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  22. #18
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    I added some "legs" to the motherboard trays so they'll rest nice and level on the workbench.



    Rich
    Custom Case Builder

  23. #19
    Member Spotswood's Avatar
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    I spent the day correcting a big mistake, which was I relied on the incorrect posted dimensions of the Swiftech MCR320-DRIVE 3x120 radiator, and thus the case wasn't wide enough by 16mm. (Swiftech has since corrected the diagram on their website).




    Actually, the case was exactly the width of the rads, but that might have resulted in some pump vibration getting transferred to the side panels. So the case had to be widened by one inch.


    To speedup the process of pinning the bolt blocks to the u-channel I switched to using split pins.












    I also had to re-cut the back sheet.




    Altogether, it only took me about a third of the original amount of time. Phew!
    Last edited by Spotswood; 05-07-11 at 06:02 PM.
    Rich
    Custom Case Builder

  24. #20
    d20 in a jacket

    ChanceCoats123's Avatar
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    Exceptional work as usual! Sorry about the delay. Always a pain to get work done and realize there was a computational error somewhere.
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  25. Thanks!

    Spotswood (05-07-11)

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