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Old 03-23-2010, 09:45 AM   #31
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The gray was lightly scuffed, but not removed. I think, the gray is more of a metal sealer than it is a paint. Self Etching primer is definitely a bare metal type of primer, and without getting into a huge discussion, I believe this is going to work as the frame was as close to bare metal as it could be without outting it into a chemical vat and removing the sealer. I have had good success with this though, so we will see.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #32
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Good to know. I'm wondering if the same process would work on the inside of an Antec Three Hundred? The inside coatings seem similar.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #33
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Highly likely, I have not seen a huge variance in the application process. Except on some Lian Li's, Corsair and Thermaltake's where they powdercoat the internal frame, 95% that I Have seen would work with this process.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:51 PM   #34
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Thanks. Didn't mean to thread jack your awesome mod log. I'm looking forward to seeing this, especially since I am a huge fan of the Tempest.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:48 PM   #35
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No worries! If you ever have questions... feel free to ask!
I've been doing this long enough to know a thread jack when it happens!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:24 PM   #36
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Tonight, I went after the flat black pieces I painted yesterday... and wanted to make them a bit more durable. So, I broke out the flat "clearcoat".



2-3 coats on all of the important parts, and everything is looking good! I may dump a few more cans onto the parts.... we'll see how some test scratches go later this week. One thing that I learned using this spray, is that it sometimes leaves a fine dust as it cures. Much like the residue left from Duplicolor Metalcast. Dont freak when you see it, just let the clear cure, then take a damp, soft cotton towel, and wipe the surface clean... easy cheesy!

Also, some new "paint" product came in today, and I just had to try it out... This was a test panel that I was using during prototype phases on the side panel for Deuce. This was sprayed on without primer, without scuffing the paint surface. Easy, easy to use! Very impressed with how easy it is.




The bottom corner was my intentional roughing up the surface to see how durable the stuff is....
This is a quick, single pass. not 2-3 coats yet, so I don't even know yet how well this will work.... but it is cool right now!
This "stuff"..... is spray on Plasti-Dip! If the tests work out, I hope to have the entire outside of the case ruggedized with this ruberized paint! The sensation moving my hand from a painted surface to the flat black rubber paint is not like I have ever felt. It "almost" feels like the paint is still tacky.... like it is not dry. It is, it's just kinda tacky!

Too cool for school!
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:57 AM   #37
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Hey there all!
Ok, first off, I want to share a neat trick that I did this weekend. Some of you may have done this, but I did not know about this. I was talking to my neighbor across the alley, and was explaining my plight of needing to go into all of those small holes that I drilled for the LEDs, and file them all down. He just looked at me and very matter of factly said, "You need a 1/2" drill bit or something significantly larger than the hole, then just use that and deburr those edges off."

*blink.... blink*



Two or three turns was all it took! I had ALL of the holes on the panel deburred in less than 5 minutes!!!! If you are drilling a lot of holes, save yourself filing time, and cut those edges down using a larger drill bit! Wow! Saved me a TON of time and frustration!

Now... on with the updates!

Back panel. It had this massive, extruded metal grate that was pushed out about a 1/4 inch from the back of the frame... that had to go!


My trusty Craftsman rotary with the flexi-shaft attachment.... just waiting to bring tha' pain!



Cutting this off was blissfully easy. Simple little straight cuts....



After filing it down and removing the slight humps left over from the cut steel



I primed it (scuffed this piece prior to priming for a little extra durability):


2-3 coats of flat enamel later...



Went to work on the top and bottom pieces the next morning. A couple of different looks of the masking that I put in place. The inside of the case will be a matte black enamel. The outside will be a matte black, but it will be rubberized.... so it will have a different appearance. And we ALL know, *nothing* stands out worse than 2 shades of black side by side! So, this was my attempt at keeping the inside black separate from the outside black:





Painting on the tops with the aerosol Plasti-Dip... ooooooo!


The case has 2 major plastic pieces, the front bezel frame and the top sculpted "hood" that covers the fans. Ths fan covers are plastic reinforced across the fan holes... with a speaker type metal mesh grille that is overlayed. Well.... anyone that knows me knows for a fact that those crosses of plastic are outta here!







The speaker grille type metal was tabbed in place, with through tabs that were bent to secure the grilles. Bend up the tabs, and slide out the mesh.... tadaa!





Here you can see the mesh removed, and the vacated holes that the mesh tabs would have fit through.



After the preliminary cutting work on the center cross supports, you can see the 4 corner parts that need to be filed down on each circle.



Break out the wide, rounded hand file. Right one was done for comparison purposes.



Closeups of the non finished hole:


and the finished hole:
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:57 AM   #38
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The front bezel needed disassembly and I brought it inside while I made a glass of tea. In the pic, you can see all of the front bay covers removed. each bay cover has a foam filter insert.



I then started masking out the bezel. Here I am using line tape. This thin masking tape can be found at autobody paint shops or online. It just so happened to fit almost perfectly, the narrow width of the light rod space. There was no way to remove the light rods without possibly breaking them, so I needed to mask them:



This picture likely better shows why I am doing what I am doing. I lit the LED's to show you what I am trying to cover up and keep from getting any kind of paint on.



After getting this piece all masked off, I went to work on the window frame panel. The window needed to come out in order to allow for the Plasti-Dip to be sprayed. This window was tab locked in place:





Bending the tabs up, allows for the removal of the installed window:





A lot of painting later:




And I let everything start drying.

On Sunday I came out and started putting the frame together and here is where I stopped:



and



I am not putting the top on yet so that I can have unfettered access into the case while I work on the component placement later!


I had painted the front bezel with the masking, and I knew it was going to be tricky. Remember, effectively, I am painting with rubber paint. I cannot let this stuff sit too long, else the rubber will start forming and the masking pull will be wrecked. Well... I waited too long on the first attempt! I have not had a chance to reshoot the front bezel, but I will this weekend hopefully!! I also need to cut the slots out of the top to allow for the light pipes to protrude.

I also came up with a really cool idea for a hard drive cage... but will need to sketch it out to show you the plans!

More as I have it!

-=TD
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:55 AM   #39
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Having a Tempest and knowing exactly how all the parts fit together this is as interesting as it gets. I'm watching you make changes going, "Ooooh. Good idea!"

Clap, clap, clap @ your neighbour. I didn't even think of using a larger drill bit. Years ago I did some metal work completely unrelated to case modding that required a lot of holes to be drilled and ran into the same problem. We ended up grinding them down, which was a huge pain and really time consuming.

Be careful of the Plasti-Dip though. It has a tendancy to scratch deeply and can peel off. Also it may make things fit a bit tightly with the drive cages and any screw holes that weren't plugged such as the holes for the motherboard stand offs or PCI slots.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:25 PM   #40
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I hear ya Optix... this is new ground for the plastidip stuff.... if it does not work out... I strip it all down and send it off ot be powdercoated! That;ll be durable!
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:36 PM   #41
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Plasti-Dip has been a big hit on some of the enthusiast forums I frequent because you don't really have to prepare the surface. The downside is it can crack if it doesn't dry properly because of the existing surface or it can peel easily.

I have been toying with the idea of powdercoating but I checked with a guy here in town and it's $90 + tax. Yikes! I could buy a case with the inside painted black already for that price.

The mod looks awesome though. Keep up the good work!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:55 PM   #42
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Work with the guy, or call around. See if ythe color you are wanting to coat with is run at scheduled times of the week, then break your case or components down and make it as easy as possible. If you can keep them from having to run a custom color, and instead, lump it in with an existing run where a customer has already paid the setup charge, you can save good money that way! I've got a place here in my city taht I have a "side job" agreement with the production manager and his son. The pieces are delivered, and I pay him directly. On BOSS, the frame was gloss black powdercoated for $50, I paid him $60.

See if they would be willing to do that for you.

If they wont, call around, I am sure someone else will!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:49 PM   #43
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So.... I have been pondering for the last few days, the layout of the inside of the case. I think I finally hit upon the right mix of component purchase vs "custom fabrication" that I needed... ordered one more part today, and went out tonight and thought about the hard drive location. I had an idea a few nights ago that was going to be amazing, but I feared it would take up too much room in the case.

Tonight, I came up with a solution! *MUCH* more elegant, and should be much easier to fabricate!

I'm going to take some pics tonight and see if I can get my idea across!

Soooo stoaked about this, can't believe it took me this long to think of it!

-=TD
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:29 AM   #44
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Ok, so now I am happy that I kept all of those old drives! Even if they are non functional, I can use them to prototype an idea quickly!

Looking in the case, there is just not much space! If I put the hard drives in the middle of the drive bay in front of the fans, I am taking up critical floor space that will be needed for the water pump. And in a mid tower, there is just not much there. Add in the PSU, and then it really gets crazy....








My plan, build a side wall bracket that will cover the hard drives, but allow me to mount the SSD drive on the top of the cover to be fabricated over the hard drives. The cover will blank the drive tops into a consistent black, but leave their back sides exposed for easy cable attachment and routing. The cover will allow me to put the SSD drive on the top of this wall mounted assembly and displayed for all to see!






I am also contemplating a flared end of the cover on the side that faces the front of the case. On of the rad that will be there mounted to the front using a custom bracket, and 2 fans pushing air into the case through the rad. Since the rad will be the second rad in the loop, I am not expecting it to be pushing a lot of radiated heat into the case. I am thinking the first rad will handle most of that task. That said, the three 3.5 inch "spinning disk" hard drives will create heat. If I sandwich them without giving them some supply, I'll shorten the life of these drives. *Buuut*, if I put an intake flare/air funnel on the "to be fabricated" cover for the drives... and have that facing the exhaust side of the fans, I should be able to redirect some of the air onto the hard drives and keep them happily cooled!



-=TD
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:24 AM   #45
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Nice. I certainly wouldn't have thought about mounting drives that way but it makes a lot of sense since you're planning a double rad setup and need all of the room you can get without restricting air flow.

Keep going! I'm living vicariously through your modding. Hehehe.
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