Image Map Image Map
Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 31 to 40 of 40

Thread: What experience can anyone share in building a case for your computer

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    33,667
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaDon View Post
    Chuck, I saw your post, but wanted to add the link. I would only use my drill press to punch corner holes and then use a metal saw to cut the rest of the outline and finish with files. If a bit of extra metal needed to be removed in places I have a nibbling tool that I've owned for 40+ years. I'm luckier than most and have a small metal brake plus a mill and 7x16 lathe in my shop, but hand tools plus a Dremel could do the job as long as one takes their time to do the work. Measure 3 times and cut once. (I'm famous for needing extra measuring. )
    You might want to consider one of the inexpensive oscillating saws for cutting blind holes. I use one a lot in woodwoorking and there are metal-cutting blades for those.

    At any rate, I don't mind building things of wood--I've got the tools and have built furniture for the house. It's different from metal work--it's more forgiving and the material has lots of character. There are some stunning examples of PC casework on the web. To be frank, if I had to live with a piece of gear, I'd take the warmth of wood any day over painted metal or plastic.

    My late father grew up during the 20s and was a fan of building radio gear on real "breadboards". I've got 30s radio handbooks that even show rack-mount construction using masonite panels.

  2. #32

    Default

    Might be off topic, slightly, but last year I was given a working Superbrain II board. I soon had a PSU and made up the "intermediate" (provides access to the serial ports) and video mixer (to give a composite video signal) boards. It booted with an HxC floppy emulator. So far so good, but there's no case. So I wondered if the Superbrain's case shape could be approximated using thin plywood bent around formers (possibly with steam). The main problem is the compound curves at the rear upper corners, but the rest of it should be reasonably do-able. Naturally, it has to be done in sections and these can be affixed to a frame, then filled and painted like the Superbrain itself. Certain features, such as the raised edge around the keyboard and the ridges on the drive bay panel can be glued on (as I have no router).

    As it stands, it's a bit of a mess.

    SB Lashup II LabelledJPG.JPG

    But can I build a copycat case?

    Hmm, just wondering if fibreglass is a better solution...!
    Last edited by JonB; March 30th, 2020 at 01:52 AM.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Principality of Xeon W-2140B the Great State of Central New Jerky
    Posts
    1,738

    Default

    I don't do a lot of wood working but you likely would have to soak the material to get it to bend.

    You could also consider plastic sheet. Hobby Lobby for instance sells iirc 24" x 36" clear acrylic? sheets. With their persistent online 40% off coupon, it's 4$ and change. As is it's very very flexible. I'll measure it when I get a chance, but I think it's about 3/32" thick. Ideal for curvy stuff. If that's too thin, just overlay (or underlay?) a second layer and glue it together. Scratch up the outet surface with very fine grit sandpaper and paint. If you're trying to create compound curves, first you'll need a methodology to create the shapes, or a form/pattern made of wood, then use heat.

    That material may be a little thick for vaccuforming. But don't rule that out. You can fenagle an "oven" with 1 or more heat guns I'm thinking. A catdboard box as an enclosure. And you could likewise overlaymultiple layers to buildup the thickness I think.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    506
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default

    If you don't want to bend thin plywood around corners or use a curved router bit on thicker panels, you might try making your rounded edges from quarter round mouldings, of course subtracting the moulding radius from each edge of the plywood panel. There are all sizes at your local hardware store.
    You could probably produce something approximating an Apple ][ case with this material.
    QuarterRounds.jpg

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default

    If you design your own boards, you can pick out an enclosure first and then design a board for it. I find Arduino Mega enclosure nice & cheap for small designs. Pactec CM5-125 clamshell is a nice enclosure for the economical 100mm X 100mm pc board format. I saw an enclosure made out of Lego blocks that was very cute!
    Bill

  6. #36

    Default

    I'm sorry we seem to have gone a bit off the OP's expectations but I'm really happy to discover how many workshop-folk there are on here

    Hardwood, ply, sheetmetal, lasercut plastics... there are any number of ways to build a case. The only sensible approach I can see is to pick one that gives the impression you want (some beautiful things could feel incongruous on a 1970s/80s pc... ) that's not too big a stretch in terms of the tools and techniques available (however nice milled titanium may be, I'll pass). For a one-off, I think it's fine to do workarounds for not having all the perfect tools for the job. It's great that there are a lot of tools available relatively cheaply now if you're prepared to pick carefully and work on them a bit to get them set up well, but it's still only worth getting the ones that will see a reasonable amount of use.

    Something we didn't discuss is whether or not an all-enclosing earthed sheet-metal case is wanted as a guard against interference. If not, I agree with the suggestion that plywood could be great for a 70s-homebrew-style machine and pretty easy with limited hand tools. Sort of an "Apple I prototype" feel. It'd still be handy to have a bench drill To steam ply you really need to be quite picky about the quality of the chosen ply, some is simply not up to it.

    On the forever-fraught question of Chinese machine tools: on average, I like them. That's an average with a very wide variance in it and a willingness to dodge a few particular importers who seem to bring in others' QC rejects. The OK ones are never as smooth and sweet as the best old tools but you can fairly easily get one that gets the job done and can be made able to do good work, which is usually all I want.

  7. #37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by justanotherhacker View Post
    Something we didn't discuss is whether or not an all-enclosing earthed sheet-metal case is wanted as a guard against interference.
    Probably because it's easy to line a non conducting enclosure with metallic foil and ground it. In the case (geddit? ) of the Superbrain, there is no shielding anyway, apart from the mains filter.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    33,667
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Or zinc-laden paint, like some of the plastic/foam/fiberglass enclosures.

    Sheet steel is useful to corral magnetic fields, but otherwise there are other solutions for EMI.

  9. #39

    Default

    Must admit, foil had occurred to me (seeming slightly inferior to sheet metal, but not by much)... but zinc-laden paint hadn't. Interesting. Didn't realise that could be up to scratch.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    33,667
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Yeah, practice in the good old days--either nickel, zinc or carbon on the inside of enclosures. Paints made specifically for EMF shielding are quite common. But I suspect that a rattle-can of Rust-Oleum Cold Galvanizing spray would be quite adequate.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •