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Jeffrey Stephenson

Project: Mission - 2009 Mod Contest Entry - Completed

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Mission

A mission-style walnut side table built around a Cooler Master aluminum mid tower ATX case. The modified bottom-to-top cooling system and easily replaceable decorative panels help make Mission a cool-running spousal-friendly gaming/HTPC system. Features include a large replaceable inlet air filter, temperature-controlled exhaust fans and a self-contained “plug-in†chassis design.

Mission was built entirely by myself in 11 weeks with a minimal use of power tools. It was constructed in a "built-up" prototype modeling style and contains 366 individually cut pieces of walnut, maple, birch aircraft-grade plywood and basswood.

Mission-style is a type of furniture popular in the United States during the turn of the 20th century. It was inspired by the wood furniture of Spanish missions in California.

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A sample of construction photos from the worklog:

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Review of Mission specs...

Intel E7400 C2D

Gigabyte EP43-UD3L motherboard

Palit GeForce GTX 280

4GB Crucial DDR2 1066

Silverstone Nitrogon NT06 HSF

Silverstone 600W Strider PSU

Seagate 400GB HDD

Sony Blu-Ray optical drive

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Cooler Master Mystique 631

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Yanked the face plate off and threw it away.

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Removed the front panel ports, feet and front fan.

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Drilled out the pop rivets that secure the 3.5" internal drive rack and removed.

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Taped over the back panel to protect it during the build. Removed the side panel latch and air duct to get a perfectly flat panel.

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Installed some temporary waster pieces to provide spacing and support.

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1/8" birch plywood being fitted and measured.

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Panel cutting rig trimming up some plywood.

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Test fitting top panel including corner glue blocks.

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Guest

hi slipperyskip,

You don't really mean "all" do you?

as long as you keep updating your mod progress here, then you are fine. I assume you'll be entering the contest under 'Mid Tower' category, then just the case alone would be enough for qualification.

looking good.......Good luck!! :cheers:

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hi slipperyskip,

You don't really mean "all" do you?

as long as you keep updating your mod progress here, then you are fine. I assume you'll be entering the contest under 'Mid Tower' category, then just the case alone would be enough for qualification.

looking good.......Good luck!! :cheers:

OK. Thanks for clearing that up. Yes, it will be submitted in the Mid Tower category.

I do have equipment (non-Cooler Master) that is going inside but I was curious (cautious?) about how to post that info. Some of it has been donated. Any good words?

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nice cant wait to see the finished product.

Thanks. It might turn out good. :lol: We'll see.

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Gluing up some stock.

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Set to dry while pinched between my straightedge and a piece of laser-cut basswood.

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Sub-sections being glued together at right angles. I'm using small square blocks to keep the angle true during clamping.

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The case is over on its back to do a test fitting.

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The bottom panel will have a 2 x 120 radiator grill installed (eventually).

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The cross members are still all temporary spacers.

Thanks for looking.

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I do have equipment (non-Cooler Master) that is going inside but I was curious (cautious?) about how to post that info. Some of it has been donated. Any good words?

since the case alone will meet the qualification requirements, you are free to list any components you are using. Forum members would be voting for the winners so what matters should be the end-result, not what components you have. :mrgreen:

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PaPang    0

Wow, wood! Good to set an example in favor of the ecology and use of renewable resources. I've admired other wood working modder-artists & I expect, with your mod, to add another to the list. Best of Luck!

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Vent openings for the top and bottom panels are measured and drawn out. The left panel cutout has been "power scored" with a Dremel cutout wheel. The back of the panel is also penciled in and scored. I do this because plywood is notorious for surface chipping caused by saw blades and drills. I like sharp clean edges.

Those are excess pencil marks not over-cuts. The scoring is a perfect rectangle.

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The drill bit used for the pilot holes caused the predicted damage but notice it didn't travel beyond the score marks.

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A power tool! I broke down and bought the cheapest jigsaw available. I hate using them but they do save time for larger projects like this one.

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Of course I can't use a power tool like a normal person does. I don't make any attempt to cut along the line. Instead I leave a small amount of material that I will later hand rasp and rough sand down to the measurement line.

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Ta-da!

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The jigsaw ripped up the plywood surface but the damage remained within the scored boundary.

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Two identical panels with rough-cut openings. The top panel will hide two 120mm exhaust fans but look like it might be a 3 x 120. I have decided that the bottom panel will be an open vent with filters instead of fans. Both openings will have identical mesh covers with thin wooden frames.

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After a couple of hours of relaxing rasping, filing and sanding I get these.

Thanks for looking.

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I am really enjoying your project.

It is great as another member said to see more wood being used.

I really admire the fact that you prefer to had 'rasp' & use other traditional yet time consuming methods in the production of your pieces.

I hope that when people look at the finished product that they also take into account the methods of production, appreciate the time it takes to 'hand finish' as you have been doing.

Scoring with the dremel is a great tip that you have shared with the others too, way too many projects have been 'messed up' by not pre-scoring materials & I hope that future modders have taken note.

====

My question is why you chose to go with a 'Ply' rather than a solid sheet?

Was it more cost effective or have you found that Plywood has certain properties that 'solid' sheets of the same finish doesn't have when it comes to case modding?

My own attempts at wooden cases in the past have suffered 'warping' due to heat, both laptop & full sized towers.

(more laptop tho' which warped all over, the tower warped on top & rear only)

For those I had used thin solid sheets & not ply... hence my question about about having found certin properties in the ply, such as is it more heat resilient (sp?).

====

Great pictures & fantastic to see your work.

Can't wait to see more as the project progresses.

Dr. T

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