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Old 12-31-2010, 10:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Build Log: Constructing the Ultimate Computer Desk

Originally Posted by patonb View Post
Kleep it up while the weathers still nice......
I hear ya patonb!

I finally got around to putting the second hole in the desk surface area (Since the desk is composed of two sheets of plywood, there are two holes needed, with the "top surface" needing a hole that is .5" larger all the way around, so the "bottom surface" supports the piece of glass which covers the gaming computer).

I took a few more detailed pictures compared to last time.

As with before, I started by cutting out a rough shape with the jigsaw. I was able to get within .5" comfortably of my marked lines. Sometimes if you rush the jigsaw, your cuts can get a little squirrely, so I was playing it safe. This is the top surface, so no screwing up here!!

I then took an extra dose of patience, and went in straight to the corners with the jigsaw. This is a step I did not take last time, and I made a mistake with the router because of this.

I then took the router and pressed the bit right into the corner, and clamped a straight-edge on behind it. This is how I set the distance from the bit to the straight-edge. I repeated the same for the other side.

All it took was a good solid pass from right-to-left and I had a very clean straight edge without having to go all the way into the corners, where mistakes can be made, since it is quite difficult to see where the actual router bit is when the tool is running.

Unclamp, reset router, reset clamps and straight edge, lather, rinse, and repeat:

This hole had a very small margin of error overall, and I am very pleased with the result. The jigsaw is an incredible versatile tool and can be very accurate, as long as you have patience. This one corner is the only one that will need a touch-up with a file and/or sandpaper, and you can see, it's only going to need less than a 16th of material removal!

And that's all I had time for in the shop that day Enjoy some of my mess!

Until next time!

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Old 12-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Build Log: Constructing the Ultimate Computer Desk

Nice build so far... makes me want to reconsider my ideas. But mine were no where near as elaborate as yours!


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Old 01-05-2011, 05:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Desktop Chop Shop

Originally Posted by Nukem View Post
Nice build so far... makes me want to reconsider my ideas. But mine were no where near as elaborate as yours!
Thanks Nukem, glad you're enjoying! I hope mind aren't so elaborate that I won't be able to finish it!

Hey everyone, it's been a little while since my last update, so here are a few snapshots. As some of you might know, I've been a little held back in the project due to not having selected my motherboard I/O plates and motherboard trays. Without having the actual items, I couldn't make the appropriate measurements to make cut-outs in the back of the cabinets, and therefore, was unable to make the dado cuts due to worry about everything not fitting properly.

So I scrounged through some old desktop systems I had lying around, emptied their components into my bins, and decided to take apart their chassis in search of some good motherboard tray and I/O parts.

So - off to the spooky basement with a pair of chassis, my trusty drill and dremel.

Having never drilled rivets out of a case before, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. At first, I started with a bit that was a little bit small, so the rivets came up onto the drill bit itself and got stuck on there pretty good. Eventually, I moved to a bigger bit, and all it took was one good squeeze of the trigger and the rivet would come right out nice and cleanly.

Starting to rack up some parts here

You can see in the image above that the I/O and PCI Plate is built right into the back of the desktop chassis - this is unfortunate, as you'll see in some future photos, my other case actually had a modular I/O plate. I'll have to take the dremel to that part to get what I need.

Time to grab the pliers...

Here is the shot of the back plate of the other desktop chassis - see how the I/O plate was actually riveted in, and not pressed as a whole back sheet like the other one? Soo much easier to deal with.

That was a pretty fun experience taking apart the cases. I've got a bunch of scrap sheet metal now too - wonder what interesting projects I can come up with to use them...

On to that first I/O plate - I need to dremel out the section that I need

Huh.. that actually didn't work out too well, at least, not the way I would like. I'm going to take these parts to the shop to see if there are any better tools for getting nice clean lines.

Until next time!
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Desktop Chop Shop

I had some time to take those motherboard tray and I/O Plates to the shop to try out a few tools / techniques for shaping them into something I actually like.

First off, yes, Mike and I tried using the nice Dewalt Jigsaw, but the Mastercraft metal blades we were trying to use just wouldn't stay in the darn clamp. It would cut like butter for maybe 10 seconds and then bam, the blade would fall out of the bottom of the jigsaw onto the ground. Not sure what was going on there.

Next up, we tried this neat little Mastercraft oscillating tool with a metal blade as well, but no such luck. Couldn't figure out a good way to clamp down the metal tray, so it just vibrated it like crazy instead of actually cutting.

Our next contestant was an air compressor powered cutting wheel, which, was ultimately less accurate than the dremel, and just as slow.

So we took out the big gun, the sawzall.

Ha, no, just kidding. It wouldn't work even a tiny bit for a piece like this.

In the end, you know what ultimately worked the best?

Yeah, a hacksaw. Go figure.

Anyways, here you can see my mangled I/O plate for the motherboard. It's not a pretty sight at all in my opinion.

This is the nice I/O plate that I didn't even have to do anything except drill out a few rivets.

I think I'm going to have to come up with a better solution for this. We'll see shortly

Hope everyone who is getting snow is enjoying it, I know here in Ottawa, it's been a pretty crazy few days!

Stay tuned for more updates, will be spending some time in the shop this week and working with WOOD!
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Build Log: Constructing the Ultimate Computer Desk

I wish I had this equipment.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Settin up Drawers Part 1

Originally Posted by KJamesJR View Post
I wish I had this equipment.
Same here! So glad I could use it for the time I am in the shop

I had a bit of time in the shop this week to work on getting my drawers up to speed. I decided to take the advice of a fellow forum member and add "false fronts" to my drawers so that I can attach the "real fronts" using screws by screwing from the inside of the drawer, so I wouldn't have any screw heads to cover up on the outside.

Here they are, with my roughed out false fronts - I happened to have 3 pieces of wood almost exactly the size I needed.

Time to take out 'ol trusty

A quick test fit, and all 3 fit perfectly

Add a bit of glue, and some trusty clamps, and we've got ourselves the beginnings of some false fronts!

All 3 of them fit rather nicely. I think they helped square out the drawers overall as well (Even though they were only out of square by around 1/16th of an inch).

So, I've got some time for the glue to dry. I'm not sure if anyone can remember this, but in my original cut sheets, I had planned on cutting out a specific piece of wood using the wood that I jigsawed out of the desk surface.

Here's that piece:

Not, exactly.... square..
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Settin up Drawers Part 2

So I take this nice little protractor attached to a table saw slide - it's set at 90, so here we go!

I do 2 sides, and then use the actual table saw fence to square out the other 2, but something just doesn't seem right..

It's not really square. What's going on here?

Aha! Looks like the protractor was a little bit off, resulting in a shape one step closer to a diamond as opposed to a square. After a bit of readjustment, I redid that bit and cut it to size - it's the drawer face for the large drawer.

Now that the glue is settled, I decided to throw a few screws into the false fronts.

Awesome. And solid too!

Now, this is kind of embarrassing, but I had to go back and fix a mistake I made in my initial cuts. This piece of wood was supposed to be 20" x 28", but it ended up being more like 19.8" x 28". It may not seem like much, but this is the back piece to the left-hand cabinet. I would have to adjust the width of all 3 shelves if I were to continue using this, and I've got the space already pretty tightly packed with computer components on the top shelf.

So... don't do this at home, just cut a new piece of wood (I didn't want to cut into a new sheet of 4x8 just for this one piece...)

This piece looks like a good fit...

No one will see it, because it'll be in the back, but you will all know. So... let's just forget that ever happened, ok?
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Settin up Drawers Part 2

I decided it was time to glue the two surfaces together that would comprise of the actual desk surface and take a break from working on the drawers for a while.

Here it is, the first piece. At first I wanted to lay it face down, so I could evenly distribute screws through the bottom, but in the end, I went face up so I would protect the surface, and it would be a LOT easier to line up the holes.

I threw on the top layer, lined them up, and thought to myself: Hmm, I wonder what it'll look like with the top shelf stacked on:

Pretty cool. This was the first time I had actually pulled a chair up to it to get a real grasp of how big this desk is going to be. I was pretty psyched.

Just a note, the two pieces of wood on each end holding up the shelf will actually be the inner supports (ie, pushed inwards towards the middle of the desk a foot or two), and the cubby holes on the outer ends will support the long shelf. The long shelf also has to be trimmed a couple inches, it won't reach right to the end of the desk.

This next part was really quite a challenge on my own.

I lined it up as best as I could (According to the holes that I cut out, since the edges are easy to trim later), lifted one end with a mighty, strong arm, squirted as much glue as I could with my other arm (And only as far as I could reach!), put it down gently, ran to the other side and repeated.

Let me tell you - with the amount of glue I put down, and the fact that each side weighs 20-30 pounds - it did NOT want to slide around easily to get into perfect position.

In the end, I had to muscle it around a bit to get the holes lined up satisfactorily.

(I spoke with a couple friends about this afterward, and one of them suggested making some pilot holes and screwing in a few screws BEFORE the gluing, and then retracting the screws so that just the tips go through the bottom board. That way after the glue is put down, you shuffle around the top board until the tips of the screws find the pilot holes, thus, eliminating the issue of getting proper alignment before the glue becomes too tacky.)

I then threw some weight on top of the table, attached as many clamps as I could find, and started putting some 1.25" screws through the bottom.

A few clamp shots of the hole - everything lined up pretty much perfect. 1/2" on the left and right, 1/2" at the bottom, and I think just a little under 3/4" at the top. (The size of the lip between the upper and lower holes)

I wasn't satisfied with the way the clamping was going on lengthwise on the surface. I didn't have enough clamps to place them every half foot, so luckily, Mike had some of these nice, big, cedar logs lying around that I re-purposed temporarily.

The end result turned out quite nicely. The hole was lined up properly. There is only a small overhang / underhang of maybe 2/16's of an inch on two of the edges of the surfaces that should be easy to correct with a flush-bit on the router later.

We'll take a look at them next update! Thanks for staying tuned!
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Build Log: Constructing the Ultimate Computer Desk


at first when I saw the thread title i was expecting a dinky little desk put together with some 1/2" ply and 2x4's, but this is definitely sick. It looks like it's coming together really well! I love all the pics you've been taking, especially the artsy one's haha. Can't wait to see the next update! Stay warm up there
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Also please use the search button. You've got a 50/50 chance that someone's asked your question and we've answered it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Build Log: Constructing the Ultimate Computer Desk

^Yha we cooled off this week. Hit minus 20C this morning. Makes me really glad I work from home

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