Author Topic: Ingraham - 2008  (Read 36990 times)

slipperyskip

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Ingraham - 2008
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:21:57 PM »
Welcome to my latest project log.  I'm calling it Ingraham because I'm taking inspiration from one of my favorite radio designers from the thirties and fourties.  Ingraham didn't build radios.  They were a clock company that got into designing and building wooden radio cases for the big name radio companies like Emerson, GE and Stromberg-Carlson.

The front of the case is dominated by a 7-slat horizontal louver (louvre for you Brits) system that is designed to hide two 3-incn (76mm) ventilation ports. 


I apologize for the crude photos.  I haven't got my photography kit together yet.  My tripod has walked on me.  Pictured above is seven 3/16" x 3" basswood planks cut to the width of the case.  Spacing the slats out are 3/16" support planks.




The support planks are set back at a 3/8" depth all around.  This photo kinda simulates what it will look like.  No glue here only clamps.




The support planks are brought back out flush with front edge.  This gives me a flat surface draw my 3" circle.




The support planks are pulled and cut at the pencil marks.  The resulting pieces are reassembled.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 12:23:49 PM »

When finished, the computer will be viewed on a tabletop at a downward angle.  The vent holes magically disappear behind the louvers.  All together now...oooh...aaah.




I took the newly made support pieces and cloned them by clamping each piece down to some stock.  I then use my Xacto razor saw to make clean-edged cuts.  This is how I make all my cuts.  I've never used a power saw of any kind. 




The cloned supports are inverted to form a mirror image and mounted on the other side of the louvers.  The edges are still very square and will be sanded down later to help form a cleaner circle.




This work forms the outer two edges of each vent hole.  The inner edges will be formed later by adding support pieces to the center resulting in two (hopefully) perfect circles.




The victim...a Silverstone LC06.  The large blank space at the top part of the faceplate is where the louvers will end up.  The entire faceplate will be replaced along with the top cover.




Ass end shot.  Silverstone is sending me a new LC06 but I've owned one for years and know quite a bit about it.   Interesting thing to note about the LC06....it has no case fans.  How cool would it be if case manufacturers made cases especially for modders that have no fan holes?  You could cut out holes wherever you needed them and whatever size you wanted.  Hmmmm.....




Inside shot.  The LC06 is solid aluminum except for the tiny mini-ITX motherboard tray.  The tray also mounts a 3.5" hard drive below the board.  The full-sized optical drive mounts directly to the case floor.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 12:26:24 PM »
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....I got a package from Silverstone with my LC06.  I gutted it and ripped off it's faceplate.  Hmmm...case carcass.


I've decided not to build my own cover.  Instead, I'll be cladding the existing aluminum cover with a wooden shell.  There is pencil mark across the front where I'm going to dremel off the top of the face.  The dremeling will continue back about three inches into the case and up across the top resulting in removal of the entire front corner.  I will call this operation "The Frontal Lobotomy".



This stuff will get remounted onto the back of the plate because my replacement face plate is thinner than the stock face plate.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 12:28:38 PM by slipperyskip »

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 12:30:00 PM »

More panel cutting.  I use 3/8" x 3" planks of lazer-cut lumber to form a fence.  One side is "tacked down" using mini-clamps while the other is used to keep the saw at 90 degrees.  Here I'm cutting the side panels out of 3/16" 5-ply aircraft-grade birch plywood.




The side panels being fitted up.




Showing off some materials and things. On bottom is the 3/16" plywood mentioned above.  Next is a sheet of 1/32" birch plywood...yes...1/32" or .8mm 3-ply aircraft-grade plywood. On top of that is a 3" wide sheet of American black walnut veneer.  Topping things off is my master carving for the domed roof.  I'll be using five identical "rafters" to create the slightly domed top to the computer case.  I built the master carving by eye using a razor knife and sandpaper.




The master curve is mated up with the other rafters so I can start cutting out the excess corner material.




The original faceplate is an impressive chunk of aluminum.  Here I'm using it to cut out the openings for the front panel ports.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 12:31:52 PM »

Frontal lobotomy brought to you by the Dremel Corp.




The front panel ports and power switch holes are cut into the 3/8" thick face plate.




The face plate is attached to the computer using countersunk machine screws with nuts and washers. Later, the screw holes will be wood puttied, sanded down and covered up with a tasty walnut veneer.




A progress fitting.  The louver sub-assembly will fit here, sorta, kinda.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 12:35:36 PM »

I drilled out holes and fitted up a side panel with machine screws, washers and nuts.  I took some measurements and then removed the panel for cutting.




Hand cut slots that took about 2 hours each to saw out with my X-acto razor saw and an X-acto razor knife.  Tough going through plywood. The cuts create a cradle that the louver sub-assembly will fit into.

To answer a recent question...basswood is not the same as balsa.  Balsa comes from the Amazon rainforest.  Basswood is grown in managed forests in Michigan, USA.  Basswood is a hardwood and is much stronger than balsa but both are very millable and easy to work with.



I put stuff together loosely to check the fit and get the total width correct.  I had cut the louvers extra wide which is just the way I do things.  Measure three times and then cut it too long.  Later I will mill everything back to where it needs to be.  It is a lot of extra work but stuff happens and plans change so I'm glad I give myself that extra little bit.




The corner in the foreground is all lined up the way I want.  The excess hangs out over the far side.  After getting the true center I cut and fit the center section of the vent ducts.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 12:39:59 PM »

I put stuff together loosely to check the fit and get the total width correct.  I had cut the louvers extra wide which is just the way I do things.  Measure three times and then cut it too long.  Later I will mill everything back to where it needs to be.  It is a lot of extra work but stuff happens and plans change so I'm glad I give myself that extra little bit.




The corner in the foreground is all lined up the way I want.  The excess hangs out over the far side.  After getting the true center I cut and fit the center section of the vent ducts.




I'm finishing an earlier step that was started with this photo.  Four 3/8" basswood planks pinched around my master curve.




Knocked down the corners with a hand saw and finsihed working down to the master curve with 60-grit sandpaper.  I rotate the planks often in order to maintain symmetry.




Results:  Five identical curved rafters.




I trimmed up a couple of the rafters and temporarily fit them for a photo op.  The Silverstone LC06 is beginning to disappear.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2014, 12:41:52 PM »

The rafters are set into place after the edges of the side panels are beveled to the angle of the curve.  The rafters are all hand milled to a friction fit.  The square piece in place of the louver section is a temporary spacer.




1/2" square basswood stock is cut into sections using my miniature mitre box and X-acto saw.




I got a little work done on the back end.  In front is my pile of eight 1/2" square blocks.




The blocks are temporarily placed.  They will act as spacers and support but will primarily be used as glue blocks.  The stressed plywood going on top will need all the glue-down surface it can get on the edges.  The blocks are pictured unfinished. They still need to be sanded down to conform to the curve.




I haven't done any gluing so far.  Everything is still friction fit or bolted up.  I like to wait doing any irreversible step for a s long as possible. This photo shows my "crack line" around the front panel.  I put a lot of thought and effort into planning how to crack the case open.




The two pieces apart to hopefully illustrate the crack line.  I pay more attention to hiding the crack line than most anything else.  Determining how to open the case was one of the first design decisions made and everything else has worked around it.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2014, 12:44:11 PM »

I finished up the glue blocks and sanded everything down to the curve.  I also countersunk and re-attached the screws in my sidepanels.


It's TOOLTIME!  (Everyone make Tim Taylor grunting noises.)

This photo shows a few of my favorites.  In the foreground is a Nicholson 4-In-Hand hand rasp.  It has four different surfaces to really tear out chunks of wood with great precision. I have used this tool in all of my projects and consider it an old friend.

Two drill bits, the right one is what I use to countersink screw holes.  The left one is a brad point drill bit.  Any woodworker MUST have a set of brad points.  They feature a very sharp point that makes it impossible for the tip to travel.  Both drill bits have masking tape wrapped around the shaft because I often drill holes by hand.  Wrapping masking tape creates a "grippy" surface when twirling the bit between my thumb and forefinger.  Smaller drill bits need the extra width from the tape to ease the drilling motion. (Cue pron music..boom chicka wah wah)

Clamps.  Can't have too many is the rule of thumb.  Different kinds and sizes is also a must.  Here are two popular Irwin models.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2014, 12:45:40 PM »

I have glued everything up using professional carpenters wood glue and allowed to dry for 24 hours.  All the pieces that I intentionally cut too long are sanded into submission.




The screw holes are all filled with wood filler, dryed and sanded down.  The lone screw shown toward the bottom will be one of the actual case screws.  Later, much fussing will ensue in order to stealth these in.




The front panel wood filling work in process.  Goop it on and sand it down.  I'm not actually sure if all this is necessary in order to veneer over the screws but I have done it before with success and it makes me look like I know what I'm doing.




I call this the louver floor.  It is 1/8" thick and was fairly sturdy before I cut the large slot in the side.  The slot is to clear the mini-ITX motherboard.  The slot cutting weakened the plank slightly and produced a fragile tab in the corner.




The solution was to flip it over and glue support pieces to the underside.




The floor is fitted up.  This photo includes a size comparator.  The case is still fairly small even though I've added so much fluff.

I'm dragging my feet on the next step in this project.  It involves using contact cement to install the roof.  You cannot make ANY mistakes using contact cement because it bonds instantly.  The only solution to a mistake is to throw it away and start from scratch.  If there are no more updates to this worklog it is because I have flung myself off a roof.

slipperyskip

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 12:47:00 PM »

It is a beautiful day here in Florida.  Good thing because I need to move the toxic fumes outside.  Coffee...black.




The contact cement needs to dry for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, I stuff some foam into the pockets to hopefully help with sound deadening.  Seemed like the thing to do.  It will probably get ripped apart thinking I'm smuggling drugs or something.




Instant bonding, no clamps required.  The stainless Thermos cap is used to apply pressure to the surface.  You are suppose to do that with a fancy roller.  You have to put down some fairly serious pressure in order to get a tight bond.




2 hours later, trim with saw and finish up wth sandpaper.







I guess I can put my ladder away.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 12:48:32 PM »
Veneering. My favorite task these days.  It hasn't gotten old yet. I do things different...of course.  I use regular carpenter's glue instead of contact cement.  One big difference is drying time.  I spend a lot of time watching glue dry.


Creative clamping is both a skill and an art.  A lot of these "sculptures" being displayed for 6 - 12 hours each.




One of many pieces in the collection.  I usually run out of clamps and have to re-learn the skill of patience.




Barbie's Malibu Pillbox Bunker (now with reinforced blast roof and walnut bar top.) 




Many, many twisted contortions of clamping forced materials.






Walnut faceplate before trimming.




Faceplate trimmed and rough sanded before being fitted for a photo.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 12:50:23 PM »

The steel motherboard tray screws into the bottom at four spots and to the back at two spots.




Without the support of the steel tray there isn't much left.  There can't be more than a Foster's can worth of aluminum here.  It is very light and fragile.




The bottom of the tray showing where the 3.5" hard drive is bolted on.  Yes...you can mount two drives with a little modding.




The top of the tray showing the four standard mini-ITX motherboard mounting points.  The tray is pressed steel with serious sharp edges.  I'll be knocking down these edges and repainting after a minor modification. 

This simple steel bracket is a fine piece of engineering.  I wish SilverStone sold them separately.  You could build an entire system around this bracket.




Measured up some 3/16" x 3/8" stock.  Cut and milled the edges.




Fit the new pieces into the "grill".




When you run out of clamps then it's time to go old school.  For you young folks these are called books.  They are pdf prototypes.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 12:51:54 PM »

They sent me a single sheet of gnarly black walnut with this batch.  Here I used it on the back panel.  It will be interesting to see how it finishes.




Flip side shot showing the lip veneering.  Rule of thumb for veneering....do the boring stuff first and leave your money shot for last.  This rule helps to determine where the edge seams go.

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Re: Ingraham - 2008
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 12:53:32 PM »

Got some painting done over the weekend.  I call this the motherboard thong because it is all the support the board needs.




Painted Thong Red of course.




Ready to mount some equipment.



The mini-ITX board I'll be using is the new VIA VB8001.