Author Topic: Flightline - 2013  (Read 13793 times)

slipperyskip

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Flightline - 2013
« on: August 07, 2014, 11:54:39 AM »
Introducing my new project based on the thin mini-ITX form factor. Intel developed this thin version to support the AIO (All In One) PC market. It was in response to the popularity of the iMac which bundles the monitor and system into a single thin chassis.

I have other ideas for it.




After a 20-hour work marathon I put together this chassis. Wood of course. It is the medium I work in.



18 pieces of wood assembled onto a 1/16" sheet of birch plywood. The wood is all basswood (AKA lacewood) except the darker center piece. That is 1/4" thick maple.



Many of the boards, including the maple, are simply to stiffen the structure. 1/16" (1.6mm) plywood is easy to work with and keeps the project thin but needs a little help to prevent flexing.



Gigabyte offers three thin mini-ITX models This is the high-end H77 chipset version.



One of the tricks in keeping the board thin is use of laptop-style SODIMM memory



The thin mini-ITX I/O shield is exactly 1/2 the height of a standard ATX standard I/O shield. Some board makers include a full height shield to use in a standard chassis.



If you installed a "normal" heatsink onto a thin mini-ITX board it would no longer be thin. Intel makes this heatsink and AFAIK it is the only such product on the market.



The heatsink uses a blower instead of a more common axial fan. Blowers are typically noisier and less efficient but Intel spent some serious R&D on this bad boy. This is the first blower I have ever worked with that allows air intake from both sides simultaneously. Testing will be done.









slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »

Working on the base. Wait.....what?



It is gonna be an "up and downer".



The backside will remain virgin. No screws, holes, paint. Nothing. This will match up to a similar surface in the cover.

 

Adding more material to complete the base structure.



Though it looks like a horizontal-stepped base it is actually made by building vertical steps.



I call them reversing pinwheel butt joints. Each layer reverses direction of the  joints and cause them to stagger back and forth across each other. Engineered strength. Veneer will hide the crudeness of the butt joints.









slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 11:56:33 AM »
At 30% completion...

















slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 11:58:38 AM »







1/16" x 1/32" mahogany strips hand-cut from sheet stock.



Some burl inlay work.



Morning sun




The hole in the back is just a temporary pilot hole.

slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 12:02:36 PM »
Snapshot of my current work space. 60+ pieces to cut.





The inspiration...The Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.


So after a crazy number of hours here are 70 pieces of veneer cut, glued and sanded.


It will look better when there is contrast between the different woods. Raw, sanded wood tends to be a bit dull.

Normally I would build a box and then apply veneer but maple is very difficult to work with (for me). I decided to veneer the sides first so I could bring much more clamping pressure to the surface. You gotta bring the pain.


slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 12:03:27 PM »
I estimate this project to be at 65% complete...


I can't wait to start the wood finishing.



Adjusted the contrast to get some color into it.



Cut out the blower intake duct. Still have the back panel veneer to apply.



Framed up the blower inlet and fit it with mesh.




slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 12:05:01 PM »

A test piece I put together with two types of maple cut into four pieces.



A burl and quilted maple piece get coated in amber-tinted shellac. The other half is still raw.



The entire surface gets sanded in 220 grit. A single coat of lacquer sanding sealer is shown. Hopefully the contrast between the maples looks OK.



Just taking pictures of it while it has no finish. I didn't even brush off the sawdust for these shots.







Working on the rooftop vents. Five mesh screens.





Testing out the amber shellac and styling a shiny bit.




I estimate this project to be 80% complete.




slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 12:06:10 PM »

Sanded back the tint leaving enough behind to get contrast.



Looking for a good compromise on the burl tint.



By request.



Almost finished with the vent. Around 30 pieces of maple veneer will cover the roof. I'm up to number 7. :D


.

slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 12:06:58 PM »

Working on the top vent.









slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 12:08:02 PM »
Working on the final bits....


Wired up the power switch that I positioned on the I/O plate right next to the power jack. Sleeved the power cable and the blower cable. Those are the only wires.:thumbup:
 


The base is hollow and now painted.



Used aluminum paint on the rear framing and...



...lava grey paint on the rest of the interior except....



...the back of the motherboard tray is left natural birch with a couple of coats of lacquer to protect it. I can't paint this piece because it slides directly against the interior of the cover. I can't veneer it either because the tolerances are too close.



Finished up the exhaust vents.



A sneak peek at the finished quilted maple
 






slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 12:09:25 PM »




















Big thanks to the people at Gigabyte!



Official webpage is HERE.

Boing Boing article.

slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 12:12:01 PM »
People have been bugging me for years to better hide/cover-up my project's computer components to attain a more stealthy look. I have tried that in the past only to end up with people asking "What is it?". The price of stealth I guess. I prefer to leave clues to let the viewer figure out on their own what they are looking at. Exposed USB ports, unadorned I/O plates, stuff like that.


Found a tasty piece of mahogany and cut it to size. The piece is 1/32" (.8mm) thick.





Carved out the openings using my trusty Japanese razor knife.





Just showing off. Notice the distance to the edge on the audio ports. Those holes were carved not drilled.



Final result.




slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 12:13:37 PM »















slipperyskip

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Re: Flightline - 2013
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 12:15:53 PM »