The Skyscraper Photo PC
August 1st, 2007
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The Skyscraper Photo PC is my tribute to the 1931 Hammond Gregory clock. The clock was designed in 1931 in the skyscraper-style of the art deco era.
Size comparison shot.
An original Hammond Gregory in black
...and another in brown. They were made of Bakelite.
The Skyscraper Photo PC is contructed entirely of wood. The main structure is basswood with a mahogany veneer. The back panel is birch plywood painted with industrial aluminum paint. The 60mm Vantec Stealth fan pulls air up through the gap at the bottom.
The computer's I/O panel is exposed after tilting the computer onto its back. The LCD panel is connected to the computer's composite TV-out jack. The gap above the I/O plate is a continuation of the air flow path.
The LCD panel was scavenged from an automotive rooftop mounted DVD player. It measures 11.3" and has a native resolution of 800x600.
The original mounting plate had to be trimmed (Dremeled) at several spots around its perimeter
The wood work started with a new frame for the LCD. I cut a sheet of paper to use as a template.
I used overlapping butt joints for strength.
Panel shims were glued into the frame.
A box was built to create space behind the screen.
Universal Size Comparator shown with collection of crafted decorative panels.
Carpenter's glue and clamps.
Watching glue dry.
Mahogany veneer cut and glued up.
All the veneer is finished except the faceplate. Veneering took about 60 hours and consisted of 49 pieces with 82 finished edges.
My Midwest Products Easy Cutter is a hand mitre box. It makes insanely accurate and clean mitre cuts with its razor sharp blade.
Dummy equipment used to size up the back panel dimensions.
Test fitting the motherboard.
Test fitting the back panel.
Making a frame for the motherboard I/O plate.
Test fitting the motherboard and LCD panel into the case.
The face plate veneer is glued up and the piece is sanded with 100 grit sandpaper.
I "bake" the mahogany in Florida sunshine in order to accelerate the natural darkening of the wood over time.
Results of a day in the sun. Similar to many tourists this time of year.
The I/O plate frame is glued to the back panel.
Test fitting the dummy board with dummy I/O plate.
Test mounting fan and Bulgin power switch
Brass screw inserts and knurled thumb screws attach the back plate to the case.
The interior gets a coat of Pewter Grey paint.
Buttons are installed into the display frame.
This is a VIA CN10000EG motherboard with a fanless 1GHz C7 processor. The single memory slot is filled with a 1GB stick of Crucial DDR2 533.
The power supply is the 120W picoPSU from mini-box.com. Also from mini-box is the CF IDE adapter with a 2GB Crucial compact flash card.
Not a powerful system but it is dead silent.
Test fitting the VIA CN and associated equipment onto the backplate.
The mahogany was treated to a 220 grit sandpapering followed by several coats of clear lacquer.
The surface was also treated to a #0000 ultra-fine steel wool massage followed by a coat of Johnson's Paste Wax.
Sunset at Stonington, Connecticut
I want to thank my good friends at VIA, Crucial, mini-box and Sidewinder.
Thanks for looking!