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.

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Size comparison shot.

 

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An original Hammond Gregory in black

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...and another in brown.  They were made of Bakelite.

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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.

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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.

 

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The LCD panel was scavenged from an automotive rooftop mounted DVD player.  It measures 11.3" and has a native resolution of 800x600.

  

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The original mounting plate had to be trimmed (Dremeled) at several spots around its perimeter

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The wood work started with a new frame for the LCD.  I cut a sheet of paper to use as a template.

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I used overlapping butt joints for strength.

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Panel shims were glued into the frame.

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A box was built to create space behind the screen.

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Universal Size Comparator shown with collection of crafted decorative panels.

 

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Carpenter's glue and clamps.

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Watching glue dry.

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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.

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My Midwest Products Easy Cutter is a hand mitre box.  It makes insanely accurate and clean mitre cuts with its razor sharp blade.

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Dummy equipment used to size up the back panel dimensions. 

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Test fitting the motherboard.

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Test fitting the back panel.

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Making a frame for the motherboard I/O plate.

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Test fitting the motherboard and LCD panel into the case.

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The face plate veneer is glued up and the piece is sanded with 100 grit sandpaper.

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I "bake" the mahogany in Florida sunshine in order to accelerate the natural darkening of the wood over time. 

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Results of a day in the sun.  Similar to many tourists this time of year.

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The I/O plate frame is glued to the back panel.

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Test fitting the dummy board with dummy I/O plate.

 

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Test mounting fan and Bulgin power switch

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Brass screw inserts and knurled thumb screws attach the back plate to the case.

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The interior gets a coat of Pewter Grey paint.

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Buttons are installed into the display frame.

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 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.

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Test fitting the VIA CN and associated equipment onto the backplate.

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The mahogany was treated to a 220 grit sandpapering followed by several coats of clear lacquer.

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The surface was also treated to a #0000 ultra-fine steel wool massage followed by a coat of Johnson's Paste Wax.

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Sunset at Stonington, Connecticut

I want to thank my good friends at VIA, Crucial, mini-box and Sidewinder.

Thanks for looking!