Guide: Fueler's Custom Modded Folding Righardnrg -
I will be using 3/4" square aluminum tubing to make the frame, so I needed to find a way to bolt or rivet them together. Nothing I found at the local hardware store would do the trick, so I decided to make the "L brackets" I needed from scratch.
I picked up a section of 1 1/2" angled aluminum rod and cut it into a load of 3/4" wide "L" shaped brackets.
That was just the start though. To finish them up took quite a bit more work...First they all (30 pieces) needed to be milled to exactly the same size.
Each bracket will have 4 rivets going through it, so the next step after sizing was to counter sink the brackets for the rivet heads. Four counter sinks per bracket times thirty brackets.....It took a while. I used a dial indicator that reads in .001inch increments so that I could make sure that every bracket was done identically.
I used the same procedure to drill the holes for the rivets to go through.
Finally, after a run through the bead blaster and the better part of a days time, I had the brackets for the case.
Now it was time to cut the tubing for the case, so some decisions needed to be made. I sat there and laid out those mobo's for a couple of hours trying to get the best fit and still have good airflow when I came across the idea of mounting the boards back-to-back. In order to make this work, the case would have to be wider than a standard case (about 10"), but the other dimensions could be kept to about the size of a mini or mid tower. I fired up the bandsaw, cut the tubing (I cut them a little oversized) and cleaned up (read squared) the ends using a bench mounted belt sander.
The tubing then went to the mill and using the same procedures I used for the brackets, pre-drilled all the holes for the rivets.
This is where all the time spend milling and drilling to exact tolerances paid off.....It took me all of about a half an hour to assemble the case frame and thus everything fits like a glove.
sdy284: What do you use to design your cases before you start cutting?
Fueler: As much as I'd like to say I use one of those fancy 3D design tools (like Sketchup), the reality is I don't have a clue how to use those programs, so it's all in my head (probably explains the headaches).
sdy284: Do you draw a basic layout design on paper first, before you do anything?
Fueler: Yeah, sure....here's the work sheet for this rig
It ain't much, but it's all I need