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-   -   WIP Creating the Ultimate Computer Desk - 2 Built-In Computers (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/case-mods-worklog-gallery/38454-creating-ultimate-computer-desk-2-built-computers.html)

ultimatedesk November 30, 2010 02:04 PM

Creating the Ultimate Computer Desk - 2 Built-In Computers
 
Hey y'all Canucks! Nice to finally be posting here, especially since I've been visiting for so many years!

I would like to firstly thank Crucial, Kingston and Danger Den for sponsoring this project and helping to make this a reality!

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/4871/cruciallogo.gif

http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/7...tonlogogif.png

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/5...gerdenlogo.png

I've been working on a new project lately - a project to create my ultimate computer desk, one which has fan control, dust control, noise control, multiple monitors, and multiple computers!

Yes - there will be 2 computers built right into the desk, 1 for some intense gaming, and 1 for 24/7 file serving and media playing tasks.

I've been working on it for a little while now, so I've got a big update for you, but don't you fret, I'll be sending at least weekly updates from now on as well, since I love spending time in the shop.

Here's the 1st draft!

After determining the minimum width, I started to build up the left-hand module, taking into consideration that I would be using 3/4" plywood for the construction.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/...c18cf0c359.jpg

I then decided that the air intake will be on the same board that the motherboard will lie, air will come from the bottom. It will be covered with a furnace air filter material that should eliminate most of the dust, and also provide good air circulation.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4091/...4f9195503d.jpg

Next up was to add some to-scale components. A big thanks to B@gy, who created the model for the Noctua NH-U12P CPU Heatsink, as well as the Noctua fans, Alexander who created the model for the Asus Ares video card, Nightsoul who created the model of the Western Digital Hard-Drives, and Fubar East for the very nice power supply model. Your talent saved me a lot of time when it came to placing the items to scale.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5046/...c56c2d1be2.jpg

Another view, from the back

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5290/...a9b6fd7eaf.jpg

I then took the same requirements and applied them to the right-hand module. This will be the "server-type" system. I also wanted to add drawers to this particular module, so this is what I came up with. It has the same air-intake system, which will be covered by a furnace air filter.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/...7506faec0b.jpg

And, finally, putting it all together, I figured 2 monitors is a reasonable thing these days. In the upper left, there will be the DVD drive, plus power and fan controls for the gaming rig. There is a glass cover over the gaming rig that can be removed to perform upgrades and maintenance.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/...244b576913.jpg

And a picture of the back - the boxes aren't exactly what they'll turn out as - they are for cable management, ideally I will setup little boxes so you will see almost NO cables in the back. They will have some foam stuffed in the top to keep dust out of the boxes as well.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5168/...a8298ea800.jpg

And that's it for this post! The 1st draft! I'll have to ponder on it for a little while to make sure everything is A-OK for building, and determine how much lumber I'll need.

As always, comments, feedback and ideas are ALWAYS WELCOME! This is going to be a long build, I figure it'll take me a couple months at least, and that's not including some of the custom electronic trickery I'm going to have to learnAfter determining the minimum width, I started to build up the left-hand module, taking into consideration that I would be using 3/4" plywood for the construction.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4106/...c18cf0c359.jpg

I then decided that the air intake will be on the same board that the motherboard will lie, air will come from the bottom. It will be covered with a furnace air filter material that should eliminate most of the dust, and also provide good air circulation.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4091/...4f9195503d.jpg

Next up was to add some to-scale components. A big thanks to B@gy, who created the model for the Noctua NH-U12P CPU Heatsink, as well as the Noctua fans, Alexander who created the model for the Asus Ares video card, Nightsoul who created the model of the Western Digital Hard-Drives, and Fubar East for the very nice power supply model. Your talent saved me a lot of time when it came to placing the items to scale.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5046/...c56c2d1be2.jpg

Another view, from the back

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5290/...a9b6fd7eaf.jpg

I then took the same requirements and applied them to the right-hand module. This will be the "server-type" system. I also wanted to add drawers to this particular module, so this is what I came up with. It has the same air-intake system, which will be covered by a furnace air filter.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/...7506faec0b.jpg

And, finally, putting it all together, I figured 2 monitors is a reasonable thing these days. In the upper left, there will be the DVD drive, plus power and fan controls for the gaming rig. There is a glass cover over the gaming rig that can be removed to perform upgrades and maintenance.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/...244b576913.jpg

And a picture of the back - the boxes aren't exactly what they'll turn out as - they are for cable management, ideally I will setup little boxes so you will see almost NO cables in the back. They will have some foam stuffed in the top to keep dust out of the boxes as well.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5168/...a8298ea800.jpg

And that's it for this post! The 1st draft! I'll have to ponder on it for a little while to make sure everything is A-OK for building, and determine how much lumber I'll need.

As always, comments, feedback and ideas are ALWAYS WELCOME! This is going to be a long build, I figure it'll take me a couple months at least, and that's not including some of the custom electronic trickery I'm going to have to learn

ultimatedesk November 30, 2010 02:04 PM

2nd Draft!
 
After spending some time reviewing my 1st draft I realized a few things very quickly:

1. All my joints are butt joints! This is going to result in a lot of screw holes on the visible surfaces that I will have to cover up, and it will not be as strong as it could be.

2. The edges of plywood are nasty - I did not account for using 1/4" solid wood trim on all of the visible edges of the plywood. This will seriously throw off all my measurements.

3. The right-hand module, with the so called drawers, don't actually have drawers sketched in - just drawer faces!

So, it was time start from scratch (Sorta). Here's the end result, and ultimately, the final plan. The dark coloured wood is the solid trim, and the light coloured wood are 1x1's so that I can screw the panels together from the inside, avoiding any screw holes on the outside. I also added a few dado joints that I believe will be ultra strong with just a generous application of wood glue.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5121/...03592c9c72.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/...4246fb3421.jpg

So, while I was redoing all of this, I figured: this desk is going to be a beast. A big, heavy, super-duty truck kind of beast. This means I will likely be able to keep it for quite some time, and with technology going the way it is....

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5129/...223500f13e.jpg

Yup, planning for 3 monitors, external fan / dvd / power controls for both of the systems, and going the full 8 foot length for the desk. The dvd / controls will be in the cubby holes you see in the upper left and right-hand sides of the desk.

It'll be able to be disassembled into 4 pieces - the desk surface, the desk shelf, and the left and right modules.

Much better. I think from here I can make my cut sheets and actually get to work!

Yes, I love Google Sketchup, I am not ashamed of it either, it is so incredibly useful and it's so incredibly free.

I've used it for a few years now, mostly for planning aquarium setups and building aquarium stands. Here is the most awesome part of Sketchup - pulling dimensions, and creating your cut sheets (Someone needs to automate this).

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5243/...ae2a049307.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5127/...a850e542b3.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/...312384edec.jpg

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5048/...6838894d84.jpg

And that's it! 4 Sheets!

Now I have to figure out where I'm going to build this darn thing. I've got a low-ceiling basement with a circular saw, router, and a drill...

I think I might need some new tools... :D:D:D

Stay tuned! I'll be cutting up some wood next!

ultimatedesk November 30, 2010 02:05 PM

The Initial Cuts
 
Purely coincidentally, while talking over the idea with a few pints at the local pub, a good girlfriend of mine piped up stating:

"Oh, didn't you know? My dad has a full wood shop in his backyard, he'd love to help I'm sure!"

By golly.

A meeting was arranged, and poof, we got along great and he's looking forward to a nice big project being started in his shop.

It's a free standing building in his backyard with an attic for wood storage, lots of tools - stationary and portable, and yeah, lots of tools - did I mention that? Table saw, band saw, drill press, planar, horizontal planar, belt sander, jointer, grinders, air compressor, just about everything a guy could ask for.

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/3117/img4405i.jpg

So we set about to pick up the initial bits of lumber. 4 Sheets of 3/4" Plywood, 2-sided Maple Veneer - was a steal too, such a good deal that Mike, the owner of the wood shop, picked up a pair of sheets for himself for a future project as well!

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6945/img4398h.jpg

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1636/img4410p.jpg

Time to hit up the table saw to do the initial lengthwise cuts

http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/8642/img4404n.jpg

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4949/img4415c.jpg

Thankfully I had a helper - she was eventually covered in sawdust and abandoned me in the shop after the big cuts were done. It still left me with several 8' long sheets to manage on my own, as you can see in the left hand side of the shop in the back.

http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6551/img4412b.jpg

So I set about my merry way, and thankfully, did not lose any of my fingers (This time).

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/3193/aimg4418.jpg

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/4114/aimg4423.jpg

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/4359/aimg4425.jpg

All of the initial cuts were done, except for one particular strip of 8' that needed to be cut into 3 28" lengths - beyond what the table saw was capable of doing. I decided that it was enough for the day.

http://img574.imageshack.us/img574/1083/aimg4426.jpg

Made quite a nice little mess!!

http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/7202/aimg4427.jpg

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/1711/aimg4431.jpg

All in all a good start to a long project

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/7415/aimg4435.jpg

http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/6362/aimg4441.jpg

Stay tuned! Lots of work still to go

ultimatedesk November 30, 2010 02:06 PM

Hole Time!
 
Had time to cut that last 8' sheet into the 28" sections, and cut a hole in the surface portion of the desk. The surface portion, fyi, will be composed of two 8' pieces of 3/4" plywood, so its total thickness will be 1.5" thick.

The upper plywood will have a hole that is .5" wider all around than the board beneath it.

Only had time to do one hole tonight - the lower portion, thankfully, because I made a few small mistakes!

Sorry about the photos folks, I had already uploaded these to imageshack and forgot to resize them, so here are the thumbnails since I don't have the original stock photos on me right now. From now on, they'll be properly sized at 800x600, which I feel is a fair compromise for detail and bandwidth.

http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/507/img4490h.th.jpg

http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/4591/img4493d.th.jpg

I started off with a carpenters angle, measured off my lines with a pencil and then made a rough cut with a jigsaw. I then clamped a straight-edge lined up with the edges (measured) and ran a router across it to create the smooth finish.

I messed up a bit, going a bit too far with the router on one end, and then not far enough on the other end - I'll have to sand and file to square it off.

Sorry I didn't take too many pictures - the next hole will have more!

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/3007/img44940.th.jpg

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/5294/img4495v.th.jpg

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/185/img4497b.th.jpg

Thankfully the shop is heated, here's one of the heaters - it went down to -8*C that evening!

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/1623/img4500u.th.jpg

Here's the mess for the night!

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/4203/img4509h.th.jpg

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/60/img4511jh.th.jpg

And, the hero of the night! Mastercraft Plunge Router!!

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/2852/img4498l.th.jpg

And, welp, that's it for the initial blast! I've got some pics from this weekend when I was in the shop, but I haven't had time to go through them yet. Stay tuned! More and more to come, right until past Christmas unless I get into top gear!

Socrates_Johnston November 30, 2010 02:28 PM

do you have any experience in carpentry/cabinet making?

you sir, are a god

martin_metal_88 November 30, 2010 03:11 PM

Hope you wont wright your building isntruction like IKEA XD Really sweet project! this is very interesting. I will follow this for sure!

Neolithium_Wpg November 30, 2010 04:11 PM

Your desk is nothing short of....hell, I'm speechless. It's just beautiful. I can't wait to watch this progress.

AmuseMe November 30, 2010 05:00 PM

Something like this deserves to be water cooled man!

Keltron 3030 November 30, 2010 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AmuseMe (Post 455872)
Something like this deserves to be water cooled man!


+1

I will be assuming you will be using ASUS ARES cards for this build, which is a bit unfortunate as theres no FC-WB for them :sad:

Keywork November 30, 2010 05:47 PM

Like they said ^^, get this thing under water! But not the wood....it'll get soggy...


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