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Old 29-03-21, 07:37 PM
SaaintJimmy SaaintJimmy is offline
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Project Menhir

HEY HEY HEY!! Back at it again with a new scratch build!

This project was initially meant to be a secondary entry for CMWS20, and was actually supposed to be a whole different project, but as happened with ONDA, I ended up scrapping away the original idea for something a lot more unique and exotic. So here comes Menhir!

The name obviously suggests a tall and vertically designed build, and that's exactly it! Here's come initial renders.







The idea is to have a properly watercooled build, with ITX footprint and as high as needed (about 67cm).

The main frame will be made out of 8mm aluminum and wooden parts are going to be made out of Ayous wood. You see, the renders display the wood in a black painted fashion, but you'll soon see that I didn't follow up with that.

Before getting started, I'd like to thank the sponsors for this project:
HWLegend Modding - Asrock - OCPC - Seasonic - TouchTheGame Roma - Alphacool - CableMod

Enough. Let's go!
First things first, I set up the 8mm aluminum on the CNC, ready for cutting all of the parts needed from this material.



There are a bunch of little brackets to mount the big pieces together, threaded modding cubes would've probably done a cleaner and easier job but no way I'm spending 2€ each cube, better use the biggest percentage I can on this 8mm sheet.





For finishing, I wanted a raw finish on the aluminum, so I hit it up with 180 grit orbital sander. I would've liked to get a glass-blasted finish but I don't have a blasting booth yet and you know I want to make everything in house, so a raw sanded finish will do just as well, and probably be a little more unique!





Coming together nicely!





Next to the big winner boy!


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Old 29-03-21, 07:51 PM
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Ooo. This looks interesting!

Consider me sub'd to this thread.
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Old 29-03-21, 10:19 PM
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g0ggles1994 g0ggles1994 is offline
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I'm in. Vertical PCs need more love.
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Old 30-03-21, 10:58 AM
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Mmm milling and PCs in one place I'm in!
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Old 30-03-21, 03:28 PM
Bartacus Bartacus is online now
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Hell yeah, totally in!!
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Old 02-04-21, 07:00 PM
SaaintJimmy SaaintJimmy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WYP View Post
Ooo. This looks interesting!

Consider me sub'd to this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by g0ggles1994 View Post
I'm in. Vertical PCs need more love.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
Mmm milling and PCs in one place I'm in!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
Hell yeah, totally in!!
Hey thank y'all guys for the warm welcome to this project!
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Old 02-04-21, 07:01 PM
SaaintJimmy SaaintJimmy is offline
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Second part of aluminum work is with 5mm sheet, needed to make the radiator mounts. I kept it very simple here since it's only structural and won't be visible in the finished build.



I then drilled and threaded edge holes on the brackets that will connect the rad plate to the main frame. Focus on the fact that I added counterbores to all of the holes here in order to have the least amount of screws visible.





And here's a test fit with rads and fans. Perfect!







I took the GPU brackets to give them the same edge drilling treatment so I was able to attach it behind the motherboard tray.



Time to get on the wood! As mentioned before, I picked up some Ayous wood which is pretty soft and cheap but I liked the grain and patterns it had. Plus I still don't know how to source more exotic woods in my area :wallbash: (that's also an excuse to cheap out on materials)





While I glued the top and bottom pieces, I did a test fit with the rad plate, which will be sunk in the wood, where a 5mm pocket was cut. Turns out my CNC cuts 1mm longer on the X-axis (don't ask me how, I just can't wait to get a new one), and I had cut the long side of the rad plate on the X-axis, while the pocket on the wood was cut on Y-axis (which gave accurate dimensions), this resulted in some elbow grease and filing to get that damn alu plate right.



And here it is with the main wood piece installed! Cool fact: the three pieces were cut in a way that the grain is uniform all along the length of the final glued part.







Temporarily clamped the front wood part to see how it looked. The airvents in this one are clearly just for the sake of simmetry, since the aluminum panel behind it doesn't have any vent on it.

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Old 30-04-21, 06:34 PM
SaaintJimmy SaaintJimmy is offline
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Oops, looks like I forgot to update :worried:

Well, the project has been finished for awhile now so I'm just going to speed run it, not much left (yep, it was a quickie, especially compared to A.R.E.S. that came just before this one)

For this project, I decided to dive into making my very first distro plate, because I couldn't find a good tube routing without it. So I just went all in and made it a DDC pump/combo reservoir as well!

I started by cutting the two layers from 10mm acrylic, so that I could put them onto the custom fixture plate and flip them accurately







It was a double sided job for both panels: one had the screw counterbore and water channel+oring channels on the two sides, the other one had the channels and the pump cavity on the two sides





All cleaned up after tapping all of the holes and polishing the outer edges



Beauty shots! I did have a few issues with the custom orings, they leaked from the glued joints but I quickly realized I definitely needed the Power Flex type of Loctite, while I used the Precision one at first, which becomes too rigid to let the oring do its thing. All fixed up and ready to go now though!





One last thing was left to place: the damn power button! Yep, a computer needs it apparently. I cut a 2mm aluminum top cover to house the power button and hide all of the holes there were on the top panel, so win-win!



Tubing was fairly straight forward since I designed the distro plate to have every run nice and short, and parallel, as usual



Filled up the loop with Alphacool light blue coolant, because it perfectly matched the light blue on the cables, but it lasted the time for doing the photoshoot and then I had to replace it with a clear blue one because that was a nasty boi, separating after five minutes of inactivity :wallbash:





Now time to finish the wood! Scrapped the idea of making it black, instead I just used one coat of Osmo oil-wax and the difference was amazing!







Let's install software and run the final beauty shots!

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Old 30-04-21, 06:34 PM
SaaintJimmy SaaintJimmy is offline
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I present you Menhir!
A scratch build made out of 8mm aluminum and Ayous wood. The vertical shape takes inspiration from the vertical monoliths called Menhir, and it's designed to fit modern interior spaces.
It features a custom distro plate with built-in DDC pump/res combo at the back, dual 240mm radiators to keep both the GPU and CPU cool.

Specs:
Motherboard: Asrock H370m/ITX-AC
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F
RAM: OCPC X3TREME Black Label 16GB
SSD: OCPC Black Label m.2 1TB
GPU: Asus RTX 2070 Super ROG Strix + Alphacool Waterblock
PSU: Seasonic SGX-650
Cables: CableMod Custom Pro Cables
Watercooling: full Alphacool Watercooling

Full res pics: https://imgur.com/a/utdJW1J



































































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Old 02-05-21, 04:44 PM
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Absolutely beautiful, wonderful job!
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