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Bombproof Builders Desk.....Build

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February 26, 2012 11:03:36 PM

Ok so I have been planning on building a new desk ever since me and my brother in law built me a new PC work bench (pictured Below)




Using Just 2x4's and some melamine we built a super sturdy bench for about $120 and I couldnt be happier with it. Since then I have been looking at my current work/play station with a little bit of disgust, its made up out of 3 seperate desks none of which are exactly the same height. Further more due to my affinity for eyefinity and large PC cases I am finding that my little work nook is getting more and more cramped and cluttered. Heres a pic of the space I am working with please excuse the mess.





So the new plan is to gut the whole thing and create a desk that wraps around the entire area Like so (sorry for the small paint image)



Then I am going to wrap the top of the desk with custom printed Mechwarrior themed vinyl using my wide format digital printer. So on to the construction phase. I have to give a ton of thanks to the two guys working with me (these or their online handles), Talster91 aka my old room mate and Dreyco Valentin who is my brother in law. With out them theres no way I could get these kind of projects done with the quality and speed we do together, We are also building Talster91 a new desk for the gaming rig I helped him build. So here is the start today, we are using birch plywood for the top and kiln dried 2x4's for the frame, using a overlapping design to interlock the tops and frames together. So today we ripped the plywood and tomorrow we will build the frames.



Dreyco



Talster91


Also this arrived today :D 



Day 2

Ok Most of today is dedicated to Talsters desk build Which is specced to be L60xW30 with a 30 inch height


For legs on both desks are a L shape made of two 2x4's screwed together gives great stuctural support.



Next up us cutting and laying out the lower braces and the leg spacing.




When building your own desk its important to have the imagination and vision to know what you want as Talster demonstrates



Next up is setting up the top box




Next up is checking to see if the frame is square.

February 26, 2012 11:04:31 PM

Damn its a inch out but dont worry theres a easy way to fix that!
Tie Downs are like duct tape for woodworking




Next up is cutting the top to length, we will be anchoring to the top to keep the desk in square.




For everything to look good he mapped out his screws and is pre drilling then using a cone bit for pre seating the heads.




Next up is taking a router to all the edges for that smoothed finished look.



Ready for sanding and staining



Also these showed up on my door woo!



Throw some stain on and thats all for today

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February 26, 2012 11:11:55 PM

Day 3

I was down a day more than I expected ( the multi-player demo of Mass Effect 3 may have had something to do with that :rolleyes: ) Ok so first off I want to thank Dreyco again without him this desk would not have happened and the next stage wouldn't even be possible. Ok down to business, to start with I happened to snag a great deal on a 720p projector which I had been wanting for the launch of ME3 for Xbox 360 (yes I play it on console thats where all my saved games are) so we will be starting there. Parts involved are

Optoma 536 720p 2700 lumen projector

Elite Screen 100 inch 16:9 manual screen

Ceiling Mount For projector

Plan is to recess the screen into the ceiling and then re-route the surround sound and video/console equipment.

First off got to get all electronics out of the room as sheetrock dust is not good for electronics.




Next up is measuring the screen housing and cutting the hole




That done we just put some hooks in the floorboards and time to try a test pull



Threw the projector up and time to see how it looks


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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2012 3:42:57 AM

Can't wait until its all done!
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February 27, 2012 2:36:14 PM

Ok that done on to the desk, Cleared out all of the old stuff



With a blank slate its time to get to work



The key to building a desk with lumber like this is to never pre cut, make each cut to the specific spot so its always spot on and you can compensate for imperfections in the wood.



With the first section built (it will be the only complete section with 4 legs each section after this with be missing at least one leg to create a open front for chair and legroom)





Now we are joining the crossmember with a T bracket



We are double butting our legs for extra support



To limit flex we added a cross support.

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February 27, 2012 2:38:36 PM

Frame is complete



Cutting the tops to fit.



Test fitting the tops and monitors







Next up we mark out the monitor slots and our wire slots





The mounts slide into the slots and get 4 lag bolts into the 2x4 below






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February 27, 2012 2:38:54 PM

Next up we router the holes and screw down the top.





Time to start putting things back together







The next stage is the vinyl top but I have to wait until we change our machine out next week also the other part of the project is being drawn up in CAD I will post something up soon enough.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2012 2:55:52 PM

well done mate! :) 
cheers!
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February 27, 2012 3:12:46 PM

Very cool! Wow!
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February 27, 2012 3:19:41 PM

Very nice.
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February 29, 2012 10:49:37 PM

Sorry for the day late update my new wide format printer showed up a day early so it's been a little crazy here but it means vinyl day is moving ever closer (gotta get some actual work done with it first though) here is a preview of some stuff to come



This just came in I will be posting pictures and a full review of it later

Annnnd then theres this addition to my monitor setup















Psych! thats just here to complete another triple monitor setup in the house ;) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 1, 2012 2:07:27 AM

^go on....
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March 1, 2012 8:59:18 PM

Small update, my new keys showed up and I am lovin 'em, gonna try and get some MW:LL in tonight so I can get to work on my quickfire Review.







Loving having a nuke key for my delete :D 
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March 3, 2012 3:34:27 AM

Ok well my buddy is running behind with the CAD work at the moment so I am taking a whack at it. Using Free CAD this is what I got together tonight (I have never used any form of CAD before)



Basic model of the area of the desk I am working with the green area will be hinged and the entire PC will be mounted underneath trapdoor style.I have mobo tray and back I salvaged from a LanCool Case.







This will be mounted to the bottom of the highlighted piece of desktop. More CAD stuff to come as soon as I figure out how to make it :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2012 3:54:02 AM

.............................................
can't wait.................................
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March 3, 2012 5:19:20 AM

Also this showed up today



:D  (wish there was a bigger smiley option.)
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2012 5:42:07 AM

it's a really good drive.but i have the 128gb version :( 
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March 3, 2012 5:44:07 AM

I had the 64gb version but I am upgrading my 160gb Intel Drive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2012 6:50:14 AM

well done.
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March 3, 2012 4:44:30 PM

Just realised that I haven't posted up any good pics of the area that I will be installing the PC into. Here it is the area is about 30x19.25 on the outer dimensions.









The goal is to have 2 shelves for the surround sound, XBOX 360 and PS3 with fans cooling them and the computer hanging above
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 3, 2012 5:33:41 PM

clever idea about cooling lollll!!!
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March 4, 2012 4:39:30 PM

A little better CAD model the bottom shelf is a piece of ply thats already there, while the other 2 with be a rubber coated wire mesh for maximum airflow. Bottom is Surround sound Head Unit then Xbox360 Slim then Big fat oldschool PS3 next this to work on is doors, fans and PC placement.

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March 10, 2012 9:54:30 PM

Small update

My 2x4 HDMI Matrix Showed up in the mail yesterday, this little box of awesome will let me switch between 4 different HDMI inputs and out put them to either the 42 inch LCD or my projector or both at the same time! The reason for a device like this is that I plan on watching more stuff on my LCD than projector as much as possible due to the significantly shortler lifespan of the projectors bulb.

]


Next up is my XFX 6950 2gb showed up today! Its been flashed to a 6970 Bios and although used is in like new condition. I moved my sapphire doen to the next slot and slid the PCTV card inbetween and presto enough power to rock my triple monitor setup properly. I added some extra fans to make sure cooling doesn't become an issue.











Now this is not the hardware I plan on mounting inside the desk its just my benching/review setup. For the Desk build I am hoping for a 2011 or AMD build so I will have enough PCI-E lanes for all of my needs.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 4:03:16 AM

nice cooling LOLOLOL!!!!
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March 11, 2012 6:15:41 AM

Impressed, very impressed.

However, I would have been even more impressed if you'd replaced that carpet.

And I would have fell out of my chair laughing if you'd installed some really thick orange shag carpet instead.
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March 13, 2012 4:22:38 PM

Great idea! Looking forward to seeing more!
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March 14, 2012 3:50:22 PM

Ok New update, while I am still wrangling with Cad I decided to start working on the layout of the custom printed vinyl layout for my desk top. As I have said before it will be Mech Warrior themed as that is my favorite gaming franchise and with the advent not or 2 but 4 new Mechwarrior games in the works I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. So right now I am going to be doing some test runs with the artwork and sizing for the areas I have to work with. First up I have the Map of the entire Inner Sphere which I got from the MechWarrior Online art page. I blew it up to 30' tall by 47' and printed it on some heavy duty paper, this is just to see how the artwork looks at this resolution I have not vectored or tweaked it yet but its always important to test print as you never know what you aren't seeing on your monitor.

Doing a rough trim.





Next tape it down to let it stretch a little and offgas.



This is the area I want to put the map on.



Do the final trim.



And check how it lays out.



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March 26, 2012 7:15:10 AM

Ok I am getting alot of pm's for a update so here is what I have so for in Sketchup (I switched from free CAD due to the huge amount of models available in sketchup) I will be using either a bench hinge or piano hinge (I am open to suggestions) The model is missing several components at the moment, I couldnt find the right fittings to go between the vid cards and I have no idea how to make tubing yet (still new with digital design stuff) I am using 7970's with EK blocks but that could change depending on parts sourcing ect... I am going to do the entire desk and then make the cad file available to anyone who wants it. The plan is to run a long loop to the radiator with enough flex for it to open or create a joint with 2 off valves and a quick disconnect in between. I am open to idea's for alternate whats to setup the WC loop or any suggestions in general, I want this to be as awesome as possible. I am also going to try to get sponsors for the next stage of the build so hopefully I can take this build up another notch!

Feel free to post questions and critiques and thanks for all of the response guys!









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a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2012 4:32:11 PM

either a heavy few heavy duty door hinges or a heavy duty piano hinge would work. the piano hinge would be my first choice though.

you do not want everything in one big water cooling loop. instead two loops are recommended. if you need to know why... go read a watercooling forum.

personally i wouldnt recommend just hanging a pc like that. i'll list a few reasons below.

-esd. there isnt any metal case to protect your components
-dust. while true that they are mounted from above, this still poses an issue.
-physical shock. with parts just hanging there anything can come along and knock them around (animals, your feet, etcetera)
-cooling. while true ambient air can reduce temperatures so too can a properly designed case with good airflow.

recommendations:

-metal enclosure to prevent esd and shock. you can probably box in where the pc would rotate down into and put a plate behind the motherboard. the lower portion could probably be tight wire mesh.
-motherboard tray. if you must mount like that then you want a removable tray of some sort.
-cover on cabinet area at least on two sides. this helps direct airflow (but still not as good as a full cased in box).
-spread fans out. they arent going to be doing much good all bunched like that. also you dont need that many.
-power strip along the front of the desk for easy shutoff/isolation.
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March 26, 2012 4:49:23 PM

I appreciate the post, however if you read through the thread you will see I am using a metal motherboard tray (pics in the post about 6 above this) Also I was hoing to get way with one loop by using the 2 res's as a buffer but I can alway run 2 triple rads on 1 smaller reservoir and mount another rad on the lid. I also mention that I will be using a rubber coated wire mesh for the shelving for maximum airflow. The entire unit is going to be boxed in and sealed with silicone I just haven't had a chance to put that into cad yet,the only openings will be the doors and the other fans thats will be cut in for directional air flow. Thanks for the advise though!
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April 3, 2012 5:47:25 AM

Ok so I pretty much have the Sketchup model for the Desk itself done here are some screen shots, now if anyone would like to point me in the right direction for a place to host the Sketchup file I would be happy to make it available to anyone who wants to build something similar.











More coming soon.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 3, 2012 6:45:33 AM

I like the whole attitude of this build, but I'm a bit confused about the fancy looking water cooling that you are hiding under the table?
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April 3, 2012 5:32:49 PM

not hidingthe WC stuff its more of a "Trapdoor Surprise!" effect.
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April 17, 2012 6:35:22 AM

OK guys sorry for the lack of updates, between work and Sketchup constantly crashing while I am finalising the desk design there hasn't been much to post. However I decided to start working on a different part of the build and also reorganize and clean up my office. So as I have said from the get go this desk is going to have a MW theme but other than a map I printed off there hasn't been much in the way of actual MechWarrior stuff done to the desk. Well not any more!



Yes that is a custom made Mechwarrior Branding iron :D 

I would like to thank Bryan Phillips who built this for me. He does great work and is super fast. I hit him up with the idea for this last week then I got a hold of him today and told him I wanted to have it made he went over the artwork with me in chat at about 12:30 and he told me he would have it ready this afternoon :blink: seriously I had it in my hands around 6pm and I could not be happier. I also got to meet his 37 day old Emu Gerry who was awesome!




Anyway on to the branding iron. Its 2.75 inches tall so it will fit on 2x4s and is made out of plasma cut steel and then welded together.



Now could not resist trying it out when I got home so here are some teaser shots.





I did a bunch of test runs on scrap pieces of 2x4 left over from the desk build and I think I am starting to get the hang of it.



Here is one Bryan did at his shop as well.




Once again I cannot recommend Bryans work enough he showed me some awesome Roman style armor as well as some futuristic armor from a popular video game franchise he is still working on. His rates are very reasonable and he is really patient when it comes to tweaking stuff to perfection. He can be contacted at RAPTORRED2@GMAIL.COM he also does 3D digital modeling please shoot him a email if you need anythign metal fab related and mention that I referred you, I know that this wont be the last piece of work i have him do on this or several other projects I have coming up.

Now I plan on doing the actual branding on the desk this weekend and I am looking to the community for where I should actually place the branded logo. Please post or pm your suggestions and whichever suggestion is the best/makes the most sense I will go with (I may actually give the person who makes the best suggestion a prize aswell we will just have to see ;)  ) Two other things I am thinking about doing is videoing the branding process and posting it up for everyone to enjoy, the other thing is I am thinking about having Bryan make a branding iron for every company that decides to sponsor this build and dedicate a area of the desk to true Sponsor "Branding" so let me know what you think of that.

Lastly I am hoping to cut and fit the lid to the PC enclosure so look for pictures and commentary on that. I am debating going over to videoing the build as it progress (thoughts?) Anywho thanks for reading and please let me know what you think!
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April 20, 2012 6:43:02 AM

Some updated Sketchup pictures, I will soon start the hunt for sponsors.







Some of the PC cabinet (please remember the entire cabinet will be enclosed in aluminup with man and rad cutouts and access points ofr the Xbox 360, PS3 and surround sound head unit.) Also I will be using a square grid rubber coated wire mesh, the expanded metal in the imagies is just a place holder as it was already available.







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April 23, 2012 8:09:45 AM

Ok guys, small update. Due to the fact that my air conditioning is out of commission for the next day or 2 and it hit 90 degrees here today, starting a fire in my office to heat up the branding iron seemed like a ill advised idea. However we did get the top for the PC cabinet cut to size, whipped out some tubing to figure out routing and component placement. Good news is I am confident that we will be able to stick with the inverted trapdoor mounted PC concept and I will be finishing the sketchup model including tubing in the next couple of days. Final bit of news the desk build just (Ok mainly the MW branding iron) just got a mention in the No Guts No Galaxy Mechwarrior podcast. You can check it out at www.nogutsnogalaxy.net its a really great podcast and a must for any Mechwarrior/Battletech fan. Anywho expect a bigger update a little later in the week.









Also right now I am still planning on using a Piano/continuous hinge but I am open to other options so if you know of another solution please post it up esp. if its exotic or overkill.
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April 23, 2012 9:19:06 AM

Yeah I have been looking at those, I am contacting a expert tomorrow to examine my best options
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May 3, 2012 6:50:51 AM

So whats new with your project?
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June 19, 2012 5:19:01 AM

Sorry for the Delay guys, this project is still ongoing, however I have been absolutely slammed with work and some personal life drama, I also wanted to switch over to a video update format and have been hunting for the right HD camcorder (think I have found it in the Sony CX260V) So expect a Video update soon. Until Then heres a teaser for some of the goodies I have been gathering for the build.

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June 27, 2012 8:40:35 PM

Ok guys, I have been working 14 hour days so no build updates but the parts are still rolling in here is another sampler pic or 2.



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August 13, 2012 8:48:29 PM

Ok guys I shot a video update but I am having issues with it unfortunately so here is a regular old update.

Ok so I have been on a backup rig for over 2 months now and it has been killing me. So I now have most of the components I am planning on using in the desk build, so I threw all of them into a Bitfenix Shinobi XL case to test all of the components and make sure I am happy with the performance and everything works before I go through the trouble of mounting it up. This is just a temp build so its not my prettiest work.











Also I managed to snag a Dell 30 inch 2560x1600 to replace my triple monitor setup. I freaking love it! I may go up to three of them but at the moment 1 is enough. Specs for the system are as follows

Intel 2011 8320 w/ XSPC Raystorm waterblock

MSI Big Bang II Mobo

Gigabyte 7970 with EK Acrylic waterblock and backplate

G-Skill 16gb 1866 ram

Swiftech 360mm rad with gentle typhoons in a push configuration

Swiftech 240mm rad with Noctua fans in a pull configuration

Swiftech Pump with XSPC res.

Koolance 3/8 ID and 5/8 OD compression fittings

Corsair 1000w PSU

Asus Blu Ray drive

Crucial M4 256 SSD

WD Green 2TB Media Drive


Ok Guys I am ordering more parts for the build however I will not be posting much till the beginning of September as I have a huge workload to get done before I head to PAX Prime :D  I will be going full steam ahead on the project when I get back. Thanks again for everyone following the build I will try to get the video update redone and working in the next few days though.
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October 25, 2012 6:02:14 AM

This Build still lives but there have been some changes, including a second PC. Here are some screenshots for what I have planned :D 


















More to come soon.
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October 25, 2012 5:15:51 PM

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen--what a great vision! So cool that you guys are making this happen! Really inspiring!
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 25, 2012 5:28:18 PM

Yeah, I like it.
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October 26, 2012 5:59:15 PM

Ok, sorry for not posting more details with the design updates guys, it was late and I had just gotten them done. Anywho So its been a couple months since my last update, between PAX, work and a unexpected medical issue I haven't been able to post much. However I have been making headway on the build so here is a list of some of the changes.

First off obviously is the monitor setup I have added 2 Dell 2007 1600x1200 monitors to my Dell 30 for a PLP setup, I have to say that out of all monitor configurations I have tried this is by far the one I prefer most it allows for crazy high levels of productivity without being crazy wide or narrow.

I also have a 24 inch 1920x1200 monitor to the left, that is for the next phase of my project. I am mounting a PC in the wall behind the Desk as the designs above illustrate. The room behind my office us unfinished as its where the HVAC is located in the house, so I decided to do something fun and interesting with this area as its basically used for just storage. The PC will be mounted on a hinged board with dual triple rads bellow. The reasons I did this are threefold

1. As some people have brought out there may be issues running a liquid cooled rig in this horizantal configuration and before I go through the trouble of modifying my desk this way (I have a backup configuration) This will serve as a proof of concept build for the liquid cooling layout and help me work the bugs out in a more forgiving setup with cheaper components. And should it not work I will put it in the up position and be no worse off.

2. I will need another PC up and running ans I am modifying and building the desk rig so this will serve as my backup and interim rig.

3. It s a chance to do something cool and different with PC components, duh!

So the specs for this rig are

i5 2500K processor
EVGA FTW mATX Mobo
Koolance 360WB
655 Pump
AMD 6970 Video Card with Heatkiller waterblock
2x 360mm slim rads
8gb of G-skill 1866Mhz ram
SeasonicX 750w psu

More coming soon, I am waiting for parts today and tomorrow, thanks for reading!
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December 8, 2012 3:46:22 AM

Ok guys, small update today but I can say that I will be posting more regularly as all of the parts I need for the next stage of the build are either here or in the mail. Anywho today was all not tech work on the desk. First off as this coffee stain will show you I need a better way to have beverages on my desk.



Enter the stainless steel 3 3/4 inch cupholders :D 





They have a drain at the bottom that I will have a plug for, so should I spill a drink in the holder I simply put the trash bag bellow in and drain it.



I will be using my 3 and 3/4 inch hole saw for these. Costs alot of money but work every penny, remember modders, the right tool for the right task :thumb:



First one cut and mounted (sorry forgot to snap a pic before I put it in)



Then number 2



And Bam! 2 sexy additions to my already awesome desk :) 



Ok, next up in anticipation of the 6970 and motherboard tray arriving for the wall PC part of the build I decided to mount the power and reset buttons for the wall PC. First off a strait edge to make sure my marks are right.



Then a couple of pilot holes.





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December 8, 2012 4:45:03 AM

Now the trick with these is to drill with 2 different size paddle bits from each side so I can get the mounting ring for the switches in the hole. So 3/4 inch in the front.



Then 1 inch in the back



Getting the rings to stay in place was a pain in the butt however my trusty leatherman came through for me on this one.



These were a bit of a hassle but I am really happy with how they turned out.




But now I have this awesome place to put my beer but I have to keep a tacky bottle opener lying around, cluttering up the top of my desk. Well I solved that problem today as well :D 




One last piece of advice guys, when ever I mod I test, test, test :D rink:






Expect another update in a week guys and as always thanks for reading!
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!