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Time to get down and dirty: milling a new recess

I'm giving away a Sleeper PC. But first, I'll have to put it together. You can even watch me do it. In today's update: moving the power supply and christening my creation

My project: to build a Sleeper PC. A PC with the newest hardware inserted into an ancient case for a comforting retro feel. I'll raffle this machine among all readers who manage to answer all my questions on the subject correctly. More about this at the bottom of the article.

Where am I at the moment? I got the hardware partly from manufacturers, the rest was sponsored by digitec. The 90s case arrived from Germany by post; I've gutted it to make room for new hardware.

What a stench: the Sleeper PC case
Know-howGaming

What a stench: the Sleeper PC case

Next step: cutting holes. Strictly speaking, only into the back wall of the Sleeper PC. I use a dremel to achieve this. Let's see how many fingers I'll still have when I'm done. In all honesty, I'm kinda scared. Or is it healthy respect, rather?

Speaking of which: I captured my little adventure with a milling machine and the dremel on video, just in case you want to be hypnotized by flying sparks.

Many, many screws

90s and early 2000s cases have their power supply either at the top on in the middle. My housing has its slap-bang in the centre. I'll have to move it upwards.

A good plan is half the battle: how I'm imagining my completed <strong>Sleeper PC</strong>
Know-howGaming

A good plan is half the battle: how I'm imagining my completed Sleeper PC

Another common feature of 90s cases is that many parts are riveted. So I can't just loosen screws and be done with it. I remove the rivets with a 4 mm metal drill. It's big enough to completely destroy the head of the rivets. This allows me to remove the power supply and 5.25-inch drive mount. I also have to remove the housing cover: it's in the way. After what feels like a hundred rivets, only the linking elements remain. Now I'm ready to «dremel» – well, almost.

Before I start milling, I mark down where and how much I have to saw out. To do this, I make a template of the backside of the power supply and draw the contours onto the case. I can reuse the template for the screw holes later on.

A twinkle in my eyes

Time to «dremel» I nervously mount a cut-off wheel. I turn on the multitool and get working. Sparks fly, the wheel quickly eats into the aluminium. Hypnotising. Unfortunately, I slip off course again and again, which leaves ugly traces on the metal. That's the dremel's downside: working metal precisely is difficult. This calls for some serious polishing. Fortunately, I'll spray-paint the entire construct at the end – how I plan on concealing any wounds.

After about ten minutes and two burned cut-off wheels – which get used up over time – the new recess for the power supply unit is ready. It's not perfectly straight as I had to retrace a line. That's why I smooth I my cuts with a grinding attachment for my dremel. Not perfect. I would've had to work with a jigsaw or another tool right from the start. I know that now. Nevertheless, I'm satisfied with my first dremel job.

Next I attach the previously removed power supply mount at the height of the new recess. I drill the holes to attach the power supply using the template. After a few more tweaks, the power supply is in place. Next up, a screen for my power supply: I don't want to see any cables around my PSU.

Working with acrylic glass

An aluminium cover would be cool, but I lack the experience and the tools. That's why I cut an acrylic glass panel to size – or more precisely: I broke it. Cutting acrylic glass is nearly impossible. To break it, I clamp the plate down between two pieces of wood, carve the side out several times with a box cutter and break it off using even pressure. At least, I try to.

Unfortunately, the sheet doesn't break off on my first try, so I insert a new one. Even after several attempts the edge is not perfect – working with acrylic is more difficult than I thought. In the end, I take the piece that looks the best to me. I sand the edges with very fine-grained sandpaper.

I want to bend the acrylic glass plate as well so that it can snake under the power supply holder. A much nicer design than just slapping on a straight cover for my power supply. I do this using a hot-air dryer because acrylic can be moulded relatively easily at a certain temperature. This doesn't work from the word go either: I ruin the first plate because I miscalculated the distance between the top of the case and the power supply holder and the cover didn't fit. When trying to break off the excess material, I completely ruin the plate. On a second attempt, however, it works out.

Now to give it some colour. I spray the backside black.

A worthy baptism

Something's missing. I don't want to leave the aperture black; for some time now, an idea has been bumping around my head. I shall give the Sleeper PC a name. This seems more personal and I won't always have to talk about the «Sleeper-PC». After careful consideration I decide on «Sleepy». You are welcome to insult both me and my unimaginative naming choices in the comments later. But I like it.

A few days ago our graphic artist Sven Mathis saw the dremel lying around and asked me if he should engrave something for me. I told him about my project. He was immediately into it wanted to know which style I wanted the name to be in.

I haven't really thought about that yet. Sven's right: if there's any text, it should at least find Sleepy's style thematically. I show him the AMD Athlon logo on the front panel. Something like that would be great.

Sven finds an existing font and adapts it slightly. It's based on the AMD Athlon logo decorating the front panel of the housing. He mirrors the engraving on the back of the bezel for a cleaner look. This keeps the front side smooth.

After about twenty minutes Sven is all done. I attach the panel to the bracket and Sleepy's power supply panel is ready.

Looks pretty good. For the time being, however, I'll have to remove both the power supply and the bezel. I don't want to ruin the great cover during further work.

You can win like this: Over the coming weeks you can read about the sleeper PC project on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the end of the articles I'll ask you a question with three possible answers. You can find the correct answer in the article itself. You get one point for every correct answer. Answer as many of the questions as possible correctly and you will make it into the final draw. The draw will decide who wins the PC.
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Avatar

Kevin Hofer, Zurich

  • Editor
From big data to big brother, Cyborgs to Sci-Fi. All aspects of technology and society fascinate me.

33 comments

3000 / 3000 characters

User Anonymous

Sleepy McSleepface

09.07.2019
User Mizz141

Der Klassiker!

10.07.2019
Answer
User ToastMalone

Ich zähle den Dremel nur 8 mal. Der Bohrer zählt ja nicht dazu.

09.07.2019
User luberg

Die Gravur wird auch mit dem Dremel gemacht, so wie ich das sehe.

09.07.2019
User eichof99

Ja hat dann einfach die Flexwelle drauf, darum sieht man nicht auf den ersten Blick, dass es auch der Dremel ist

10.07.2019
User Anonymous

Auch dann komm ich nur auf 10 Szenen...

10.07.2019
User Anonymous

edit: habs nochmal gezählt. Ist tatsächlich eine der Antwortmöglichkeiten^^

10.07.2019
Answer
User Burni1987

Wenn das Gehäuse Aluminium wäre hättest du nicht so schöne Funken bekommen :) Und so dünnes Blech willst du nicht mit einer Stichsäge sägen. Das verkeilt dir nur 1 mal und alles ist krumm. Besser als mit einem Dremel gehts auf die schnelle wohl kaum.

09.07.2019
User Linuexone

Ab Heute weiss ich was ein Dremel ist :D Sehr coole Arbeit! Weiter so!

09.07.2019
User davsti

Das war gemein ;o)
Hab das Video 5 mal geschaut und komme immer nicht auf die Anzahl die zur Auswahl steht.
Cooles Projekt ist es auf jeden Fall + ich finde den Namen cool!

09.07.2019
User Pott I

Diesmal kein Schreibfehler aber dein Link zum Dremel funktioniert nicht.
Dafür kannst du auch keine Extrapunkte springen lassen? :P

09.07.2019
User Kevin Hofer

Hi
Merci für deinen Kommentar. Merci, hab's endlich gefixt. Sorry für die späte Tat, aber Dienstag ist mein freier Tag :).

10.07.2019
User Pott I

Gerne doch, kein Problem.
Naja, ich würde an meinem freien Tag halt keinen Artikel veröffentlichen oder dafür sorgen, dass eine Stellvertretung solche Fehlerbehebungen durchführt.

Aber alles gut. Wollte den Dremel eh nicht gerade kaufen. Hat mich nur interessiert wieviel der kosten würde.

10.07.2019
Answer
User freezse

:) ma schauen wieviel der autor gezählt hat =)

09.07.2019
User twicky87

Die 3 harten Ecken bei der Netzteilbefestigung könnten noch rundgeschliffen werden, das vermindert die Verletzungsgefahr, falls das Netzteil mal ausgebaut werden sollte (defekt?).

09.07.2019
User noohdlez

Dremel kommt in 8 Szenen vor. 🙂

10.07.2019
User 6adrian7

Gut, ein Konkurent weniger. :)

10.07.2019
Answer
User a_maier

Ich hab 9x gezählt. Immer weiter so, ist sehr spannend ;(

09.07.2019
User LuckyTech

Auf das bin ich zuerst auch gekommen aber er ist noch ein paarmal mehr zu sehen nur nicht ganz so klar (: wenn du den Text liest findest du noch eine andere Arbeit welche mit dem Dremel gemacht wurde (:

09.07.2019
User a_maier

Hmmn das schon, dabei hab ich extra in Zeitlupa das Video angeschaut, in dem Fall nochmal danke ;)

09.07.2019
Answer
User Allinev

Wie weiss ich, ob ich richtig oder falsch lag?

09.07.2019
User jnkbtz

gar nicht ;)

09.07.2019
User Vupi

1, 2 oder 3 ob du richtig stehst siehst du wenn das licht angeht. :)

09.07.2019
Answer
User Sica1000

spannend :)))

09.07.2019
User Anonymous

Ist das Video für zusätzliche Views auf dem Youtube Kanal? Btw. "Hochgeladen: 16.05.2019" ... Hä? Dachte das Projekt ist aktuell?...

10.07.2019
User Barresi7

Kacke
Kann man die Antwort noch ändern? Habe ihn hinten auf dem Tisch nicht gesehen (@0:47)

10.07.2019
User freezse

AhMeD RetrorAthlon
:)

10.07.2019
User mese79ch

Hmmm, seit wann gibt Aluminium rote Funken?! Halt doch mal nen Magnet dran...
Sonst aber toller Bericht!

10.07.2019
User Anonymous

Der Artikel wo die Funken sprühen gefällt mir, übrigens kannst du Blechteile auch ab 3D CAD Modell bei blexon.com lasergeschnitten und gebogen bestellen, Lasergravuren können die glaube ich auch.

11.07.2019
User LuckyTech

Mist falsch abgestimmt/verdrückt.... Hat man dann immernoch eine Chance oder muss man alle Fragen richtig haben?

Was ich sonst noch zu sagen habe: Sehr einfallsloser Name! Aber Menschen haben ja einen Drang Dinge relativ simpel zu benennen, siehe Boaty McBoatface.

Sonst wie jede Woche ein super Artikel, wobei er heute verglichen mit dem letztenmal zeitlich etwas spät kam (;
Gruss

09.07.2019
User FloL00L

Für jede richtige Antwort erhälst du ein "Los", am ende wird aus allen Losen aller Teilnehmer eins zufällig bestimmt und das ist dann der Gewinner.
Hast also nur eine minimal kleinere Chance, wenn du ab jetzt wieder alle richtig hast.

09.07.2019
User Adowrath

Geht's noch? Boaty McBoatface war ein grandioser Name! :D

09.07.2019
User LuckyTech

@Adowrath ich hab nicht gesagt, dass Boaty McBoatface kein Grandioser Name ist ich habe nur gesagt, dass Menschen oft relativ simple Namen wählen welche mit den Dingen zu tun haben. Ich find Boaty McBoatface auch ein cooler Name!!! Im gegensatz ist Sleepy noch einfalsloser, da dort einfach ein er mit y ersetzt wurde.

11.07.2019
Answer