Dark Blade: Part 1

Written by Brett Thomas

October 24, 2007 | 09:18

Tags: #aluminium #aluminum #blade #cnc #dark #g69t #italy #metalwork

Companies: #ac-ryan #sapphire

The Tubes

The particularly tight spaces inside the Water Station led to some very difficult problems when it came time to run the tubes. The way that the radiators and reservoirs were arranged required very severe bends if another method was not thought of.

The coolant now flows thusly - it is taken from the tank to the pump, and then pushed from the pump to the "out" barb on the back of the Water Station, where it is pushed to the computer. Upon its return, the water is pushed straight into this routing bar, which it travels through before heading to the radiator and finally back to the tanks.

Because of this, I devised a simple solution - a rectangular Perspex block that would be milled to help distribute the water with the fewest tubing problems.

Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power

I used the centre lathe CNC again to drill almost halfway through the block on either side. I then drilled four holes on one of the faces of the block, and threaded them to fit 3/8" barbs. The holes on the ends were threaded and capped. The block is attached by the same hex screws used to hold the radiator assemblies together, through the screw-holes on the fans.


My main objective with the lighting in the Water Station was to make use of the large, transparent tanks in the front. By using a coloured coolant, I was given almost limitless possibilities, and the addition of all of the reflective stainless steel and brass in the front tanks meant that I could make use of both direct and indirect lighting.

The primary lighting source is provided by two green 300mm neons which are fixed to the tops of the radiators in a very non-permanent manner (so that I can change it later, should I want a different colour). This lighting catches not only the tanks, but also the top of the logo plate.

Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power

I wanted mixed lighting colours, and so I used blue LED fans that create a two-tone effect. This is nice because when I don't want the green, I can flip the switch on the back to shut off the neons and leave only a blue light. However, the blue LEDs cannot be switched off.


With everything else done in the construction, it was time to finish the power.

Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power Dark Blade: Part 1 Tubes, Lights, and Power

The power in the Water Station consists of two parts - the first is a direct 220v line from the house power, which powers the two pumps. The second is 12v DC power which is run through small jacks that come from the other part of the case, and these feed the blue LED fans and the two neons.

When the unit was finally assembled and filled, it weighed in at a whopping 24 kilos - that's over 50 pounds.
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