Putting it all into practice: The trials and tribulations…
And so after measuring and re-measuring, and then measuring again, I began the real case.
I ended up working in aluminium, which I have to say is great to work with. Anyone who's worked with a steel case, I highly advise you give it a try. I liked it so much that I decided to make the entire frame out of it instead of using the extra rigidity of steel that I was initially planning.
In retrospect, I think that was a really good choice - I don't even want to think of the utter hassle it would have been to cut and file the copious angles that I ended up designing into this case. It would have ended up in either the case or myself pitched headlong out of the window.
I pulled the MDF frame apart and used it as a template for making the frame. For the real frame, I used 12mm² tubing - every little piece was hand cut with a hacksaw. Once that laborious job was done, I filed them all down down and made sure that the angles were as accurate as I could get them. Any error would be easily seen in the final frame!
I repeated this action several times, until I had the basic design structure...riveting as I went, Let me tell you, this was no small task.
Some 400 rivets later, and I had the front and back completed. Yes, you read that right - four hundred
rivets. So, I could finally get onto...
...Frame construction. A lot
of time was spent trying to get everything straight. It took a few days, and then some weeks later it was re-done again. What can I say, I'm a perfectionist - if I didn't build it just right, it'd bug me every time I saw it.
Problem Solving: Is it fixable?
My design seemed so perfect - but one small flaw had completely escaped me. I didn't think of the top cross brackets, which ended up blocking the hard drive bays.
At first, there didn't seem to be a solution. I couldn’t work out how to fix it, and my patience was wearing thin at this point, so I walked away from the project for a few days and let the problem stir in my head. Eventually, a rather simple solution came to me - just trim the brackets down!