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 Post subject: Urmumsacow mods his desk...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:04 pm 
Smithfield
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Alright, this is sort of a work in progress that i started earlier today and has stoped due to a roadblock. I thought about picture documenting the whole transformation but my digicam has no batteries, doesnt like rechargables and has no power adapter.

Anywho i have this old school BIG ASS government issued desk that I use with a large cubby/cabinet type area to the side, and since my comp is pretty noisy ive been considering throwning the comp inside for awile.

Problem number 1 - the cubby/cabinet are has a slide out platform that is too high to accomodate my pc, so it must go. Things were going pretty smoothly untill I realized I had to remove some guide rails as well, oh well I thought, just a few more screws. WRONG, I played a wonderful game of hunt and find for about 20 minutes finding and removing screws 'till I discovered I had to remove the front door to get at a screw -uhg another headache- but I got the front door off and removed the screw without further incident. BAM turns out I need to detach the platform from the mechanical nightmere that held it to the guide rails in order to get it all out (if I post pics this will make alot more sense). Anyways I now have 2 screws that are on the side of the platform that must be unscrewed before I can get the wooden platform out, and then twist the mechanical do-dad on its side so it will fit.

Now if you can imagine a cabinet type area and a wooden plank/platform inside with a bigass mechanical spring/guiderail thing attached to the sides at the rear, you can see that it doesn't make for easy access to the screws (I cant turn the whole thing to its side to get at them). So im left with 2 options:
1 - drill holes in the floor/side of the cubby and unscrew the things
2 - bust out the chainsaw and cut the damn plank in half - I swear if I do this vids will be posted.

I dunno what to do... its such a hastle, id rather not drill any holes in the thing for reasons that escape me, and I GUESS I dont ever plan on trying to get the whole sliding platform/plank contraption back in... so im sort of leaning towards the chainsaw route if only for the coolness factor. Yea I know I might fuck up my desk in the process.

Deliberations continue ... you will be kept informed of developments. I may take some pics when im halfway done and of the final product if the results are satisfactory.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 7:41 pm 
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That's called a secretary's desk, that platform used to hold a typewriter. It was common in the day and that's the exacty same layout my desk used to have and I loved it. I used that area to just store things out of the way but I've always liked having a big ol' desk with actual drawers and a lot of desktop area. I hate the desk I have now, just a basic Ikea-like computer desk, no space for nothin'.

So anyway, as to removing that thing, to be honest with ya, I never took the one in mine out, but it shouldn't pose as much of a problem as you're describing. I can't imagine what else you'd need to do besides unscrew it from the desk. <shrug> But do post pics when you can.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 8:26 pm 
Smithfield
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eh, I think I may prefer the ergonomic feel of a computer desk. Im probably killing my hands as is with boarder line carpel tunnel syndrome. At LEAST Im gonna have to get a new chair.

Uhhg, this might not *techinically* be a goverment issued desk, I doubt the validity of the source that informed me of that. But it is huge, wooden, has 3 drawers on the right that wont open unless the center drawer is open and that cubby/cabinet thing to the left.

If I post pics you will see how much of a BITCH this little slide out hting is, you just CANT get at those screws, and you cant do anything without detaching the wooden plank. Tommorrow may be the day of the chainsaw.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:52 pm 
Smithfield
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Alright, in case any of you were wondering, today was NOT the day of the chainsaw. It would have been fun but I figured out a way to get at the screws and the whole contraption is out. ATM im waiting for some batteries to charge for the camera (so ill have a good before pic)

Rigth now this cabinet area looks like crap, the bottom is loosly nailed in and looks like it may fall out (unacceptable), its filled with crap, and has lots of scratches on the sides. Once the *@#$ batteries are ready ill start drilling holes in the back for wires and sanding the thing to look a *bit* neater.

This desk mod isn't a full blown xbox becomes a computer or case painting mod thats duplicatable, but it is gonna be some fun hopefully.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:20 pm 
Smithfield
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Alright, Ive taken some before photos. Later I may add one or two of the huge freakin mess that used to be in there.

Image
Front

Image
Left side, had to remove hinge to get the metal thing out.

Image
Right side, again you can see lots of scuffs from before and when I tried to remove the metal thing.

Now of course Im just gonna lightly sand the sides here, not paint/varnish the whole interior.

I'm off to drill some holes...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:06 am 
I'd rather be modding!
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Pic 1 too wide.

Chams gets mad.

640 max.

Were there drawers in there?

Manta


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:59 am 
Smithfield
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EDIT: Oh, I got width and height mixed up >_<

Nope, no drawers. Heres a pic of the whole thing (its pretty big though). http://lbi.250free.com/whole_desk.jpg

and in case anyone cares heres a pic of the cabinet without its bottom (took it off to re-nail it) and some rough slots cut out for cables and the like.
http://lbi.250free.com/so_far.jpg


Last edited by urmumsacow on Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:44 pm 
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Believe it or not, that's actually significantly smaller than the desk I used to have. Mine belonged to my mom who got it from the place she worked at (A freight company), I'd guesstimate it was at least twice as large as the one you have there. It also had a drawer under the typewriter compartment so there was a bottom to that area if you took out the slid-out hinged typewriter platter. But yeah, the drawers all locked with the center drawer as well. A lot of desks do that, most of 'em in fact. I don't find a single thing about modern computer desks to be ergonomic, they're a pain for me. Tiny little particle board pieces of junk. I much prefer to have a substantial piece of lumber constructed properly to some hex bolted piece of glorified cardboard. So be glad you've got a decent desk to start with there. Heh, I remember when we tried to get rid of that desk, it took four very strong men to carry it out of the house, the legs had to be removed, then it hadda be hauled away, the trash trucks wouldn't touch it. :) Must have weighted at least 800lbs. I think it was made of oak, looked like oak.

Anyway, there are a million different things you could do with that desk, it's wood, not fake stuff, so your options are limitless. It'll hold up a lot better than a computer desk and you can strip it down, stain and varnish it and it'll look really nice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:08 pm 
Smithfield
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Update time, today was a bad day. Moral low.

Stupid mistake, I took measurements (rough ones) of the comp and the INSIDE of the cabinet, the comp should fit in the cabinet but it WONT fit in the door! Tommorrow I'm gonna see about cutting the boarders in sections so I can rig up some way of getting the comp in and out. Problem is if I cut the thing up the way I'm gonna have too I'll need some way to get the pieces to go back in and stay without being permanent (i'd like to be able to remove the comp when necessary without too much work). Also if they pieces stay out it will practically ruin the sound deadening qualities of the mod, though it probably WOULD help out with airflow a great deal.

@insane modder, yea this desk is a clunker al right. An old fashioned thick and sturdy. I don't think its all oak but some of it is definetly wood. The top seems to be some sort of plastic/wood amalgam, it looks pretty good without dust on it and if I were to wash it up a bit it would look real proffessional like. When I'm done hacking up the desk I'll clean it up for a final shooting session. Might touch up the interior of the cabinet a bit if its not to hard/costly. In case anyone didnt notice (somewhat easy to do with these low rez pics) I flipped the bottom when I put it back in so it looks alot nicer, the other side has some soft or warping/bloating that looks like water damage.

Today I tore my comp apart and put it back together. Wiring looks alot nicer but I couldnt find my drum of artic silver 3 ( :shock: ) so I had to use *gasp* the crap that came with my volcano 9. That arctic silver 5 crap is expensive! Oh well... I suppose its a good excuse to upgrade.

In case any of you were wondering how things are looking Here's a few pics as of right now.

Image

Put the bottom back on, turned out to be a real bitch using nails that were much to large but eh, it works. I put 45 pounds worth of weight in there to test it.

Image

My comp after overhaul, the wiring might not LOOK to nice but it beats what it looked liked before. Also its kinda hard to get it any better than that in terms of function, I may be able to clean it up a bit more (hide some wires from view) but atm airflow is fine, which is all the matters till I get some new stuff and upgrade (plan on upgrading proc, ram, ide card/sata drive and possibly PSU).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:42 pm 
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Some zip ties and split loom or sleeving will fix that wiring problem up for ya, that's not an expensive proposition.

As for the moulding, yeah, now you do have a problem. But did you try putting the rig in sideways and standing it up once it's inside? That might be your least destructive option. Removing the moulding in that thing might be a problem, it looks like you'd have to remove a lot more than just the moulding to get it off and then as far as making it go back and still be easy to remove afterwards, that might not even be doable without damaging the integrity of the desk itself.

Did you check the bottom of your machine? Does it have rubber feet? If so, maybe removing them will give you the needed clearance?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:01 pm 
Smithfield
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Yea I tried tilting it on its side, even removed the feet and still no go. If I put the comp in sideways (drives facing left or right) it will go in, but cant be moved around afterwards. :(

As for the desk, its disposable. If the structural integrity is compromised and the desk collapses then I'll just hack it up even more and put it back together!

Anyways I'm waiting to get a jig saw blade so I can start hacking up the boarder, not entirely sure how I'm gonna rig up the pieces to go back in as I'd like to remove the comp without to much trouble.

Oh well, worst comes to worst I'll just keep the comp on the left side of the desk and buy a quieter PSU (this antec trueblue is nice and all but I think its the single loudest piece of my comp. :evil:

EDIT: ARRG! as it turns out by taking out the proc and replacing it I reset it to like 1.1 ghz (200 mhz fsb) and so the temps were lower. I NOW havei t clocked at 1984.49 mhz (according to WCPUID) with a 180 mhz fsb and a multiple of 11.0 along with syncronous RAM speeds. What a hastle... Temps are hovering in the 110-116 range. I think I'm gonna start another thread about my overclocking adventures because this is just messed up whats going on.


Last edited by urmumsacow on Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:43 pm 
Smithfield
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Alright! Done with the basics!

Image

After the cuts, put the comp in to show that there is maybe an inch at most of room on top.

Image

All closed up. Put the pieces into place but as of now they have nothing holding them in place so if I open the door... kerplunk.
Of course in time I want to work out some sort of screw system and maybe clean up the pieces a bit (make them fit better). At least the bottom one anyways since I had to use a wood chisel to even out the bottom. That was because the jigsaw's bit became very hot cutting through the thick wood and warped to the side.

Image

A closer view of the top piece in place. Click for a larger version.

[url=http://lbi.250free.com/piece_bottom_hirez.jpg]Image
[/url]
A closer view of the bottom piece in place. Click for a larger version. Note the small hole I had to make to use the jigsaw sideways, it doubles as a groove for a usb/firewire cable. In fact I ran a usb cable through to transfer the pics for this project!

In case anyone is interested here's a high res standing view of my desk's top. 530K~ish: http://lbi.250free.com/desk_top.jpg

Noise is significantly less than before, but not as much as I had hoped. I think the main source is the holes/slits in the front, hopefully when I clean that up and make things fit better it'll cut down on noise drastically. I may add some sound deadening material to the cabinet door/front of the enclosure later. Right now I'm gonna try to get my hands on a quiter PSU.

As of now no temp problems have come up (going on 15 minutes or so now) and temps are hovering around the 120 range. I backed off a bit on the overclocking down too 333 mhz fsb and a multiplier of 11.0X ... bringing the speed to a grand total of 1837Mhz.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:38 pm 
Smithfield
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Uhhg, I opened the door after about 20 minutes or so and it was gettin pretty durned warm in there, DEFINETLY above room temperature. If given enough time im almost positive it would overheat and start rebooting randomly. :(

For now I'm gonna have to leave the door open, hopefully I can rig up some sort of rear fan soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:47 pm 
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cut the back of the hole u have the case in and stick a few quiet 120mm fans in it ... then mod an old PSU so that it will turn on without a motherboard and u can power the fans with that, that should pull all the extra heat out of there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:33 pm 
Smithfield
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I'll consider that course though I dunno about using another PSU to power them... there's gotta be an easier way.

I hope to find some small fan (like one for your room) and have it on as low as it will go in the back aroung where the psu exhaust comes out. Whatever I do I want it to cut down on the noise factor hopefully to just about none.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:19 am 
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urmumsacow wrote:
I'll consider that course though I dunno about using another PSU to power them... there's gotta be an easier way.

I hope to find some small fan (like one for your room) and have it on as low as it will go in the back aroung where the psu exhaust comes out. Whatever I do I want it to cut down on the noise factor hopefully to just about none.

What the hell did you use to cut the slots in the door with?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:56 am 
Smithfield
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In the FRONT? A jigsaw with a really crappy blade. (note how the cuts are at an angle and the bottom piece no longer fits) thats because I had to use a wood chisel to even out the bottom of the cut because the blade was so badly warped. it actually broke about 1/4th of an inch before getting from one side to the other.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:03 am 
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Why didnt you just go buy another blade for like $5 at ACE hardware? (can you say plug, anybody? I work at an ACE) Now you have to sand and even all that out.

As for the cooling I would go with the PSU idea. There's a tutorial in these forums on how to mod a PSU to a "test" PSU so you dont need a motherboard. I have noticed though that on my test PSU I have to have a drive or something that uses more power than a fan, or else just the fans won't work. It's odd. You could always just take the back panel off and get a small floor fan or something. I would just do that or use 2 or 3 120mm fans. I would also get a good blade to cut the fan slots with though.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:54 pm 
Smithfield
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didnt have the time to go out and get a new blade. its not too big a deal really. I dunno about this whole "test" psu idea, it seems like it would produce alot of heat just to power 2-3 fans. Also thats a whole PSU ive gotta put somewhere... psu's are menat to power big beefy computers, not a few fans.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:23 pm 
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if your heating problems are bad i'd rip out the back of the desk and place a small fan there to get some air moving. i dont think 120's would do as much as a good 10 or 12 inch fan would


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