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About InsolentGnome

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    Just Plain Crazy
  • Birthday 08/05/1976

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  1. Etching your tempered glass side panels

    Thanks man! I want to try it reversed on the back side to see if it picks up the LED's better, but it works for now.
  2. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Yeah, I do like the blue for the wow factor and that it's just so different, from a distance it's hard to tell it's wood. Rod from BSMods gave me a great idea for interchangeable panels for the mITX I want to do with the scrap and the idea of mixing some of these colors with copper and black sounds interesting. Didn't sand, just wanted to figure color, though I'm thinking of doing a couple of more trials to really nail down just how to get the look I want and I might try sanding between coats on those. I hate sanding veneer, it's so freaking thin.
  3. Did a tutorial on using an etch paste to etch tempered glass panels. And unlike most things I try, it was way easier than I expected!
  4. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    It so freaking soft though! LOL Yeah, I'm thinking blue and black, but I really like the black and vintage maple, has an aged look.
  5. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Since Cheaps demands updates and I actually have time and space to work on this monster, here is an update. With the veneer on, it's time to figure out what I'm actually going to do with the veneer as far as a finish. From what I've read, tinting dyes really bring out the chatoyance, or the shimmer that you see in this maple that is perpendicular to the grain. So let's try out some dyes. Cut up some scraps of the veneer to try out a few colors and combinations. When I ordered the veneer, I also picked up a few colors of dye that I thought might be interesting: coffee brown, vintage maple, black and blue. I mixed up some batches, thinning the dye 1/2 oz to 14 oz of alcohol. That's pretty close to the recommended ratio of 1 oz to a quart. I'm using alcohol in the hopes that it dries quick enough not to pop up the grain of the veneer. 1st pass. Basically wipe the dye on, wipe off the excess. The color is there, but there's still a lot of natural maple color showing. Second pass. Now it's starting to look like something. Every pass, the grain picks up a bit more dye so the colors begin to pop. For clarification, clockwise starting at the top, black, vintage maple, coffee brown, blue. The blue and black are pretty obvious, but my scrawls of the names on the browns aren't that clear. You'll notice I'm keeping track of the coats as well. I want to get shots of the process so that if at a later date I'm looking for a certain color or look, I can replicate it. 3rd pass on the main colors, decided to try a couple of combinations. The new combos are different passes with different dyes. So the new blue combo is a blue pass, followed by a black. The one below it is a coffee pass, followed by a vintage maple pass, then another coffee pass. To show the variation you can get with different passes, let's pick on the blues for a sec. One pass with blue. 3 passes with blue 5 passes of blue. I think you sort of hit a wall of what the veneer can take in at 3 to 4 passes. Blue pass then a black pass. Blue pass, then black, then 2 more blue passes. I think the addition of the extra blues on that last one is really interesting because, not only did the last 2 passes add blue, but wiping the excess of those passes also picks up a bit of the black. So it's not as dark overall, but the figure(the cross grain pattern) held onto the black, making it really stand out vs a blue only piece. I also did similar black combinations with the coffee and the vintage maple, starting with black, then 2 passes of the color and the effects were very nice. I makes the colors sort of moody. Black plus coffee. Black plus vintage maple. So eventually I had 8 different trials. This is from the other side of the table so from the top left: coffee, blue, coffee+vintage maple, black+coffee, black+vintage maple, black+blue, black, vintage maple. This whole process unfortunately has not made my choice any easier, so I coated them with either lacquer or clear coat to get that wet look and an idea of what they would look like finished. coffee vintage maple black blue black+blue black+vintage maple black+coffee And finally, coffee+vintage maple Now I get to go stare at them for a couple of hours deciding which one I like best for the build. Thanks for following along!:)
  6. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Yeah, I really like the look of it.
  7. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Been busy. GeForce Garage Meshify C And a friends 303 Should be finishing them up this weekend so maybe then I can start playing around with the dyes for the veneer.
  8. perplexed?

    I love the 303, I'm actually working on my second one for a friend. It's got a lot of hidden potential just because the top and front are totally blank and it's really solid, so you can hack away at it without destroying integrity. Interior does get a bit weird though.
  9. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    That's exactly what I did. Now just to find a place to store it until I can get back to it. It's a PITA moving it around every time I want do something.
  10. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Actually the PSA is still in pretty good shape. The stuff is sticky. Worst case though Is I'd have to use glue to use the scraps. Not a big deal. Definitely planing on using the left overs. I've got a ton of matching aluminum from making the panels. I see a nice little mITX scratch in the future.
  11. perplexed?

    TG is the worst for reflections. I remember my second case, all acrylic, impossible to take pics of till I sanded it down. My favorite way of marking acrylic is tape. Either tape the line you want to cut or stick a piece of tape down so you can make marks on it.
  12. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    So I got my veneer in... I love the look of it, now just to get it put onto the panels. First order of business, get it cut down into a manageable size. Roughly 2'x2' sheets, separated to keep things matched up right. Don't want to flip a piece and have it look totally different from the rest. I set up a form so that I could keep things square, but as per my usual, I didn't cut the veneer perfectly square, so I basically used the form as a straight edge. This go around with veneer I decided to try the applied PSA backing rather than a glue. I have had good luck Heat-Lock, a heat setting glue, but since I don't have any bends to work around and worry about popping up, I thought this might simplify the process. It made the whole job incredibly simple. Once the veneer was applied, just flip the panel over and trim off the excess. I used razor knife to cut the veneer which isn't really a good choice but I didn't really see a good way to use a veneer saw on the inside corners. It makes for a rough cut from the back side so the edges, well, need some love. The plan is to go back and peel a few mm of veneer from the edge to give it an aluminum border. That should clean up the edge and give it a bit of style. It also takes care of the sandwiched look on the edges. Before applying the veneer to the opposite side, I had to make sure to punch my holes through the veneer. I did this by taking a 1/16" bit and poking a pilot from the back, then using the correct size from the front to keep from blowing out the veneer. A little cleanup with an exacto knife and it'll be serviceable. Also, you can see a bit of the chipping on the edges that occured because of cutting from the back with a razor knife in this pic. And, as usual, I couldn't not put it back together to get a look at the transformation the veneer gave the case. I'm still planning on dying it once I play around and find the color I want, but even naked, I love it. Thanks for following along!
  13. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Thanks! Now I know my idea isn't that crazy, lol. I got Transtint as well. Black, blue, coffee, and some other brown. Wanted to see what my options are and what the other colors look like, but I'm leaning heavily towards the blue. And my veneer just shipped so I should be able to play with it soon! I was thinking of mixing with alcohol so it doesn't pop the grain(and I've got a gallon that I'm never going to get through) but I'm not sure about what to topcoat it with. I saw a video suggesting de-waxed shellac. I really want a nice glossy finish that will keep up with the 2K clear that I'll use on the painted pieces. Any suggestions?
  14. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    Well, the aluminum milling for the blades is done. As usual, it all went pretty smooth til the last piece and then it went to ca-ca. My method involved clamping the material down, milling the inside, and then moving the clamps to the inside so I could mill the outside. I usually try to catch it when it's knocking out the holes for the threaded rod so it wouldn't run over the clamps when it started on the outside edge. Did that, turned around and started sweeping the shop and then a horrible grinding sound. Uh oh. Well I managed to forget about the tray area where I've got some holes to attach mod blocks. I totally put the router through one and was in time to watch the collet nut turning orange from grinding against an adjustment bolt on the clamp. Whoops! Luckily the inside was done so I could line it up with it's twin blade and cut the exterior by hand and file it to match. In order to hold it and put it somewhere I could work on it, I had to get creative. But the results were worth the effort. They're so good, that now I think I need to do the rest of the pairs like this. Dang! But with the last aluminum blade finished, I can piece it together and start to get an idea of what I'm working with. I like how the differences in the blades give it a profile. All these straight, flat pieces, but still it's got some shape. And as far as size...well...it's huge. I've got a Meshify C I'm working on, which is a pretty compact mid tower, and here's the comparison shot. If the tray area wasn't there, the Fractal would fit inside it. And width-wise, well, it's gonna grow. I've got another inch of acrylic panels to add in plus whatever the veneer will add. I might have to clear off a little more desk space by the time this thing is done.
  15. G-Frame - Scratch Build (updated Jan 23, 2018)

    A lot of the dyed stuff didn't really suit me, but the sheen(there's a word for it but I don't remember it) on this really caught my eye. I actually wanted to do sycamore because it's even more pronounced, but it was about twice the price of the maple. So maple it is.