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InsolentGnome

Deep Blue(formally G-Frame) - Scratch Build (completed)

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23 hours ago, Bill Owen said:

that dyed maple looks really cool!

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.

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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.

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But the results were worth the effort.

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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.

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I like how the differences in the blades give it a profile.  All these straight, flat pieces, but still it's got some shape.

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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.

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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.

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Little behind due to hectic schedule lately, but this is looking great!  

 

I actually just dyed curly maple blue a few weeks ago for a little mostly lathe project I did and ended up giving to my neighbor.  I used Transtint Dye that I mixed pretty heavily with de-waxed shellac (sanding sealer).  It worked very well for me

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1 hour ago, Mosquito said:

Little behind due to hectic schedule lately, but this is looking great!  

 

I actually just dyed curly maple blue a few weeks ago for a little mostly lathe project I did and ended up giving to my neighbor.  I used Transtint Dye that I mixed pretty heavily with de-waxed shellac (sanding sealer).  It worked very well for me

 

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?

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On 12/27/2017 at 9:25 AM, InsolentGnome said:

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.

Chatoyance?

 

 

If you don't want to pop the grain, you'll likely want to put on a coat of something like thinned out de-waxed shellac first, to help fill in some of that, then sand a little before applying the dye.  You also may not get it to pop quite as much either, since you'll be working with veneer and not solid wood.  Keep in mind that Denatured Alcohol, or subsequent coats of shellac, will desolve the previous shellac layers as well. 

 

If you want to really buff out a shellac finish, it's not hard since you can just run through the sand paper grits, but you have to make sure you've got a good layer of shellac to work with.  If you don't have enough layers down you may get pin holes in it where it didn't fully fill the grain.  Shellac is probably one of the easiest finishes to buff out, since it all turns into one layer, instead of stacking layers like polyurethanes do, so you don't have to worry about burning through the top layer.  If I want a lot of shine, I'll sand up to 1500 or 2000 grit, then apply a paste wax with a cloth, wait 10-15 minutes, then buff out with a clean cloth. 

 

You could also top coat with de-waxed shellac, then wait for that to fully cure, and just use your regular 2K Clear over that too.  When Brad air brushed the rose on my cherry plywood, I had put on 2 coats of dewaxed shellac and left it for him.  He air brushed it, then clear coated it.  2-1/2 years and there have been no issues, so I don't expect there to be any.  Dewaxed shellac is sort of the universal sealer, as most any other finish is compatible with shellac.  

 

As with everything, save some scraps to test on first lol

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So I got my veneer in...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Once the veneer was applied, just flip the panel over and trim off the excess.

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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.

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And, as usual, I couldn't not put it back together to get a look at the transformation the veneer gave the case.

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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! :)

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See, I'm so frugal I probably would have traced the panel and rough cut out the hole before I peeled off the backing and stuck it on, just so I could keep those pieces of veneer in tact for use later lol

 

I just ordered a couple paper backed veneer samples from my veneer supplier as I've been messing around with a small laser engraver yesterday.  Could be fun lol

 

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7 hours ago, Mosquito said:

See, I'm so frugal I probably would have traced the panel and rough cut out the hole before I peeled off the backing and stuck it on, just so I could keep those pieces of veneer in tact for use later lol

 

I just ordered a couple paper backed veneer samples from my veneer supplier as I've been messing around with a small laser engraver yesterday.  Could be fun lol

 

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.

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You could probably stick it back to the paper you pulled off the whole sheet too I suppose.  

 

If you're needing a way to expunge some from storage let me know :-P  ITX scratch build sounds like a good plan too though lol

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On 1/9/2018 at 8:34 AM, Mosquito said:

You could probably stick it back to the paper you pulled off the whole sheet too I suppose.  

 

If you're needing a way to expunge some from storage let me know :-P  ITX scratch build sounds like a good plan too though lol

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.

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lol I hear ya.  I've got a couple big sheets of raw wood quilted sapele veneer that is currently sandwiched in paper between two large shelving boards taped together trying to keep it all flat... Need to get that in somewhere, and then make something that needs veneer lol

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23 hours ago, Cheapskate said:

Project has been too quiet. 

Been busy.

GeForce Garage Meshify C

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And a friends 303

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Should be finishing them up this weekend so maybe then I can start playing around with the dyes for the veneer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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To show the variation you can get with different passes, let's pick on the blues for a sec.

One pass with blue.

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3 passes with blue

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5 passes of blue.  I think you sort of hit a wall of what the veneer can take in at 3 to 4 passes.

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Blue pass then a black pass.

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Blue pass, then black, then 2 more blue passes.

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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.

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Black plus vintage maple.

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So eventually I had 8 different trials.

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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

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vintage maple

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black

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blue

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black+blue

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black+vintage maple

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black+coffee

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And finally, coffee+vintage maple

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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!:)

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+1 Vote for blue-black. 

Black+Coffee I've stored mentally for any future woodwork. Fur rig is fabulous. It reminded me of a couch a relative had in their store back in the '70s. It was the same fur, but neon pink.

-Also, we can totally see you've been feeling it up because of the finger tracks.

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7 hours ago, Cheapskate said:

+1 Vote for blue-black. 

Black+Coffee I've stored mentally for any future woodwork. Fur rig is fabulous. It reminded me of a couch a relative had in their store back in the '70s. It was the same fur, but neon pink.

-Also, we can totally see you've been feeling it up because of the finger tracks.

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.

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Coffee/black would look good with polished copper, beige, and piano black. - Think vintage Rolls Royce.

Mentally, vintage/black is out for me because the case would disappear into the wall paneling here. 

The blue is a good vote to me because of all the modern hardware it will be casing. -And I've seen a lot of natural wood builds already.

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Also throw me in for blue + black.  Did you sand between any of the coats?  You could sand between coats to accentuate the figure in the grain if you wanted to, but to me the blue + black looks good.  And yes, you don't get quite the same effect with veneer that you can with full wood, just because the grain can't go very far with veneer

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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.

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Alright, back to business.  Time to make some panels pop.  First thing is sanding the veneer down to a nice smooth finish and getting the edges nice and smooth.  220 grit hand sanding on the veneer face, but I wound up going with the mini polisher on the edges.

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Final decision on color was just a straight blue.  I did make a more concentrated batch of dye/alcohol for a deeper blue color.  My original mix was too light and approached a baby blue after sanding.  Starting to dye the panels.

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And everything finished after about 6 passes with the dye.

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On a side note, I snagged some insulation stays when I did a little soundproofing in my shop and had a ton left over.  Cut at 16" and a decent gauge.  Pretty handy for hanging stuff up to dry or for painting.

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After giving the panels some time to dry it was time to seal it with de-waxed shellac.  Gave it a light once over to knock any raised grain down and then sprayed it with 4 light coats.

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A good start, but then I gave it a light sanding and another 5 quick coats of shellac.  Since I was spraying it, they were pretty light coats, but it kept me from having to fight brushing it on.  If it's anything like lacquer, and it sounds like it is, brushing it on can be a pain.

Then I was about ready to throw it back together to see the progress, but I need a couple of acrylic panels pocketed out for lighting.  I had one ready to go, but still have another to knock out.

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Still need to hit it with a router to get my wire channels in.

And then the blades put together, minus the one acrylic panel.  I can't cut my threaded rod till all of the panels are done, so I'm still stuck with them running wild.

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Next up, the final acrylic panel and to start mapping out the interior pieces.  Thanks for following along! :)

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