Painting Preparation

posted Feb 7, 2013, 5:38 PM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 5:43 PM ]

Small update this time... well... small in content, but not small in effort nor small in 'size'!

I only had bits and pieces of time due to a hefty workload with my day job... but I managed to put together my painting booth finally! It looks like something 'Dexter' would put together... 

Now I don't have to worry about getting paint (or blood...) everywhere, and hopefully all that dust/hair/bug nonsense won't mess up my finish! 

I also added some cutouts for ventilation, with air filters, so that I get some fresh air in there and cut down on the dust at the same time.

Inside, I have a simple 'bench' that I can hang pieces from, or set up as a shelf for small parts:

Anyway, now I just need some time to prepare all my parts and I can get to painting!

Also, I finally got my midplate back from the welding shop... 

At first glance, it looks pretty good. The top was ground down pretty flat. The underside has some large ugly welds, but I think I can clean up those with a little elbow grease:

However... I started to notice a pretty significant problem:

The piece is warped. BAD. 

I'm worried I won't be able to use this piece after all. It was expensive to have welded too... and I was too much of a nice guy to not pay them, since they are a small shop. 

So... with nothing left to lose, I decided I would do what I could to try and 'flatten' it:

I didn't have a lot of luck with the rubber mallet. After beating the heck out of it for about a half hour, I had only made very minor progress. It was pretty evident this would never get the job done.

I also tried 'crushing' the bent areas in a vise:

That worked a little better. At this point the piece is 'relatively' flat. I'm still thinking I am going to have to recreate the piece from scratch... but I'm going to go with it for now until it proves too warped to use. If I can see that it is warped after assembling the case, I'll redo it. No compromise, eh? 

Speaking of reassembling the case, I wanted to put everything that has been made together briefly, just so I could get a feel for how things are looking. I quickly put it together using some painters tape just to hold pieces in the right places:

Considering the relatively small window size, you don't actually get a very good look at the mid-plate... even when looking right in the window:

Here's a shot from the "IO shield" area... also not too bad looking. 

Can't really tell that it is only slightly warped at all. I'll go with it... for now... 

So, I set to work cleaning up some of the smaller imperfections. There are many rivet holes in the piece that will no longer be used as a result of the modifications I made to the case (such as removing the hard drive cages) which I needed to fill. To fill it, I'm using some JB Weld, which hopefully will work much better than the Bondo. After the first coat...

And then a second coat to smooth out the remaining dimples:

I'll likely do one more coat tonight on the underside if necessary, then sand it flat for painting. 

Anyway, I hope to have a bunch of free time this weekend as the wife is working all Saturday and Sunday... leaving me with nothing to do... but paint!