Putting It Back Together

posted Sep 7, 2013, 12:28 PM by Andrew Stock
Hello everyone! 

Picking up where I left off last time, I was starting to reassemble my case. Last time, it was just the clamshell that was really put together... only a few tabs fitting into slots, and a few screws to put the wheels on. Now, it's time for some rivets.  Sorry in advance for the terrible photo quality. It was 110F outside, so far too hot to work in the garage... thus I had to work inside, where the light is not so good. 

Here's an initial shot with the rivets just set in place while I tried to remember how this whole thing went back together... man, more complicated than I remember. Fortunately, I took a lot of pictures before I disassembled it... which helped greatly in remembering which pieces went together in what order. Like a giant 3D puzzle. 

It took quite a bit of doing, but I finally got the power button all reassembled and attached to the midplate again...

You can see the midplate is just a little wavy from the welding/warping... but fortunately, this area will be completely covered by the reservoir, so it will not be noticeable. 

Next, I started riveting using a trick I picked up a while ago while reading forums on the proper way to use these black rivets without scraping all the paint off. I put two layers of masking tape over the "nut" on the front of the rivet gun, so that when it presses against the face of the rivet it has a bit of cushion:

I replaced this tape after every rivet to make sure that each one went perfect. Maybe a bit overboard, but it worked perfectly. 

Looking good!

Got the motherboard plate reattached to the midplate and case clamshell. These were a pain in the butt to do... upside down, with not enough room to put the rivet gun head flat against the surface. Luckily, it came out good. 

Next, I started putting some of the Bitspower hardware back into the case. In the midplate, I decided to use these fill ports as a sort of "pass through" port, rather than routing a tube through a blank hole. I thought it looked a little more "professional" that way... plus, it gave me an excuse to liven up the otherwise plain midplate area with some nice shiny chrome hardware. 

When I cut the holes for these originally, I made them a very tight fit to make sure there was no vibration or anything. Well... it turns out I made them just a BIT too tight... with the primer/paint/matte coat on them, they no longer fit.  Fortunately, easy enough to fix with some P400 sandpaper. I just sanded down the inside ring till I was back to bare aluminum, and the plugs fit right in.

After a long day of riveting, this is all I have to show for it:

Doesn't look like much, huh? 

Here we are, somewhat reassembled!

I'm not super happy about the visibility of the weld spots on the underside of the midplate... but it's pretty difficult to see them from any angle other than this one, shot from underneath the case while it's up on a table. So I'm not too worried about it... for now. Maybe for V2 I'll look at rebuilding my own midplate... or maybe just do a scratch build while I am at it. 

You can also see one of my wifes stuffed animals in the reflection... a flamingo, wearing a sombrero, named Mother Clucker. I didn't realize I caught his reflection in this shot until posting it... but thought it was funny enough to leave. 

And here's the prototype radiator just set in there for effect. I still haven't cut the new bottom/top portions of it... I am just using the old ones for sizing for now. 

Up next time, re-doing the reservoir with a new bottom/top, and doing some cable routing on the radiator housing... and maybe sleeve the pumps?  Till next time!