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Monday, August 22, 2011

Art Nouveaux Case Mod, Part 3

The Top Panel and Front Door

With the side panels fasted in place on the case, a board is cut to fit on the top of the case between the two side panels. A flowing design is sketched directly on the wood and then rough-carved to shape.

[caption id="attachment_444" align="aligncenter" width="287" caption="On the left, the top panel takes shape after rough carving. On the right, the cental pattern has openwork dogwood blossoms added as a decorative accent matching the other panels (or as a fan guard if left open.)"]case panel[/caption]

As I was working on this piece, I saw that the central area lined up pretty well between the position of the power supply and the front drive bays. By routing this out and adding open-work dogwood blossoms, the top panel can now allow for air flow if a top case fan is added. Right now, it makes a shadow-box style dust trap. If I don't install a fan, I will add a piece of glass behind it to match the front panel appearance.

[caption id="attachment_446" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Using a scanned image of a 12cm fan as a template, a vent hole is cut between the power supply and drive bays, centered on the new top window. A drum sander on the drill removes the sharp edges left by the 4.5" hole saw."]sander[/caption]

With all of the stationary wood panels completed, everything is attached to the metal case. Any of the panels that will have glass installed will have to come off again, but to complete the door, I need to know the positions of the sides and top to make the best fit.

[caption id="attachment_447" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Views of the finished sides and top, mounted to determine front door dimensions."]case panel views[/caption]

With the top and side panels attached and in position, a thick length of board is cut to size as a front door. The extra thickness is so I can carve designs on both surfaces.

[caption id="attachment_448" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Once cut to size, flowing curves and flowers are sketched on both sides of the door before carving."]case panel[/caption]


The outside surface is carved with curves and blossoms like the other panels. Since the quartz cabochon on the front panel is the highest point in the design, and its position is marked on the inside of the door to include a depression carved at that location. Additional curves and blossoms are worked into the design and the inside of the door carved and finished.

[caption id="attachment_449" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The outside of the front door after sanding, sealing and buffing."]case panel[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_450" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The inside of the door with the hinge attached. Note the depression in the top center; this lines up with the quartz cab mounted in the front panel."]case panel [/caption]

A length of piano hinge is attached along one side, of the door, and then the door attached to the edge of the right hand side panel. To keep the door closed, a small magnet is embedded in the door and a second one in the edge of the side panel.

Next time: glass windows.

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