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post-214201-1209651012_thumb.jpgpost-214201-1209650895_thumb.jpgpost-214201-1209650765_thumb.jpgpost-214201-1209650660_thumb.jpg Ok...I am looking for ideas/possible designs for yet another G5/Mac Pro "built-from-scratch" case mod. I'm thinking along the lines of "what could have happened if Apple had decided to design a Mac Pro server...but in a server-tower design case?" I have just bought an old ATX server case on ebay...purely for it's chassis to provide some "structure" to this one-off case design. I am intending on using a full-size Gigabyte board...and a triple-circuit water-cooling setup. The "chassis I am beginning with is 610mm tall...and depending on what responses I get...I may well post some pics of the donor chassis.
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Thank you all for your encouraging words of support...this will unfortunately be a fairly slow mod...for a number of reasons...but I will update as often as I can. I am planning on going out tomorrow and buying some heavy-duty white cardboard to start making up templates for all the custom aluminium sheet work...as it's far cheaper to stuff up cardboard than aluminium sheet! Still looking for contributions as to design...particularly as to internal panels,etc...as I'm not exactly a wiz at CAD type programs.

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No new updates as yet...have been a little busy with "family" stuff over the last couple of days. Did go out and buy some white cardboard, though...going to start drafting up some templates for the aluminium panels over the next few days...will post some pics when I have some of these templates drawn up! ;)

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Just a small update...I had a dilemma facing me as to how to mount 2 optical drives, I didn't want to have to make a drive bay specifically for the job...but I still want the front panel looking as close to authentic MacPro as possible. Thankfully, I still have some old technology laying around!




...an old Pentium 200 MMX...surprisingly a still operational machine (but why!)


It just so happens that this design of case has a "removable" dual optical drive bay...therefore saving the drama of having to make a dual optical bay from scratch!



The "donor" dual optical bay...still located in the "victim"!...lol


Out with the CD-RW drive...


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...off with the plastic front panel(didn't even bother disassembling the rest of the machine!) :dev: ...




...and out with the cordless drill to drill out the pop-rivets...


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...with a quick flick of the wrist... ;)




...voila...dual drive bay...ready to be used! :censored2:




They aren't much to look at yet...I will be sanding them up smooth...and painting them in "chrome" paint...but I'm not real worried...in true MacPro form...it will be hidden behind the aluminium finish panel.

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Ok...so here's the theory...don't you just love it when people say "it's all good in theory?" Anyway...the idea is:

*Invert the chassis (BTX style).


*Remove the motherboard tray (D'uh!).


*Disassemble the chassis panel by panel drilling out all the pop rivets holding it together.

*Completely cut out the original front and rear panels...leaving basically a 20mm "frame" for a front panel...and about a 10mm "frame" for a back panel.


...and apart from the motherboard tray and the slides that it slides in on...pretty much discard the rest of the chassis!


I have had it pointed out to me on another forum, where this project is also located...


...that there are doubts as to just how close this mod will actually be to a G5/MacPro.


In light of that comment...I had discovered that with the depth of this chassis...it would have only allowed me to have 3 hard drive bays across instead of 4. These of course will be double drive bays instead of singular...(more hard drives, 8 in total, true to servers) but I did say I wanted this mod to be a "concept" of what Apple could have done if they'd thought of it...rather than a true "replica"!


So therefore...I have decided to rejoin the front and back panels with aluminium angle...to make for a little more depth, which in turn will also allow the case to grow a little wider...in better proportion with a "genuine" MacPro case!


Unlike a MacPro...the rear panel will be flat, instead of curved at either end...but the front panel will still have the integrated curves top and bottom. It will also have a flat front panel behind the curved "perforated" front panel...to allow for mounting of 3 120mm fans to cater for the CPU's water cooling loop...along with a Radiical® Ultra Triple120 mm Fan Radiator-Dual Pass.

Due to the overall height of this case...I am having to deviate away from a MacPro in design slightly...just so the structure of the case doesn't become too "flimsy" and weak...this is going to be quite a heavy computer!


Thats all for now...another update in a few days!

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Just a quick update. I went out to Bunnings today and bought 4 1 metre lengths of 20mm flange aluminium angle, and 4 1 metre lengths of 12mm flange aluminium angle, that will be used to tie the front and rear panels back together, and also tidy up some of the original steel edges. This will form the new chassis with which the rest of the MacPro/XServe tower will be built around.




Stay tooned, as over the next few days, I will be starting to disassemble the original server tower, cut out the front and rear frames, bog (bondo) the holes up in the front panel, and start to form the new chassis!

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Total Dismemberment!!!


Today's update...serious wantin destruction...hee...hee...hee! I got started on dismantling the original server tower, to retrieve the components of the case I will need...and discard what won't be required.


Drilling out pop-rivets....







...and just like some cheesy B-grade horror movie...starring Server Tower in "TOTAL DISMEMBERMENT".....


...looks a bit "naked" now!


After all unnecessary parts have been chucked...this is what I'm left with....


Front and rear panels, a tray (that will be modified) with slides for the motherboard tray, and the other motherboard tray slide. You may have noticed that the front and rear panels are a different height...some 35mm in fact...but I have a clever little way that I am going to deal with that...in a future post!

Pretty much everything else from here on in will be fabricated by hand.


There will be another update today, but I will post it seperately...as it deals with another aspect of the job altogether!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time to Slice and Dice?


I apologise for the lack of recent updates...have recently changed ISP, but I'm back now...with some all-new updates!


Cutting up the original Front Panel... to leave a basic "frame" for an aluminium faceplate to be mounted, to accomodate the 2 optical drive bays (at the top) and 3 fans for the triple-fan CPU water loop radiator (about 2/3rds the way down the faceplate).


Firstly...here is marked what needs to be cut away...


(This was originally the top of the case...where the floppy drive and power switch were)



(This was originally the lower front of the case...where the factory fitted 80mm fans were, for hard drive and case ventilation)


The front panel will be inverted (to make for a cleaner edge for the optical drive bays) and in keeping with the original theory of inverting the whole case BTX style.


Next is a photo of me holding the angle grinder in my hand getting ready to start the cut, with a devious look on my face!


....after all...how often do you hear the words "angle grinder" and "computer" used in the same phrase...???...lol...!!!


...first cut...the top section where the floppy drive was...



...and the cut out section completed...



Next, moving on to the lower section...

...starting the cut...



...about a third of the way through...



...and finishing up...section falling away...



It doesn't show in the photos...but it actually took 3 full cutting disks from start to finish (just on this lower section!)...I have learnt my lesson now...you get what you pay for...cheap, rubbish cutting disks!!!


Lastly...the complete...cut-out original front-panel...



In future updates...I will be bogging up this panel...and smoothing it out...in preparation for forming the new chassis...stay tooned!!!





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Bogging up the front panel





A little more progress made…front panel roughly scuffed up a little…so as to have a raw surface to use Stainless Steel reinforced bog (bondo) on…filling up as many of the original holes/gaps as possible.



Front of front panel roughed up…



Back of front panel….


Masking up of the front panel…from behind…so the bog would actually stick and not just fall through the holes…


…and lastly…the first stage of applying the bog and filling up the holes…



I don't honestly really know why I am going to the trouble…the front and rear frames are going to be trimmed with aluminium angle…and as the project progresses, these frames eventually won't even be visible…but call it my perfectionist nature, I guess!


The aim is to try to get the finished case to be as smooooooth as possible…and if I know it's there…and it ain't right…I won't let up till it's put right!


The completed bog filling job...



...painted in red oxide primer...



...and finally...painted in grey primer...



The frame has only been bogged and painted on the front so far...I decided to start making the aluminium angle frame first while it is still at this stage...that way if there's any damage to the paint in the process...I'll just touch up the paint all in one go...


Anyway…that's all for now...by next update the frame should be ready for stuff like hi-fill primer to be applied and sanded, etch primed and painted chrome…in preparation for the aluminium framework which will eventually support the "hidden" front.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, Y'all!

Just a short note to say I haven't given up...and that I am still here...I just have no current updates to report. Unfortunately I am going through an Australian winter here at the moment...and I do the majority of my work outside (bit difficult when it's pretty much constantly raining!)...and I also have 2 other completely unrelated mods on the go as well (one for my wife, one for my eldest son) which were actually started long before mine...and I have had them both breathing down my neck to make some more progress on theirs!

Hopefully I will have another update soon, possibly while I am painting the other two!

Cheers...and see you all again soon!

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