Singapore needs help (No pun)

Sheet Metal Fabrication techniques, questions and help. "Tricks of the Trade"

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Singapore needs help (No pun)

Post by alfaman » Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:34 pm

Hi all,

I managed to gooogle my way to this cool site.

I am trying to fabricate a computer case inspired by the new Apple G5.

I hope to DIY as much as possible to have more fun and kicks.
I intent to use 1mm aluminium sheets for the side walls and
a one-piece 0.6mm perforated alumnium sheet for the front, top and rear.

1) Can any kind soul recommend a decent press brake for my application?
2) I am facing problem on joining the perf to the side walls. I can either bend
the perf along the edges to create flange for joining to the side wall or just position
the perf edge to the side wall edge perpendicular and weld along the joint,
3) What form of welding should I take up? Gas weld? I reckon scattered weld will
be good enough instead of a full weld along the joints as I am building just
a simple enclosure. Any good welding kit worth mentioning?

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your guidance.
PS: Democrat or Republican?

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Re: Singapore needs help (No pun)

Post by Steve_in_Mich » Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:04 am

There is an awful lot to learn and money to spend for tools/tooling for a computer case as many have found before you. You have to really want to do this to succeed. I've had several request to make special cases but usually when I put some numbers together the want turns to wining. Study or look into aluminum spot welding along with riv-stud insertion techniques and material selection and cost.

Might want to rethink "perforated aluminum sheet for" dust and spills are subject to gravity and not good for electronics. Some perf is backed up with other material for these reasons and too so proper air flow is achieved through the cabinet for cooling. Side panels with starburst light effects and billet front panels are sporty but very expensive. I suggest to the DIY'er a piecemeal modification of a current cabinet.The hinged side door type lend nicely to this approach.
Just because you don’t believe it - doesn’t mean it’s not so.

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Re: Singapore needs help (No pun)

Post by alfaman » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:43 am

HI Steve,

I mentioned computer case is not to complicate things.
The real intent is to fabricate a lightbox that looks similar to the
G5 lying down. The lighbox will have perf walls on 4 sides.

You are right on the costing. I was talking to metal fabricators
and I got the same answers. "Is there anyway you could simplify
your design? cos its going to cost a bomb even with 100 units." [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/frown.gif"%20alt="[/img]

Good take on rivets. I will go study them.

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Re: Singapore needs help (No pun)

Post by Ries » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:04 pm

I have made a lot of things putting perforated sheet onto solid- my advice is do not try to weld it edge to edge- the perf will just start to melt away.
I usually bend a flange on the perf- 1/2" wide or so, then tuck that into the solid metal- then I either rivet- pop rivets, or small solid aluminum rivets, or I tig weld.
A tig weld every inch or so for the size and thickness you are talking about.
I have walked the streets of Singapore, and I found there are storefront metal fabricators- It might be hard to find one that is high tech enough to do this without being a big factory out in an industrial estate- but I think there must be such a place.
You need a shop that has a shear and a brake- it doesnt have to be a press brake- a hand operated finger brake would work fine. Then, they need to have a TIG, or GTAW welder- an electric arc welder that uses argon sheilding gas for the weld. Most simple iron work shops in Singapore will not have one of these, but again, if you look around, you can find someone.
To make these boxes properly, you need about 20,000 US dollars worth of equipment, at new prices. Here in the US, it is often possible to find these tools used at bargain prices, but I doubt that is true there. And also, these are big heavy tools- and you probably live on the 20th floor in a small apartment.
So I would advise you look and look until you find the right metal shop to help you make these-the right guy should be able to make these boxes for 20 to 50 bucks US for small quantities- Maybe even cheaper in Singapore.

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