Worklog: Massively (Update #65, 29th Nov – Final Pics + Aussie copper pipe fittings!)

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by Saate, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. OP
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    Saate

    Saate Member

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    Thanks for the motivation fellas :) Cracked the shits at the build yesterday, I'm having to redo one of the copper pipe links and it's amazingly difficult to get the angles and lengths correct! I've wasted another meter and a half of copper and it's breaking my heart!

    Steeling myself up to head down to the garage now and give the bastard another go, wish me luck!
     
  2. Dumpty

    Dumpty Member

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    Good LUCK! :thumbup:
    I wanna see progress photos too, if thats not asking for to much :p:thumbup:
     
  3. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    LUCK HEADING YOUR WAY BRUV.
     
  4. OP
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    Saate

    Saate Member

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    UPDATE – Frustrating Loop Work

    Thought I’d start this update off nicely, then hit you with the nasty copper pipe work later on :) I visited my dad in Sydney recently who is a builder by trade. He’s one of those people who can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone he knows, and as a result is pretty handy to have around for advice on stuff.

    I was showing him pics of the build and talking about acrylic, when he pulled out some stuff he’d salvaged from a recent job. At 20mm thick it was also the largest piece of acrylic I’ve seen, the online stores I’ve bought 3-10mm stuff from don’t have 20mm thick and I’d guess its fairly expensive. He had a bunch of pieces but gave me this one to take home:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A small cube I cut off to test how well it cut and polished – well it turns out! I was a little worried that it might not have been the right type of stuff (cast?) and would splinter easily, but all seems well:

    [​IMG]

    Not sure what I’ll use it for yet, but awesome to have! Alright, so I guess it’s time to dredge up the pain and drama of the copper pipe work. The one good thing that’s come from all this is that I’ve ‘discovered’ a pretty good set of rules around what to do and what not to do when you’re working with copper and want to make it look good.

    Stuff I’ve figured out that could have saved me copper, time and effort
    1. The straighter the link between two points, the more difficult to install/remove the piece.
    2. To protect o-rings in the fittings always file the edges of the copper down, no shortcutting!
    3. Eliminate or reduce the use of angle connectors fittings. They’re expensive and unnecessary given the angles that can already be achieved with copper pipe.
    4. Key pieces of the loop should symmetrically x/y relate to either other pieces of the loop or major components. Achieving such symmetry will lend a holistic feel to the finish – the loop and components will appear as one and give the feel of a complete system. Without symmetry the loop links will stand out - giving an amateurish feel to the look and appearing poorly crafted.
    5. More than two 90 degree bends in a link makes it difficult to calculate and bend accurately, especially where the distance between the bends is shorter (<100mm) and the bends are not parallel to each other (eg third axis).

    After my first run at the loop I was pretty disgusted, I think I must have lucked out in working with the pipe on test runs because it looked pretty good in those. This time round I had no such luck, I’ll show you now how I broke each of the rules above and how they made me suffer as a result.

    Rule #1 – I used links that were too straight/direct

    Here’s a few shots from me creating the link between the GPU and Radiator. Measuring it up, looking at a 45 degree bend to connect to the angle connector on the top 680 card. Firstly measuring the length to figure out where the bend should start, the pipe will actually connect to the other fitting in the rad but this one is easier to reach with the longer length:

    [​IMG]

    Bend done and with the pipe now in the rear fitting, bend looks perfect to connect into the 45 degree GPU fitting. Just need to cut the excess from the pipe and it’s good to go, what could go wrong? :p

    [​IMG]

    A couple of adjustments to the length and it fits, but I discover that with the link being too direct/straight it’s too hard to connect or disconnect. I need to use a bit more force than I’d like to get the links in and it worries me that I’m going to eventually break something expensive. At this stage I havent figured out that the direct links ultimately wont work, so for the moment continue on making the rest of the loop.

    Rule #2 – I didn’t file down the edges of the copper enough when testing fits

    Since I have plenty of spare o-rings this one wasn’t really a big deal, more of an amusing reminder that there are sometimes good reasons we do things; reasons with consequences that will cheerfully remind you not to let them happen again :p

    Everything I know about modding I’ve learned throughout the course of this build, through advice from people in the thread and from reading other worklogs. I’d say I’ve easily learned the most about using copper pipe from Alain (of Project White fame). When he uses copper pipe he always files down the outside edges of the pipe to protect the o-ring, and so I’ve adopted that and always done it as well.

    When creating a loop out of copper there are times when you need to make a lot of small adjustments, stuff like a few millimeters at a time:

    [​IMG]

    Then to test that the adjustment is a good fit you need to actually insert it into the fitting, which is where it gets a little annoying sanding the edges with every…single..adjustment! So after one particularly annoying session of copper pipe work I decided to debur the fresh cut but not sand the edges like usual. As I pushed the pipe into the fitting in I could actually feel it slice the o-ring to shreds. I took the pipe out and took a look:

    [​IMG]

    The o-ring removed from the fitting – lesson learned :)

    [​IMG]

    Probably the single piece of loop I did that dad that I kept:

    [​IMG]

    Midplate link to the reservoir, you’ll note that in creating this particular link I’ve creatively broken Rule #3 (avoid using angle fittings) in order to make sure I break Rule #1 (avoid connections that are too straight). This is going to end well! :p

    [​IMG]

    Midplate link to GPU2, again I’ve broken Rule #3 in order to break Rule #1! Have a look at that piece of pipe and you tell me how you’d go about removing that piece of pipe if you had to? I actually had to unscrew the midplate! At this stage I’m discovering Rule #1 and promising myself I won’t do it again in future!

    [​IMG]

    Creating the link from the CPU cooler to the reservoir, rule #2 being broken here with the unnecessary use of the 45 degree angle fitting in the CPU cooler end. I was going for a graceful 90 degree bend over the top of the RAM before straightening and connecting to the res:

    [​IMG]

    I’ve noticed that, randomly, the pipe bender has decided to occasionally screw with me too:

    [​IMG]

    I decide to remove the GPU1 -> Reservoir link as well as the 45 degree connector in the GPU, here’s a shot of a piece of (too short) scrap copper in place so I could check out the look. The S type of bend will make it a lot easier to get the piece in and out.

    Ok – brace yourselves! What you’re about to see is horrifying, but I promise you it all works out in the end! Here’s where I was with the ‘completed’ loop, I stood back and looked at it in horror:

    [​IMG]

    I couldn’t believe how bad it looked! The test runs I’d done looked beautiful, what the hell was this? How was it not working out for me? Copper always looks so much better when it’s polished up and shining, but there was no way in hell that was going to bring it up to an acceptable level.

    The idea of more pipework, of redoing it all, made me feel sick. I decided I needed to go away and think on it for a while before coming back. I spent some time going through old pics to see what was ‘right’ about them so I could figure out what was so wrong about this. That’s when I discovered I hadnt used angle fittings coming out of the CPU block in the test run. Looking at the older pics I realised that of all the pieces of the loop the two most prominent ones were the CPU in/out links. Their bent angles made the whole thing look amateurish and robbed the build of essential symmetry (Rule #4) and it just would not do.

    So I started again.

    Unfortunately for me, the difficult thing about both of the cpu in/out pipes are that they unwittingly tangle with Rule #5 – multiple 90 degree bends in different directions. The nature of these bends werent really negotiable either, I could avoid the problem by using angled fittings but at the peril of damaging the symmetry.

    It occurs to me that my explanation of Rule #5 might benefit from a picture, so here’s the type of bend that I’m talking about:

    [​IMG]

    You can see the pipe starts at the CPU out (left side of the pipe) and takes a 90 degree right turn, it then travels a little before turning 90 degrees…downwards to the reservoir. The risks are:

    1. Calculating the distance from the CPU-Out to the first bend. Obvious risk is that if it’s too short, or the second bend goes in a funny angle, it might not line up with the res properly. I always calculate where I think the bend should start and add another 50mm or so for safety.

    2. Calculating the distance between the two bends to figure out where the second bend should start. This sounds the scariest but isnt too bad in practise. I line up the unbent pipe and using a ruler make a mark on the pipe with permanent marker so I know the point where the 90 degree bend needs to have finished.

    3. Doing the second bend backwards. With short distances between the first and second bend there’s often not enough room to do the bend without damaging the pipe, so the second bend has to be done in reverse from the other side of the bend. It’s making my head hurt typing this, which actually probably captures well how difficult it is to re-think bends and do them the opposite way.

    4. Making the two 90 degree bends perfectly 90 degrees on the third axis. This kills me. Here’s an exercise to help you figure out what the hell I mean. Make a gun with your index finger and thumb and point it at the screen – that L shape is your first 90 degree bend. Now point the gun up at the roof (so your thumb points to your face) and bend your index finger 90 degrees – that second L shape is the second 90 degree bend. Now look down the barrel of your ‘gun’ and see if the first bend and the second bend are a perfect 90 degrees. That’s essentially the challenge I had.

    I’ve ranted on a LOT about the rules this update, and my list above strikes me as the work of a crazy person, so in that you have my apologies! It’s important to me that you guys have a proper feel for the journey and learnings I’ve been on though so I hope at least the intent makes it through to you intact :)

    Here’s the CPU -> Res link redone, a lot happier with the look and feel already:

    [​IMG]

    Redoing the CPU -> Radiator link, you can see I’m getting serious with the measurements and markings!

    [​IMG]

    Link done and in place, with just those two links replaced the whole feel of the build has come back to me! That’s symmetry baby!

    [​IMG]

    Another shot of the crossover on the radiator links, this is going to look amazing polished – and never fear there’s a few mm clearance between the pipes for anyone concerned they’re rubbing/contacting:

    [​IMG]

    I’ve written far too many words this update, and I’m pretty sure that’s a crapload of pics, so I’ll leave it there for the moment. How about a shot of some of the carnage and a comic to close things out?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope you guys are doing awesomely, thanks for all the support lately and I’m keen to hear what you think of the not so beautiful update :p
     
  5. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    Bahahahahahahaha love that comic...


    Glad to see some copper coming together!

    Looking good, Saate!
     
  6. WuzzA21

    WuzzA21 Member

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    That comic is fkn gold!
     
  7. DaveRS

    DaveRS Member

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    haha love it. Great work as always mate!
     
  8. BigDave

    BigDave Member

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    Same here Saate :thumbup:

    The cpu to res is blocking the view of the res :upset:
     
  9. Moptimus

    Moptimus Member

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    I don't know how you are holding back, I would be anxious to finish this long into a project.
    It is good to see it so close to completion man, and you have got it looking clear and simple again, despite the amount of work.
    Quality build.

    And good to see that your mate is still ready to pull you back into line with the comic...
     
  10. brayway

    brayway Member

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    Looking awesome!
    Those rules all really do make it work!
     
  11. NickMate

    NickMate Member

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    Looks great mate, love the layout of the copper pipes, worked out well.
    Curious, when everything is done (modding wise) are you going to powdercoat the mid plate to match the case?
     
  12. WishBone17

    WishBone17 Member

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    hahah the comic is damn genius! I swear its like we all know you.

    The build is really starting to take shape, cooper pipes must be an absolutely nightmare to work with, but I'm sure with your OCD & attention to detail you will eventually get it right, either way, its amazing work.

    So do you rekon this build will be done before I turn 30? LOL (Sep 4 this year)
     
  13. c_hegge

    c_hegge Member

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    Hahahhahaaaa!. :lol: the comic was good.

    The loop looks great too, with the revised design.
     
  14. Dumpty

    Dumpty Member

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    hahahaha, the comic is gold! :D

    I agree with BigDave on CPU to res, blocking the view of dat res :upset:

    Regardless its looking HAWT! as always!
     
  15. OP
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    Saate

    Saate Member

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    Hah, really glad you guys liked it! Mike is pretty fantastic at putting these together, for this comic series I’ve usually provided a general outline for what will happen and he fills in the rest. Someone pointed out that I hadnt appeared in the series yet so I figured it was fitting to do it this way :)

    If anyone is interested in getting similar comics or one-off drawings made up I really recommend contacting Mike via http://www.nodicecomic.com/ to have a chat - his rates are fantastic and you've all seen what he can do!

    Thanks Mate :)

    Cheers Dave!

    Thanks Dave, when I posted this update I was specifically interested in what you and coops would think :)

    Thanks mate :) Believe me, I’m ready to be finished with this one! I have to admit I’m being more cautious with putting it together than I should be, I’ve literally never filled a loop or leak tested before so a big part of my hesitation is my sweating the small stuff as a first-timer!

    Thanks Bray! Yeah they sure do work, just wish I hadnt had to figure them out the hard way :p

    Thanks Nick, I’m probably going to leave the midplate exactly how it is. I may clearcoat or clear anodyse down the track if I’m not happy with the finish but I think it’s unlikely at this stage.

    Thanks mate :) I’m one-fitting short of a leak test at the moment so it’s looking good, the real question is how do I recover if there’s leaks all over the shop and I lose my temper? :p

    Thanks mate :)

    Thanks boys, I’ve thought about that a little and an option would be to rotate the reservoir so the pipe comes down on the left side of it. There’s a few flow-on issues (heh, pun intended) with doing this though including having to redo the two Res -> midplate pieces and messing around with the res mounting to get it perfect. I think I’ll see how it all looks with the cables in and make the final decision from there.
     
  16. Moptimus

    Moptimus Member

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    That would be so frustrating, but if there is only one leak, you should be ok. More then that, well, this sort of thing might be very helpful for that scenario.
     
  17. Stickeelion

    Stickeelion Member

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    Hey saate, maybe have a look a Bnegative's builds on Overclock.net, He has some quality stuff and you could use his copper loops for ideas on how to lay yours out. He has also started a thread about pipe bending which has gotten pretty large. If you haven't looked at those I would urge you to check them out
     
  18. OP
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    Saate

    Saate Member

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    Thanks mate, that link just goes to the pvc tubing category? Is that the point or is it not linking the proper product? :)

    Hey mate, thanks and yeah I'm pretty familiar with Bnegative's stuff - although from what I've seen his 'pipe bending 101' thread (if thats the same one) is posted in a few places and doesnt seem to have too much content? He's using 10mm pipe and compression/crush fittings if memory serves, and the bends I've seen don't really get into the complicated stuff that's messed me up a little. Would be keen if you've got links to the specific threads you've seen, always happy to re-read that stuff even if I've seen it in the past :)
     
  19. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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    Hahaha I think that was the point of it! I got a good laugh out of it anyway ;)
     
  20. Moptimus

    Moptimus Member

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    Sorry about that mate, I couldn't really help myself.
     

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