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Zebrack - scratch built custom personal server rack

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by DrFrag, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    I wanted a small server rack for my Norco 4224, but they're pretty expensive so I decided to make one. I used MDF and pine. I also opted for pneumatic wheels so I can move it somewhat and not damage the floor.

    [​IMG]

    Note the crappy things on the end of the axles. I tried making an axle pin but it didn't work out very well. I reckon I can paint them to match the rack and pretend it's some sweet custom trim.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's very sturdy. Excuse the dusty lens.

    [​IMG]

    Gear onboard. I've made 3 half-shelves and 1 full length shelf.

    [​IMG]

    I might put a UPS on a back shelf. There's shelf space to add a couple more servers if I win the lottery or something.

    As I was writing this, I realised my switch vents sideways, not front and back. D'oh. But I only use it for LANs because it's so loud, in which case I can turn in side on or put it on top or on a table. The rest of the time it can sit in the rack looking high-tech and cool.

    I'll post more pics in a couple of months when I've finished painting it.
     
  2. Rogue-X

    Rogue-X Member

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    Should put little arms on it and call Wall-E
     
  3. Enjoi

    Enjoi Member

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    agreed. :lol:
     
  4. Malachor

    Malachor Member

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    The first thing I thought of was, "I wonder if he's going to remote control it?" :D

    I would have thought that using 2 castors(combined with a handle or two on the top) would be better, make it more maneuverable.
    And have you thought about a locking mechanism for the wheels, so it doesn't roll away?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    It's not rolling anywhere on its own. :)

    I got the wheels for about $6 each at a scrap yard. Pneumatic wheels are fairly expensive so I went with what I could get cheap. They didn't have castors unless I got smaller, solid ones, but my wooden floors tend to dent easily. I only need it to roll out for accessing cables.

    Wall-E sounds like a great mod project. :D
     
  6. OP
    OP
    DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    Painting progress. Undercoat is all finished, working on the first black coat.

    [​IMG]

    Using high gloss oil-based paint, which a few years ago I swore I'd never do again, but it's so hard to resist its sturdy cured-hard goodness. Turps cleanup sucks balls though.

    I'm a bit behind. The server going in this is getting close to being ready but the painting is still weeks from being finished. Can't rush a good paint job.
     
  7. mjunek

    mjunek Member

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    Could you perhaps cut some holes on the side of the wood, and put some nice mesh or something, to give it airflow?
    Would certainly look more schmick at a LAN having it all neat in the rack, and saves you having to pull it out every time you want to use it!
     
  8. CordlezToaster

    CordlezToaster Member

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    Why not put on 2 jockey wheels to make in more manoeuvrable?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    Wow, frontpaged!

    I was gonna wait until I had my rack server installed, but here's the finished paintjob:

    [​IMG]
    (excuse the reflection - I used high gloss)

    My aim was for something organic, but not colourful. All my computers have been named after rocket cars from Astroboy (1980), and the server going in here is Magic Bus. Magic Bus in the anime happens to have zebra stripes, so that seemed a pretty good option.

    It was also a test of my painting skills, since I haven't done curves before. First I tried a stencil, but the paint seeped in the gaps of the double sided sticky tape I was using. So then I tried painter's masking tape cut lengthwise freehand, and that worked pretty good providing I pressed it down hard. I had to get the stripes done in a single coat and they turned out pretty good.

    I used oil based paint for the whole thing, with 3 to 5 coats depending on how visible the surface was. Horrible, horrible stuff to work with and clean up, but it sets rock hard after a few weeks.

    I realised I could just put the switch on a higher shelf and it would get airflow to the sides. I would worry about cutting holes in the side in case it weakened the structure.

    Also I don't plan to take it to LANs, unless I hold one at my house. I have this for LANs if I feel like going crazy with hard drives. :D (that one has it's own skateboard-like trolley)

    Definitely an option, but I don't plan to move it anywhere except out a bit to access cables.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  10. Aetherone

    Aetherone Member

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    Love the concept and execution mate :thumbup:
    25mm spade bit should fix that right up. :leet:
    Mr Pugs, can you assist here? :lol:
     
  11. Pugs

    Pugs Member

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    how ?:confused::confused: I fail to see how i can help the OP.. not my PC why would I bother helping? you have more space in your van then I do in my station wagon...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  12. Aetherone

    Aetherone Member

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  13. Pugs

    Pugs Member

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    stil failing to see what on earth that has to do with me helping him get it tothe lan? :Paranoid:
     
  14. OP
    OP
    DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    Would it qualify? It doesn't feel very case moddy to me.

    Maybe I could put a window in the side. Couple of cold cathodes. :leet:

    Edit: Just realised what Aeth meant. I think he's suggesting I'd win a ticket to Reloaded for passing the preliminary round.
     
  15. Pugs

    Pugs Member

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    be the only one ..
     
  16. callum14

    callum14 Member

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    Simple but so amazing :D I love where this is going n.n like a little portable (kind of) rack :) keep up the good work man
     
  17. Aetherone

    Aetherone Member

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    You're supposed to persuade him to go to the effort of dragging it along :Paranoid:

    I like it. Novel solution to a problem many of us have. I don't think it's eligable for the scratch built, but as far as modding a stock case goes, practicality is a good thing IMHO :leet:
     
  18. [/\V3NG3R]

    [/\V3NG3R] Member

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    Castor wheels??
     
  19. Creekin

    Creekin (Taking a Break)

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    +1
    congratumalations! :thumbup:
    great work

    subD
     
  20. OP
    OP
    DrFrag

    DrFrag Member

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    Final pic.

    [​IMG]

    The printer is temporary. Once the software is configured I'll put the screen there and move it to another room. And in years to come, perhaps replace the screen with another server.
     

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