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Wooden Mini HTPC (Computer) Case #1: The Beginnings

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 02-28-2012 06:14 PM 1911 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Wooden Mini HTPC (Computer) Case series Part 2: Vent Frames and Top Glued »

This is going to be a Mini ITX HTPC for my girlfriend. Primary use will be streaming netflix.

I’ll be using plywood for the main structure and then trying my hand at veneer. The front will be solid curly maple.

Cutting the first piece. All the rest of the plywood pieces are done the same way, so I haven’t included them here.

From the scrap that was left from cutting the top, bottom, and back, I had enough to make the two sides. It was too wide though, so I had to remove about half an inch of material. I decided to do it with my hand plane. It took some time, and made a lot of shavings…

Managed to hit my line though (top one, not bottom)

I also cut the front piece of curly maple, and this is a picture of it all clamped together. It’s just a dry fit, nothing is being glued here yet.

I then started gluing up the bottom and sides

A few more “dry fits” after the sides have been glued on. Front and top are not glued. I also cut the vent holes in the top.

I got the first vent frame pieces cut, and the back piece as well.

More to come when I find time to keep working. I’ll be moving at the end of the week, so it’s kind of been put on hold until after I get moved in.

Any and all comments and/or suggestions welcome :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods



8 comments so far

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1347 days


#1 posted 02-28-2012 08:21 PM

Mini ITX builds are my absolute favorite.. You can be so creative when it comes to enclosures.. everything from mounting on the VESA mounts on TVs to incorporating it into furniture.. Since wood doesn’t dissipate heat as well as sheet metal, definitely cool the heck out of it. Also, any optical or spinning disk drives should be suspended/rubber mounted so the wood doesn’t reverberate. I’ve used both rubber mounts and heavy duty rubber bands and the bands seem to work best. An SSD would solve that problem outright.

Good luck :D

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Mosquito's profile (online now)

Mosquito

4688 posts in 946 days


#2 posted 02-28-2012 08:31 PM

I’m really starting to like Mini-ITX myself, which isn’t completely a good thing, because they’re cheaper and easier to justify to myself…

I was going to get into it more later, but the hardware is already purchased, and working. The motherboard has an onboard mSATA mini pci-e slot, which has a 64GB SSD in it, so the vibrations won’t be an issue :-) It also loads pretty quickly for the 1.6GHz processor. I’ll be mounting a slim fan between the hardware and the vent in the top with rubber mounts. I’ve done some stress testing and with out a fan with all the hardware just sitting on my desk running the cpu at 100% load it only got up to 58*C, which isn’t “good” but isn’t horrible either. With a little airflow from a fan it should be fine…. if not, we may see a “revision 2” of this one :-D

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View superstretch's profile

superstretch

1504 posts in 1347 days


#3 posted 02-28-2012 08:37 PM

with some decent airflow, that should come waaay down. Atom? You should be able to run blurays with that too :) And of course.. don’t forget the USB XBox 360 receiver + wireless controllers, emulators of choice, and all the roms a heart can desire.. Nothing like loading up some smashbrothers or goldeneye on a rainy day

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Mosquito's profile (online now)

Mosquito

4688 posts in 946 days


#4 posted 02-28-2012 08:44 PM

It’s actually an AMD on board, it was harder to find a mini-itx with mSATA than I thought it would be… For now, it’s not going to have an optical drive, the case is only 7.5”x8.5”x4” outside dimensions, so it’s only just big enough for the hardware and fan. I have an idea to do an external blu-ray drive in a similar design, but not right away. I was playing 1080p video off of it when I was testing it out, and it was eating it up… I was pretty impressed.

As far as Emulators, and 360 controller… There was this part This is going to be a Mini ITX HTPC for my girlfriend :-P She doesn’t partake, and I’ve already got an HTPC for myself that has such capabilities :-)

I appreciate the comments

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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superstretch

1504 posts in 1347 days


#5 posted 02-28-2012 08:47 PM

Hahah understandable. Anyways.. I look forward to seeing the rest of the project :D

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View lysdexic's profile

lysdexic

4823 posts in 1277 days


#6 posted 03-01-2012 03:28 AM

Chris nice build. I don’t hear about HTPC much anymore. About ten years ago I was obsessed with them and hung out in the AVS forum for hours a day. I bought a 50” plasma from Dell in 2002 for about $5k while the retail pioneers were going about 9k. I ripped all my CDs to .APE files and tried to get J river and Meedio to work. This was my HTPC enclosure.

I finally gave up after a few years of frustration. I hope they work better now.

-- It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. - Muhammad Ali

View stefang's profile

stefang

13033 posts in 1988 days


#7 posted 03-01-2012 05:05 PM

Hi Chris. I wish I knew what language you are using so I could understand what you are making. Must be the generational gap or I’ve forgotten how to spell. Whatever it is,. the wood part looks good so far.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mosquito's profile (online now)

Mosquito

4688 posts in 946 days


#8 posted 03-01-2012 05:19 PM

Thanks lysdexic. I have an enclosure similar to that one, by silverstone, that I’ve been using for a few years, until I built my new wooden one :-)

Hi Mike,
Thanks :-) it’s a Home Theater PC. Basically it’s a computer used for movies, music, and other media related tasks. Generally made to look like stereo equipment, or otherwise less-computer like. Thanks for checking it out, and the kind words.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

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