I previously gave a sneak peak of this build with mention of Christmas in July, and finally after months of planning, cutting, sanding, measuring, re-cutting, gluing, screwing, taping, and wiring, we have finally completed the mother of all builds!
I will admit this took me three attempts on the “mount” itself, but let’s not focus on that. Suffice to say as much as I wanted to use cedar (and I still do), it’s just not practical because I don’t have a planar, or any means of achieving “prime” quality cedar planks. Instead I settled for pine (which I actually prefer the beat-up look of when stained) after a pit-stop with some birch plywood that was simply a mistake.
The tricky part with this part of the build was first settling on the type of wood. It took three iterations, but eventually I landed on using simple common pine boards. Cedar ended up needed much more planing than I’m capable of with my novice set of tools, and plywood frankly just looked like shit.
Using a biscuit joiner, plenty of clamps, and wood glue, I took three separate 8’x12″ boards and joined them.
Then I sanded the hellout of it.
Now was time to drill and cut all the component input slots for the cabling, which was painfully long and tedious. I tried on the cedar attempt to use a router I bought at Home Depot. I quickly learned I have no business using a router, but I am quite confident someone who knows how to use one correctly could accomplish this part of the “mount” much easier and more efficiently. Next time!
Staining the front facing board made this really pop, and my wife (to her credit) had a great idea to create some faux rivets for a little industrial flare.
It’s really difficult to capture in an image, but the final image also shows a spray on polyurethane.
Next was building the “frame” for the back. The “frame” is just a vanity to hide what will become an obscene amount of cables, and to give some extra stability to the merged single board as an extra precaution. By my math, there will be ~30-31lbs of components mounted on the board not including the liquid coolant.
It was at this point I realized I should stain the back as well.
I used a very basic glue gun to cover the holes in the back left from the rivets being drilled in.
Now we finally had a mount!
I’d later buy a lot of desk grommets, and super-glue them to the board to pretty up all the holes except the slots that would be used for the PCIe cable for the video cards.
The components (except power supply) would rest on acrylic cut-outs so they’d be raised off the board. I decided on this for two reasons:
- It looks cool
- There’s a super small help to heat management, and being on wood, it didn’t hurt.
Now we had a mount with all the placements aligned for the components!
This part was pretty scary because there is no oopsies on this step. Luckily I remembered to measure multiple times before cutting, and managed to do well on the first try and everything lined up perfectly.
One thing I noticed and still as of publishing this cannot find is a keystone jack for DisplayPort (you’ll notice an empty jack for DisplayPort to compensate). If one exists I cannot find it, and would love a pointer if anyone knows!
Next was actually bending the PETG tubing.
By far and away the most stressful part of this build because the tubing is not cheap, and mistakes were made.
I’m still not happy with all the bends, but they’re in working order and after over $150 in PETG tubing, I needed to cut my losses; literally and figuratively.
You’ll also notice there were lots of beers involved in this process because I earned it.
After settling and testing the components mounted on the wall, the last piece was actually running cables, which I’ll spare you the pictures of, but suffice to say it was a sonofabitch.
Last but not least, the final master-race setup..