Pyramid Chassis Build Day 1-3

Day 1

I am currently building a completely new chassis from the ground up. This chassis will be able to house all of my computer components including the water cooling while at the same time have some class with it.

This has been one of the most difficult builds I have had ever tried to build. Mainly because of the unique specifications/design I am currently trying to achieve with this particular chassis build. I have tried building this chassis 3 other times prior to, and came with less then stellar results. but not this time, this time I will get it the way I want it.

here is a drawing of the chassis.

The motherboard, video cards etc. will be installed on the upper part of the chassis itself, while the storage devices and PSU etc. items will be installed in the bottom portion.
One of the biggest areas that I have had issues in the past with, was the side support braces build. They are not 90° but instead a different angle all together, and requires me to make them from scratch. But since this is a all wooden Chassis build makes that job loads easier on building this chassis.

Here is a piece of 90° Aluminum angle cut with a 30° Pitch. I am using my burnt out CPU to show you that the inner sides of the angle do not fully match up to the 90° corner of the CPU. this was my biggest hurdle to overcome on this particular part of the build.

After chewing through a few pieces of 2×2’s (Solid) I finally figured out what the angle is required for me to make the side support braces meet up properly to the center support. That angle that I need is 98°. As we can see in the above image now the 2 inner sides of the support fully contact the 90° corners of the CPU. While using a 30° pitch on the support braces.

I am making 98° angle support side braces out of 2×2 pieces of wood, this will give me more room inside the chassis while at the same time reduce the overall weight of the chassis. As this chassis is 22.5″ across (center portion) and is going to stand over 27″ once it is completed.

Since i used up most of my 2×2’s trying to figure out that damn angle I now need to wait till I go to SLC (VA appointment) and get some more 2×2’s so I can finish this build one and for all. For some odd reason all 3 lumber yards here in price Utah do not know what a 2×2 is. I will post more pictures once I resume the build. So stay tuned

Tid bit about the wood and how I am going to be finishing this chassis.

I am using red wood currently, as I can get this type of wood cheaper then I can oak. I can get a bundle of 9 2×2 42″ long red wood for 27 USD vs the 7 USD per piece for a 2×2 48″ long of oak. Also the reason for choosing the softer wood for this first build is that I wont go through more bits/blades during the build and the loss of wood wouldn’t sting as much.

As far as finishing, I plan on using a Red Oak stain and then apply polyurethane.

Day 2

Ok came back from SLC from my dentist appointment and I was greeted with a 30° Router bit I will be using on my chassis build. So today i started building the main center portion of the chassis.

The router bit I am using.

Here is myself and my roommate routering the 30° angle into the 2×2 piece of wood.

This is just a test piece we were using to see how the router bit was cutting prior to us actually making the center support brace itself. The side support braces will be mounted to the outside of this support, why I needed it to have an 30° angle on it. Since the upper/lower portion of the chassis uses a 30° pitch I needed to make the center support have a dual 30° angle on it.

Me cutting the center support pieces into the proper lengths.

The final gluing of the center support brace.

Day 3

Well after the main center support brace was all dried, it was time for me to start assembling the lower portion of the side support braces. As I quickly found out, the angle of the wood was again wrong. If it is not one thing, it is going to be something else. So after a lot of trial an error, we finally gotten the angle for which the side support braces needed to be at. That angle was not the 98° as I initially thought it was going to be, but instead a 103° angle. Needless to say it has been an interesting day, but in the end I got the lower portion of the chassis built today.

Since I need to start all over, I need to grab a new piece of 2×2.

Now I had to cut one side of the 2×2 @ a 77° to make the 103° total angle (this is from the 90° angle of the blade). Then I had to make an internal cut that will allow me to make the angle 1/4″ thick.

Time for me to set the blade on the table saw to a 90° and then cut to opposite side to finish off the angled side.

As always use a pusher block to make sure your fingers/hands stay away from the moving blade of the table saw. I had to modify the fencing on the table saw because to original just plain sucked, so I used a peice of 1/8″ 2″x1.5″ rectangular piece of steel to make a sturdy fence.

So far everything is going exactly the way I want it to. One side is slightly longer the other side I will fix this in a minute.

It may look my fingers are really close to the blade, I ensure that they stayed far enough away to keep them from getting chewed up. I am cutting the excess wood from the longest side to make sure both sides are even.

Perfect, I will clean out the inner part of the angled wood I just made in a bit.

Since 42″ is a bit to long for the bottom portion of the chassis, I need to cut them down to a 9″ length. Another little angle I found out that was going to be different was the side supports. They are not actually going to be 30° like I thought, but instead use a 40° angle. When you look at the chassis dead on it will still be 30° but the sides will not be that. Interesting…….

The time I have been waiting for, assembly. myself and my roommate pre-drilled each side support before gluing and nailing them to the main center support. This is so we wont accidentally split the side support.

The nails I am using are ribbed, (and, no not for your pleasure either, LOL) but to make sure they don’t work themselves out.

The side supports fully mounted to the main center support.

I am getting ready to cut the bottom 3/4″ ply wood that will be used for the bottom of this chassis. I chose this for the base because it is strong enough to handle all of the bottom components, and it is flat enough. trying to find a piece of redwood that is 3/4″ thick and is 14+ inches longer and not be warped is a bit of a challenge.

The lower portion of the chassis all assembled.

Looking at the lower part of the chassis from the front. Yes, that is my amplifier I use on my computer.

A quick mock up of the lower part of this chassis. I just wanted to get an idea on how I am going to be placing my computer components into the chassis. As we can see, this chassis makes the components look rather small. The bottom plywood is also cut @ a 30° angle to inset inside of the lower side support braces.

I will be adding updates from time to time so please stay tuned.


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