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BUILD LOG: Passively Cooled (sorta) ITX system in an Old GE Delta Radio Enclosure


I really like this case a lot. That shelf where the water blocks mount onto is rough, though. Wish I had a mill to take a couple millimeters off and get it level and smooth. Might have to just take a palm sander and some rough to fine sandpaper.

What I might have to do is make some kind of custom 5.25 mounting bracket to mount the resevoir to the plate.

This is what I’m sort of looking at doing:


From the looks, give it a good 3 or for stages of sanding. Maybe with dremel like tools or a small angle grinder.

Edited because I am stupid.


Not to crap on your idea. I would do it with a flat sanding block, or just flat block with sandpaper on it.

reason being dremels and angle grinders focus on one spot too much usually unless you have a laser eye ball, so it might make it even more uneven. at least a flat block will keep it flat, it not level possibly.

If you were just taking stuff off then fire away but because it is for a contact patch flatter is better.

EDIT: But you did spur the idea. Credit where it is due.


Ah. At first glance I thought I saw a black 24 pin power connector on the mobo… but I was just drunk


probably Alloy 3003 hardened aluminum heat treated very hard to cut using conventional tools
better done on a cnc milling machine
heres a link to aluminum tempers


You are late to the party. Case is allready fitted with parts.


kind figured that :rofl:
hows everything working with it?
looking over the photos nice build!
just threw in the resource for metals as a bit of good info to have, being a master welder knowing the properties of the metals you are working with helps you select the right tools and methods of working with and saves you time.


Has this been final.assembled and in use yet?


Sorry, I got busy with buying a house and dumping way too much money into fixing my car.

I was planning this long weekend to spend some time on this project. I have to sand the area where all the water blocks sit so it’s as smooth and level as possible. Wish I had a better way to do it, but I’ll have to do it by hand. Maybe I’ll try to dig for my palm sander in my storage unit. Once that’s done I might throw the system back in and test it again. Then I have to duplicate everything I did to the first case with second case.

After that I have to coat the cases with the cerakote. I need to order some mixing stuff for that, so I won’t be able to get that done this weekend. I have black, white, and gun metal grey. Leaning towards an all white case, and maybe a black case with gun metal grey fins.

Thanks for the interest, guys.


Woo got some work done. I think I may be ready to coat everything by next weekend. Just need to JB Weld the broken part of the case, and I’m thinking about filling the holes in the heat sink mounting area that aren’t for the retention bar thing.

This will be pretty picture heavy, so I’ll put them in hidden dropdowns to keep things tidy.

The Lids

Used a wire brush on a drill on every surface of the lids.

There was a foam seal all the way around the inside of the lid in this channel. The adhesive used was very difficult to remove. Lots of wire brush on a drill action here.

The Cases

The MB Mount Plates


Finally made some more progress. Getting very close now to actually coating these cases.

I got both cases fully sanded and cleaned. I need to hit them one more time with some sand paper, because after watching an official Cerakote video I got a lot of information on the correct way to do it. Can’t be shiny and completely smooth. Need to clean them thoroughly with brake cleaner to remove all oils and debris, and also need to wear gloves to keep skin oil from getting on them.

Found out my dad has a semi-professional Wagner HVLP spray setup, so I will probably use that. The cheap spray gun I got has a plastic cup, but Cerakote needs a metal cup. The Wagner has a giant metal container. Only problem is the nozzle is too big; Cerakote recommends .8mm, the gun has a 2.0. I’ll try it out anyway.

I needed to make a way to get the cases to stand up on their own as well as hang from the ceiling. Some bolts and some small pieces of aluminum got that figured out. Four bolts sort of thread in to the four threaded holes on the bottom, and I cut some strips of aluminum to sort of make feet out under the fins.

Also put some bolts in the three threaded holes where the water block bracket bolts into. Just to keep the Cerakote out of the holes. You can also see all the holes that have been filled in with JB Weld and sanded smooth.

I’ll be using the convection oven feature in old microwave. The microwave part no longer works. Also took most of the casing off because the convection oven heating element was smoking very badly. But when I tried it again it works fine. Can only fit one case/piece in there at a time, so it will make coating parts harder and slower.

And here is a case and lid hanging from the ceiling. The bolts being used here are not the ones being used now. The shorter ones with the lengths of aluminum were needed because the fin side of the case was so heavy it would fall over, it wasn’t balanced. Probably won’t be an issue when the feet are on and there’s an aluminum plate with a motherbaord and resevoir weighing down the other side.

It’s been chilly here in Wisconsin. Single digits at night and teens maybe 20 during the day. Got a big wood stove and two kerosene heaters going all day to get the shop warmed up to about 50f. Hope it’s not too cold for the Cerakote. Also hope the small amount of smoke in the air doesn’t affect it somehow.


Sprayed one white this afternoon. The case itself went pretty alright, and has been in the convection oven for almost two hours. The lid didn’t go very well. I sprayed too much on and it started to run. Then I got frustrated and sprayed more on (??). It got very runny. Then I sprayed it with air and it sort of looks like an uneven wrinkle finish. I’ll throw that in the convection oven when I figure out how to get the case out.

I completely used all the white Cerakote up doing this. Cleaning it up was very messy and pretty difficult. I’ll think about doing the other case, but I have to think through the process to see if I can do it better. Getting the shop warmed up and maintaining that heat is an all day ordeal, so that doesn’t help.

Maybe I’ll snap a picture or two and upload it a bit later, after the case has cooled and can be handled.

Edit: It turned yellow.

Pretty sure I borked the mix ratio up. Probably too much hardener.


It loos aweome none the less like a platina


Yeah, I’ll look at it when I get home. I didn’t bake the lid, and I’ll probably try to clean it off with acetone. I’ll probably get a cheap sandblast cabinet and blast off the yellow color. That won’t be happening for a while.

I really want to try coating the other one with the black and gunmetal, but like I said getting the shop warmed up is quite the task. When I close on my house early next month I might make a makeshift paint booth in the basement somehow. Ventilation will be difficult.

But, yeah. I’ll take a couple more pictures and try to get the blotchy yellow color to show up.


Can’t you get a big cardboard box? it’s easier to heat up.


Not a bad idea at all, actually. I’ll have to do some thinking about that. Get a few large cardboard boxes and make a sort of room and put a couple heaters in there. Little bit of a fire hazard, but I won’t be using it for long. Won’t heat when spraying, nor probably after. Hmm.


Or maybe some camping plastic, hang it from te ceiling and make a little room within your room with plastic walls.