Confessions of a paranoid woodworker

I know, google group posters may be scorned as the spammers they are. Nonetheless, I've been updating an antique desk to handle the "information age" by cautiously tearing out the vertical folder storage to create enough room to handle the computer tower. But the front apron, dowelled and glued to the carcasses, has made for most of the work so far. I'm trying to keep the apron as a false drawer front for the keyboard and mouse. This desk was bought by my dad in the early sixties or so for $25.00 when the Masons were moving their lodge out of one Detroit suburb to another. Nice mitred dovetail work on the drawers, mortised locksets on all doors and drawers and one skeleton key I'll try not to lose. My grandfather had restored the spindle gallery, and dad had replaced the leather top and surrounding veneer. Not bad for Masons. I just hope that the Illuminati don't get wind of this "desecration". (Insert emoticon here). It's in the "work in progress" album. http://tomeshew.spaces.live.com /
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Nice looking desk. I love the leather top.
Will that computer box have enough air circulation to stay cool?
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Good thinking. For now, I leave the doors cracked open until I get an exhaust fan installed. Unfortunately, that will also increase the dust factor. Three dogs and three cats. Maybe filters... Tom
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I'd get a USB fan if you have a spare slot that way it would only run while the computer is on & try exhausting the cabinet only, shouldn't lead to pet hair problems.
--
Mike
Watch for the bounce.
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I'll look into that, may have to add a USB hub. But man, oh man, you should see the fur flying around here! Tom
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wrote:

This got to be a quoting mess! Please trim out what you're not replying to.
Many computer problems are caused by insufficient cooling. If your computer's acting flaky and just odd (and you don't have a virus or spyware), it could be cooling issues. Keep this in mind as you design your cases and cabinets.
Also, many computers have fans in front. You might not notice this from looking at the case.
Puckdropper
--
You can only do so much with caulk, cardboard, and duct tape.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Tom:
You should consider going wireless on the mouse and keyboard.
I don't have them but others swear by them. It would remove the "wires draped over the desk" look in one of the pictures.
Nice work.
Jim
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On Apr 10, 5:33 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've just recieved the drawer slides from Rockler which should clean things up a bit. Kinda cheap; we'll see how they work. Anyone know of a higher-end supplier of these? http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 17&filter=keyboard%20slide The broken apron has been repaired, and hopefully it'll function well as a drop-down keyboard drawer front.
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Sorry. Must be the google in me. This old computer's always acted somewhat flaky and odd. I just attribute that to Windows98 SE. But what do I know? We've just purchased our second computer(OS called "Vista"), and are being dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty- first century. As far as ventilation design, I feel sorta limited to the most discreet installation I can envision, maybe out of some strange deep-seated respect for the desk and its history. So there's still a line I won't cross when it comes to modifications to the parts that show. I think I'm trying to preserve the anachronistic qualities of a probable late nineteenth century desk with a twentieth century computer sittin' on top. Then again, maybe this computer should also be considered an antique, eh? Tom
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wrote:

I have been to several businesses that hid their computers in another room. They ran all their cables through some kind of discrete camoflague. Some trading companies do this as a matter of course because of heat problems. They put their high performance computers in another room to cool them and not turn the office into a sauna.
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I've got a spare refrigerator in the utility room. (smiley-face) Probably overkill in my case, though. And I'm pretty cheap, too. That much cable can add up. I'm looking at creating a filtered inlet on the front floor of the tower bay(maybe the whole floor?), and the exhaust fan will pull the heat out of the top back. More maintenance for me to remember to perform, but I feel that the filter(s) will be necessary in this environment. When I've cracked open this old tower in the past, you wouldn't believe the dust that fell out. Tom
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If the number 1 cause of computer hardware failure isn't heat, then it's dust. I work on a Dec Alpha that has repeatedly failed to boot on two different occasions. Each time we opened up the case, blew the grunge out and it promptly booted.
--
FF


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On Wed, 09 Apr 2008 11:14:28 -0700, tom wrote:

Another route to go is a fanless system or water cooled with an external radiator. Both routes will cost more for similar performance to a standard machine.
Water cooling requires two small holes for coolant input and output and an external radiator to be placed somewhere nearby. The farther away it is the more powerful of a pump you need and then have higher potential for leaks. Water cooled works but I probably wouldn't recommend it for a first timer solution in a piece of fine furniture because of the slight chance of leaks if built improperly.
Fanless closed systems are common in industrial applications, car/rv units and are becoming more mainstream for home theater applications. Although the home theater designs are often low flow so called "silent" rather than fanless.
Fanless involves using a mobile processor that is designed to clock down speed and therefore heat when not needed and solid state drives which produce virtually no heat and fanless high efficiency power supplies.
Using standard components a well designed system with a motherboard with fan speed controls, a power supply with fan speed controls, an aluminum case to transfer internal heat and a solid state drive should get you more than half way there. These are all relatively common components with little additional cost, except for the solid state drive. Normally you would only need a tiny solid state drive for the system OS and then purchase an external home user NAS drive (very cheap these days, uses standard IDE or SATA disks, as low as $80 for external Ethernet case and 250gb drive).
If someone in the family knows about computers you can even go diskless and boot off CD, USB thumbdrive or the external drive removing the solid state drive which is the most expensive component.
Any local college geek should be able to build this for you if you are uncomfortable building systems. I completed a project a few years ago with over 150 diskless workstations including diskless workstations at remote offices all booting and running off of the main servers housed at a separate secure and temperature controlled location.
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Considering how things depreciate over time, I'd give you maybe $15 for it now. Cash. Final offer.
OK, if you do the restoration I'll up my offer a few bucks.
Looks like a nice project that will be rewarding once done.
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I will mention you in Lodge Monday night. Puff
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(Ominous music up) Tom
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