Latest update-June 1- Scroll down
All updates to this worklog will be posted in this first post for the sake of coherence and continuity.
October 17, 2011
So I've had this hospital wheelchair for around 10 years or so. For most of this time, it's been a computer chair. At least when I have had the room for it. It's actually a whole lot more comfortable than it looks, and is fully adjustable.
It actually lays completely flat, and can be used as a gurney.
Over the years, I've only done a couple of things to it. One was whip up a foot rest, and the other is a mouse table. After years of thinking about it, I've finally decided to get down to business and make it a for real computer chair. I guess it can be seen as some kind of artsy-fartsy statement about the crippling of Mankind through the over saturation of digital media or some kind of BS like that, but its not. It's because I would rather goof in the shop than watch TV.
As for a theme, we aren't even close to finalizing anything yet. I really want to use up a bunch of stuff that I've built up over the years. I am planning on a custom acrylic case (cut by Mr. F Zen's laser, natch!), and some custom glass for a reservoir (gonna water cool this thing) and some other bits courtesy of a comrade of mine who works glass. It will get something new over that "gold" leather. Everything will be mounted on the frame of the chair.
If we do this right, the chair will still be able to transform into a gurney.
There is one major hurdle in this project: replacing the wooden foot rest. When I got the chair from a friend of mine all those years ago, it was missing a foot rest. I had to whip one up because I have been unable to lay my hands on a replacement.
I have a line on a replacement, but am not sure if I can close the deal. I have tried some Internetting, but have drawn a blank. If anyone can help, I would appreciate it. I think the expense of getting another one made might be prohibitive, and I'd like to avoid it. I've taken it to a local guy who does wheelchairs, and he said "good luck." By "appreciate" I mean I am offering a cash money finder's fee for the man or woman that can find a reasonably priced match (not color, but exact form). By "cash money" I mean something like 20 bucks. Come on man, I got a family and the economy is still busted up...
Here is the manufacturer's label:
Anyways, I decided to move forward with this thing without the foot rest in hand. The first step is the cleaning. So I took off all the padded bits:
and proceeded to clean her up. I used straight vinegar and a cloth. I cleaned the rust with vinegar and aluminum foil.
There is some rust that needs to be addressed somehow. Getting this thing re-chromed is not in the budget, but I do have a plan...
Next up is more cleaning! Yay! I can hardly wait...
Oct 18- Not Really An Update, But WTF...
Just some stuff to help with the visualization of the project. The plan is to have the case mounted on the back here:
With some of it on the bottom of the "chassis":
Again, the goal is to have the chair still be able to be fully adjustable.
The mouse table will probably be expanded a little to include buttons and lights, and probably a head phone jack and USB ports. I am planning on getting a monitor arm for the other side. There will be a subwoofer under the seat. Not quite sure about the additional speaker placement. Still have to work out keyboard placement. I've been using it on my lap for years, but that doesn't fly anymore.
I think it's important to have a drink holder, and a small "stash" box for incidentals. The details of these have yet to be worked out.
Here are some parts that will probably be used:
Those are a pair of 12CM TT Silent Cats on top of a Bonneville heater core that will serve as the radiator. The HS is a Thermalright HR-3 that is too cool looking to not be used in some capacity. I don't know if the X-Ray will find it's way into the build. It is too small to hold the regular cup that I use. The other fan is a nice looking aluminum 80cm Evercool. I've got some other stuff that I hope to find a home in this rig. I think I might re-purpose the light disc I used in an old shop rig as a flavor element.
Anyways, that's that for now.
Oct 25- Sick of Cleaning
So I got tired of cleaning the chrome. I am mostly done with the vinegar cleaning, and will come back to the whole thing and polish it when things start getting close to completion.
I decided to take a short break from it, and do some cutting.
This is some grid stamped aluminum. I zip tied it in place to see what it looks like. It still needs some finish filing, and will be chromed. The radiator and probably the pump will be mounted down here.
I've been thinking about what to reupholster the chair with and decided on red velvet.
Why velvet? Because this is the chair of a pimp.
I fully understand that the velvet will wear out. Like my wife said: "Red velvet is what is right for that chair." I agree.
I do like the way it looks against the chrome, or maybe I should say the way the chrome looks against it. I want to hold off on doing the seat and back just yet.
Next on the agenda is to finish the vinegar cleaning. I think another 3 hours should do it. Then work on the monitor arm will begin. That is probably going to be tricky, and will most likely involve poking holes in the chair frame and making a bracket. I want to use this arm: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16824994064
Oct. 30- Done With Initial Cleaning!
Cleaning this thing sucked, but I finally finished the "rough cleaning" phase. Again, I used vinegar and cloth or aluminum foil. It will get the final clean just prior to installing the computer.
The above linked arm has been ordered and should be here in a couple of days. Once that gets figured out, design will probably start on the control panel/stash box. I want to finish all of the chair mods before starting on the case.
While cleaning, I figured out how to support the subwoofer. I made a box:
I scored a bunch of this stuff a few years back, and have been sitting on it until the right thing came along. The right thing finally came. First step was to trim it down of course.
The board is there because aluminum bends like a champ, not to guide the saw.
Now the board is there to bend the grid nice and straight. The rubber hammer is to encourage it to behave.
You know, it would be bitchen to take an acrylic case and wrap it up with this stuff. I mean look at it. It would be cool.
Then I put it in.
I just used the bolts for the wheels and brakes to hold it in place. Not only will it hold the subwoofer, but that will be a power strip of some kind down there too. I made it extra big in case something else comes up that needs a home. It will also get chromed.
While I was making progress, I decided to slap some more velvet down.
That's it for now.
Nov 6- Double Dang
So the plan was to get this:
mounted to the chair. It looked like the easiest way to do this would be attaching it to the stash/control box. Enter the box:
Salvage from some past job. I think this may have been part of the tampon machine from the currently in Limbo Bulletproof Case. It's stainless steel.
So it got bent
got some holes poked in it
and some more
and then stuck on the chair.
Here comes the double dang: The box is screwed to the bottom of the armrest using the same thing holding the actual pad to the metal. In order to make things as stable as possible (monitor leverage is a biotch son!), the best and most aesthetically pleasing solution seemed to be drilling the chair and bolting through some spacers.
Dang number one is that the chair is not fully adjustable with this modification.
The monitor bracket is backed with a 2x4.
Here comes the second dang:
The monitor is an HP widescreen that will not be part of the final build.
Dang Part 2: It sits about 6" lower than it really needs to be. There is a plan B that will require some fabrication. The good news is that going with plan B will very likely make Dang the First go away. The bad news is it is bound to be a royal PITA, and have a significant cost. I suppose that I could look for and buy another monitor arm that can reach higher. I really think the one I bought fits the build well. Besides, this is supposed to be a modding forum. Any punk can just buy their way out of a problem. F that S, and man up!
While farting around with the whole above affair, I figured out how to mount the radiator.
First thing is the cutting down and bending of some of that stamped grid aluminum:
and a couple of more times (filing just sucks. I need a shear...)
stick some brand new 12cm Silent Cats that have been sitting around for a while in the cabinet, and on the back you go.
It will be slightly higher I think. The fans will get a paint job, but not grills. The pump is an old Swiftech that I still think I owe Grimone for. It is just a stand in.
Plan B will start up tomorrow. There are still the speaker mounts and footrest issues that need resolution. And we haven't even gotten to the actual case and system yet!
Dec 19- Polishing Sucks
It's been over a month since I've updated this, but I have been working on stuff as time permits. Mostly been polishing the aluminum. Sanding and polishing. Well, the polishing has only been the last week or so, but the sanding has been for a month now.
I started with 400, and went all the way to 1500.
Then I started on the polishing.
What you don't see is the tyvek suit coated in red jeweler's rouge dust. The one grid wide strip will be used to make brackets to hold the big piece in place. There is still some more to do with these two pieces, then the work on the bottom basket will begin. My folks are coming into town this week. I think I will try and press my dad into doing it.
The monitor arm mount has been fabricated. Thanks Terry! Terry helped brainstorm the design, then did the welding. I need to grind on it a little to get it ready for chrome.
It really brings the monitor to the right height.
The future holds more sanding, polishing, and grinding. Yee haw!
Jan 15- I Been Doing Stuff
It's been about a month since an update, but I've been working on a variety of things. I did some more polishing, and I needed a break from that crap. So I mounted the new stash/control box.
The box is from a stainless bathroom fixture. I think a paper towel dispenser. I made a bracket out of the grid stuff and tapped the arm rest post. There will be buttons, USB ports, and a volume control in the box. There will be plenty of room to stash stuff too. I am looking for a drink holder to mount on the front of it. There should be room to clear the monitor arm.
I pretty much gave up on finding a foot rest, so that whole process has started. I bought some aluminum plate and pipe, a closet organizer, and some hardware. First step was cutting the plates down a little bit and drilling some holes:
The assembly needed to be 7/8" OD to fit in the chair. After looking for some chrome 7/8 for a little while and coming up with nothing (shop locally!), a guy (thanks Ziggy!)
at work suggested that I was looking in the wrong places and should check out bathroom fixtures. The solution was actually in the form or a closet organizer. Not only is it a long chrome tube of the 7/8" variety, but it came with another chrome tube that fits right up in it!
That's it on top, still in totally usable form natch! I whacked a few pieces out of it, and some 1" aluminum tube.
I wanted to avoid welding the stuff that has been chromed already. So I did some brainstorming with Terry (thanks Terry!) and came up with some ideas. The parts will be bolted together instead of welded. It should look pretty clean when it is done.
Of course, finding washers that will fit up in the various tubes was a pain, so I figured I'd just make some.
That's my grinder mounted to my drill clamp.
That's a washer that can freely spin between the nut and the head.
That's 2 washers ground down to fit inside a couple of tubes.
I modded a couple of washers to help make a closet organizer into a foot rest for a wheel chair. I am willing to bet that in the history of modding, that sentence has never been typed before now.
Then came the JB Weld.
There will be some hole drilling and bolt sliding probably tomorrow. After that is cutting the foot plates down, and getting them welded. We will be bringing in an expert for that. I hope to have it dome by the end of the month.
I will either work on the control/stash box next, or the mouse table/humidor. That's right, humidor.
Feb 5- Super Bowl Sunday, and a Humidor
A major milestone was reached this week. The footrest fabrication has been completed.
First, here is how the the above stuff finished...
And in place:
I thought about making a second set, but decided against it.
I scored some aluminum plate before right after Christmas, and used that to make two new feet. Here is the rough shaped plate. Both pieces are bolted together,
The festivities were started with a portaband. This was not a job for a jigsaw. From the portaband, we moved to the grinder. After the grinder, the two feet were separated. The jigsaw saw a little action, but most of the final shaping was done with a file and a sander with some 60 grit.
After the feet were shaped, some 1" aluminum tube was cut to length and the lot brought down to Carter Iron and Steel in Hampton. Mike tigged it on up in a jiffy. Thanks Mike and Greg! I took the grinder to the welds to clean everything up, and some 40 grit to the top. The screw holes are tapered.
I evidently forgot to take pictures of the construction of the pad. Not much to it. Some wood got cut with a jigsaw then a piece of foam was glued to it. Then some velvet was stapled. Yee haw.
For the first time since I got this chair Lord knows how long ago, there are two proper feet on it.
I had been messing about with the cigar portion/mouse table for a little while. It involved fabricating a box to hold the XRay, a humdor (made from scratch), a shit load of cutting/filing/grinding/screaming/cussing/etc. It had a recessed fan too.
Well, that turned out to be more of a PITA than I really felt like dealing with. This afternoon, I had an epiphany. Friday, I went to Pop's, a great cigar shop down the road. I talked with Brian about some ideas for this thing, and he hooked me up with some raw materials. He said that he had a soft heart for guys who take on projects. Thanks Brian! I got to looking at this:
And cut it:
It looks like it was made for it:
It's less than an inch smaller both ways than the original table in use on the chair now.
I started modding the XRay itself a few days back now. Most of the work will be done to the removable cup from the holder.
The cup has these strange indentations:
That had to be ground out on the inside:
Got a little crazy with the Dremel... Grinding the inside part left no visible mark on the outside.
I needed a circle cut to fit, that didn't have a hole in the middle:
I started it on the press, and finished it with the hand cutter and a little filing. Also cut was a strip of aluminum to fit around the inside of the cup:
Look Ma! It's an ashtray!
Not quite finished yet though. It needs a cigar prop that pops into place when the ashtray comes out of the XRay:
I need to hold off just yet with the install. I gotta to make sure that it will hold up the cigar high enough in relation to the top of the mouse table.
Once this is finished, I will concentrate on the stash/control box. In the future will be a scotch bottle rack (hey, it has a humidor it's got to have the scotch)> I am looking for a miniature freezer for ice. I like my scotch on the rocks. After that, probably the speaker/reservoir mounts or the keyboard problem. Eventually, we will be getting to the case.
Feb 12. Update- It's a Scotch IV!
I took a little interlude during the mouse table. I got inspired and hit a few shops around town:
At the first stop, I picked up two of these:
I went to the Ace down the street in hopes of being able to fit a valve right to the end of that thing. Too bad it's not a standard size. Enter the aluminum tube:
I boiled one of the spouts to get the plastic thing to release easily. It came right off without any hassle. Then came boring out the plastic thing. A 3/8ths drill bit in the press and some TLC did the trick. The metal cap was bored out with a grinding bit on the Dremel. Very tight fits. The needle valve went next, then about 6 feet or so of 1/4" vinyl tubing. The compression fittings made life easy. The line was finished with a spout from a beer keg tap that was donated by Scott. Thanks Scott!
Once this was finished, I moved to the hanger. I used metal craft rings (1 1/2" and 4") were used. I cut the rings to allow them to thread through the chains. This turned out to be a mistake. No big deal, just the 4" rings are thicker than the gap in the chain links. I had to pry the links open, then squeeze them shut. I will probably swing by the craft store this week ad pick up some new rings. They cost less than a buck for all 3.
I had to keep in mind a variety of bottle designs:
I figured that a 3" spacing between the rings would be about right.
And here it is under a leak test:
There is a little drip that I have to track down, but it works like a champ. Filling the tube drained about half of the bottle. lol The spout will have a home somewhere near the glass holder which will be on the control box.
When that was done, work on the mouse table continued. I cut down a stainless steel kick plate, and attached it do the bottom of the box. The bottom needed a little beefing up. Various holes were drilled, things were sanded, other things not pictured were cut.
This is the lid of the humidor section:
The wood burning looks cool, but will most likely be completely covered in the end. Foam was cut and glued:
Then velvet was stretched and attached:
And that is a padded wrist rest/humidor lid. the inside will be lined with cedar. The divider cracked, so I filled it with glue and clamped it.
OK, that's it for now.
Feb 19- It's Almost a Humidor! Mostly!
Work has been focused on the humidor, with a little other farting around on the IV stuff. After adding some blocking to screw the lid over the XRay, the mods to the cigar box structure were completed. Then it got covered with the velvet:
The velvet was glued on using some Elmer's spray adhesive, and Aileen's for the tight stuff. It was pretty much a pain. I had to keep washing my hands to get the glue off. Probably washed them a dozen times.
Here are the lids in place:
The acrylic top will most likely get an etching. I asked my wife to design something.
Looks pretty good:
The humidor lid was hinged and chained:
You remember all that hand washing I said that I did? Well, when I was attaching the hinges to the lid some Aileen's got on the velvet. I have no idea how. It will have to be replaced. I'm OK with that though. I am not 100% with the inside of the lid.
Here it is sitting on top of the existing mouse table:
There is still a bit of work to do on this. Besides the etching and the velvet replacement, the XRay needs a little more modification and actual mounting, the cigar prop needs to be installed, a piece of velvet needs to placed on the bottom, and the whole thing gets wrapped in polished aluminum grid.
The shiny poles on the back of the chair up there are a possible speaker/IV hanger solution. I am gonna have to make some mock ups of the speakers soon.
That's it for now! Thanks for reading!
April 9- Getting Back On Track
I've been busy with other things for a while, but have been able to steal a few minutes here and there since the last update. Unfortunately, I had to redo the humidor for a couple of reasons. The first was I simply messed up. The acrylic top was too small to accommodate my trackball. I felt pretty stupid when I set the trackball on it. Then I went smudged the velvet. So the whole thing got redone:
I finished the cigar prop too. This took waaay more effort than I thought it would, but it turned out pretty cool:
The spring is from a pen, the prop is some of the grid. It's all on a hinge. The XRay itself needed a little tweezing to allow for a smooth opening. I will probably go ahead and put some stronger springs in it yet, and maybe find something to lube the rails a little bit.
My schedule has cleared up, so work should pick back up on this now. Yay!
May 14- About That Schedule...
Good damn thing this is a work in progress. Anyways, I've been picking at this steadily and getting stuff done on the humidor. There is still plenty to do on it.
First was the etching. This is something of a signature.
My wife designed it. I did it mostly with a manual etcher first, then thickened with a small battery etcher. The wheels were done by clamping the piece in the drill press, and turning the adjustable circle cutter by hand to start, then finished by hand. I was tempted to farm this out to you FZ, no shit. I thought it was important to do this by hand.
I cut the grid wrapper, and passed it off to Tom the Polisher to shine it up. Thanks Tom! He's done all of the aluminum, and I am thankful for it. I had sanded it to 1500, and thought I would do some jeweler's rouge. Stupid ass me let my drill skip across the piece. I gave it to Tom, and he was able to fix my faux pas.
Screw holes are counter sunk:
I dig the way its coming out. It's almost there.
I tweezed the prop some. Its not quite as smooth as I would like, and needs just a little more adjustment.
Anyways, there it stands for now. Thanks for checking this out!
June 1- Small Update Part 1
Got the XRay work just about 100% complete now. The spring loaded prop was causing just enough drag to the whole thing that it would fully open only part of the time. I thought that cutting out some of the extra weight would help, and it did. Just not enough. So then I hit upon the idea of adding some kind of launch assist thing.
That's a spring that I added to the inside of the mechanism. It gives it plenty of extra push.
Here is a video of it working: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk5qU...ature=youtu.be
I will post another update this weekend to show off some work that I farmed out. We are really close to finishing the humidor. Finally.
June 1- WTF? A Two a Day? Oh Hell!
As illustrated above, the wires on the XRay leave a little to be desired. And to be perfectly honest, I didn't like the idea of farting around with it to get something that I liked. I've been talking to FZ about doing some work with me on this thing, and sent him the works to see what he could do:
The price was fair, the turnaround was fast, and the end product looks good. I couldn't ask for more and couldn't do better on my best day. Best part is, I gave him free reign on how to approach it. I think he caught the idea perfectly. I will certainly be sending along more stuff. Eventually. You know how it is.
Thanks Fur Fur!
The layout will look something like this:
Cub Scout camping tomorrow, and Pirate Fest on Sunday so this will be the last post for a few weeks I'm sure. Though I plan on sitting in this chair when the apocalypse hits later this year. It would be nice if it was done.
Just keeping it real.