RS: [Beowulf] Cases for DIY boxen

malcolm croucher malcolm.croucher at
Sat Oct 25 02:56:30 EDT 2008

I was watching click online ( ) and they mention
in the programme how you can build your own boxes into figures like spice
racks , robots , cars ect . From the programme It seems you buy pieces of a
box which act like lego and then build your own box . quite nifty.



On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 11:25 AM, Alan Ward <award at> wrote:

> Nowadays many exposition halls, restaurants etc. in Europe have stratified
> wood beams. These need to be treated with fire retardants by regulation, in
> which case they are actually more safe than steel (steel bends and bucles
> when warmed).
> You could take a look at whatever products they use to treat them.
> PS: My last DIY box was a TV table on wheels, with a couple of shelves for
> video casettes underneath beahind glass doors. I took out the shelves and
> put in 4 motherboards, and there I was with a 70x70x50 cm mobile cluster.
> Cheers,
> -Alan
> -----Missatge original-----
> De: beowulf-bounces at en nom de Dan.Kidger at
> Enviat el: dv. 24/10/2008 10:31
> Per a: at; rgb at
> A/c: Beowulf at
> Tema: RE: [Beowulf] Cases for DIY boxen
> I am not so sure that wood is as flammable as you think.
> Hard wood needs sustained heat for a reasonably long period of time to get
> going.
> And anyway for a computer system there is no reason why you can't do some
> fireproofing - get some borates, silicates or other salts to keep the
> organic matter away from the oxygen. Waterglass (Sodium silicate) is cheap
> and readily available.
> Although I guess the main negative factor for us  is the presence of a high
> airflow bringing lots of fresh oxygen. So if you could use oxygen-free
> cooling air (!) or otherwise shut the airfow off triggered by a smoke
> detector ...
> Daniel
> From: beowulf-bounces at [mailto:beowulf-bounces at<beowulf-bounces at>]
> On Behalf Of Peter St. John
> Sent: 23 October 2008 18:33
> To: Robert G. Brown
> Cc: beowulf at
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Cases for DIY boxen
> Robert,
> Yes, the consensus (offline) had seemed to be that humidy, thermal
> insulation, etc are not issues; and the only issue would be flammability.
> And yeah, I actually watched a capacitor explode under ideal circumstances
> (it was shadowed dark behind the box where I was looking, wondering why the
> prototype game box was behaving badly); it shot a beautiful little jet of
> flame.
> Incidentally, Sebastian Hyde has pictures of a really beautiful black
> walnut PC. I think the right word is "baroque". Really beautiful. But yeah
> consideration would have to made for the fire issue.
> Peter
> On 10/23/08, Robert G. Brown <rgb at<mailto:rgb at<rgb at>>>
> wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Oct 2008, Peter St. John wrote:
> On the subject of Doug's "A Case for Cases"
>, I had noticed that the Helmer thing
> ("bewwulf in an Ikea cabinet") is not
> really in a wood cabinet (the steel box can be put inside a cabinet). I'm
> assuming it's unreasonable to actually make a wood cabinet? On account of
> humidy, or just weight? To me it just sounds easy to build a wooden rack
> for
> a bunch of ATX motherboards. And it could look nice. Thermal and electrical
> insulation would be OK, and humidy controlled with a good paint job on the
> interior...?
> What about fire?  Anything electrical can in a worst case pop hot/molten
> metal before frying and/or blowing a breaker.  Capacitors blow up
> (literally).  A wire is badly soldered and pulls free and grounds out,
> spattering white hot metal.
> Inside a metal shell, odds are you won't get a REAL fire as there isn't
> much actively flammable around.  In a wooden box, carefully dried by six
> months of 50C heat... it wouldn't take a lot to get real flames,
> especially if the box had e.g. a cooling fan mounted to actively fan a
> hot coal into flames.
>   rgb
> Peter
> --
> Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
> Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
> Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
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Malcolm A.B Croucher
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