Description

--(Some of the photos are watermarked with "PC Edge". I did not steal those images, they are from my Instagram (pc_edge) and that is my own side business in-which I do these custom builds, just FYI. )--

This was the most ambitious custom PC build I’ve done yet. I love rat rods, old antique machinery and old farm buildings. The goal with this build was to create something of a ‘rat-rod vintage-looking PC’. Like an old invention someone built back in the early 1900’s that had been forgotten in some damp basement of an abandoned building for the last century. I had a rough concept of what I wanted to do in my mind, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it off.

As with most of my builds in recent times, I was working with a very tight budget. So if you’re expecting the latest Core i7 with a boat-load of RAM and a 1080Ti, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The CPU I chose may be older and unloved by many, but it’s still fairly capable even today and for only having paid $25 for it, I’m not complaining. I also didn’t want to risk damaging more expensive hardware with the work I was planning to perform on some of the components.

For what it’s worth, the FX-8350 is not nearly as bad as many make it out to be. In gaming I have yet to see it much over 60% usage, and that’s in fairly CPU-intensive games. Coming from an i7-4770k @4.3, I honestly really haven’t noticed much of a difference. It was for sale on a local classified platform and listed as "damaged". I asked what was wrong with it and they said it didn't work. I took a chance and what I found was one slightly bent pin. Fixed that up with tweezers and it's now good as new! :)

In the pictures, what you are looking at is actual oxidised steel (motherboard tray, PSU housing and CPU cooler bracket), copper (CPU and GPU coolers) and bronze (all fans and power toggle switch). The end result you see was not achieved by paint, alone. I used a special metallic paint that contains actual metal particles. An ‘activator’ is then sprayed on before the paint dries to initiate the corrosion. Once the desired look is achieved, you then clear-coat to seal it. It’s not fake, it’s actual, real corrosion. ;) A corrosion-inhibiting primer is painted on first to protect the materials underneath, in case you’re wondering.

Lesson learned the hard way with the RAM. I tried taping off the heatsink and treating it while still attached to the sticks. Some of the corrosion activator must have seeped in and damaged the RAM modules as you can see in the one or two pics. It was Patriot Viper 1866 RAM. I had to then use 2 sticks of AData 1333 RAM I had laying around, overclocked it to 1600 and swapped the heatsinks over. :P

For the PSU, I disassembled it to protect the internal components. I then sanded the housing down to the bare metal with a palm-sander and sprayed the activator directly to it. I wanted to keep it looking original instead of painting over the logo and text on the side with primer. The fan I removed and treated separately with bronze, to match the other fans.

“But what about temps?” you might ask. The reality is; it’s completely fine. The CPU stays within safe limits, even when overclocked to 4.6GHz. The GPU stays very cool with the single 140mm fan on it. It even runs passively at idle and low loads just fine. The paint does not cover all the fins over the entire cooler for both the CPU and GPU. Where it really counts and where most of the heat transfer takes place is right around where the heat pipes touch the fins. Beyond that, there’s very little transfer to worry about. Running prime95 with Valley loop with everything overclocked, the system ran totally fine. The only issue I had was tripping the breaker in our living room during testing, lol (old house with poor circuitry). So yeah, temps are normal and the corrosion doesn’t really affect anything in that regard. I also added additional fans to help cool the VRMs and north-bridge heatsink.

Cable management was tricky. I wanted to keep as many cables and wires hidden as possible. Did what I could to tuck everything away, and any wires I couldn’t hide I slipped some flexible harness tubing overtop. For the power switch, power and HDD activity LEDs, I made my own harness using a motherboard connector from an old Dell I had laying around (the same one I cut the motherboard tray out of) and scavenged some extra wires from another old case for extra length. Spliced and soldered the wires together and that was done. The power switch is a spring-loaded toggle from a local hardware store. The power and HDD activity LEDs (orange and blue) are still there, I just positioned them in two small holes below the toggle switch so as to not clash with the aesthetics.

Putting the whole thing together was quite tedious and I dread having to do any troubleshooting if anything goes wrong. It all has to be assembled and disassembled in a specific order, lol. Regardless, I had a lot of fun building this and I’m very happy with the way it turned out. :)

Thanks for looking.

Comments

  • 15 months ago
  • 12 points

Is that a feature I smell? Nice build

  • 15 months ago
  • 11 points

The PC of the future post-apocalyptic wonderland!

  • 15 months ago
  • 8 points

I looked at every single picture and smiled the whole way through. I really appreciate the effort and attention to detail you put into distressing and aging the metal frames and such. It came out looking fantastic!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 6 points

Amazing!!! You did a great job on it!!!

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

Thanks. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

This definitely deserves a feature

  • 15 months ago
  • 6 points

Not sure which is more impressive;;

The build, or the number of pictures.

  • 15 months ago
  • 6 points

Hey Grandad -- look, I found this old crate in the back of your barn! Next to that pile of tattered books written by Jules Verne...

  • 15 months ago
  • 5 points

207 photos? Bro take a chill pill when you are holding a camera lol.

Potential featured? I am getting tired of seeing normal builds featured, Not that they don't deserve it, But projects like this need more recognition.

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

There were more pictures I could have added. ;) I just know when other projects like this get posted, I find people don't take or post enough photos of the process, IMO. I may take some out when I fix the order. Just wanted to get them up for the time being. ;) Also, thanks.

  • 15 months ago
  • 5 points

This is so true. I always appreciate others more who post a lot of photos but especially when it shows the process. * patiently waiting for your photos to be organized *

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol yeah better then 4 pictures(Which is how many my build has but I am too lazy to change lol). But 207 has got to be some sort of record on this site.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

But 207 has got to be some sort of record on this site.

I've seen others who posted a little over 300 photos like this one. I too have posted a build that has 300 photos. I'm certain someone else has 300 or more.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points
  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Only 152 pics now. ;)

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

I love the corrosion treatment, this is simply awesome love it +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

So cool! Take it to the next level and watercool it... I'd stain the wood too... Would look awesome.. Leds, but I custom loop! This is awesome. Will look at more pics later! Lots

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

Pretty sure whiskey still cooling would be more appropriate here.

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  • 15 months ago
  • 5 points

Next time pm that message please.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

You lost me at "paranormal enthusiast."

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  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

presented evidence

things that cannot be explained with logical explanation

Yeah, like quantum mechanics or the behavior of subatomic particles in general. But, on the whole and macro scales there is nothing that cannot be explained using logically derived methods.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

I really don't think it is your place to tell someone what they can have as an avatar.

  • 15 months ago
  • 4 points

This is absolutely gorgeous. The album of images documenting your process made for an interesting afternoon.

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

A very fun read and awesome project. Thanks for sharing this Rat Rod and hope it gets the spotlight that it deserves.

Putting the whole thing together was quite tedious and I dread having to do any troubleshooting if anything goes wrong. It all has to be assembled and disassembled in a specific order, lol.

Oh my, it better behave then!

Regardless, I had a lot of fun building this and I’m very happy with the way it turned out. :)

It certainly shows it. Again, well done. My plus one is given to you.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Of course and thank you for sharing your build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Did someone already point how metal this is? Because it's metal. Really metal. \m/ +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Wow, the detail is amazing. Now this is a feature build!!

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Time Traveller! - I KNEW IT

LOVE IT! IMO, aesthetically speaking, beats 1000's of dollars of custom liquid cooled RGB relished futuristic overkills - any day of the week! And all you had to do was do the opposite, sending the parts back in time lol

+1 for fooling us with all those 2018 pics

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Wow this is a great presentation and description. Neat transformation and modifications.

Thumbs up

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Phenomenal!! Great job on the build!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

nice case. nice pc. nice. : ) +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

This is awesome, very cool! Lucky lucky with that CPU pin!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

if only the keyboard,mouse,speaker and monitor is getting a rat rod treatment. Owai... The table too,chair.............................. There should be another 200 picture... ;)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thinking about getting an Azio Retro keyboard in the wood/metal finish. Only problem is they are like $220 USD. :/ Maybe one day...

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

just mentioning that made me shiver. :) I was thinking that you get any mechanical keyboard and rust painted it but I guess that Azio Retro KB is even better.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Have you got enough pictures? Lol this needs featured

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol, just removed about 50 pics this morning. :P And thanks. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

this is the coolest build I've ever seen

(I also appreciate the fact that you told us the story)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

nice job on the feature! a totally unique build!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Now this is one very ugly boy, dang!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Damn... That's actually quite cool build. Very original.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

I love it. I live a rural area in the Adirondack park in NY. This is awesome! I trully appreciate your build.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey! Why you loading in so slow? Is your computer made of wood o- Oh....Okay.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

NICE! True custom build FTW!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Creative, refreshing and unique, well done!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

skillz.... You'd think that I gave +1 for originality, or for true custom build, but no... +1 for no RGB! :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

You've got a fantastic eye for details. This build is truly weird and wonderful at the same time. Well done

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the corrosion!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

152 pictures? I wont live that long! :)

Note, you have a termite trail in one of your boards

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Ha, I hadn't noticed. ;) Good eye.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

This is frigging amazing!!! Well done! Love custom builds!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Totally creativity at it's finest. You are one of a kind in a very good way. The new Lego Movie master builder! Fine job and deserving of the spotlight system.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points
  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the share! :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

amazing, the level of detail you put into this is amazing. so good! one question is the fan at the front of your driving set up there to cool you down or to give the effect of "wind in your hair"?

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol, it's just to cool me down. ;)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Best Looking Patina Job I Have Ever Seen...o.0* +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Very Nice... Not counting the parts how much would you charge for this sort of work? I kept looking at it, and thinking a steampunk version would be spectacular.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly have no idea. lol

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

I like your style, I'm a rat rod/rat bike fan boy as well. Been sitting on a half finished Corsair C-70 project for months. Your excellent work primed my creative juice pump, maybe I'll get back to it.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Would love to see it! Tag me in it when you post it up. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Where on earth did you get an FX-8350 for $25?!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

It was listed for sale on an online local classified platform (similar to kijiji or craigslist). They were only asking $15 because they thought it was dead. I had a hunch it might just be a bent pin, so I offered to pay the shipping ($10).

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

This is incredible!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Very cool and good.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow that's amazing, haha. I looked at all the photos as well.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

love this. obviously a lot of work was put into this and it shows. also, congrats on the feature. you deserve it! :)

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

It's like rig built by characters from Mad Max..

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

What a beauty!

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

So unnecessary, too much rust, a wooden crate? Why do I love this so damn much?!

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

Most unique build of 2018

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :)

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Most insane and creative build I have ever seen! Good work. Not something I would ever want but I can appreciate the work done just like I admire a good rat rod but will stick with my JDM all day long!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :)

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Excellent reading material and enjoyed the photos. Nice job building too! Inspiring and creative.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :)

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

oh dang

it really is rustic

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

:O +2

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

No joke this is probably the coolest pc ever, love the cool vintage look! This has to get a feature!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :)

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

I saw this a while back and meant to comment. Usually when i say "hey kids...check this out" the are not interested. This build had me and my boys spellbound. Its brilliantly conceived and executed. Does it get used?

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Appreciate the complements. :) Yep, it get's used almost every day! Use it primarily for my racing sim rig.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Rust-eze

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

lol

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

152 pics???

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

I have added this PC to my Best Builds on PCPP list, which is displayed in my profile description. It has some of the best PC's on this site.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :)

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Rust spray in need

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

May I ask why you flipped the motherboard upside down?

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Not sure what you mean? There isn't really a top/bottom to this build. It can sit on any side except for the I/O side and open side. ;)

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

Oh man... never mind lolll... I didn't look at ALL the pictures... XD Very cool build by the way.

  • 15 months ago
  • 0 points

If this doesn't get featured Ima jump off a cliff.

  • 15 months ago
  • 0 points

I second that!

  • 15 months ago
  • 0 points

152 pictures wtf

  • 15 months ago
  • 3 points

He actually removed 55 pics since first published.

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  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't used an optical drive on a PC in over a decade. There's just no need for them anymore, for most users.

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  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Not denying there are still some applications for optical drives today. I don't have solid evidence that most users don't need optical drives. I merely derived that statement based on common knowledge of modern computing and based on trends of media/data usage over the last decade. Most things have gone digital. Music, games, operating systems, etc. It's a logical statement to assume. Likewise, you too would have to provide solid evidence that "most users" still use/need optical drives. ;) Regardless, it's pretty clear why most custom-built systems don't have optical drives installed. They simply aren't needed by those users.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

most user's still use and have practical need for optical drives

Unless you have solid evidence that confirms that statement, like actual surveys and pie-charts that support that claim, then no.

You know what's funny, though? I do actually have said charts you were referring to: https://www.statista.com/statistics/190225/digital-and-physical-game-sales-in-the-us-since-2009/

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