Title tools

So I have been lugging my way through the 65 Revive project and things have been going well but it was finally time to take a break. I find that if I get too involved in a project for too long I start to lose focus. Sometimes it is necessary to step back for a few moments and regroup. Well opportunity came knocking and when I heard the call I answered the door.

1 of 2 monitors

Not too long ago I built a monitor stand out of pure necessity. The stand was built from an old brake rotor and was build purely to serve a purpose. It did not need to look pretty and only needed to be functional. Well it turns out that the brake rotor monitor stand theme was catching on and this time I had a request to build another one. The difference with the new one is that it needed to have a bit of “wow” factor built into it.

PCCB rotor

The “goddess” of brake systems

Rotor quote 001

The request came from a friend of mine who is a service advisor for the local Porsche dealership in town. I was given very little direction as to what the stand was supposed to look like once it was built. My instructions were “you decide…I trust you”. The problem is that trust does not always equate to a satisfactory product however I am always pleased to accommodate my own design and not have to incorporate details that have been supplied to me.

Damaged PCCB rotor

Chipped PCCB rotor

The only bit of the project that I needed to make sure I included was the supplied brake rotor that my friend gave me. The rotor that I was supplied was no ordinary brake rotor. This particular rotor was taken off of a Porsche 911 equipped with PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes). For those unfamiliar with Porsche PCCB brakes the highlight is that they are ceramic. So what you say? Well as much as many think the ceramic composite lends itself well to increased braking capabilities because of the heat resistance the benefit is actually more in the handling of the vehicle. The PCCB rotors are incredibly light compared to conventional cast rotors. The weight factor plays a huge role in the vehicles unsprung weight and, in turn, contributes to huge gains in the vehicles handling characteristics.

Monitor arm template

The hinge brackets were first cut from 1/8″ MDF to use as a template to ensure consistant results among the 4 I required.

For myself I am not sure what is more impressive, the performance gains of the PCCB rotor or the price tag associated with them. I had the Porsche parts department quote me on the replacement value of the single rotor that was supplied to me. It was a mere $7185.62 CDN. That’s right… for 1 rotor. It turns out that the only reason my friend has the rotor was that it had slight accident damage and therefore was replaced. The outer edge had a slight chip taken out of it therefore it was no longer considered safe to use.

Hinge bushings

Machining hinge bushings out of 6061 aluminum. Test fit shows I measured right!

So away I went with the rotor and a head full of project ideas that I needed to sort through. A few sleepless nights allowed me to organize my thoughts and come up with a starting game plan. The only criteria I had was that the monitor stand needed to accommodate a dual monitor set up and 1 monitor had to pivot around in order to accommodate customer viewing. No problem…minor details. I enjoy building off the top of my head. I find that if I try and stick to a specific design, or game plan, the project doesn’t always work out. I have learned to allow for a certain “fly by the seat of my pants” design whenever I build. I find that as soon as I can get a visual on one component it will provide inspiration for the next one.

Threading set screw

I am building caps for the hinges to conseal the threads. Here I needed to drill and tap for a set screw which will secure the cap onto the hinge pin.

So I sat down and tried to gain some insight into the Porsche way of thinking in order to build a basis for the design. Well it turns out that Porsche, being a German company, appears to like things straight and square, who woulda thunk? Porsche has very specific guidelines set in place that describe what their marketing visuals and showroom layout are to look like. As I looked at much of their promotional and marketing displays it became quite evident that I needed to think “inside the box”. So my initial ideas of building some bends and curves into the stand were abandoned and the “straight and square” philosophy was adopted.

Monitor hinge components

Here are my built hinge components.

Hinge concept

This is one of the hinges set up to show what I am trying to accomplish. Pay no attention to the large hole drilled in the center, it will come into play later.

So I developed a fairly good mental picture of what I was going for however I will let creativity run its course, as long as the course is straight with no curves. I decided to start with the mechanics of the stand in which everything else will be built around. That being the pivot system for the monitors. My friend told me that only one monitor had to pivot but I cannot cope without building the stand symmetrically so I opted to allow both monitors to pivot in the same manner.

Mocked up monitor hinge

Mocking up monitor bracket

Getting ready to tack the brackets together so that I can test fit things.

I stepped into the garage, pulled out some fine looking metal specimens, and started to cut. The pivot hinges are going to be fully custom built. I find that custom building the hinges allow them to be more of a show piece rather them a necessity. I like to build hinges, I do not know why. Perhaps it is because there are so many different ways to do it. In my case I try and give them a clean look that will be pleasing to look at.

Bracket to monitor

Looks like things are going to work out…so far.

I am not going to run you through the build details. Lately I have been letting the pictures do the story telling and it seems to be working. If it isn’t then will someone please let me know? I suspect this build may take up the next 3, or so, blog postings. What I like about stretching a build over a few postings is that I get to see the project transform from raw materials into a finished project. I could fill you in on what my end result is going to look like but sometimes it is more fun to just watch it happen. So here you go…the beginning steps to my Porsche PCCB dual monitor stand.

Monitor stand layout

Here I am doing a bit of “work bench AutoCAD”. Using the two tacked up montior brackets I drew out the dimensions on the work bench for the remaining stand components.

  1. The Stu says:

    Very cool project. I can’t wait to see the end result!!!! Those brakes are crazy. From a detail standpoint, special care and product required 😉

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Stu!!!! Yes the brakes are insane, it’s always interesting to see the look on peoples faces when they feel how light the rotors are. The project is making progress. The friend that I am building it for saw the BMW M Tek project (which you know well) and wanted something along that theme but tailored towards Porsche. Here’s hoping it works out.

  2. Gaute says:

    Looks splendid as always Gord!
    Well thought thru it seems, and the end result i,m sure will please the customer:-)
    Really like the Porsche brakedisc!!

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Gaute, I have put in many more hours into the project since my last posting. It is all starting to come together. I think I have found a good motorsport themed design. Stay tuned!


  3. Alfonso says:

    Now that’s one expensive brake rotor !! … i am really liking the hinge the design so far. Also i agree with the format you have now as far as using more pictures to convey what you’re building. Awesome Post Gord.

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