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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 21st July, 2006, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Any tips for someone about to attempt a custom case? Not modding a case, well sort of, cutting a standard ATX tower case and modding it into an ATX desktop case.
For starters, patience is very important and a plan. Make sure to have your ideas all planned out, even sketched out if you can.
Make sure to have every angle planned to avoid making mistakes. I made several in this mod but I'm still happy with the results.
Also, its important to be willing to re-do after making a mistake. I keep having problems with cracking the plexi-glass window when drilling holes or cutting. Then I would have to start over and try it a different way.
I usually start with a simple plan: window/led fans/painting/lighting/wiring.
Those are all the things to consider. Then I break it down with how to achieve each one.
Good Luck. Please post any pictures and questions on the forum.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 21st July, 2006, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Booman, I hope you don't mind me asking, but how much did this mod cost altogether?
It actually didn't cost very much. I was given a jigsaw to cut the window, I had to buy the sheet metal (under $20), paint (under $20), plexi-glass ($12-$14), fans ($16), heatsink/fan ($18), etching/cutting/building time ($priceless).

so maybe no more than $80. Mostly because I allready had the hardware and the case. If you want to know the total cost of the computer as a whole then I would say:
$700 -origional hardware/processor/ram/video card
$200 -Radeon 9800 pro
$130 -P 4 3.0 GHz processor
$ 80 -1 Gig RAM
$ 30 -windmill fan controller
$ 50 -other hardware and mods supplies
_________
$1190.00 accumulated in the last 2 years
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Old 22nd July, 2006, 04:56 AM
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I've got some tips for ya rondog:

1. Get a precision ruler, not a crappy one with 1/8th inch wide marks
2. Measure 50 hundred million thousand times before making a cut.
3. If possible get 2 cases to piece into 1, allows more flexibility and errors.
4. For god sake USE THE RIGHT TOOLS. I hate when i see people using a 1/4" drill bit to slowly cut a circle by making 50 holes then filing the pieces between the holes. A short trip and $2.50 later, you could have a nice holesaw that will get the job done fast.
5. When cutting/drilling/puncturing the outer/painted side of your case, it's always a good idea to try to score it with an exacto knife or something of that effect to stop the paint from chipping. For example when cutting a blowhole in the top of your car-like painted case, I'd recommend 2 methods.
a. Drill from the inside outwards. First place masking/painters tape on the painted side then using a high rpm and a decent amount of pressure, cut through from the inside out, letting the holesaw heat up itself and the metal a little bit to aid in a nice clean cut through the paint.
b. Drilling from the outside/painted surface. Drill your pilot hole for your arbor, then by hand, rotate the holesaw backwards/opposite direction of the teeth to score the paint until you reach metal. This will keep those nasty chips from happening. It may take alot longer but I garantee that if you get a chip in your awesome case, you'll be so bummed that you'll wish you would have taken your time.

6. Have confidence in yourself and your mod. So you're not Yoshi, WHO CARES. his mods look great because he uses the right tools in the right manner. Just take your time, be calculative and precise, don't rush yourself, and don't be affraid to ask people for advice/help. (which you've already done, yay!).

7. Piece your mod together with tape and zipties or whatever once in a while to help visualize how it's coming along. You might notice something isnt going to work even after you've added it up a thousand times on paper.

8. Like most cleaning products suggest, try on a hidden area first. Well if you could buy an old non-working computer or computer < 300mhz to mod, do all your mods on that. after your first blowhole, you'll feel confident in getting brave with more mods. At this point I have all the confidence to mod the hell out of my $160/case without a second thought.

9. If you like the idea, do it.

10. Send me $50 giftcards to TacoBell. That is all.



Here are my suggestions for any plexiglass over 1/4" thick.
I find the best method is to start with the smallest drill bit using the highest rpm. Starting with a 1/16th bit for any hole you do, drill out your first hole. Then step up to a 1/8th, applying very little pressure at a high rpm as to help heat up the plexi as you cut through it. This also seems to help with dull bits by allowing them to chew through the soft plexi a bit easier (in my opinion). 1/8th is a decent enough sized hole for stanard case screws but if you want to go larger, keep stepping up the hole by a little bit. I find this method to work amazingly great for me even though it is time consuming. Another quick way to do it would be to get a standard soldering iron. plop it down through, remove it, and let the little waste plexi dry around the holes. After it has dried, you can just snap it off leaving behind an almost perfect circle which you can then grab a small jewelers file and bevel the edges if you'd like. Another thing I like do to with case windows is to score a small line around the hole that would be hidden by the screwhead, this way if too much pressure is applied, it should crack at these hidden score lines first. I would also recommend buying 2 sheets of plexiglass and using your first completed plexi mod to duplicate it for future use when you mess yours up, break it, or just get tired of it.
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Last edited by xmetrix; 22nd July, 2006 at 05:14 AM.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 22nd July, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Way to go on the tips, there, Xmetrix!

I totally agree with you on most of them =)
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 22nd July, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Hrm.. give me a second to bust out my UK to US translator..

Translation complete..
UK: most
US: all of


Why thank you!, you're so sweet!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 22nd July, 2006, 06:26 PM
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The best tool for cutting sheet steel (assuming you don't have a laser cutter to hand). Would be a jigsaw.

This is the one I recommend if you have deep pockets:
http://www.festool.co.uk/mediandoweb...91&AKTIVPROD=1

You can get one for about £200.

Festool are by far the best, they own.

Otherwise get a Makita for about £100.

Draw a hole. Drill a small hole somewhere inside it. Shove you jigsaw in there and cut it out. Leave a 1 or 2mm margin. Finish it off and de-burr it using a 4.5" mini-grinder with a vitrified mounted abrasive point fitted.

This is the correct way to cut larger holes in steel.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 23rd July, 2006, 03:07 AM
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Great tips guys!!
I'm getting ready to mod my 4th case and I have all the ideas sketched out.
I'll definitely post step-by-step instructions on what I did.
Looking forward to seeing all of your cases.
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Old 23rd July, 2006, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booman
I'll definitely post step-by-step instructions on what I did.
Booman, I think you should really, REALLY think hard about turning your work into a full-blown article for us. There would be a $25 bonus in it for you.

Last edited by Gizmo; 23rd July, 2006 at 04:06 AM.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 23rd July, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Or if you're doing a bunch of case mod's where you're cutting into the case, you should look into purchasing some Nibblers. They rock so hard.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 23rd July, 2006, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the tips guys. Wont be able to do any more work until next weekend. School and all.
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Old 23rd July, 2006, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
Booman, I think you should really, REALLY think hard about turning your work into a full-blown article for us. There would be a $25 bonus in it for you.

Bribery, the sincerest form of flattery...

No really,

I agree totally.
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Old 26th July, 2006, 01:51 AM
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Booman, pursuant to our private conversation, would you mind if someone took this thread and reworked it into an article?
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 26th July, 2006, 04:09 PM
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I don't mind as long as I still have ownership of the pics and text.
and maybe a shameless plug to my website...
I have a good tutorial coming up, only if it is successfull...
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Old 26th July, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Sorry you lost that when you posted here, AOA copyright covers our forums....The Plug we could manage.":O}

But if this is to restrictive, rest assured we will not take advantage.
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Old 26th July, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Thanks guys. I love this forum!
Everyone has great attitudes and they understand where I come from.
I have received a lot of computer help and seen some great mods.
I'll keep bringing in the tutorials because I love doing them.

as for the copyright... does that mean I can't post this same tutorial on my own website?
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Old 26th July, 2006, 08:56 PM
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To be honest, I'm not sure. But I think it does mean that. I have a great deal of material at another site that I wrote. I consider it their property. As I submitted it to them for publication.

It seems odd but there you have it. ":O}

But this doesn't preclude making other, prior arrangements. Copyright just gives us the ground rules.

See what you can work out with Gizmo...":O}
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Old 27th July, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Well back to booman's case modding really really great work I can see many hours in there but it is truly worth it. Your an inspiration to me to get to work on my own beige beast.
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