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Project Nobility - a custom wood case work log

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Project Nobility
a custom wood case work log

Howdy! So, long story short, I'm not happy with my current case. Surprise, surprise.

Due to my return to watercooling and the desire for a roomier case, I was considering simply purchasing a HAF 932. However, I suddenly realized that I would miss out on much of the modding I enjoy so much. With that in mind, I decided to build another scratch wood case.

What I learned from my previous experience building a wood tech bench was that it's not a great idea to use wood itself for mounting the motherboard and drives. Wood is a material that shrinks and expands due to the environment, and my recent attempt to reuse my tech bench failed because the motherboard holes were even further off than they were originally.

Well, good thing I have a few donor cases around here with some parts I can steal from them. The main thing I needed was a motherboard tray. Unfortunately, I didn't have any ATX cases I was willing to sacrifice, but our old Compaq Presario 5000 was the perfect source for a microATX tray. As a bonus it includes the PSU mount - four less holes to worry about screwing up.

The next thing was the hard drive bay. Fortunately I hung on to the cage that I removed from my Cooler Master Centurion 5, so that's covered as well. Since I don't intend to have any internal 5.25" drive in this build, the remaining necessary accommodations are for fans and radiators. These will be mounted directly to the wood body of the case.

So, on to the wood skeleton of the case. As you can see in my avatar, my plan is to use a dual-chamber design for this case. On one side will be the motherboard and PSU, as well as a location in the front for three fans, likely attached to some 320mm radiator. The other side of the case will hold the HDD cage, as well as offering space for another 320mm fan and radiator setup if needed. There ought to be space on this side for some other odds and ends, including hiding cables. It will be a fairly standard tower style, with the upper compartment housing the reverse microATX motherboard and radiator/fan mounting locations. The HDD cage and PSU will be mounted in the lower compartment.

Now that the functional aspects have been explained, on to the looks portion. My main idea now involves dyeing staining the wood some color and painting the motherboard tray and HDD cage white. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking purple for the wood portions. Also, I'll probably pick up some white LEDs or cathodes for illumination.

By now you ought to have picked up on the fact that this will be watercooled. More to come on that later...

TL;DR: I'm building a new scratch wood case. Stay tuned.

Also, the model in my avatar is not even close to scale.
Edited by t-ramp - 8/22/11 at 7:59am
post #2 of 42
lol, last year in woodwork for my free project I asked if I could make a case and he wouldn't let me because he thought it would burn down!
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooimo View Post
lol, last year in woodwork for my free project I asked if I could make a case and he wouldn't let me because he thought it would burn down!
Nope, it won't burn down. Electronics don't get that hot, and there shouldn't be any electrical concerns either. Wood is a good material to use for building a simple scratch case.
post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-ramp View Post
Nope, it won't burn down. Electronics don't get that hot, and there shouldn't be any electrical concerns either. Wood is a good material to use for building a simple scratch case.
lol, I should have have to told him that
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
By the way, here is my tech bench. It's actually empty now and I'm using it as a stand for my receiver at the moment.

post #6 of 42
Great stuff. I am currently working on a smaller cube shaped case that has the mobo laying flat like a test bench, but built into a full case of minimum size with no 5.25" drives. It is currently just a wooden skeleton with the old P4 board I am using for a retro rig on it. I have made some sketches for a steampunk style case using some welded steel and fittings with an industrial look. My wood and metal fabrication skills are light years ahead of my computer building skills. I actually operated a mass production woodworking company for a decade or so and was educated to be and worked as a machinist for about this length of time in my early years as well . So hopefully I can come up with a case that is a lot more impressive than what I put in it! LOL. Good luck with your project
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-4170 @ 4.86 Ghz ASUS M5A97 EVO 2 x PowerColor AX6790 Crossfire 16GB (4 x 4GB) SAMSUNG MV-3V4G3D @1890 Mhz 8-9-9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x Corsair Force 3 120 GB SSD External USB AMD stock cooler Win7 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS 23" DVI Fullsize, solid. OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W CM Praetorian 730 Black 
Mouse
Has red light on bottom 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-4170 @ 4.86 Ghz ASUS M5A97 EVO 2 x PowerColor AX6790 Crossfire 16GB (4 x 4GB) SAMSUNG MV-3V4G3D @1890 Mhz 8-9-9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x Corsair Force 3 120 GB SSD External USB AMD stock cooler Win7 Ultimate 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS 23" DVI Fullsize, solid. OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W CM Praetorian 730 Black 
Mouse
Has red light on bottom 
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Reply
post #7 of 42
Looks like a great idea to me. Cannot wait to see the log of this project. I enjoy modding cases, but love to see the scratch builds. I might do a scratch build myself one day, but for now I enjoy transforming cases from something plan and mundane to something vibrant and exciting.
The Downgrade
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
455 unlocked to quad ASRock 990FX Extreme4 GT430 Adata 1600 4GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
C300 SSD LITESCRIBE DVD RW 7 Home Premium 64 ASUS 24" 
PowerCase
ABS 850W Dark Beret Powder Coated Rocketfish 
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The Downgrade
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
455 unlocked to quad ASRock 990FX Extreme4 GT430 Adata 1600 4GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
C300 SSD LITESCRIBE DVD RW 7 Home Premium 64 ASUS 24" 
PowerCase
ABS 850W Dark Beret Powder Coated Rocketfish 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagged_Steel View Post
Great stuff. I am currently working on a smaller cube shaped case that has the mobo laying flat like a test bench, but built into a full case of minimum size with no 5.25" drives. It is currently just a wooden skeleton with the old P4 board I am using for a retro rig on it. I have made some sketches for a steampunk style case using some welded steel and fittings with an industrial look. My wood and metal fabrication skills are light years ahead of my computer building skills. I actually operated a mass production woodworking company for a decade or so and was educated to be and worked as a machinist for about this length of time in my early years as well . So hopefully I can come up with a case that is a lot more impressive than what I put in it! LOL. Good luck with your project
Thanks. Good luck with your own projects!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nckid4u View Post
Looks like a great idea to me. Cannot wait to see the log of this project. I enjoy modding cases, but love to see the scratch builds. I might do a scratch build myself one day, but for now I enjoy transforming cases from something plan and mundane to something vibrant and exciting.
Thank you. I like general case modding as well, but I'd rather start from scratch this time instead of modding (and probably ruining) another retail case.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Well, I bought the lumber for this case yesterday. I've revised my blueprint for the case, and have decided a tower-style case will work better. With that in mind, I bought two 1" x 10" x 6' "quality" boards at Menards. They were substantially more than the cheap stuff, which they practically give away, but I didn't feel like skimping this time.

Anyway, I hope to get to work on the case this afternoon, but knowing me, there's no guarantee. Anyway, thanks for watching!
post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Surprisingly, I made some progress last night. Here are some pictures.

Top:



Front and top:



Motherboard tray:





PSU:



Still left to do:
  • Divider with cable management holes
  • Sanding and more sanding
  • Gluing
  • Painting and/or staining

By the way, the dimensions for this case will be 20" L x 9.25" W x 26.75" H, so it will be taller than most full towers but not quite as long.







Edited by t-ramp - 8/18/11 at 6:23am
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