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Antec P182SE Motherboard tray/ panel cutout for easy Heatsink access

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I would like to create an opening in the side panel to access the heatsink backplate without completely having to remove the entire motherboard when swapping the heatsink. Many cases already have this as a stock feature, but not the P182.

I have 2 questions:

1. Is a Dremel the correct tool for this (7.2v)?

2. Will a Sheet Metal bit work or do you think I should use a wheel accesory instead?

If anyone who has done similar projects has helpful pointers or suggestions, your feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help.
Edited by 8bitG33k - 2/17/13 at 7:12pm

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post #2 of 7
Drill holes for the 4 corners then use a Dremel with a small cutting wheel. That's what I use for jobs like that.
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post #3 of 7
I had an Antec P180, and I used the Dremel to cut it out (small wheel)
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here we go:


Motherboard panel stock:



First, I drilled the four corner holes:



Then I took a Dremel (7.2v- 8v, corded) to it. A regular reinforced wheel works just fine. There is not really any torque to speak of, so controling the tool is pretty easy. However, because of the small size of the wheel I found it difficult to keep a straight line even with the markings I made. One piece of advice I would give people who have never done this before, is instead of cutting all the way through the metal and then along the line, is to make several lighter cuts along the line first and then cut through the metal. I wasn't aware of this and consequently my line ended up not being entirely straight. Also, in hindsight I should have drilled the four corner holes first, then drawn the line from the top of each hole to the next.


I used a metal file to deburr the edges.


I applied U channel moulding around the edges to give it a cleaner look. The molding was not a very tight fit so the edges look even more crooked than they actually are since the moulding sticks out a bit.



Completed project


Obviously my measurements were a bit off, I could have used an extra 1.2 inch at the top and the right side. But it works as intended.

Thanks for the pointers Big_Lig and Iosefini and +Rep! Special credit goes to Peter Wong!
Edited by 8bitG33k - 2/20/13 at 8:37pm
post #5 of 7
Nice job. That should make changing out CPU coolers much easier.
post #6 of 7
Good job. Looks good with the channel moulding. thumb.gif
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post #7 of 7
Very nice. I am going to have to do something like this to my 182se very soon. I am using a stock heatsink at the moment. I spent my cooling money on my mobo, but I had to have a v formula.
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