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Best way to cut out side panel window?

post #1 of 16
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I snagged a new fractal Core 1000 for $25 with plans to mod the side panel with a plastic window. I was thinking of using a dremel tool and using double sided sticky tape to mount the window to the inside of the side panel. This way there's no bolts/screws and should provide a clean look.

Any tips on how to cut the side panel would be appreciated smile.gif

Thanks.

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post #2 of 16
Find someone with a Plasma cutter. That is exactly how I did mine. I would show you vids if I was at home. I was able to draw out the exact shape and it cut it out perfectly. Then just cleaned up the edges with a dremel.
Try and find a local machine shop. Something like THIS.
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post #3 of 16
What I did was use the "heavy" cut off wheels for a dremel. The thin normal break too easily. Going through a mid-ATX tower side panel cut I used maybe 5 wheels. Once you do this you can use a grinding wheel to fix the edges. For a more professional look you can buy some rubber edging. Mcmaster.com has rubber edging in all shapes in sizes. I used box U shaped edging and it gave me a nice finish.

DSC02989.jpg
DSC02978.jpg
DSC02881.jpg
DSC02882.jpg
DSC02901.JPG
DSC02892.JPG


The spiraled metal tip you see in one of the dremel pics is great for trimming into the metal once you cut the panel out to fix lines that you may have not cut straight or giving the edge a chamfer.

If you need any help just shoot me a message or something.

A pack of 20 wheels is about $5 or $6 at lowes and you can order rubber edging for like $0.20 a foot with $4 or $5 shipping. Total it would cost you about $10 to do it this way assuming you already have a dremel. I'm not sure what a machine shop would charge but I would guess no less than $20.

I recommend using double sided tape for the window too. I used bolts on my last one and it was a pain in the axx to drill all of the holes and not screw anything up. You also risk cracking the plexi glass.
Edited by smiley22432 - 3/19/13 at 8:58am
post #4 of 16
You can use a jig saw with a bit for metal/plastic. You need to make a started cut with a Dremel though. I've never cut my own side window, but plan in doing it this summer. I find a jigsaw much easier to keep steady.
    
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post #5 of 16
You really have 3 main choices;

1. CNC (plasma, laser, water etc)
This will give you the very best end result but may also come at a significant cost if you can't find someone to "do you a favor"
_____
PROS
  • Perfect cuts
  • Fast
  • Accurate
_____
CONS
  • Usually expensive
  • Have to locate a suitable machine shop/fabricator

2. Dremel
This is the preferred method for 90% of modders but remember that it will take a long time and will most likely require post finishing to achieve a perfect edge. Also it's work picking up some reinforced discs as you will find you burn through the standard ones damn fast!
____
PROS
  • Cheap
_____
CONS
  • Time consuming
  • Can struggle with detailed cuts

3. Jigsaw
My personal favorite. The jigsaw allows you to whip out a window panel in about 10 minutes after which it's just a case of some light filing and sanding to get a really professional job. (just make sure you have the correct blades)
____
PROS
  • Cheap
  • Accurate
  • Reasonably fast
_____
CONS
  • May warp the metal if incorrect clamping / method is used


4. Wild Card
Hand tools! if none of the above float your boat you always have the option of picking up a long necked fret saw and going to town smile.gif




NB: I have never really been a big fan of using multi tools for large long cuts so I may be a bit biased smile.gif
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post #6 of 16
Dremmel tool with the reinforced cutting wheel (made for metal) is my vote. You can do some very intricate cuts. Here's my shameless pimp that I did for a friend of mine:


Painted: And yes, I went back and cut the coast line.


Finished:


Here's the 500t Corsair:


Here's an NZXT Source210 (great case for the money):

Edited by dklic6 - 3/19/13 at 5:03pm
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post #7 of 16
There's also another way I haven't seen mentioned. It's best If I just post pictures, it's how i did my window on my R3.
Drill holes along where you want the window, then you only have teeny little bits to finish off with a dremmel.

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post #8 of 16
if you're interested in doing this I would recommend you watcht eh assorted videos/work logs at www.mnpctech.com They also will show you how to do some custom window etching for that window you want to add. As a bonus you can also find u-channel in their mod store and various other items to mod your rig with. As a side note, check out an album in my profile called first attempt at custom window etching (something like that). I watched a vid while ordering some ATX/Molex pin punches yesterday and gve it a quick whirl, all in all it was fairly decent for less that 10 minutes of work.


*ETA* there's also a supplier on amazon that has a 4 pack deal of the 3M Scotch #4010 double sided tape for approx. $18.00 USD which is a great deal seeing as how a 1"X60" roll is ~$8.00 or more depending on source
Edited by azrael36 - 3/19/13 at 5:04pm
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post #9 of 16
Plasma cutter would probably be the best.
If you sketch out what you want and set so it just needs to be cut, you can likely just take it to a welding shop and chances are the dude will do it real quick and cheap (maybe even free, if the office doesn't know tongue.gif )
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