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What should I make my case out of and why?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I made a 3D draft build of the case I want to build but I don't know what to make it with. I was going to use wood but people said that wood can shrink and if so what wood.


post #2 of 8
Interesting design, I'm thinking of building my own case out of wood as well,
subbed for suggestions thumb.gif
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post #3 of 8
from my experience with wood, it will change shape, but the harder woods don't really warp if you cure them before milling, especially if you use sealer, and completely finish them without any gaps

it will warp, 10-20 years down the road, but honestly, some glue and a few clamps fix that problem quickly, hell, i'm typing this up on a dark walnut desk made in the 1940's, that was wax finished, it's only "splitting" at one of the places where the two boards are joined but were glued so the grains don't line up, honestly i can hardly fit my finger nail in it so there is no reason to fix it

<_< if you know how to work with wood, you won't run into problems with the stuff you make not lasting a lifetime, if you don't know how to work with wood, yea it can be tricky to get stuff to not split or warp on you, that saying, measure twice cut once is the mentality of the woodworker/carpenter, do the research before you dive in

i would stay away from most ply woods unless you're doing panels that you allow for expansion for when designing the parts, i'd stick to hardwoods if you can afford it, if not either use painted acrylic, aluminum, or steel, though i do admit, a copper or brass computer case would look pretty badass, unless you have a ton of money to buy the thicker sheet of it, it'll rattle itself apart in a few months
Edited by somebadlemonade - 6/13/13 at 5:13pm
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the post, I actually don't know much about the wood, but am willing to learn about wood to build my case. thank you again.
post #5 of 8
i'm not saying this to discourage you, but your first few pieces will be rough around the edges, most people won't notice those little flaws in it, you will, most decent carpenters will as well, but usually aren't rude enough to mention them. . .

i'd do a few pieces first to get a feel for how to works with wood first, even if they are deck chairs or bird houses, just to get a feel for the material, i'd go for a domestic hardwood, it's cheap(for hardwood at least) and most carpenters know how to work with it well

i'd go to your local lumber yard, and go poking around, the most expensive part of working with wood is buying the tools, but the same can be said with plastic, and with sheet metal, but most of the same tools can be used for wood or plastic so that's a plus
Edited by somebadlemonade - 6/13/13 at 11:57pm
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for helping. Any help is needed and I am willing to learn from people. Thanks mate
post #7 of 8
what kind of tools do you have access to?

that's usually the determining factor if this is a good idea or not
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post #8 of 8
Would only changes shape when it is improperly dried before building.

The idea with wood is that, when building some kind of furniture, you want to leave the wood in an environment similar to where it will spend its days. If you are really serious, you get a moisture meter... something I have laying around in my inherited woodshop somewhere. Get some stuff that is fairly dry to begin with, and then set it off to the side in the corner for a couple weeks. Lay it out flat so you can be sure it will not warp, and just ignore it.

When you are ready to build, the wood will be stable enough that as long as you don't have any significant changes in climate, you will never have a problem. Yes it expands and contracts, every material does, but wood also has the disadvantage of expanding with humidity. Best option is to use a metal motherboard tray. If it gets particularly humid after a long dry spell, the whole wooden tray will expand slightly... if your motherboard is firmly screwed down, you risk cracking something.

Beyond that suggestion (the tray) you don't need to worry. Build everything else 1-2mm oversized, use rubber washers to take up the slack in mounting (for things like drive bays) and not only will it be quiet, but you don't have to worry.

Some beautiful cases can be built of wood if you start using more expensive materials, and have a good feel for finishing.
Edited by Masta Squidge - 6/21/13 at 5:30am
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