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Custom Case Build: Trying to recreate a TJ07 for half the cost

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I've only been building PC's for about 2 years now, but I was always someone who would try and create those "Ghetto Builds" talked about on many thread about how this one guy zip-tied together 9 fans for bitcoin mining, or how some other guy made his own heatsink using his flowjet to cut out fins. I decided to start somewhere a little bit easier, with the simplest, yet one of the most essential pieces of computer hardware, the case. I will be including customary and metric measurements for ease of reading (and also for those of you not living in the states <3). I hope you enjoy!

I: Introduction

I've always loved silverstone products, I mean, a Raven is sitting on my desk right now with all my hardware inside of it. The one case of theirs I could never quite afford was always the TJ07, (Pictured below, hopefully) Image courtesy of silverstonetek.com.

So, of course, being some crazy dude with a garage full of tools, I decided to take a crack at building my own case, from scratch. I would not really recommend this to anyone, as there are many better solutions to this, such as actually buying a half decent case that will always be better than whatever Frankenstein you built in your garage, but I wanted to take a crack at it myself. This is a build log of the case I am building currently. It's not a step-by-step how to build your own but it should give you some decent ideas for mods.

II: Making the frame

4/2/2014

I went to Home Depot and decided to pick out what material I was going to use for the frame of the case. Steel seemed to be the obvious choice at first, seeing as almost every case on the market is made of the stuff, but I realized something a little better was awaiting me in Aisle 24.

I went with angled aluminum for this build because its lighter, and a little more expensive but overall, its much easier to work with (unless you're planning on welding any parts of the case, I'm just going to use rivets and screws in my build). After a day of work sawing and filing, I was able to tape a few of the pieces together to show you guys the frame of the case:


4/3/2014

The next step of the process was to reinforce the framework of the case. I decided to start with the base to prevent swaying of the corners and create a surface to mount my various water cooling hardware. In the TJ07, this is accomplished by the water cooling basement, which we will be using a sheet of plexi-glass to create.



After this was done, we were left with a 10" x 22" sheet (254mm x 558mm) to secure to the base. I could have used sheet metal for this but the plexi-glass was just lying in my garage and I decided to make use of what I had. The sheet will be sanded down and painted flat black later to match the case.



The next step was to drill holes for the case feet to mount into. The case feet in this instance will not only secure the base pieces together but will also give us a mounting point for the iconic TJ07 front panel which we will be bending in about a week or so. The following are the results of our case feet drilling. The screws will be cut down to a smaller size, and the feet are taken from my own personal HAF 922, a case which I will be selling soon, to anybody whos interested. (Feet not included, of course.)




The next step taken will be to finish the base and the basement of the case and move on to the upright portions and sheet metal of the case, which will be the hardest. My whole idea to bending the front steel panel is rather ghetto, but I know of a good way to bend the sheet to look like the TJ07's, but without those indents on the outer edges, as you would need quite a hefty machine to accomplish that look, which explains the TJ07's astronomical price.

III: Finding other parts

Once the frame is complete, its time to now look for other little parts here and there that will make the "Pseudo-Temjin" come to life. These part include anything from cable management grommets to power switches, most of which will come from old PC's or other parts I have lying around.

4/4/2014


Do you recognize this beauty? Everyone remembers the old Dell dimension towers. This one was my first "gaming" rig, fully equipped with an nVidia 6600 before I sold it to jumpstart my first custom build. Why do you ask, is this tower in this mod log? BECAUSE WE NEED A POWER SWITCH AND I DON'T WANNA SPEND MONEY ON ANOTHER ONE



After some sleuthing work, I realized just how easy it is to take apart the plastic on these old towers (even though they are super sturdy) and I quickly got to the power switch cap, which we will not be using. I found the real power switch after a little bit of some more digging.




It appears that I have made a good choice with this here power switch, seeing as the connectors are already all synced up for IDE-LED's and the power switch already shorts out the pins needed to start the computer. This switch will easily install into the curved front sheet I'll be making soon with three drill holes, looking to be 1/2" (12.7mm) in diameter and 1/8" (3.175mm) in diameter.




IV: Putting on the skin

After the frame and the miscellaneous parts are found, the next step was to stop by Home Depot again and buy some sheets of steel. The key feature in the TJ-07 is of course its incredible curved aluminum from panel that wraps from the back of the case all the way to the front. For the sake of my free time and my patience, we will only be bending the front panel and it will not be a uni-body piece, unlike the TJ-07. The top panel and the side panels will be done separately.

V: Painting


When it comes time to paint the case, this section will have photos and other little quirks here and there. For now the steel parts will be painted while the aluminum will remain bare, as an accent color and a way for the LEDs to reflect their light better.

VI: The Hardware

By the time I have to fill out this section, the "Pseudo-Temjin" will be done. The hardware and liquid cooling will only be here for eye-candy and of course to calm your nerves about me putting an 8800gt or something like that in here. No sir, we'll have all enthusiast hardware in here, as I have $1500 (before tax day) set aside for this PC.





For now, this is all I have. I will continue to update this thread.
In case (no pun intended) you guys didn't know this is my first thread on this forum so If some stuff is out of the norm, (format, the amount of times I'm using these parentheses, etc.) feel free to tell me so my future threads can be improved.
Edited by KubaTroopa - 4/3/14 at 9:31pm
post #2 of 2
Following this with interest. If you can make a TJ07 looking case from scratch then I'm in early smile.gif
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