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How do I make a simple ventilation grille on the top of the case ?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I bought a Nox NX1 Evo Pure Black Edition for my Pentium 4 legacy system. It's actually a very nice case for a very low price and comes with a bottom mounted PSU design. However there is an airflow problem.

Here it is:

20032011818.jpg


The thing is, the Scythe Katana 3 (plus a Noise Blocker XE2 fan) I put in it blows hot air towards the top and I cannot put it in any other position. As you can see, the case does not have any ventilation on top. With the case cover in place it starts accumulating hot air at the top and the rear exhaust fan can't take it all out.


So, a simple case mod is in order. What tools do I need to drill a few holes at the top of the case and eventually mount a 120mm fan ? I don't want to just cut a large section of it, I'd rather drill holes to make a grille, just like the one on the back of the case.

Do you think I can do something that won't damage the case or need a respray ? Being a budget case it's made of a somewhat thin metal layer (the kind of thinness that gets you wobbly side panels when you take them out).

Thanks in advance!
Edited by tpi2007 - 3/31/11 at 8:26pm
 
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post #2 of 9
a 4 1/2 inch hole saw is the easiest way to cut a hole for a 120 mm fan
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redalert;12953849 
a 4 1/2 inch hole saw is the easiest way to cut a hole for a 120 mm fan

Sorry, I probably misled you with the title, I've changed it to reflect the main text. I want to drill holes to make a grille (and eventually attach a 120mm fan later).
 
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007;12953745 
So, a simple case mod is in order. What tools do I need to drill a few holes at the top of the case and eventually mount a 120mm fan ? I don't want to just cut a large section of it, I'd rather drill holes to make a grille, just like the one on the back of the case.

This will not work, the thin sheet metal will not make an even/clean cut, it will BEND due to heat(even w/a high RPM drill) and ruin the case/paint... Knowing from experience, as I went case mod crazy on an older case. The only thing that will work is a titanium/diamond drill bit end on a dremel for a simple 120mm square cut(taped of course), followed by sanding/bending edges uniformly toward the innards of the case for a clean look.

GL
 
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post #5 of 9
If the top of your case comes off separately this is pretty easy to do.

-First mark the top of the case above your cooler.
-Remove the top and then cover the area to be drilled in masking or painters tape. (painted side)
-Print out a template of the pattern you wish to drill on paper, or better yet a large sticker label and then center and affix it on top of the tape.
-Now place the top on a wood 2x6 and drill (very carefully) away.

Be sure to take you time, if you have access to a drill press all the better as the holes will be more even. When finished you will need de-burr the under side of the case using a file or sanding block so you don't cut yourself in the future and then remove all the tape. From here you can mount your fan and reassemble.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606;12953944 
This will not work, the thin sheet metal will not make an even/clean cut, it will BEND due to heat(even w/a high RPM drill) and ruin the case/paint... Knowing from experience, as I went case mod crazy on an older case. The only thing that will work is a titanium/diamond drill bit end on a dremel for a simple 120mm square cut(taped of course), followed by sanding/bending edges uniformly toward the innards of the case for a clean look.

GL

Thanks for the info! I really have to cut an airflow hole there, so I just thought of this: I disassembled an old PSU the other day and have this grille:

01042011831.jpg

So, do you think I can instead cut a circular hole like redalert said, with a 4 1/2 inch hole saw and then just drill four small screw holes with a Black & Decker to get this grille in place ? Unfortunately I don't have a Dremel to do what you are suggesting. Could I do the same with a Black & Decker ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPhoenix;12953960 
If the top of your case comes off separately this is pretty easy to do.

No, unfortunately it doesn't, it's riveted to the rest of the panels. But thanks for the input!
Edited by tpi2007 - 3/31/11 at 9:40pm
 
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007;12954566 
So, do you think I can instead cut a circular hole like redalert said, with a 4 1/2 inch hole saw and then just drill four small screw holes with a Black & Decker to get this grille in place ? Unfortunately I don't have a Dremel to do what you are suggesting. Could I do the same with a Black & Decker ?

Yes you can. Print out the fan templates from mnpctech.com (http://www.mnpctech.com/Fan_Grill_Templates.html) and use the 120mm template to locate your holes. The hole saw won't be cheap though. Expect to pay about $40 for a 4-1/2" metal cutting hole saw and arbor (what the hole saw attaches to the drill with). You'll also need a rounded metal file to debur the edges of the hole. But its worth it to get a factory looking vent. I did it for an 80mm fan on my case.

UnderCoreFan4.jpg
UnderCoreFan5.jpg
UnderCoreFan10.jpg

One tip I strongly suggest is to use a smaller drill bit to make a pilot hole first. This way the larger bit on the hole saw arbor will not wander when cutting the hole for the fan.
Edited by Philistine - 4/1/11 at 3:58pm
post #8 of 9
If you are going to use a hole saw, make sure you tape your case and all exposed areas with blue or green low tack painters tape. I would recommend laying about 2 layers down. This will ensure your paint stays in great shape and gives you a nice surface to lay your pattern down to.

You can also purchase a touch up paint pen from an automotive store or a craft store to carefully paint the exposed edge that will be left. It's not necessary but will help keep a nice clean look.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philistine;12959211 
Yes you can. Print out the fan templates from mnpctech.com (http://www.mnpctech.com/Fan_Grill_Templates.html) and use the 120mm template to locate your holes. I did it for an 80mm fan on my case. The hole saw won't be cheap though. Expect to pay about $40 for a 4-1/2" metal cutting hole saw and arbor (what the hole saw attaches to the drill with). You'll also need a rounded metal file to debur the edges of the hole. But its worth it to get a factory looking vent.

UnderCoreFan4.jpg
UnderCoreFan5.jpg
UnderCoreFan10.jpg

One tip I strongly suggest is to use a smaller drill bit to make a pilot hole first. This way the larger bit on the hole saw arbor will not wander when cutting the hole for the fan.

That is a nice job you did with it! I hope I can do something that looks that good too biggrin.gif Thanks for the info! Rep+
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARC_PWR;12960009 
If you are going to use a hole saw, make sure you tape your case and all exposed areas with blue or green low tack painters tape. I would recommend laying about 2 layers down. This will ensure your paint stays in great shape and gives you a nice surface to lay your pattern down to.

You can also purchase a touch up paint pen from an automotive store or a craft store to carefully paint the exposed edge that will be left. It's not necessary but will help keep a nice clean look.


Thanks! Rep+

And Rep+ to all!
 
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