[Case Mod] [COMPLETE] December MOTM 2nd Place! - Relic: A BeigeMod First Case Mod - Page 3 - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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[Case Mod] [COMPLETE] December MOTM 2nd Place! - Relic: A BeigeMod First Case Mod

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post #21 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-20-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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8. FRONT PANEL MODDING AND FRONT FAN MOUNTING

Alright ladies and gents, here's the moment we've all been waiting for. The tricksy false front panel! This is probably the most complicated, metalwise, of the work I'm doing on this particular case. I have very limited room to work with, and many things could go wrong here. So let's start with some even moar careful measurement.

I admit it, I stared at that front panel for hours until I didn't trust my own measurements. So I says to myself. "Self, mayhap someone's made a template for just such an occasion." And after a quick Googling (don't tell the wife) I found this:




My thanks to MNPCTech for publishing such a useful template. Technically, it's for a radiator, but it works beautifully for a pair of 120mm fans too. You can find other templates like this in PDF format here:

http://mnpctech.com/pc-cooling-fan-templates.html

I started out by printing it (NO SCALING) on thick cardstock, then cut it out to fit. Here's what it looks like setting in there.

AppleMark

You may notice something else... the presence of a metal plate on the left there. That is a nailing plate from Lowes Home Improvement, $0.83 and the perfect size for my purposes. The only problem was some of the pass-through holes in the front panel had rolled edges, which I had to grind down.



That done, I could drill the first hole through plate and panel and temporarily mount it with a machine screw and nut. It will eventually be attached with pop rivets. Haven't decided whether to do that before or after painting.



And with that out of the way, I could finish drilling the other mount points for the plate and fixing it in its final position.



Next step was to drill out all the fan screw holes and the center hole to ensure the hole saw wouldn't slip. Found out the hard way I made one error (see next photo). Bit kept jumping on that corner hole, turned out I forgot to grind down the rolled edge there.



Okay, time to break out the big guns. My 4.5" hole saw. But first, let's apply some lessons learned and make a "Metallic Debris Deflection and Containment Device" or as I like to call it, the MDDCD or, in the vernacular, a bunch of (expletive deleted) cardboard and a plastic bin lid.



And let's make sure we are clamped down well, sandwiched between wooden blocks to prevent deforming the panel. And again, this turned out to be a good thing, as even with my gentle pressure the hole saw jammed once and would have likely sliced through my arm or taken off a finger otherwise. Hole Saw + Sharp Panel = HIGH RISK OF INJURY



And then grinding off the burrs.



Second oops. That rolled edge before? Too close to the fan screw hole. The bit slipped and chewed it out. I'll have to do something to mitigate that at some point.



So here's the cleaned up final panel. I won't say this is professional by any stretch, but overall, looks pretty good I think.



And hooked up a temporary fan to check out how it's going to look. It'd be even cooler if I had more than one spare fan. ;-)


Final Thoughts:

The panel had several pass-throughs, rolled edges, and raised vents that made drilling exactly where I wanted to challenging. If I had it to do all over again, I might have just cut the whole drowning middle out of the panel, cut the fan mounts into a virgin piece of sheet steel, and then mounted it in the gutted front panel. As it is, I was only 1mm off on the top hole, bottom hole was perfect, and only one fan screw hole was hosed. Not bad overall.
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Originally Posted by BruceB View Post

Noice! thumb.gif

And again, thank you.
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post #22 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:54 AM
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Looks good, I like the look of front mounted fans. thumb.gif

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post #23 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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9. MOD FRONT BEZEL AND TAKE STOCK

FIrst, I needed to finish up modifying the 5.25 Drive Cage so it would fit over the upper front fan. This was pretty straightforward.


AppleMarkAppleMark

Basically all I did was set it just above the fan, and trace out the overlap. Then it was off to use the Dremel cutoff blade and then grind down the burs. When I was finished, the new plate I installed on the front panel only extended about 5mm into the lower 5.25 bay. That shouldn't be an issue, and I can cut notches if needed when I get to building the control panel there.

AppleMarkAppleMark
AppleMark


So, let's move on to the main event. First I screwed the front bezel onto my newly bored out front panel.

AppleMarkAppleMark

I spent some time trying to figure out the best way to transfer the hole in the panel onto where I wanted it on the front bezel, starting out trying to make a loop out of cardstock the size of the hole and then tracing it.

Then it struck me. "Stupid!" I said to myself. "The front metal panel is your brace and template! Just flip it upside down and drill through the existing hole!"

And so I did. Took a bit of bracing to keep the plastic panel level, as you can see here:

AppleMarkAppleMark

LESSON LEARNED: I should have glued down the 3.5" Bay Panel and the lower flip-up door. I ended up with those flying off instead of cutting cleanly, and then had to glue them and redrill those spots.

But overall, it worked very well, as you can see here.

AppleMarkAppleMark

My next step will be to fill the gap between the front bezel and the metal panel. On the advice of others here, I'm going to try using expanding foam for that, and then rebore the holes.

LESSON LEARNED: In retrospect, I probably should have done that along with gluing the bits before drilling the first time. It would have stabilized the plastic and probably gotten me a cleaner cut.

Then, just to see how far I've come, I mounted the LED fan and other components and gave it a test run for appearance. I temporarily stuck the power and reset buttons in the 5.25" bay. I'll be replacing those buttons completely down the road.




So let's do a before and current status comparison, shall we?




For my first attempt at this, I am very satisfied.
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post #24 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:24 PM
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Excellent work dude and great narrative, this is turning into one of my favourite case mod logs!

i5-3570K - [email protected] (24/7 OC [email protected]) | AsRock Z77 Extreme 4 | Crossfire Asus R9 290 DirectCU II | Custom Watercooling Loop | 8GB G Skill Ripjaws DDR3 | Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD | WD Blue 1TB HDD | EVGA Supernova G2 1000w | NZXT Phantom 410 | Qnix 27" Evolution II 1440p Monitor

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post #25 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 03:11 PM
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Looking good! I like this mod a lot!

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post #26 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brian18741 View Post

Excellent work dude and great narrative, this is turning into one of my favourite case mod logs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcnse View Post

Looking good! I like this mod a lot!

Thank you both very much! It's encouraging to see that people are enjoying not only the mod but the way I'm posting it. Part of my intent is to have enough detail that another noob like me can learn something from it too. ;-)
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post #27 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:38 AM
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Looks so clean, as if it was done by a pro! +rep thumb.gif
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post #28 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Looks so clean, as if it was done by a pro! +rep thumb.gif

*sobs* My first ever Rep!!! And my favorite memephoto too!

*bows* I thank you.
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post #29 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:53 AM
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You're welcome, buddy - you deserved it. Keep us posted on the progress, I'm sure someone else will come to appreciate your work.
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post #30 of 512 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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10. Drive Cage Vents, Front Panel Foam, and Test Paint

Okay, so this one is a bit of a hodgepodge, because I had to wait for the foam to dry, and the paint to dry between applications, and I wanted to see what I could do about drive cage air-flow.

Here's the drive cage:

AppleMark

The problem was, this sits directly behind the front case fans, and as you can see by the circles, it impedes the air flow. Modern cages in that orientation have vents or slots so air can freely flow into the case with minimal backpressure.

I posted on another thread asking for advice regarding cutting holes, slots, windows, or even removing some of the bay locations. Thanks to their kind advice, I settled on slots and keeping all bays available. So here we go.

My first step was to mark where I wanted the slots between the bays. To keep a clean look, I made them all extend the same distance even though some were not in the direct air path. I also tried to sketch in rounded corners.

AppleMark

Now for the Dremel. I used the cutoff disks to cut the straight lines, and as the disks wore down I did the narrower ends, then bent and snapped the rough pieces out.

AppleMark
AppleMarkAppleMark

After that, I used a grindstone and sanding drum on the Dremel to smooth out the corners and remove burrs. It could use another cleanup, but looks pretty good.

AppleMark

Much improved.

Now this was just a sideshow while I waited for my expanding foam to do its thing.

First I stencilled the mounting post location onto a piece of paper, which I taped to a piece of scrap board and wrapped some plastic sheet around it (so the foam doesn't bond to the board).

AppleMark

I drilled out the marks where the posts would go, and that allowed me to mount the bezel flush on the board.

AppleMark

Now to spray in the expanding foam. I don't think anyone will be surprised to know that I completely overdid it.
AppleMarkAppleMark

And here's the final result. I had to add extra bracing to keep the bezel from lifting off the board:

AppleMarkAppleMark

Still waiting for it to cure completely, then I'll redrill out the center, clean it up, reinforce it a bit, and sculpt the fan tubes.

EDIT: OOPS I forgot to post pictures of the test painting. I did minimal prep on these pieces. Mostly I just wanted to see what it would look like.

AppleMark
AppleMarkAppleMark
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