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Dumpster case to (hopefully) classy wooden case

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Dumpster case to (hopefully) classy wooden case

Warning: Knowing myself, a project like this would take me months to complete, that’s if I’m lucky.

A few years ago, i picked up a Cooler Master case by a dumpster. It was originally black, scuffed up, and the acrylic window was hazy. I don’t have a picture of it though.

I spray painted it and replaced the acrylic window with gutter mesh.

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After I did all that I ended up not using it because it’s a little cramp near the top which results in a less than ideal airflow.

Lately I’ve been trying to place a PC inside a TV console. Most PC cases are too deep for this. There are low profile cases but they all come with crushing limitations, chief of them is there is no way to fit a full size ATX with big chunky cooler. I’d also rather use what I have then go buy a whole new set up just for this. So it looks like I need a custom made case.

I have an idea of making a PC case from wood, but thought modifying a commercial case is a better idea. The motherboard and video card mountings and openings of a commercial case would beat anything I can possibly hack together.

Leading the lamb to slaughter.

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First cut.

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Where the second cut is to be.

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The excess part is off.

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Moving onto the panels.

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The frame that I will be using.

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I was hoping to simply use the windowed panel, but the left over on the edges are too thin and the jigsaw kinda crumpled it.

The head and the tail.

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The white spray paint comes off relatively easily, and you can see the original black powder coating underneath it.

That’s all for today, I will have to think about the wood panelling, it’s not easy finding real wood here. Hopefully I will come back to this soon.

Last edited by Navyblue; 03-29-2019 at 08:17 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:42 AM
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interested to see what you come up with, have always wanted to do something similar

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Temper your expectations though. I am far from experienced with wood, and I live in an apartment, both limits what I can ultimately do.

Back to squeezing my brain to come out with a fan installation method that allows easy filter cleaning and yet completely hidden at the same time.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally gotten the wood. I didn’t want to deal with veneer, so I got myself some solid wood.

But I think I should have gone plywood and veneer instead. These wood weren’t dried, and who knows how long it will take to dry. They smell like countryside, which is my polite way of saying manure like, or perhaps it is manure that smells like plant?

My only consolation is I live in a humid environment, so the moisture equilibrium point is probably quite high as well.

I think I will put these in a large zip lock bag along with a tub of desiccant, this should significantly accelerate drying.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:03 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Navyblue View Post
Back to squeezing my brain to come out with a fan installation method that allows easy filter cleaning and yet completely hidden at the same time.
I assume you're gonna have a gap between the wood and the case frame so the fans can breathe? If so, you could get magnetic covers. Just slide them over the fans on the outside between the wood and the frame, they'll be hidden by the front slab unless you look at a specific angle: and if the case is black, the black filter won't really be noticeable until it's coated with dust.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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From the look of it, the fans will be in front, like you said with a gap behind the front panel.

The air inlet would be at the bottom part of the front panel, so the fans and filters are only visible from a very steep angle from the bottom. When placed on a desk it would not be possible to see the fans. I also intend for the front panel to be held by magnetic catch so that it is removable.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 01:57 PM
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wood mostly expands across the grain. if you take that into account and use slots for your fasteners or joints you can leave it room to expand with the seasons


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the tropic, so fortunately I am spared of such intricacies.

Just as those were delivered to me yesterday, I found these while walking around.

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These were paulownia, not as nice as the other batch (elm). But looks ready for immediate use.

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This is apartment style wood curing, I will put those behind the air conditioner. There is a tub of desiccant in the bag. Of course I have no idea if this is going to work. So I guess I’m going to use the other batch.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Dumpster case to (hopefully) classy wooden case

I messed up the wood drying. I thought the tub of desiccant was silica gel, so I put it side way. It turns out it is salt, and putting it side way would make it spill salt water into the wood.

But even then, it collected half a mug worth of brown water. I’m not sure why the water was brown. It also smelled sweet, not like maple syrup, but sweet like syrup.

One of the side piece is now soaked in salt and unusable.

Not a big deal though, because I kind of changed my plan. I thought an all wood look might look a tad too old fashioned for my taste. So I’m going for a 2 toned look. I happen to have some gloss black high pressure laminate. I think it would make a good contrast with wood.

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I have some left over plywood, I will be using them to make the outer frame. They weren’t screwed in, I merely placed the components in the respective places so I can picture them better.

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The bottom of the case has some protrusions, I have to route out some of the wood so that the left panel would rest flat. As you can see I just freehanded it, I have little inclination for finesse under the hood.

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Front panel drilled and covered in laminate.

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The back side of the front panel, again little finesse in there. Personally I am a fan of wedging fans by friction instead of screwing them.

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The sides were screwed in and then covered in laminate.

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The outer frame screwed in. Now it is borderline usable, the rest are mostly cosmetics.

I have no idea how to mount the disk drives yet, I’ll worry about that when I get there.

After this will be the top and the front cover. They will be covered I solid wood. I have the option of using the prettier but wet elm or the paulownia.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:25 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Navyblue View Post
...I have no idea how to mount the disk drives yet, I’ll worry about that when I get there...
Just do a search for HDD cages and swap bays and you can find any number you can easily adapt to fit inside your case to hold however many HDDs you need (consider getting one with with more bays than you actually need right now for future expansion). Many are quite inexpensive.

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