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