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post #30 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
Jhereg10
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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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

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Now to spray in the expanding foam. I don't think anyone will be surprised to know that I completely overdid it.
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And here's the final result. I had to add extra bracing to keep the bezel from lifting off the board:

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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.

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