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11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In this Thread I will be taking the Beginning Modder through a simple mod and I will be Employing some or most of the Techniques used for Modding a brand new case or an older case..

First the tools of the trade.
Great Online E-Tailer

Where to buy some really nice Wire Sleeve. Check out this Thread.

1 Safety
2.Donor Dismantle, Brainstorming and Motherboard Tray cutting.
3.Modding Begins.
4.Wire Management and Component Installation.
5.Window Cutting and Install.
6. Design and Inspiration..
7. What you need to know about LEDs
8. Wire Sleeving done by the Best.
9. Window Tinting your Acrylic Case Window.
10. Modding Video's by Bill Owen himself..

First thing first is a Dremel Rotary Tool..

MNPCTech look at the Black and Decker Rotory Tool and some tips.

Then the quick change end that goes on it.

And some people prefer to have the Extension to the rotory tool.

Then you need an extension to your p4 connector.

one of those fancy custom Motherboard connectors.

You will need some wire Sleeving .

Some Heat Shrink tubing

A 1850 Watt Hair dryer to Shrink... The Shrink....


Or a BiC Lighter and quick hands or you WILL burn the shrink and the wires.

Tie Wraps...

Some spray paint...

Scotch Brand Green 233+
Bill Owen Recommends this Thicker more professional
more expensive tape. sometimes paying a few more dollars
Extra can save a paint job or stop you from ruining a build.

X-Acto Knife Set..

A "Plug in" 110 VAC Corded Drill

A set of Metal Drill bits.

A 4 1/2 inch hole saw from Lowe's or the internet.. This makes those really nice 120mm Holes..

Some Pop Rivets..

And a Pop Rivet Gun..

MNPCTech.com Pop Rivet Tools Exposed

Straight Edged ruler or L frame square.

Phillips Head Screwdriver..

Flat Head Screwdriver..

Wire Stripper/Crimper...

Needle Nose Pliers

2 C Clamps

Pocket Knife...

Half Round Bastard file

Side Cutters.

Soldering Iron. Butane.

Resin filled Solder.

Ohh..I Almost forgot.. Molex Pin extractor kit.

Wow. I almost forgot.. Scotch model 4010 Tape of the gods..

Ziploc Bags to hold your loose parts together. So re assembly is a breeze.

Your Choice of soft drink or liquid refreshment..


Let's see...Am I missing anything else.??? Na.. that's about it. Well there is pretty much everything on this page...


Originally Posted by Bill Owen View Post
Here is a couple resources if you don't have access to Laser cutting, CNC or Waterjet cutting. I haven't worked with any of them personally, but heard from other Modders who have been, and they were pleased with results

Laser Cutting Service, Inc. http://www.lasercuttingservice.net
803 41st Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35212
205-595-7070 FAX 205-595-7021


Custom CNC Machined Parts by
Centerline Manufacturing Inc.
Chris Croy (President)
[email protected]
Fax. 260-693-6356


Emachine shop offers free software. However, you can't use their software to submit your designs to other people or outfits. It only works exclusively with their site. I also have heard they can be expensive.


"They give you the ability to make parts using injection molding, milling, turning, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, bending. You can download free, easy-to-use software which they can use to design objects ranging from personal computer chassis in metal, plastic or other materials."

11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks trogalicious you are absolutely right.. Safety is very important and I am getting to that right now..

First of all. Your eyes are a very important and wonderful thing, so we need to keep them Safe. So for the organs that do so much for you; You will need safety equipment for them and other things you have as well.

Trogalicious uses these Glasses, but a good set of wrap around Safety Glasses or Sun Glasses are THE Most IMPORTANT thing to put on before attempting a cutting or grinding project. If you don't have them, then wait.. Nothing is more important than OCN Modder's Eyes.

Also use a Really good paper respirator is great when grinding and cutting metal.. Those little shards of metal can be inhaled into your lungs and can cause some havoc with your health later in life. So use a mask while you are Cutting OR Painting.

I like this type.. Because I can use them for Grinding and Painting and Wally World has them for pretty cheap in the paint section.

A good pair of Mechanic's gloves can really help you with cuts that come from a Crazed X-acto Knife and from sharp metal edging. Most guys Man Up and just go Commando and let the Blood flow and fly, but I would suggest that you don't... and use something on your girlfriends or boyfriends hands to protect them.. They don't like the bloody ugly cuts and scabs and will not let you touch them with those nasty hands. (If you know what I mean.).

Do not cut on your wife's new counter tops because the consequences of making a mistake on them is way too high... so don't do it.. Don't!

Your wife or your mother will dis-OWN you, Pwn you, Tea bag you after tagging you with a hard kitchen implement or worse..

A woman is a very passionate creature and will get you back and never forgive you, if you mess up her counter tops so use a nice thick towel to grab the blade if you to go too deep and keep your Cutting Thresh hold to 3 mm. or 1/4 or an inch into the cut.. or hey never cut in the kichen unless its on a cutting board.

But If you have a garage work shop. Outside covered drive way with a portable table.. Some Saw Horses and a nice piece of plywood. That is the best place to cut.. I DO NOT recommend this procedure at all and should never be attempted. We are talking Serious Tire Damage.

Also, I would recommend adding sandpaper, primer, tack cloth, denatured alcohol, and the spraypaint-can-pistol-grip thing you can clip to a rattle-can.

11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Case (or commonly called the "Donor") that I will be using will be one that I bought from a Local Thrift store for $8.00. If you are a modder, get to know your employees at the Thrifts stores. They can get you hard drives and cases and graphics cards in a pinch and for next to nothing.

Now, don't blame me for this case. My Wife brought this home for me because she saw the potential for it so I will be using this one.

There are a lot of things that I like about this case. One is the Hooded Drive bays.. Very clean looking.. Also there is some see through plastic that I can use for lighting effects later.. My wife really did good on this find..

Another thing I like about this is it has a removable motherboard Tray but I am lazy so I want to cut some wire Management holes and One very special, All Important Hole, for the rear heat sink access. If you get a new CPU, that's easy but if you want to upgrade your CPU cooler having rear access to this is a life saver so I will be cutting up my mother board tray first..

Cutting the Rear CPU Cooler Access Hole

Now there are some other holes I want to cut out for wire management so I have to mark them too. Again I am lazy. I could have cut the round circle and the rounded edged holes but I like cutting squares. They are faster..

NOTE: By this time you should have an idea of what you're project is going to look like. Remember you are just looking for concept ideas at this point. My concept is the Hardware Canuck's custom case.

Now understand. I am not trying to recreate this build, but I am using another build to inspire my own. Its like having a Blueprint. OR more like a Napkin drawing but stay with your concept.

First the Inside.. I will start with the Motherboard Tray that I have been working on and continue to work one piece before I go onto something else. When doing a project try to stay consistent and work on one part at a time, till you have it the way you want. Then move on to the next phase.

First the Primer Coat.. I used the Krylon Rust Tough Zinc Rich Primer RTA 9240

Now Since my motherboard looks like it was manufactured at the Lego Plant and I have all these Bright colors, I will be using a YELLOW paint on the Tray to accent the Motherboard. Yellow looks great under Black light too. Just check out the blond in the Club wearing the yellow T shirt under the black light.. She glows.

Hey! You Changed Clothes.. Where did you get that..?

Primer first. I didn't sand. I should have but I didn't.
After your primer is dry (15 to 30) mins.

Then spray your tack coat. This is a thin coat of your primary color that will help the rest of your next coat stick to your project. Do the Tack Coat light and don't wait for it to be absolutely dry. Let it get sticky dry and then throw that second coat on.. It will stick then.

Now, that I have some paint on there I realize that I can't go on any further until I fix those crooked lines in my cuts. They are making me crazy. I thought I could deal with them but .. I can't. So I slowly dremel them straight as I can.

Note. If you are looking for perfection. Hire someone professional and tell him you want perfection. But, If you want to mod on your own.. Go for all the perfection you can stand and deal with the rest. What I mean is, if you back down because it doesn't look super Cherry, Seek Professional help Immediately. Realize that you are going to make mistakes.. Live with them. Truth is people don't see half the mistakes that you do, so suck it up; and see the project to the end. Don't quit. Its yours. You do it the way you want to. That's the LAW!!

After 5 coats of Daytona Yellow Engine Paint.. I have my paint work here done. What about the back.. No one sees the back so I am not painting it. If you are entering it into the mod of the month contest.. Paint the back and stripe it. Otherwise. Save your Paint. Its Upwards of $9.00 Dollars a can. No one will see the back but you. If you need it painted then do a really flat camo Black. That side of the case is covered with a solid piece of steel. So no one will see it except you..

Now you are probably asking.. Why did he leave his Mounting pegs in and why did he leave the screws in them.
Answer. This is a working part of this build. A good Ground is paramount with a build. A bad ground will give you Hell. So I leave the pegs. The screws are there so no paint gets into the screw holes. That way when I start to build I get a good electrical connection.

Now with the Motherboard installed you can see the finished results of my lazy quick work.

This hole was the real reason I took the dremel to it to begin with. I know from experience that if you change your CPU cooler they have all different hardware to mount it so you have to have access to the back to do the job quick and easy.. It's the difference between a $50 dollar case and $200 dollar case. The rear CPU Access is a luxury that your most expensive cases have so I added one for mine even on my $8.00 Case..

Also, now I have my motherboard installed on the tray so you can see the end results early. Now the Mistakes don't stick out any more. They are covered. Who cares right?

Now see that Carbon fiber Chrome film tape that I used to straighten my edges on the exposed wire management holes.

Well that is Faux perfection at it's best.. and it looks good to add different textures to your build so it doesn't get boring.

Teardown, MOD, PREP and Spray
In that order.

Here I am thinking of how I am going to cool my Computer once it is installed.
I have to inlets that will be controlled by the motherboard on the bottom and I have One 140 blow hole that I will install in the top.

I used two thumb screws on the top two holes of the PSU to hold it in.. This is get it in
and get your measurements and get out fast stuff.. So use thumb screws when you can.


11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Let the MODDING Begin..

I literally found this in the gutter on the side of my yard..



Paused for Part.. order was 80.00. Sounds like a lot but I bought more than I needed for this build so I can save some on the next and I splurged on Fan Shroud. I love it btw.

So far.. My building cost have been 93.00 including shipping on parts and my thrift Store purchase. I will be buying paint tomorrow just to Piss off the wife... Everything else I believe I have but you never know till you get there.

11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Paint and Final Assembly.

I love shopping at Advance Auto Parts to get my paint. They have a lot of different spray paint and colors and Textures. Even Chrome and Gold.. And a Rhino liner spray that beats plasticote by a Mile.

Now Painting is easy if you remember these quick easy steps.

1. Patients....Prep. Clean. Prep Clean. Scrub. Clean Rinse, Sand, Prep, wire Brush. Then clean it again.. and then when you get done.. Take a hair dryer and test for water all over you surface that you will paint. The Biggest Difference in a Good paint job and a Great one in PREP!!
Ohh Did I mention Prep the surface, Clean and dry.

2. Outdoors..

Avoid windy days and Most important, If it is about to rain or it's raining.. Wait till everything is dry again. Humidity will kill a paint job. Actually the best place to paint is in a shop with Air Conditioning.

Don't Spray in the Sun. Or if it is Freezing you need to run hot water over your cans until they are hot. Make sure your surface is not too hot or too Cold. Use Hair dryer when it is cold to help with the curing process. Not too much. Just warm it up a little.

So first You
Be Patient
Setting.. You really want a low humidity and 75 to 85 degrees temp F.

Now part of prep is to use an etching Primer.

Spray Painting Techniques from the Experts of MnPCtek.com
Hit the Red Tutorial Guide

When Spraying paint use quick thin coats. As you will see with the following video examples.
Here let me let you see the guy that taught me about Camo Painting..
If you think that Spray paint is for Amateur's... Watch this..

YouTube- Spray paint art 1

Because the fastening hardware is silver I left a few Silver pieces on the front to bring it all together.

Filler primer is Dupli-color FP 101
Orange is Dupli-color DE1652
Black Bed Liner Dupli-color TR 250
Carbon Fiber Insert from MnPcTech.com

Premium Member
2,606 Posts
Even though these are listed on the mnpctech site, I would HIGHLY recommend adding

GOOD safety glasses to the original post.

Also, I would recommend adding sandpaper, primer, tack cloth, denatured alcohol, and the spraypaint-can-pistol-grip thing you can clip to a rattle-can.

Chackie Jan
3,226 Posts

Originally Posted by Enigma8750 View Post
I love to use the blue tape.. it doesn't have adhesion factor of other tapes.

And I am not saying, or do I think that people reading this, believe that the only place you can find a whole saw at Lowe's.

But if they do.. People please look on Google and find the best price for a 4.5 inch hole saw, but if you want to get one right now.. Lowe's is where I got mine for $37.50.
There's nothing wrong with blue painter's tape at all. I just think you should say "low tack painter's tape" or something instead of your personal preference.

Just my

11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Modder's do it With Safety Glasses.

Modder's drill bigger holes.

Modder's Have More Imagination.

Modder's Can Always Make it fit.

Modder Hate to cut their hands, It slows down progress. Where is the Super Glue?

Modders Say that Size Matters.

Modders Change their Mind more than a Woman.

Modders go slow when we penetrate. We never over extend ourselves.

Modders Always study what we are working on so we can get the most out of
What we got to work with.

Premium Member
1,291 Posts
Great guide!

I just wanted to mention that I only use the 3M Scotch brand Blue "Painter's Tape" as a back up if I've run out of the thicker 233+ Green tape in emergency situations. It may be hard to justify the premium cost, but as speaking as Pro Modder for the past 10 years, it's an investment in our quality of work. I would rather spend more $$$ on 233+ Green tape than risk scratching a customer's case panel using the Blue tape while using the Jigsaw.


11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow.. Having, The Bill Owen, post on my Thread gives me a warm fuzzy feeling all over. LOL

You have made such a great Name for yourself in the World Modding Community and I will be adding this tape to my Guide Immediately. Thank you so much for the Positive response you have given to "The Modding 101" Thread and It gives me confidence to see this to the End and do the very best job I can do..

Wow.. Bill Owen Visited my thread.. This is so cool.. I am not even being smart axx about this.. If you have ever seen his work you know that it is at a level that Modder's strive to
Attain. Pure Craftsmanship Goes into his work, fine detailing and the Modding toys that he has to play with, I would Just Love to play with that stuff Myself.. Like that water jet cutter... Ohh Mannn...

Guys.. For those of you who don't know of Bil,l let me introduce you by showing you some of his work. He has been an inspiration to me and to other Modders and was the inspiration of my Enigma0011 Cold War Project that started me on the Road to Beginning the CMSSC. The Cooler Master Storm Scout Club.

Works by Bill Owen.

And last but not least.. This Case was the inspiration for me doing my Storm Scout Mod and was instrumental in starting the Cooler Master Storm Scout Club that has been visited by over a half million people and has almost a thousand pages..

Here is the Inspiration....

And here is Enigma0011. A direct inspiration of Bill Owen's Work.

Thanks Bill .. Really an honor man.

Look who he gets to hang out with... The Cooler Master Girls.


11,136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your question was the inspiration for this thread. I remember all the problems I had with modding.. And sometimes not knowing what to ask. I wanted to make a thread that would be helpful to breed the next generation of Modders like you and you will then inspire more..

Every artist was first an amateur.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

581 Posts

Originally Posted by Enigma8750 View Post

Your question was the inspiration for this thread. I remember all the problems I had with modding.. And sometimes not knowing what to ask. I wanted to make a thread that would be helpful to breed the next generation of Modders like you and you will then inspire more..

Every artist was first an amateur.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Glad i could help
this thread looks great i'm ordering some stuff and if i have some visiting a local hardware store to buy some stuff this weekend
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