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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had this crazy idea for something to do with the Lian-Li PC-Q30 case.

I decided I wanted to go with some wood on it somewhere. I mean, that's just how I roll. I thought replacing the stock Lian-Li front with a big chunk of figured maple would be a sweet place to start. Beyond that, I'm hoping to have a little fun with the side panels, upgrade the case feet, and see what kind of an HTPC I can throw together.

As with most of my other woodworking projects, I'll be doing as much of this with hand tools as I can. At least the woodworking portion of it. Even using a bit and brace for drilling holes. It's just more relaxing that way.

Some of the stuff I'm using in this build:

Lian-Li PC-Q30 ITX Case
q30-color.png


MNPCTech White Delrin Case Feet
mini_desktop_pc_case_feet_mnpctech_white_delrin.jpg


3M 4010 Tape
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ADATA 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 2400 XPG v2 RAM
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ADATA 128GB XPG SX900 SSD
Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC01456-W640.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Let's start out by throwing a big chunk of curly maple at it, and see what happens…

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Cutting the 2-5/8" thick curly maple slab by hand.

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Little bit of a work out here, but got the job done.

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Marked the lines out based on the existing Q30 front frame.
Cut with a marking knife, and chiseled to have better guidelines.

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Using a router plane to make some slots for the frame to sit in.

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After finishing the horizontal grooves I made some narrower grooves for the side pieces.

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These were a little tricky, in that I had to get them to arc similar to the side frames.

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2 of the cross bars done, and one of the side grooves down to depth.

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Sits flush enough for me.

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Rinse and repeat.

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Now it is a friction fit to the front of the case.

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Good ol' curly maple.

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Had to more out on the top to make room for the top panel.

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Like a glove.

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Had to do the same for the bottom as well.

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Now fits flush, as intended.

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Must have gotten all the grooves right, it looks pretty parallel with the back to me
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Thanks for checking it out guys. Next update will be working on the cutout for the window.

As always, any questions or comments are welcome
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

Hmm. Colour me intrigued.
Thanks, hopefully I can keep your interest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post

Definitely keen to see where this mod goes. Always liked the idea of a nice piece of oiled/stained wood with brushed anodised aluminium, match made in heaven I think.
biggrin.gif
Thanks, I'm a fan of mixing metals and woods, with the right combinations. I hopefully won't be keeping the brushed aluminum, but have another idea in store that should hopefully be pretty cool
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next update, I'm getting pretty close to done with the front panel. Still now power tools yet, and going strong
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Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00113-W640.jpg

Used a brace and bit to drill holes for mounting the window and front panel to the Lian-Li sub-chassis

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00125-W640.jpg

Traced out the window, then used a straight edge to mark the area that I was going to recess with a knife. The lines on the inside aren't really important, mostly just visualizing things for now. The interior knife lines are for later.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00124-W640.jpg

Starting with a chisel to get down to the knife line. Makes me less prone to accidents with the router plane tearing up an outside edge.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00127-W640.jpg

Then go at it with the router plane, same as before. Few bits of tearout on the outside, but will hopefully be able to clean that up later. Inside doesn't matter, as it'll be gone eventually
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Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00133-W640.jpg

After I got the recess for the window to sit on, I then re-marked the inside lines 3/4" from the edge. Then I started using the router plane to make another groove, deeper.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00131-W640.jpg

Test fit.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00134-W640.jpg

Bit and brace to drill a larger hole, then cut with a coping saw, using the groove from earlier as a slight guide.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00136-W640.jpg

Was having issues with the cross grain cuts. Didn't manage to stay very close to my guide edge. Oh well, that's what floats, rasps, and files are for. After all, measure twice, cut once... and sneak up on it anyway
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Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00141-W640.jpg

Little cleanup work on the inside edges

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And another test fit.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00149-W640.jpg

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00152-W640.jpg

Yes, I'll be replacing the philips head screws that are currently holding the bottom of the window on. It's all I had on hand, and only had 2 long enough for the bottom. The top requires longer screws.

Well, that's that for now. I'm still going to do some further cleaning of the window area, and do a few chamfers here and there.

Thanks for checking it out
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysurfanz View Post

nice! subbed... keen to see where this ends up.
Thanks, hopefully I'll have a sweet update in the near future
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not a whole lot of progress in this update. I just made some little details on the front piece, and then began work on the side panels…

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00160-W640.jpg

I made a few refinements on the piece of maple. Doesn't look like much from this far away though.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00161-W640.jpg

Eased into the window top and bottom

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00162-W640.jpg

Chamfers were also added to all the edges as well.[/indent]

Then it was time to change things up a bit; Out with the wood and hand tools, in with the metal and power.
Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00214-W640.jpg

I kept the angle for the bottom and top to be horizontal while the case is standing on a flat surface.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00215-W640.jpg

I then copied the curve of the old front to the back of the panel.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00216-W640.jpg


Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00220-W640.jpg

This is roughly what it'll look like, sort of. The panels will be up a little higher than this.

I've still got a little more work to do on the side panels. I am going to mount them to the side of the case, over the original side panels, using spacers. This will allow me to keep the existing ventilation useful, and will bring the side panels out to be closer to the width of the front piece of maple.

Thanks again for checking it, until next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysurfanz View Post

Looks cool, nice detail work on the wood, and I love the smooth curve at the back of the side panels.
Thanks, I wanted to keep a little bit of a design element from the original case, since I was covering up most of it. I thought copying the curve was the perfect solution
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Quote:
Originally Posted by void View Post

Nice updates!
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Thanks
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, I think I've kept everyone waiting on this one for long enough. Unfortunately I was gone all weekend, so I was unable to upload the videos at this point, but I will do that tonight when I get home from work.

On a day I took off from work, I went with Bill from MNPCTech on a little field trip to Dirt Designs Graphic to see Brad about getting some side panels done for this thing.

I don't have a ton of pictures of the process, as I was busy working while Bill was taking pictures for me, and shooting some video, so I'll try to explain as I go.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00220-W640.jpg

So just a quick recap, this is where we're at with these side panels.

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I started out with 2 fresh steel panels, on the road trip to Brad's shop.

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Brad giving me a few pointers and practicing on a trash can.

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First I used the grinder with a 3M Scotch-Brite disc to lay down a base layer of grinding marks from end to end.
The grinder was mostly flat on the surface for this part.

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After the base was ground into the metal, I started to use the edge of the grinding disk to make some deeper marks.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00728-W640.JPG


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Here we have the first panel done and waiting for paint.

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I had Brad mix up a custom shade of Kandy Root Beer, adding a little Brandy Wine red to make it a little more orange, and a little less brown. This is coat #1.

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Coat #2

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After 3 coats of the Kandy Root Beer it was hit with 2 coats of clear and left to dry.

In these next few pictures, the camera stays in (mostly) the same spot, while I move the lamp from left to right over the side panels, to show the effect.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00747-W640.JPG


Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00746-W640.JPG


Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00748-W640.JPG

This was the first panel.

Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00749-W640.JPG


Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00750-W640.JPG


Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00751-W640.JPG

This was the second panel.

I still need to come up with a means to mount these panels to the sides of the case, so that should come in the next update, so I shall close out this one with following
Dancing_Iridescence_Mosquito_Mods_Lian_Li_PC_Q30_Wood_Ground_Metal_DSC00753-W640.JPG


Again, thanks for checking it out. Hopefully I'll have the video posted soon, as it better shows the effect
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by omaryunus View Post

wow... just amazing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

Interesting paint job.
smile.gif
Thanks guys
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Here's the video of the panels that I mentioned earlier
 

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Looks interesting... by the way I liked your visible contrast mod, great attention to detail and I loved the transparent lcd panel.
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