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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having trouble installing an Icydock HDD cage in my Fractal Design Define XL R2. The cause of most of the issues I'm having with the case are the small metal tabs that are meant to guide and support 5.25" device. I've tried bending them out of the way but the metal is very thin and started to warp. So I'd like to cut them out. As I non precisely zilch about case modding, I have no idea what the best method would be.

Could someone please recommend a the best technique and tools for the job?
 

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Tetrapyloctomist
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In your shoes, i'd get a dremel; not an expert, not even a handy person, just posting in case a better reply does not come along :)

You can cut them off with it, you can 'trim' the cut surface with it, make it smoother. And it's a tool you may need to use again in the future, so its purchase won't be for a one off kind of use. Now if you're OCD, you can always use some sandpaper afterwards, smooth the bays yet some more, but that's an optional step and one you won't even be able to take prior to cutting the clips so, yeah.
(if you're not on a budget, think of this as an investment; buy something moderately nice, something you can replace or purchase extra blades/heads for)
 

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Senioritis Member
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The Dremel is an excellent idea but you will also need the right angle attachment to be able to reach inside the bay to cut the tabs off with a cutoff wheel.

Check out this video:


Note how he keeps the cutting wheel shallow and works slowly with little pressure. Let the wheel do the work and the wheel will last longer.

This video shows how to set up and use the right angle attachment:


Practice on scrap metal before you start on your case.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In your shoes, i'd get a dremel; not an expert, not even a handy person, just posting in case a better reply does not come along :)
Any reply is appreciated, thanks.

My dad's got a Dremal, so at hopefully it'll just be the cost of any bits/accessories he doesn't already have.


You can cut them off with it, you can 'trim' the cut surface with it, make it smoother. And it's a tool you may need to use again in the future, so its purchase won't be for a one off kind of use.
Do you have any recommendations for the type of bit I'd use for each step?

I'd assume a cutting disk, a grinding bit and maybe a sanding wheel. The research I've done seams to indicate that but as I said, I know nothing about this sort of thing so any confirmation of my conclusions so far would be welcome.

Now if you're OCD, you can always use some sandpaper afterwards, smooth the bays yet some more, but that's an optional step and one you won't even be able to take prior to cutting the clips
I'm not *too* bothered about the finish. I can live with scratches if I have to but I would rather avoid them if possible... I am concerned about sharp edges though, not least because I don't want to scratch any of the devices I want to install in the 5.25" bays. I'd also prefer to avoid scratching the paint if possible. Is there any way of protecting the paint when cutting and sanding? Would tape be enough?


The Dremel is an excellent idea but you will also need the right angle attachment to be able to reach inside the bay to cut the tabs off with a cutoff wheel.

Check out this video:

*snip

Note how he keeps the cutting wheel shallow and works slowly with little pressure. Let the wheel do the work and the wheel will last longer.

This video shows how to set up and use the right angle attachment:

*snip

Practice on scrap metal before you start on your case.
Thanks for the videos. Slow and steady it is and I'll be sure to practice first but in regards to the right angle attachment... I'm just wondering whether drilling the rivets that hold the 5.25" bay in place and then replacing them (possibly with short nuts and bolts) might be an option?... It might mean that I would have a better angle/access to make the cuts but I'd probably still need some kind of right angle attachment. Perhaps it might make the job easier, both in terms of the cutting and the clean up, with less chance of error or metal particles lodging themselves in the sound dampening material. What do you think of the idea?
 

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Senioritis Member
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...Thanks for the videos. Slow and steady it is and I'll be sure to practice first but in regards to the right angle attachment... I'm just wondering whether drilling the rivets that hold the 5.25" bay in place and then replacing them (possibly with short nuts and bolts) might be an option?... It might mean that I would have a better angle/access to make the cuts but I'd probably still need some kind of right angle attachment. Perhaps it might make the job easier, both in terms of the cutting and the clean up, with less chance of error or metal particles lodging themselves in the sound dampening material. What do you think of the idea?
It's an option if you feel it would be easier. I wouldn't do it but I've had experience using the tool and many of its attachments.
 

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Tetrapyloctomist
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Do you have any recommendations for the type of bit I'd use for each step? I'd assume a cutting disk, a grinding bit and maybe a sanding wheel
...
I'm just wondering whether drilling the rivets that hold the 5.25" bay in place and then replacing them (possibly with short nuts and bolts) might be an option?
Should be, yeah :)
Check what your dad has available and check its condition, important this, lol. Or ask him about it i suppose. Worst case scenario, you need purchase new heads.

Generally, the answer is no, don't do that; you want to drill the rivets out, you want to make sure you have spare ones plus a pop rivet gun to mount them back on. And that takes some practice too, be warned.
Since however this is mostly for safety/structural issues, it need not apply on something as light as a 5.25 bay; so in theory, sure you could. In practice, it depends. If you've the space for nuts and washers on either side and/or the patience to saw down screws, go for it.

Just be careful :)
You only cut once, lol, it's not coming back afterwards.
 

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Senioritis Member
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Personally I'd just just a normal c-clamp and just flatten out the tabs just put chunks of wood on both sides.
Clever! If using wood blocks, make sure they are a dense wood, such as oak. Ottherwise, metal may work better.
 

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Small snips could do the trick. Or at least make bending them easier by weakening the tabs. Once they get a little weak, bend back and forth a few times with pliers and they should break at the score mark from the snips. Then just clean up with a small file.

This doesn't look like a job that would really require a dremel, but if you have one around it could make it easier to clean up.
 
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