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Old 09-27-2011, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Modding tools and supplies?

I've gotten it into my head that it would be fun to do a case... I guess "mod" for lack of a better term.
I'm not sure what I'll use yet but I'd like to take a basic item, lets say a guitar case, and turn it into a computer case.

So, questions:
1) Is there a place where you can buy MB trays and backplates? I was thinking it might be easiest to just buy a really cheap case and cut what I need out of it, but if I can just buy the parts I'll use that would probably be easier. I do not have the skills, tools, or space to fabricate my own.

2) I have a basic tool kit, hammer/pliers/socket wrench/electric drill/screwdrivers/tape measures.
I obviously need some quality cutting tools though. I was thinking some hole saw bits in my drill for fan mounts.
I was also thinking of getting a Dremel, until I read Starting Case Mods (4th post down)
So, am I better off just getting a jigsaw?

I'm not looking to sink a ton of money into this since its more of a whimsical experiment.
Would love to hear any suggestions, opinions, links, etc...
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

get a dremel. You have a lot more versatility with a dremel and can get into some smaller places and do some more detailed work than a jigsaw can.
I don't think you can buy backplates and trays, it's pretty case specific and if you wanna do something way out there then you'll have to scrap a case, but there are a lot of cheap aluminum/steel cases that people sell on craigslist or ebay that you can snap up. That's also a pretty good way to get into it, do some things on old **** cases you don't care about before you go into your own and mess it up.

Hole saws are expensive, the bits are upwards of like $50, and while it's the cleanest/quickest way to do it, a dremel will do the job.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

I'm with Peter, Dremel is your best investment.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

Glad Dremel's are a good idea, like the concept of a multi-function tool.

It looks like you can get a 4" hole saw bit (about right for a 120mm fan?) for ~$20 at Lowes.

So, going to keep an eye out on Craigslist for a (variable speed I assume) Dremel, and shop around hardware stores in town.
What kind of cut-off wheels are best for this sort of work?
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

But is it just the hole, or the entire unit?

Jfen had a great writeup in the bil log.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

Yeah I'm apparently not nearly as tool savvy as I was hoping.
Thought the bit that went in the middle was universal, apparently not.

Going to stick to a Dremel and a template then.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

Yha, you can get the templates at mnpctech.com and jfen shows how he works his.. which are phenominal.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

PC Case Mods Store - Lot's of good info here as well as supplies.

Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come - Another good source of supplies.

FrozenCPU.com | 1.877.243.8266 | World's Largest Selection of PC Modification Supplies - More stuff here.

Here's a link to a variety of Lian-Li mobo trays.
Lian Li Motherboard Trays : Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

Thanks for all the info guys.
Digging through Jfen's most recent build, loving the info.
Awesome links Slay, nice that Lian Li supplies MB trays, bummer they're as expensive as a cheap case.

Might hit up a local scrap shop/junk yard and see what I can find, plan on making many mistakes as I learn.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Modding tools and supplies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaymate View Post
Yup, I've orderd from all three before, good places to order from. Although, more and more I order from local shops. Do a yellow pages search for electrical supply stores (shrink wrap, tubing, electrical pins and tools) and local metal and acrylic suppliers. These stores are a little harder to nail down but eventually you should be able to find them.

My most used and favourite budget modding tools:
1) The dremel for sure, cheap and does almost anything you need done. If you're going to own one tool for modding this is it. I’ve worked through 5 in the past 3 years (get one with a warranty)
2) Hand riveter: if you're going to do custom painting a hand pop riveter is cheap and will let you disassemble/reassemble your case into the basic pieces which will make for a great paint job.
3) Metal hand files, they cost next to nothing and are great for smoothing out the dremel cuts.

One good tip, when starting out, go online and pick up old cases for $20 and practice on them, they'll probably come out as winners as well!

Then go read build logs and other modder threads. themodbrothers.com, thebestcasescenario.com, bit-tech.net are my favourites. You'll get some great ideas that way.

Then...cut away! And enjoy!
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