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Old 02-21-2010, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default my first case mod: need halp

hey all. first off ill explain the plan.

create a case for a new computer out of a wooden chest.
the chest is big enough that I should be able to also store most of my computer components inside it (apart from screen) when travelling.

so the idea is of course creating a treasure chest, so here are some pics of the base chest that I will be modding.
(the chest is huge by the way)




components inside are old stuff for scale, mobo is an old MSI K9N SLI Platinum that burned out in case you were wondering (not that you would :P )

the idea is to build a mid range pc for storage and media playing for use as a media center.

so I'm early planning stages here but is there anything anyone here would suggest might be required (cooling/layout/computer components wise?)
or any features you think a newbie modder could pull off that you would like to see?

Planned features:
fake internal lid with gold and treasure over it hiding the real content of the chest.
re-surfacing the outside for a more distressed look
building a curved lid to replace the flat one
dividing internal compartment into 2, one side for computer, one for storage.
reworking the base to remove lip and replacing it with recessed wheels for ease of transport.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: my first case mod: need halp

Swivel Caster wheels.
Transport ease increase 100%

Give the gold treasure a nice glow with some amber LED's that dim and brighten on a clock.


I'd try to keep the noise as low as possible, a treasure chest wouldn't make noise.
So use large fans with low RPM low decibels, but still high CFM airflow.


Make something to keep the motherboard vertical, like a standard computer case.
To save space for the storage part.


Possibly have a secret way to unlock and pull out the computer section from the side, for quick access in case you need to access components for whatever reason, upgrading, troubleshooting, etc...


Use a dremel or drill and have the disc drive entrance be a hardly noticeable spot in the crack between two of the wooden panels


These are just my suggestions, you don't have to do this stuff, but it's stuff I would think about doing.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: my first case mod: need halp

That is an interesting mod you have planned. If I was doing it, first I would plot the airflow path, and then I'd get a noise dampening kit for insulation and cut it accordingly. Probably the fastest and easiest way to get this mod going, is to strip and modify(maybe segment) an existing chasis skeleton then paint it. I like what the guy said above me said about having it on rails so that there is a way to pull it out from the side for quick access. I would also drill holes for the wiring and use the wooden leftover to disguise the holes wen not in use, perhaps maybe small loops for gripping. Next I would age and stain the chest further to give it an authentic look. I would also add darkly painted metal accents for further convincing. I would consider making a shelf on top for stealth. Those are my contributions. Good luck to you sir. I read your entire post, and I deduce that great minds think alike. Also when you mount the fans, i would consider using fan molds and pre-cut silicon fittings, to reduce air loss, and filters because I am sure the last thing you want is an old dusty chest.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: my first case mod: need halp

thanks for the advice.

Been examining stuff size wize and looks like the only viable way to mount a motherboard and maintain the ability to upgrade it is to mount it horizontally rather than vertically as the chest is just a little short.
If i used a larger motherboard than the GA 7VA (soon to be upgraded) (possibly Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT) then I would have to rebuild the entire chest and make it taller.
so to maintain upgradability I'm mounting the MB on the floor of the chest raised a bit to keep it with some airflow underneath.

I've cut a hole in the back to make room for cards/usb and whatnot and I will be adding a backingplate over the hole and cutting out where required, this should allow me to simply take off the backing plate and re-cut if motherboard configuration changes.
I will be leaving a section open for expansion cards.


question, would it be feasable to add some large fans in the underside beneath my motherboard and should they take air from underneath the chest to the inside or blow out?
it just seems more hideable than large case fans elsewhere.

also found a place to buy gold plastic pirate coins and now have 500+ gold coins and some fake plastic jewls both cut and uncut. for treasure (pics soon)
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: my first case mod: need halp

Because of the nature of molecular density compensation (hot air rises), and the fact that wood is an insulator versus a conductor, I would mount a bottom fan as an intake to accelerate air towards the exhaust fans above. Just make sure the intake(s) has a filter(s), well unless you want a dusty case.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: my first case mod: need halp

Intakes on bottom, exhausts near the top.
Always.
And dust filters.
Always dust filters.
You can get dust filters cheap from dealextreme
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