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Picture of Build a Wood PC Case
This was my favourite casemod; a mahogany wood grain computer case. I decided to use veneer because to build and fit an entirely wood case was more than I wanted to do. Make your computer look like a stylish piece of furniture, great for a living room media center! Build cost $50.
 
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Step 1: Buying materials

Picture of Buying materials
Heres what I used, with a prices:
-Oak Veneer (enough to make 2-3 cases)- $30
-5 Minute Epoxy - $5
-Mahogany stain with sealant - $7

I assume you have paintbrushs, clamps, knives, and a weekend to work on this.

Step 2: Dismantle and measuring

Picture of Dismantle and measuring
original case - removable panel view.JPG
original case - side view.JPG
removed front face.JPG
removed second panel.JPG
removed top panel.JPG
panels to be veneered.JPG
measure twice, cut once.JPG
remove sticky adhesives with lighter fluid.JPG
Remove the panels that you want to veneer, it will need to be a flat surface inorder to apply the veneer, doing curves is very tricky, but it is possible, if you must veneer the front (which is curved) you can heat the veneer with an iron (with steam) and mould it around the front panel and glue it on..... but Im not going to get into that.

If there are any oils or filthy on the panels you should clean them off, stickers come off great with lighter fluid.

Step 3: Cutting veneer

Picture of Cutting veneer
cut along straight edge with xacto knife .JPG
-Measure out a piece of veneer large than you panel, at least 1" on each side extra
-Clamp a straight edge to the veneer and table, and using constant presure cut through the veneer with an Xacto knife or razor, be careful because the veneer may split and crack once the knife cuts near the end of the material

Step 4: Epoxy

Picture of Epoxy
IMGP0183.JPG
IMGP0184.JPG
apply glue to outer side, and press onto veneer.JPG
clamp panel to veneer to table.JPG
-Squirt some of the resin and hardener onto the panel and mix it around and spread it evenly over the panel using tin foil
-Flip the panel over and push it onto the veneer
-Clamp panel to the veneer; use a piece of wood under the veneer so that you dont damage it, if you can, clamp a piece of wood to the panel as well to make sure pressure is spread out evenly

It is 5 minute epoxy, but I gave it about 30minutes before continuing
radiorental9 years ago
nice work, you can also use contact cement which will allow you to forgo clamping and is easy to fix if you 'uck it up. This would make a nice multimedia pc for the living room, I wonder what other beige electronics could be veneered? (I'm eyeing a thinkpad right now!)
what model thinkpad?
matt (author)  radiorental9 years ago
I avoided contact cement because I wasnt sure how well it would bond wood to enamel/metal
mycroftxxx matt9 years ago
Hey, is your user name based on Sherlock Holmes' brother???I LOVE Sherlock Holmes stories!!! Or is it from something else?
(sorry it took so long to respond) My nick is indirectly based on Mycroft Holmes. Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has a sentient computer that took its name from Sherlock's brother.
TNSTAAFL!
sweet! :)
del.icio.us site, thanks mycro
good point, I like contact cement as its got a wide variety of applications but you're right in that its not suited to smooth plastic/metal. For that I score the surface with sandpaper to give the glue something to hold on to.
=D

sincerly,
OWWWW MY NESTICLE!!
Maxaxle4 years ago
I only have one complaint: Pentium 4 CPU? Really? And, perhaps for a future project, you could make the front panel a little nicer?
jonno995 years ago
Don't you think it would be better if the grain on the top ran the same way as the rain on the sides? I always tend to think grain should run the same direction as the longest dimension. Otherwise it's quite a nice little case mod. I wonder how it would look on my home PC, I can't visualise how the panels meet at the corners (I'm at work just now).
defiant15 years ago
Beautiful
Turnip1235 years ago
Wow, this is really cool!
you need to put some case fans to vent out cause that thing will produce a lot and not vnt alot out of the case the wood isnt like sheet metal put a fan onthe topp and sides more
matbh6 years ago
great look! u can ear money selling cabnets....
punkatsub7 years ago
looks nice, i did a similar thing expect i used black mesh, and it looks nasty
Lftndbt7 years ago
Nice effort.. I just finished a solid timber case.. Alot of work though. Warm timber smells tops! (and no I don't want to get into the debate of combustability.. It's getting old. Thankx) Creds on the instant effect!
kriskhaan9 years ago
I made a loptop long ago in burl. I used the automotive veneer for the dash kits. it comes with 3m tape. Kinda pricey but easy to used. It cuts with scissors. Easier than glueing the actual veneer sheets. Also the auto veneers have a bevels clear coat that looks nice, and they come in a variety of colros and fnishes.
kriskhaan9 years ago
I made a loptop long ago in burl. I used the automotive veneer for the dash kits. it comes with 3m tape. Kinda pricey but easy to used. It cuts with scissors. Easier than glueing the actual veneer sheets. Also the auto veneers have a bevels clear coat that looks nice, and they come in a variety of colros and fnishes.
johnpombrio9 years ago
Sheets of veneer (some with peel and stick) can also be found in the Woodcraft woodworking stores. Veneer edges can be fragile so try to taper the edge. Nice project!
Crash21089 years ago
Good idea to be lazy and just use veneer. Would've had extra credit is you had the grain going the same way..
rjones39 years ago
Where did you get the veneer? Beautiful project!
matt (author)  rjones39 years ago
Home Depot
For a cheaper version, has anyone tried wood grained contact paper? $5 as opposed to $30, although it's a simulation and not real wood. :-)