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The goal for this project was to build a cabinet to house my desktop computer. The requirements before starting was that the cabinet would have to prevent particulates from getting inside the computer case; while having good airflow around the case so as not to impact the ability for the computer to cool itself.

Tools Required: Table-saw, Drill, Belt Sander, Orbital Sander, Nail Gun

A CNC Router is optional

Materials: 4ft. by 4ft piece of plywood; brad nails; Foamcore; half inch steel pipe; 2 half inch flanges; 6-8 screws

Step 1: Step 1: Design the Cabinet

I used Fusion 360 to design what i wanted the cabinet to look like. For the dimensions I added 6 inches to the dimensions for my computer case which is a Source 220. I then modified the height to fit a 2 ft. metal rod with flanges. Once the dimensions are finalized, cut out a model using Foamcore to double check the dimensions and the look of your design. On the back panel cut out holes where cables enter or leave the back of your computer. The thickness of my panels I left as the width of my plywood.

Step 2: Step 2: Cutting

I used Fusion 360 to create instructions for a CNC Router to cut out each piece. I recommend getting help from someone who knows how to use such CNC router if you have never used one before. An alternative is to use conventional wood working tools such as a table-saw, jigsaw, and a drill. Power tools should be used carefully and/or with supervision of a experienced woodworker.

Step 3: Fixing Mistakes

If you are using a router and it does not complete a cut you can finish cutting out the piece using regular power tools such as a table-saw and jigsaw. Also, make sure to stop and turn off the router if the bit gets stuck.

Be careful when using a shop-vac to vacuum up the saw dust from the router. I used one for 2 plus hours with some nails mixed in with the sawdust, which led to a build up of static electricity and the filter catching fire.

Step 4: Warnings

Be careful when using a shop-vac to vacuum up the saw dust from the router. I used one for 2 plus hours with some nails mixed in with the sawdust, which led to a build up of static electricity and the filter catching fire.

Step 5: Step 3: Putting the Panels Together

Use clamps to do a dry run of the assembly to make sure that everything will fit together like it should. Then start assembling the pieces. At each joint put a layer of wood glue, then clamp the pieces together. Once they are clamped and glued, use a nail gun to brad nail the joints. I recommend working bottom to top to make clamping easier.

Step 6: Step 4: Staining or Painting

Once the cabinet is fully assembled it can be stained or painted if you would prefer. Before starting to stain, make sure to sand all of the exposed edges of joint to remove excess wood glue. You will not be able to stain through wood glue.

Step 7: Step 5: Corner Pipe

For the front right corner, I used a half steel pipe mounted on flanges to support the top panel. This was the right side remains completely open allowing good airflow around the computer. My pipe was too long so I cut one threaded end off and then welded a flange onto the end. The other flange was threaded onto the pipe. Then I mounted the pipe and used screws to attach it to the rest of the cabinet.

Step 8: Future Plans

In the future I plan to add ambient lighting that will change from 'cool' colors when the computer is operating in optimal temperatures to 'hot' colors when the computer is approaching the highest safe temperature. Along with this I'm planning to mount some case fans in the left panel to help cool the computer. I anticipate that the lighting and the fans will be part of one system, in that the fans will turn on when the lighting changes from cool to hot colors.

<p>Despite the unexpected turns it came out really well! It looks nice :)</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am a sophomore in college and a part-time maker.
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