I have a troubleshooting computer that I use to test other computer components. Until now I just connected the motherboard, power supply, and periphrials togther on my desk. for easy access. I have seen cases made specifically for this purpose like the Tech Station
. I did not want to spend that kind of money. I also have found some do it yourself cases that were close such as this one
. But I think I have come up with a cheaper, easier to manufacture and more adjustable version.
Step 1: Gather Materials
1- 7/16 " Plastic sheet.
2 - 3/8" all thread 3' long
16 - 3/8" nuts
16 - 3/8" washers
4 - 3/8" plastic caps
6 - 6-32 x1" nylon screws
12 - 6-32 nylon nuts
3/16" drill bit
1/2" Forstner Bit
1/8" roundover bit
Double sided tape
1) I would not recommend the plastic I used. It was a 2x4' sheet of recycled plastic I found at Menards. It was not square so my pieces were slightly trapezoidal. It also proved to be too warped to work with effectively. I had a bear of a time routing the edges. I would recommend using some 1/4" Lexan. It would stay much flatter and be easier to work with. It would also be a neat trick to drill a bunch of holes in the back side of one piece of lexan and stick some LEDs in. This would make the sheet light up with a cool glow.
2) You don't need the router and 1/8" roundover bit. I just thought it would give a more finished look to smoothe the edges of the plastic.
3) Any saw that you can cut plastic would do.
4) Although a drill press will give you neater perfectly perpendicular holes, a hand drill would suffice.
5) A forstner bit is what allowed me to drill the overlapping holes. I did not intend to do that; I miscalculated. Any old 1/2 bit would probably do, but I like the clean holes Forstner bits create.
Step 2: Cut Out the Platforms
On my table saw I cut two 14 x 9.5" slabs from the 2x4 sheet.
Step 3: Ease the Edges.
I used a 1/8" roundover bit to ease the edges of the plastic.
Step 4: Drill the Column Support Holes
I taped the two pieces of plastic together with double sided tape. At each corner, I placed the center of the hole column at 3/4" from each edge. I used a 1/2" Forstner bit to drill through both slabs. Unfortunately, I miscalculated and my motherboard wouldn't fit between the columns so I remarked holes at 1/2" from each corner and redrilled.
Step 5: Mark and Drill for Motherboard Supports
I aligned the side of the motherboard that the cards overhang with one of the long edges of the platform. I also made sure that the motherboard was centered between the column support holes. I marked the location of six motherboard supports on the platform and used a 3/16" bit to bore the holes. Then I put the 6-32 nylon screw in the motherboard support holes and double nutted them.
Note: I over sized the motherboard support holes because I figured it would be hard to align all six supports accurately.
Step 6: Cut the Column Supports
I cut the all-thread into 4 12" lengths with a hacksaw.
Step 7: Assemble the Case
I spaced the bottom nut and washer to give about 1" underneath the case. I then stuck all the supports through the bottom platform and put a nut and washer on the other side to secure each colum. I then set the next nut and washer 5-1/4" above the bottom platform. Then I secured the top platform with the last set of nuts and washers. As a finishing touch I added come rubber caps to the supports so I would not scratch my desk.
Step 8: Finished
Here is the finished working PC. The reason the supports stick up another 6" is that I was planning to create a card support, but I decided that I really didn't need it. I leave that up to your imagination.