Introduction: The Makin' of a Case Safe/PSU Combo

This will be the first of a series of instructables I will be making using old computer parts and electronics. I am not an expert so please bear with me. I am one of those guys that went through a lot of computers throughout the years and after upgrading to a new machine, the old one will be just there in the basement collecting dust. So, instead of throwing it out to add to the landfills, I decided to get creative and give them a new life.

In this instructable, I will be showing you how I made old computer hardware into an innocent looking safe. This will be a preview of the project and a complete breakdown can be found on my website.

Here's a video of the finished product:

Step 1: Bare Chassis to Work With

For the next few step, you will need a couple of tools to work the metal. Here is a list of tools I used:

• Dremel tool kit with cutting and sanding accessories (optional)
• Sand paper (a not too course grade)
• A hand file
• Hammer
• Bench vice
• Pencil or marker
• Tape measure or ruler
• Rivet gun and rivets
• Hacksaw

Step 2: Drawing Cutouts

For the 5 1/4" drive bays, I decided to use slots cut into the chassis to fit supporting plates to support the tray weight and it's contents and for additional structural integrity.

Step 3: Preparing the Metal

This step will vary from case to case and the best way to go about this step will also vary. The basic idea here is to create a base for the drawer to slide on. For my case, I decided to cut lines into the side of the case and insert base plates for the 5 1/4" drawers to slide on.

Step 4: Making Progress

So far so good.

Step 5: Shaping the Tray Rails

My case design didn't have the convenience of a good rail design, so I had to make my own.

Step 6: Making the Expansion Slot Tray Bracket

The rear of the case will also have compartments so in order to support the trays, a bracket of some sort was need. This is the bracket design for my case.

Step 7: Making the Expansion Slot Tray Bracket Cont'd

This expansion tray will also be the base for the variable power supply

Step 8: Making the Motherboard Slot Bin

The Motherboard Slot Bin will slide on top of the expansion slot bracket and will create additional storage space without attracting attention.

Step 9: Making the Trays

As a source of metal, I decided to recycle a second case I had to build the extra trays.

Step 10: Making the Custom Variable PSU

This stage is where I made the variable PSU

Step 11: Designing the Locking System

I also decided that if this was supposed to be a case safe, then it would not be complete without a security system. I got the idea to use a car door lock actuator because it had the exact type of actuation this case needed.

Step 12: Doin' the Electrical Work

At this stage where the entire unit is coming together, it was appropriate to do the electrical wiring of the different systems. These include:

• the variable PSU
• the security system
• the lights (optional)
• the disguise system
• the main power strip

Step 13: Your Done

At this stage, the unit is completed and undergoes a complete system check.

For more info, check out my website

Comments

author
pmn9393 made it! (author)2012-08-18

I hove to point this out, lol. If somebody is gonna rob your house, that's one item they're gonna take for sure, so not the best safe. But i have to admit, this is amazing build and instructable. However i wouldn't be hiding my valuables in it, maybe best for hiding things you'd rather people just not find.

author
MrJentis made it! (author)MrJentis2012-08-19

Point taken. Well it serves my purpose, to store my electronic components, resistors, capacitors, etc.

author
pfred2 made it! (author)2012-01-01

Is that an Intel P3? I still use one of those!

It boots up in 16 seconds flat too:

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/2250/wedoct27bootchart.png

author
Kasm279 made it! (author)Kasm2792012-01-13

What CPU speed is yours? I have a small P3 box that I can either put a 650MHz or a 1.0GHz on in...

author
pfred2 made it! (author)pfred22012-01-17

Mine is a 1 GHz. I'm not sure if I can put anything else into it or not. It is a Gateway E-3400 I was just running it earlier today. It seems to be having some technical difficulties lately. First it told me I only had 22MB of RAM so I pulled the RAM modules out of it and put a different one in, fixed that, now it is exiting its GUI X Window, whenever I run the one program I need to run on it.

Though oddly that program (EMC2) keeps on running.

I'm still going to have to figure out what is going on and fix it. It is kind of spooky because that program controls some stepper motors, so they keep right on whirring away, even though the machine is semi crashed. X Window crashes, but the rest of the machine doesn't. I can't even find the program on the process list, it is like a ghost in the machine! But if I restart the program it says it is already running.

This looks like it is going to be a very deep can of worms to dig to the bottom of to me.

About This Instructable

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Bio: My favorite hobbies are learning how to do new and cool stuff from more experienced people and building DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. They involve ... More »
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