Build a Wood PC Case




About: I liked designing and building things long before I became an engineer, now I get paid to do it!

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.

Step 1: 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

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

-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

-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

Step 5: Trimming Veneer

-Unclamp the panel and make sure your on a cut-friendly surface
-Cut the excess veneer off using the Xacto: Cut against the grain first, because it will likely crack near the bottom, then cut along the grain; this is easier
-Sand the edges nicely, make sure the veneer is glued throughly, add contact cement or epoxy if necessary

Step 6: Customizing

I have an easy opener dial on one of the panels, and I needed to cut it out, inorder to re-mount it.

Since the easy opener is recessed, I punched a hole and then used pressure to crack all the veneer in the area, and cut it out with the xacto, make sure the dial still fits.

Sand the panels and make sure there isnt any resins on the finishing side.

Step 7: Staining

This is pretty straight forward, I hope, brush on the stain and whip it off, let it dry, lightly sand the surface or use steal wool and repeat, a couple coats will give it a nice finish and seal.

Depending on what you bought, you may need to use a polyurathaine sealer.

Step 8: Reassembly

Once the panels are all dry, its time to reassemble it, hopefully you cleaned the dust out of your computer before you close it up again.

Now you have a pimped out luxury PC!! If you have a case fan or two then you shouldnt have to worry about overheating. And since your using a standard metal chasis, you have the slots already there if you need to upgrade in the future!



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    28 Discussions


    13 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!)

    10 replies

    Reply 13 years ago

    I avoided contact cement because I wasnt sure how well it would bond wood to enamel/metal


    Reply 1 year ago

    contact cement is for laminate not wood veneer. The proper way to veneer is spray adheasive or wood glue with a vacume bag clamps work

    Lithium Rainmycroftxxx

    Reply 12 years ago

    Hey, is your user name based on Sherlock Holmes' brother???I LOVE Sherlock Holmes stories!!! Or is it from something else?

    mycroftxxxLithium Rain

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    (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.


    Reply 13 years ago

    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.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I'm confused. The title is build a wood pc case but that never happened. You basically put stickers on your existing case. It looks good, don't get me wrong, but your title is in no way accurate. No building of anything took place and veneer isn't wood.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I only have one complaint: Pentium 4 CPU? Really? And, perhaps for a future project, you could make the front panel a little nicer?


    8 years ago on Step 8

    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).

    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


    10 years ago on Introduction

    great look! u can ear money selling cabnets....


    11 years ago on Introduction

    looks nice, i did a similar thing expect i used black mesh, and it looks nasty