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!