Plywood Computer

This is not a computer made of plywood, but a computer made with plywood. Sorry for the low quailty pictures.

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Step 1: Parts and Tools

A small piece of 1/4" plywood (roughly 2'x2.5')
CD/DVD drive
Power Supply
Video Card (if supported by motherboard)
Self-drilling/tapping screws
Floppy drive (optional)
Required IDE cables
Pwr and Reset Switches
Pwr and HDD LEDs
Internal speaker
Sound card (if not on motherboard)
USB card (optional)
Modem/Ethernet Card
Processor (if not on motherboard)
Fan (optional)


Step 2: Attach Motherboard and Cards

For the mother board, the best way to place it is to have the longest edge of it on the longest edge of your plywood. When you are happy use three or four screws to hold it in place. Then attach the RAM and any cards to it along with the processor if it wasn't already attahced.

Step 3: Power!

For best placement of the power supply, I suggest putting it behind the motherboard. Then tack it down with some glue.

Step 4: HDD and CD

The CD drive can be placed anywhere you want it on the plywood. For entertainment purposes, I took the cover off of mine. This can also be held down with glue. The HDD can also be placed anywhere. I just left the harddrive free so I can use it on other computers I get that don't have harddrives.

Step 5: Lights, Switches, Internal Sound and Floppy

The lights and switches can be mounted or just left free. the speaker can be the same way. The floppy dirve, if desired, can be mounted, with glue, in any space left on the board. The pins where the lights and switches go should be labled on the motherboard next to the pins

Step 6: Fire It Up!

Connect any and all required power and IDE cables. Depending on your HDD,new or used, you might have to install an OS on it. If not you have an interesting and functional converstaion piece. I did not put a floppy drive on this computer because I have no floppys for it. I am hoping to soon have a video of me building this computer on Youtube. I did make this instructable after I made the computer, and actually used the computer to post this.

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    19 Discussions


    11 years ago

    This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!


    11 years ago

    Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    awesome! i did the same thing except i made a case for it out of plywood (it's just a box for the mobo and everything else on top) and i am planning to use it for PC controlled xmas lights


    10 years ago on Step 6

    Why don't you install Linux? Your computer would be faster. I tried Ubuntu and I love it. Give it a try !

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    *why dont you install Linux? Your computer would actually work a bit ;)

    Grrr, am on mums netbook, with XP :( stupid M$uX being, well, M$uX (any OTHER words I  could think of, I beter not post).

    Ubuntu RULES, KDE in Kubuntu is minted aswell. wish a had a WORKING computer to use them on tho :(

    dungeon runnerjotism

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

    I agree with the sentiment about linux. I am building a computer with limited ROM so I am installing Puppy*. I still can't understand how they can pack so much linux-ey goodness into such a small size!

    * Also acceptable would be Damn Small Linux. Runs completely from RAM with as little as 128 megs!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Something like this would be great in a frame behind an old LCD monitor for a picture frame. Use a remote power supply -- something like the old laptop supplies that had a cable going to a box half the size of a brick that sat on the floor and plugged in. A motherboard wants more power than even a big "wall-wart" can provide.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice, i've had similar ideas myself. ... you were running vista on a 333 mhz processor and >half a gig of ram???

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Well, when I saw it starting to boot into Vista, I went and got my XP cd, but then I found out it was a Vista transformation pack that was downloaded onto it. I get these parts from old /used/thrown out computers for nothing so, I never know what I'll run into. Also, because a capacitor on the mobo popped, I have a different board with 512MB RAM and a Pentium 4 1.2Ghz processor. I also put a DVD drive on it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    my one friend tried doing this (after i showed him this instructable) with an older motherboard (1994) and when he powered it on, it tripped the breakers. i think the psu was shot, but im not sure. im gonna have to make a psu tester to see. it was funny to see, though. he was freaking out when everything turned off


    10 years ago on Step 6

    man, I had pretty much the same idea a while back, it is nice to know that it worked for you before I spent all my time!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You should really get some sort of stand-off or something to hold the motherboard a little bit off the plywood, it will give it some breathing room on the back which is a bit better for heat reasons (more pertinent on newer computers).


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I just finished the "upgrade" on this computer from Vista to Xp. I personally think Vista is a downgrade.