From my neighbor and good friend i received an older MAC mini. The serial number says it was refurbished. The case had scratches. So I decided to refurbish it again. For the first German Steampunk exhibition in Itzehoe we need a server for the intranet.
A bit steampunk style was a must :-)
So I covered the MAC mini with mahogany wood and replaced the hard-disk and the optical drive with SSD´s.
For the TFT I build a stand from mahogany wood and I painted the TFT with special brass paint and attached some brass applications.
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Step 1: Covering the Case With Mahogani
Converting the case is very easy. You have to put the wood into water and wait a couple of minutes. If it is wet enough you can wrap it around the case and fasten it temporary and let it dry. It then will have the same shape as the case. Gluing wood on aluminium is a bit ricky because aluminum is not easy to glue. But there is a new glue on the market called Pattex 100%. This glue is doing the job very well.
Then glue the top cover. Use wood glue for the connection between side and top pieces and Pattex 100% for the other parts.
Sand the wood and wax and oil it for a good looking finish.
Step 2: Changing the Internals...
I decided to run the computer with SSD´s only. One for the OSX (60GByte) and the other one for TimeMachine (120GByte).
The MAC I received was one of the older MAC´s with an IDE DVD drive and an SSD hard - disk.
I replaced the HDD by an 60 GByte SSD. For the TimeMachine drive I am using a 120 GByte SSD. To run an SATA drive instead of an IDE optical drive it is necessary to use install a converter that converts the IDE interface to SATA. This converter is available on the internet. It is easy to install and works without any driver. Sometimes it is necessary to format the drive first in an USB case.
Step 3: Improve the WLAN
The internal WLAN antenna is a bit week. So i decided to install an better antenna.
I removed a part of the shield and placed the antenna under the top cover.
This doubles the range of the WLAN.