I am new to case modding but thought I would give it a go. Instead of using real wood, I am using MDF which you can usually buy from your hardware store.
I also want to thank Thermaltake for sponsoring me with a awesome PSU (power supply unit)
I am using the metal frame of an old case I have, and plan to fix the MDF to the frame (haven't quite worked out the details of that yet).
I am planning on carving the MDF based on one of my designs that has a Celtic Knot influence. I use the software AutoCAD to draw the design, then print out A4 sheets and stick them together so I have a 1:1 scale of the design that I can use as a template.
Step 1: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 2
More carving the front panel today.
Step 2: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 3
OK, here is Day 3. I have pretty muched finished the carving of the front panel, just need to sand it a bit. I have cut out the panel for the DVD burner. The dvd burner will be behind a MDF panel which I haven't cut out yet.
Step 3: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 4
Day 4 :
So far today I have just sanded the front panel and applied a finish to it. I used acrylic paint and linseed oil to get an aged look. I then wiped off the excess oil and paint with a rag.
I thought the next step might be to look at the wiring as I haven't quite worked out how I am going to do it. I also need to reslove how I am going to create a button for the DVD burner to open. I have made a hole but haven't worked out the details. I also need to work out how to attach the drive door to the panel.
Step 4: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 5
I haven't done a lot since last time in terms of the case itself, but I have designed the side panels and top panel using AutoCAD.
The top panel will have a cut out for a fan, 120mm diameter.
I have also trued up the front panel as it wasn't square. It's still not quite square but I've done the best I can. I made the mistake of carving the panel before cutting it out which is why it wasn't square - won't do that again.
Step 5: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 6
Today I have started on the top panel. I have the panel already cut out and have started the carving. I have also cut out a hole for the 120mm fan that will be fixed below.
Step 6: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 7
Today I finished carving the top panel and also stained it. I still might need to sand around the fan cutout as it's a bit rough.
Step 7: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 8
Today I have cut out the whole for the 120mm fan at the top of the case. I went and bought some cutting discs for my dremel. I haven't cut metal before so it was quite an experience with all the sparks flying. I ended up using 2 discs to cut the circle. The first disc broke in about 2 seconds but the disc I used after that was a reinforced disc which managed to finish the job although it is quite worn down.
I also drilled holes for the top panel and fixed the panel with brass dome head screws which I think match the colour of the case.
Step 8: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 9
So today I have started carving one of the side panels. I drilled some ventilation holes in the panel - not sure if they will be very effective though.
Step 9: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 10
Today I finished off carving the side panel which was starting to become a chore due to it's size.
I was looking at ways to fix the side panel so came up with the idea of fixing a strip of aluminium to the existing case edges. I bought pop rivet gun to help with this and it is awesome.
Step 10: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 11
Today I basically fixed some aluminium bars to the other side of the case with rivets and attached the fan to the top of the case. I have actually stuffed up the front panel. I realised when I put the side panel on. It's not square and if I was to square it up, the panel would be asymmetrical. I can't live with that so I am going to do a new front panel with a new design. It wasn't a total waste though, I made some mistakes on the initial front panel which I have learned from.
Step 11: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 12
I have started carving the new front panel. The first 2 photos show the panel leaning against the case. I should be able to finish carving and staining the front panel tommorrow and also clean up the DVD drive cutout.
Step 12: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 13
Not a lot done today, but I have finished carving the front panel and cut out the hole for the USB ports.
Step 13: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 14
Today I printed out the pattern for the other side panel, then traced over the design with a carving knife - took about 1.5 hours. I also drilled out areas on the case for cutting out ventilation holes with the jigsaw. The jigsaw blade broke so I will have to wait until I can get to the hardware store before I can finish off the cutouts.
Step 14: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 15
I have done a fair bit today. I cut out the vent holes, and filed them into shape - not before going to the hardware store to get some more jigsaw blades.
I also finished carving the panel. I also stained it. I feel pretty pooped at the moment so not sure how much more, if anymore, work I will do today.
Step 15: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 16
Today I realised two problems with the mod. The top panel fan is in the way of the DVD drive. I can either have one or the other as they take up the same space. I decided to go with the DVD drive as priority and just have a grill over under the fan cutout. I also realised that I drilled the hole for the DVD drive in the wrong spot. I thought I had the dimensions right but obviously not. I simply puttied the hole, and will take more care for the next hole.
Otherwise everything else is working out well. I made a cutout in the metal frame of the case behind the front panel to allow room for the USB and power and reset switches. Not the greatest cutout job, I could clean it up a little but you don't ever see it.
I also went ahead and stained the front panel, even though I haven't drilled the holes for the switches.
I epoxied the DVD drive door to a piece of MDF in the front panel.
Step 16: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 17
Not a great deal done today as I am waiting for my PSU from Thermaltake before I can do the electricals. I cut out a fan grill and fixed it to the top panel. As there is no room for a fan, the grill pretty much just works as passive cooling by letting heat out - hot air rises.
Step 17: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 18
Worked on some electrics today, not sure if I have done it right until I hook up the switches to the motherbaord. In the photo, I just tested the wiring for the power on using a 9V battery.
Step 18: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 19
I received my PSU from Thermaltake. Excellent quality build and excellent prducts....I already have a 700w Toughpower PSU in my main rig. I also varnished all the panels today with a matte finish.
Step 19: Wood Carved Computer Case - Day 20
I got my clear acrylic in the mail today. I have cut it int 2 pieces and fixed it to the side panel with the holes cutout for it. Just waiting on some screws so I can fix the motherbard inside the case. I also soldered the HDD and reset headers to the switches. I also had to wire the LED's for the switches to a fan header so I can get 12V as I purchased the wrong switches.
I think overall the case is looking good with the coat of lacquer I put on, seems to give the panels more depth and contrast.
This wraps up the case modification. All I need to do now is put in the hardware. I hope you found this helpful.