IDeciduous- the Wooded Computer Case




About: I am Matthew Enderle, and my instructables are based on electrical and computer sciences.
About me:
Hello I am Matthew Enderle, a Junior at Lomira High School in Lomira, WI. Last year I took every single shop class except for Fundamentals of Wood Technology and Basic Home and Auto, so I took them this year. In Fundamentals of Wood Technology we needed to search on the internet for a wooden plan and make a Plan of Procedure and Bill of Materials, or we could make our own plan and the other jazz too. As most of the other students chose the example that my teacher showed us I decided to make my own.

About my plan:
I knew that I am experienced in Autocad inventor, Google Sketchup, and the Solidworks software. I chose to go with my student copy from Autodesk of Autocad Inventor 2010. I told him what I planed to do, how big, and how much and he said "I can't wait". He knows I'd do well because last year my students from my shop class and other shop classes went to Las Vegas last year for a National Construction Competition. After about 3 hours I came up with a design similar to the Nintendo Wii, but with the computer components extruding from the left panel. I then went to work from my paper illustration, of which I lost, and then made it in Inventor.

About the case:
This case is consisting of (in order of least to common by weight) Purple Heart, Oak, Pine, and Cherry. My grandparents do woodworking for their retired lives as a hobby and you can see some of their work at and they are in Arizona right now so I moved into their Woods Shop. The Base of the case is about 13" x 6.25" x 13". Why 13" you might ask? I wanted to use just 12" but then the base would be flush with the upright extrusion. It felt that it would be a plain ugly cookie cutter shape and just not appealing to the eye(s). If you look at the default picture below the red-ish trim on the base and the up right is all cherry, the side panels are Pine as also the Motherboard mount is too, and the Silver is actually a type of oak with a type of etching poly on it. I even found a strip of Purple hear that I used as an inlay on the side of the Motherboard houseing to give it some detail. It is empty right now between the Motherboard and the front because I'm waiting on my Slot loading Blue-ray burner to come so I can CADD all over it, just so it will fit.

About the PC's specs:
AMD ATHLON 64 3800 X2 AM2 CPU ADA3800IAA5CU - $15
Toshiba Blu-ray Combo BD-RW Slot DVD RW SATA Drive - $30
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 200-Pin DDR2 - $30
Patriot 2.5" 32GB SATA II Internal SSD - $30

This isn't the instructable yet. After this one is done I will remake it with a higher precision and release my plans. However if you want the plans and don't want anyone else to have them, message me and I can sell them to you. As of writing this I have school tomorrow and will be working on this for 3/8ths of my school days for all five days. Each day I hopefully will post a new picture and then a video when done!



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    11 Discussions

    Hello, I have to say this is way above anything I could ever hope to do. I am not much of a right angle kind of guy. I do have one thing to ask. How do you deal with the insulating properties of wood? The concept and aesthetics of this project is amazing, and your level of detail is outstanding, but i am worried about the thermal retention of wood. Even with fans how hot is the inside of the case getting? Once again please don't think I am talking down to an obviously superior builder, just wanted to point out something I thought of. I also just noticed this was posted in 2012 so please let me know how this project went I am truly curious now.

    1 reply

    Well to be honest I finished this project but because of the hardware I used it simply got too warm for my taste. If I had gone with an atom build at that time it would've been fine, but I was obsessed with Power > heat. This project simply was under planned and swiftly executed.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    One thing I would suggest, I was taught to always specify the measurements your using.
    Although it seems obvious it's in inches, I had to look for the larger measurements to know it wasn't millimeters (or centimeters)
    The other thing (just to make life easier), in Britain we were taught to always put a zero in front of a decimal point as it's too easy to overlook, i.e. 0.5" instead of .5 (or half inch)
    Great job though, some brass bits and it could be steampunk


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice idea what software did you use to make those computer graphics in the first picture they look great.

    1 reply

    I used Autodesk Inventor 2010. I "had" a decent computer and I was able to change the visual style and render it. Thanks for the complement.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Well I don't know about "I came up with a design similar to the Nintendo Wii, but with the computer components extruding from the left panel" as apposed to "came up with my own variation based on a popular computer case design", but I still look forward to seeing it built.

    5 replies

    Thanks for the comment, but I would like to say that if I could find my original drawing I'd simply post it and you would see that it evolved. I mainly had all the components in one big box, but then saw the Level 10 case on newegg and decided that each component in a separate housing would indeed look cooler... I did look at the link that you sent and I think mine is more... modern. I noticed that both designs contain the silverish housing on the upper left, his is wood and mine was going to be a heat sink for all the components, then I changed it to wood for looks, ten removed it completely. Please look at my newly uploaded pictures (currently uploading) to see how it looks now.


    I was just commenting saying the design you are using is relatively common when talking about cases that aren't just a box. There is a guy who builds wooden PC cases and he has done one that looks very similar to how yours does now, and as you mentioned, the Level 10 one is metal variation. You're completely right though, making it out of wood seems like a much better aesthetics choice.

    I'm not saying you stole the design by the way, in fact I would suggest keep looking for them to see if there are any ideas in them you like. And either way, it's still awesome to see someone build it. Make sure you are keeping in consideration the possibility of fire. It is heat and wood after all.

    PS. On a separate note, there is a wooden PC case shaped like a microphone. Build that one next? :)

    It will be done-ish by WED because I'm waiting for my Bluray drive to come before I mill out my face plate (on the PC, not mine) And for the 36th time... IT WILL NOT start on fire... you have no idea how many times I've been asked that at school.

    Well I powered it up with out turning on the fan for the PSU and id did get quite hot on the wood, but now I have a fan and it work great! it also will be done by Wednesday.