I'm building a new machine and was looking around for cases on the internet and at my local Fry's. Wow. UGLY. There was one that looked like a deformed optimus prime, another that had, literally, a bmw grill and headlights on the top of it! What the ****??
Then I look at the latest Mac G5, or the new Sony VAIO towers, or the alienware towers. I've seen a few aluminum towers for sale but they're not that great. I'm almost considering cannibalizing an old ATX case and building my own totally custom unit.
Anybody have suggestions on parts/materials for such a cause, or does anybody know of any good looking cases out there that you can buy?
I'm running a Gateway E-Tower case, painted flat black and with the backpanel cut out for standard cover plates, power supply hole cut out for full sized power supplies (the screw holes were already there), and new screw holes to mount the power supply in the proper "upside down" position (fan on bottom). It looks nice.
<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
I have noticed the same thing also recently. The only cases I have truely been happy with are the ones that I have fully customized. I always end up going to surplus store and getting an old steel case to hack up.
Generally I prefer the steel cases for modifying. Steel cases generally are sturdier, and steel can be manipulated a little easier than the aluminum. I tend to cut a few extra fan holes using a 3" hole saw. Generally also use some plexiglass to add a window here and there. When you paint it, make sure you use an adhesion promoter, also sand as much of the powder coat off as possible, as paint generally doesn't stick all that well to powder coat. Oh, and you can't have to much clear coat, last case I did had 9 good layers of clear.
Also the last case I built I went to a craft store and picked up extra fine glitter, and then sprayed a layer of black on the case, then sprinkled the fine glitter (blue in color) over the wet paint, then after a few minutes sprayed a layer a clear to seal it all in. Worked out very well, the entire case was completely covered in blue glitter (black base coat couldn't even be seen), everyone seemed to like it. This requires several and I mean a ton of layers of clear though, to smooth it out, as you can't really sand this.
Is there anything critical I should know before attempting this? (ie certain steps to take to make sure I don't electrostatically fry my mobo when i flip the switch)
Not sure what you are talking about there. I assume you mean while assembling and disassembling. Make sure your DIY project is completely finished before you install any components.
As far as taking it apart and putting it together, when taking out the cards and boards and such, occasionally touch one of the screws on the PSU unit to ground your self (PSU should be plugged in). I have kept most of the static bags that hardware I have purchased, so I use these to temporarily store the components in while taking things apart. If you are doing this in a carpeted room, try not to move around a lot, chances of creating static will be less.
Yeah, that's kind of what i was getting at. I'll probably cut out the mobo mount / pci card slots from an old atx case. I'd like to create a "custom" case, however, with a nonstandard tower layout (just to be different). I have some ideas about unique tower configurations.
Is there any electrostatic danger for the drives, or can they just be mounted in the case however?
Get a life. ..... As long as it does it's job big deal. Not like it's in a fashion show.
I bet you also drive some four door sedan family car. Some of us like haveing something different than everyone else. I personally like being able to say I made that, or I built that.
Most of my furniture was built by me in my spare time, I built both my cars starting with nothing but a frame, and I have custom made several computer cases. I get all sorts of compliments on all the stuff. It's nice to know you built something, and that it is actually something different.