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building case from scratch

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November 4, 2008 5:50:46 PM

hi!

I am building a PC, and I thought it would be fun to build the case as well - I've never done before, so I hope I don't get electrocuted :pt1cable: 

I can't seem to find any info on how to build your own case, I've been googling for days but no luck.

do you guys know of any book or tutorial?
what is the best way to do this is? I could buy just buy "the inside" of the case (e.g. no plastic), and then build around it (although I couldn't find a store that sold that).
ideally, I'd like to just do some crazy shape, but no sure if components can be put together randomly or if they must be in a specific spot - most cases are pretty much the same in terms of size and ratio between width/height.

please, would love some tips to get started!

thanks! :hello: 

More about : building case scratch

a c 248 ) Power supply
November 4, 2008 9:40:35 PM

Some people take an existing pc case and modify it. There are some people who build cases from scratch.

Try doing a search for: case mods and/or case modding.

Do the same over at you tube.
November 4, 2008 9:59:20 PM

thanks johnny,

I actually did, but I can't find the info I'm looking for:

* can I buy just "the inside" of the case, and then build on top of it?
* can components can be put together randomly or if they must be in a specific spot?
Related resources
November 4, 2008 10:05:28 PM

If I were you I would buy a cheaper case, strip off parts you don't want then mod it how you like it.
If you go from scratch make sure you measure everything correctly for the motherboard, you don't want any metal touching the back end except for the risers. For the layout of the rest of the parts (hdd, etc...) just make sure they get proper ventilation, but other than that they can go pretty much anywhere.
November 4, 2008 11:33:01 PM

hey thanks guys!!!

geofelt, you're a genius! how'd you find that? do you know of any cool article?
a c 137 ) Power supply
November 5, 2008 5:09:00 PM

trapach said:
hey thanks guys!!!

geofelt, you're a genius! how'd you find that? do you know of any cool article?

I have long been interested in quiet PC's, and have frequented that web site. Lots of good info there. I remembered reading about the case.

What do YOU wish to accomplish with building your own case?
November 5, 2008 9:21:28 PM

well, I just don't like how regular cases look.

meaning, the ratio between the height of the tower and the width. it's too narrow and too tall to me.

I'd like to have one a little shorter and wider.

I'm planning on using mesh for the whole thing, something in the bottom to keep it raised from the desk, and something transparent - possibly plexiglass in front.

my idea at this point is to just get an old case, take the motherboard plate, or whatever it's called, remove the parts that I don't need, and cover everythng with mesh.

I've tried to do some research, and there are folks who run their machine with the components showing, so I hope whatever I do I won't get electrocuted or mess up the components ;) 
a c 248 ) Power supply
November 5, 2008 11:07:45 PM

Trapach,

I can't remember the name of the vendor, but someone, somewhere on line sells interior parts. I know I saw several types of drive bays and hard drive cages for sale.

I also ran into another web site that sells acrylic part. It was months ago and I can't remember the name of that site either.

I'll look around and see if I can find them.

I am almost done with my own case mod. I bought a CoolerMaster HAF 932. I decided to go with a black and copper theme. Nothing very exotic.
a c 248 ) Power supply
November 6, 2008 12:14:50 AM

Just found the other one, Mountain Mods (upscale):

http://www.mountainmods.com/products_new.php

Generally speaking you could do as others suggested. Get an inexpensive case. Take it completely apart. Use the interior parts for your case mod.
November 6, 2008 11:11:23 PM

wow, that's awesome, thanks!

I see that the motherboard tray http://www.mountainmods.com/atx-brushed-aluminum-remova... which I guess is the only thing that you - kinda - need is pretty expensive, though.

I've been searching with "computer case structure", and similar stuff, and found nothing.

I guess "motherboard tray" is more appropriate?
November 6, 2008 11:15:41 PM

... meaning, I could buy a motherboard tray, and then the resto of the stuff can just be attached to the case walls randomly, right?
a c 248 ) Power supply
November 7, 2008 2:20:01 AM

Yes, you can arrange other components pretty much how you want. I've seen some pretty radical mods.
November 7, 2008 10:11:05 AM

hey, thanks for the help, johnnylucky.

now, are components dangerous?
meaning, you shouldn't get electrocuted right?


a c 137 ) Power supply
November 7, 2008 5:11:49 PM

I would make certain that all the parts are connected to a proper ground. In addition to safety, this is probably a requirement for proper PC functioning. If the case is made of a conducting metal, it is no problem. Otherwise, use some grounding wires.
November 7, 2008 5:27:20 PM

thanks, geofelt!

I'll look up what a conducting metal is (no idea).

I was just trying to understand if what I'm doing can possibly be dangerous if not done properly.

let's say that I put everything together and plug it in (with no case) and touch it: would that be like if I put a fork in a socket?

I'm just trying to find out if the case has to be totally sealed and isolated, or if it's gonna be hard getting electrocuted from it :pt1cable: 

I know, I'm a newbie :( 
a c 137 ) Power supply
November 7, 2008 5:40:37 PM

trapach said:
thanks, geofelt!

I'll look up what a conducting metal is (no idea).

I was just trying to understand if what I'm doing can possibly be dangerous if not done properly.

let's say that I put everything together and plug it in (with no case) and touch it: would that be like if I put a fork in a socket?

I'm just trying to find out if the case has to be totally sealed and isolated, or if it's gonna be hard getting electrocuted from it :pt1cable: 

I know, I'm a newbie :( 

I know that you can put the mobo on a piece of cardboard and start it up with no problem. This is probably so, because the psu has a grounded plug, and everything that has a power plug will also have a ground lead. Thinking more about it, ground wires for each component may not actually be necessary.
a c 248 ) Power supply
November 7, 2008 6:03:56 PM

As geofelt pointed out the psu is grounded. Power flows from the psu to other components so you should okay. The psu is also connected to the back panel through the mounting screws so the chassis frame should be okay too. It will work.
November 7, 2008 10:05:38 PM

awesome.

my project is gonna be this:
buy a motherboard tray
build a tower made of mesh, then put a plexiglass in the front.

it's gonna look cool.

thanks guys!!!
a c 248 ) Power supply
November 7, 2008 11:29:23 PM

trapach,

Hope you're still here.

I do case mods. There are several types of modder's mesh. They are not all the same. Some are thin and very flexible. Others are thicker and more rigid. If you are going to use mesh for panels, then use the thicker more rigid mesh. Make sure you have some sort of extra framework to secure the mesh.

If you can get to a Fry's Electronics retail store or a Microcenter.com retail store go take a look at the pc cases. They usually have over 40 cases on their display shelves. It will be worth the trip.
November 8, 2008 2:48:42 AM

theres a guy on XS (and i was thinking of it myself actually) who built a wooden case from scratch. plenty of those around! in fact i believe the first PC's were in wooden cases... this also elimenates some risk of short circuiting components!
November 8, 2008 2:54:21 AM

you just have to make sure the measurements for the 3.5", 5.25" bays and expansion slots, motherboard risers, mobo I/O plate ETC are the right size and in exactly the right spot! no simple matter indeed.
November 8, 2008 8:40:42 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
trapach,

Hope you're still here.

I do case mods. There are several types of modder's mesh. They are not all the same. Some are thin and very flexible. Others are thicker and more rigid. If you are going to use mesh for panels, then use the thicker more rigid mesh. Make sure you have some sort of extra framework to secure the mesh.


yep, still here :) 

I've looked at different kinds of mesh, and some are gonna be thick enough.
November 8, 2008 8:43:20 PM

V3NOM said:
you just have to make sure the measurements for the 3.5", 5.25" bays and expansion slots, motherboard risers, mobo I/O plate ETC are the right size and in exactly the right spot! no simple matter indeed.


sorry, what do you mean with 'in exactly the right spot'? :) 

you mean so that I can stick the components in there, e.g. there's enough room, right?

because I understood from previous posts that components could be anywhere if attached properly
November 8, 2008 10:10:24 PM

doesnt matter where it goes, make a mb tray from plexiglass. just mark the motherboard screw holes on it drill holes and voila! mb tray.
November 8, 2008 10:52:48 PM

well if you stick the expansion slots a couple of mils away from the slot on the nb, the card isnt gonna go in!
November 8, 2008 11:06:27 PM

V3NOM said:
well if you stick the expansion slots a couple of mils away from the slot on the nb, the card isnt gonna go in!


haha, sorry.

just making sure :p 
November 9, 2008 12:40:35 AM

I was talking about hard drives, psu, etc, its kinda obvious you have to measure correctly for the pci slots. duh.
!