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Thoughts on wood pc cases

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  • Power Supplies
  • Cases
  • Components
Last response: in Components
April 13, 2009 5:43:23 PM

I was curious as to whether or not people would consider buying a wooden pc case if they were built at a reasonable price and not some crazy expensive design. I mean something that would fit into a living room or office without being some ugly and ridiculous dell case. I'm talking as more of a luxury item. The current one I am finishing up design on tonight has the cables coming from the bottom of the case to make it look more like a side-stand than a computer case and so forth. Originally the design was for myself but the person who is going to build it was curious as to whether there was a market for them.

Let the discussion begin.

More about : thoughts wood cases

a c 246 ) Power supply
April 13, 2009 6:02:33 PM

Custom wooden pc cases have been around for quite some time. You can do a search for them on Google. Also do a search for case mods. I've seen photos of a few that are quite beautiful. I've also seen quite a few small form factor wooden pc cases designed to be used with home theater systems.

I do not know how much of a demand there would be for wooden cases.
a b ) Power supply
April 13, 2009 6:36:46 PM

Yeah, have seen a lot of them over the years. Used to see them occasionally on the forums here several years ago when the forum was more die hard/cutting edge type stuff than a general "my puter won't turn on" forum.
Some of them were pretty darn nice, but I am not sure how much of a demand would be for them, likely more of a novelity thing for the few I would say.
Although I prefer real wood to plastic and metal for all my home furnishings, I don't think I would really care to have a wooden PC case.
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April 13, 2009 7:41:53 PM

Wood has good sound suppressing capabilitie - just need to keep the thermals in check
April 13, 2009 8:30:23 PM

The kind of stuff i'd be interested in a well designed / built desk that contains the bare bones of a pc in a space effective way (obviously would have to allow for good access to the components and cooling etc etc).

The only PC desks i've seen effectively just have either a shelf to fit a mirco / midi atx in or worse still a cupboard!

Anyway, that's me....!
April 14, 2009 6:03:59 AM

If someone were to build a wooden computer case and something were to overheat wouldn't it catch on fire? lol. I'm thinking about this for my Dell transfer everything to it and make a "wooden BTTX" case lol.
April 14, 2009 6:17:16 AM

Yeah if it ever shorted and caught fire its more likely to burn the house down then a metal case.
April 14, 2009 6:48:32 AM

Yeah i better not, lol. A man can dream tho right? lol.
a b ) Power supply
April 14, 2009 7:59:51 AM

wood can be treated to be fire resistant. if you ever tried to light a 2x4 with a single match you can imagine how hard it would be to ignite a wooden case with pc components.

Wooden computers are larger and heavier then their metal counterparts. with the trend going for smaller pc cases I don't think there would be a huge market for wooden cases though.
April 14, 2009 11:54:09 AM

I'm not too worried about the thermal issues because i've never seen a gun catch fire and I've burned myself on the barrel of my m1 carbine by not being careful. I'm pretty sure my carbine's barrel shoots up past temps my HD4850 reached before i increased its fan speed. I imagine that if I treat the case with the same varnish as a military rifle stock, it should be fine. At least for the first case anyways. As for the push for smaller cases, that is more a cause to hide them. Besides, i'm sure it wouldn't be too much harder to make them smaller. As for weight, have you ever lifted some of the new Dell XPS systems? Those things have a solid steel case i think and are like bricks. They shipped us one at work to replace an older system that was still under warrantry.
a b ) Power supply
April 14, 2009 7:18:55 PM

As heavy as the xps system maybe it would be much heavier constructed out of wood. (unless you get some cheap pine board or something). I suppose if the wooden pc was designed to blend with the desk then the size wouldn't be much of an issuse. It sounds like you set on doing this post some pics when you finish.
April 14, 2009 7:31:10 PM

^ +1, Wood will be much much heavier thn those XPS systems.
April 18, 2009 2:14:35 AM

Not practical or functional.
a c 246 ) Power supply
April 18, 2009 3:08:38 AM

I've seen some extremely beautiful wooden cases for micro-atx, small form factor, and HTPC systems. Wish I had bookmarked the beauties. There's a fellow that makes them look like old table top radios from the 1920's and 1930's.
April 18, 2009 5:20:54 AM

Do they need like metal on the inside of the wooden case?
April 18, 2009 4:15:38 PM

I think there would be a market for them but it would be a niche market with customization a priority. Aesthetics would be the name of the game as wood is an insulator and heat management would be a problem.

But you could water cool and then you would have the whole organic thing goin (sort of). But wood and water dont always get along so that would be a concern as well. My recommendation would be pecky cypress as it is naturally waterproof and highly porous.
April 19, 2009 3:21:14 AM

cutlass81 said:
I was curious as to whether or not people would consider buying a wooden pc case if they were built at a reasonable price and not some crazy expensive design. I mean something that would fit into a living room or office without being some ugly and ridiculous dell case. I'm talking as more of a luxury item. The current one I am finishing up design on tonight has the cables coming from the bottom of the case to make it look more like a side-stand than a computer case and so forth. Originally the design was for myself but the person who is going to build it was curious as to whether there was a market for them.

Let the discussion begin.


I think that most people with wooden cases make the cases themselves as a way to show off their woodworking talents. It's much harder to get a wooden case to have as tight of tolerances as a steel case, plus it's not as amenable to being moved around as much due to weight and fragility. There are some people who do make wooden PC cases and sell them for thousands of dollars, though. I remember seeing one that was built into a desk and was made of mahogany. Very, very expensive.

That being said, I'll probably end up making a wooden server enclosure someday. I'll make a proper rack-mounted file server and gateway/router and then put them in the enclosure to make them presentable outside of the basement :D 
April 28, 2009 12:53:12 PM

You would need some metal on the indside of the case which will be used to help ground the motherboard to the PSU and discharge any static electricity and what not. I doubt any wooden case i make is going to be the slightest bit heavier than that XPS. I'm not exaggerating how heavy those things are. The XPS 730 weighs around 50lbs. I'm certain I can make a computer that's not near as heavy and cool more efficiently.

MU, you do make some good points. The tolerances would probably create some vibration in the case. I've see other people combat this with the use of foam, so i'm going to look into that. The weight and fragility would be an issue, but how often do you think someone with a wooden case would move it? Wooden furniture rarely gets moved as far as I know. And wooden cases don't have to be expensive. People just choose to charge a lot. Its like how IKEA doesn't charge nearly as much as any of the other furniture brands. They just don't spend a whole lot of time making their stuff look super fancy.
June 19, 2009 9:57:35 PM

"You would need some metal on the indside of the case which will be used to help ground the motherboard to the PSU and discharge any static electricity and what not." ~cutlass81~

Finally someone brought out the real reason wood doesnt make a good computer case. Wood can be used but the inside needs to be lined with metal. On top of static and grounding, cases are also made of metal for the purpose of magnetic sheilding. motherboard chips and hard drives are sensitive to magnets. (ever put a refridgerator magnet on a CRT television?) this is essentially the same thing that would happen to your PC when you set it next to your Speakers if you didnt have that nice metal lining around your case.

A guy I was in college with kept having his external hard drives fail after a day or two. he spent days thinking it was a software or virus causing his trouble, then when he asked me for help I walked in and saw where he kept his external drive.

It was sitting on top of his subwoofer for his home theater system next to his desk. so i told him it was either
A: the vibrations killed it,
B: the 8" stronium magnet in the subwoofer wiped out the magnetic data