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Building a modders tool box

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April 18, 2012 3:42:35 AM

So I'm putting together a modders/computer tool box. So i am wondering since I'm new to Modding PC's what would the essentials be, best way to get them and does anyone know where I can get a fairly abundant kit of miscellaneous computer screws?
April 18, 2012 11:54:46 AM

needle nose pliers, large, med, and small flathead and philips screwdrivers, DREMEL TOOL, hot glue, crapton of computer screws, duct tape. painters tape, very sharp, maybe even exacto/crafting knives, mostly for smaller stuff that isnt metal or if you ever use wood on a computer build.

moto, if you got those screws from other computers, what did you do with the parts u didntr want? that local transfer station/dump/junkyard must hate you lol.
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April 18, 2012 12:17:08 PM

Leatherman

Most useful tool ever equally great for construction or destruction. I personally have a draw full of them but thats a whole story in itself involving a mortar round hitting a quartermasters store and everything contained inside being "lost".

*edit for morning typos*
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April 18, 2012 1:04:03 PM

I have multiple Ferber's/multi tools so i got that checked off
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April 18, 2012 1:07:32 PM

probably screw drivers (flathead and phillips) a dremel will go a long ways, tape, teflon tape (AKA PTFE) a craft knife or a razor, painters tape, electric drill, leatherman, measuring tape, pliers, and lots, and lots of screws of all sizes.
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April 18, 2012 2:52:38 PM

does anyone know where i can get a kit that comes with a bunch of screws of all sizes. most of the ones ive seen only have a handful of sizes and not that many in quantity
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Best solution

a b ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 3:23:34 PM

All the above and a multi-meter, logic probes, contactless temp probe, psu tester, key/needle files, rj-45 crimp tools and plugs, network cable tester, soldering iron and solder, solder wick and solder sucker, helping hands (magnifier with crock clips), jewelers loop, usb microscope, kyner wire, fiberglass pencil, assorted sizes of heatshrink (glue lined and standard), assorted cable ties, earth straps, scalpel and cutting mat.
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a b ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 3:26:25 PM

tougas said:
does anyone know where i can get a kit that comes with a bunch of screws of all sizes. most of the ones ive seen only have a handful of sizes and not that many in quantity



ebuyer, farnell, rs and maplins has quite alot of small kits, ebay is another good place for consumable bits like heat shrink and plugs.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 5:24:18 PM

hairystuff said:
All the above and a multi-meter, logic probes, contactless temp probe, psu tester, key/needle files, rj-45 crimp tools and plugs, network cable tester, soldering iron and solder, solder wick and solder sucker, helping hands (magnifier with crock clips), jewelers loop, usb microscope, kyner wire, fiberglass pencil, assorted sizes of heatshrink (glue lined and standard), assorted cable ties, earth straps, scalpel and cutting mat.


I wouldn't call that basic hehe, thats more ideal set up kit :) 
@Tougas, I have a Gerber, was the Ferber a fore-runner maybe? :p  or a furby/Gerber crossover? (Shudders at the thought)
@Op, I rarely throw anything away, cases are pre-bent sheet metal, you can make brackets, covers, I made a roofbox for my W/c build from an old case, to hide wires, a fan controller and tubing

and part of the side made a very useful backplate cover for the rear of the Mobo,


The only thing I throw out are dead Cpu's and hard drives, there really is no use for those, (That I've found yet)

In modding the important thing is not just to think outside of the box to find a solution to your challenge, you make your own box and play by your rules :) 

Moto
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April 18, 2012 5:39:07 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
I wouldn't call that basic hehe, thats more ideal set up kit :) 
@Tougas, I have a Gerber, was the Ferber a fore-runner maybe? :p  or a furby/Gerber crossover? (Shudders at the thought)
@Op, I rarely throw anything away, cases are pre-bent sheet metal, you can make brackets, covers, I made a roofbox for my W/c build from an old case, to hide wires, a fan controller and tubing
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/Psycho%20Rider/IMAG0160.jpg
and part of the side made a very useful backplate cover for the rear of the Mobo,
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/Psycho%20Rider/IMAG0111.jpg

The only thing I throw out are dead Cpu's and hard drives, there really is no use for those, (That I've found yet)

In modding the important thing is not just to think outside of the box to find a solution to your challenge, you make your own box and play by your rules :) 

Moto



teach me your ways lol :ouch: 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 6:05:40 PM

I am actually writing up a cable management guide whilst I rebuild my rig to include an external radiatorbox so there'll be plenty of pics and tips in there once its done,
but heres a couple of my logs you can look through and maybe borrow ideas from,
First build (about two years ago)
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t...
Second build a few months later, hard case to work with but great fun for a challenge,
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t...
Never be afraid to cut things up, just be aware that what is cut can never be un-cut, another mod would be required to put it to rights so make sure you want/need to make it before you do

My current baby, (Gf and motorbike not withstanding),
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=t...
and the radbox, as far as it is at the moment
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274180-11-psycho-ri...
I've always been a tinker, bikes, guitars, I can't think of much I've owned and not modified in some way, its just my nature hehe
'this is nice, but I can make it better....'
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 6:10:43 PM

Hi :) 

I own Computer shops and a lappy repair company....

For the tools.... buy Snap-On...very very expensive , but guaranteed for life....and the first time a cheap (non snap-on) tool skids off a screw and wrecks a motherboard, you WILL wish you bought them...

All the best Brett :) 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 6:28:25 PM

Although taking care with your work is a priority,
I do concur that quality tools are an investment to be applauded
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 6:48:23 PM

@Motopsychojdn
I started out with a few tools (1992 for computers, electronics since 1988) but you always end up adding little things here and there (it all began as a hobby), I've got stuff that I haven't even listed there like my thermal imager, oscilloscopes, small bore endoscope, misc component racks, vehicle diagnostic dongles and testbooks, spectrum analysers, the list goes on. But the most important thing I've learned is don't lend your tools to anybody, if they don't own it they don't respect or know how to use it.

As for gerber, letherman, sog, their multitools can be a life saver whether for quick fixes or traveling.

Branded tools are great like snap-on and mac, but are really expensive but anyone that has used their tools will swear by them, I personally use them for vehicle service and repair jobs but in my computer toolbox I have standard stanley, draper tools which are more than adequate, as for driver bits I tend to go for Bocsh and Black & Decker, as for battery powered tools I normally go for Maketa, Bosch, De-Walt.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 6:54:14 PM

As a Biker, **don't lend your tools to anybody**
AMEN to that!
I learned the expensive way about multi-tools, went through about ten £10 jobs from markets and cheap shops, then realised if I'd spent £100 I could've bought a decent one to begin with hehe
we all start with basic kits, screwdriver, a few spanners etc, but as we need tools we add, like you stated, I bought a multimeter for the Pc side of things, but I use it more on my bike to be honest
that was the original point of the guide I started writing (link at top)
to give an idea of the bare minimum of tools for modders, and add the nice things later :) 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 18, 2012 7:08:03 PM

Definately Moto, start with basics and add as you go, well to be fairly honest a philips screwdriver is what you only need for most PC repair or build jobs, but once you start modding and diagnosing things then you start needing additional tools.
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April 18, 2012 7:59:14 PM

Special tools are deffinitly nice to have but sometimes those fancy tools you buy later end up either not being used much or simple ghetto/jerry rigging fixes work almost as well. just a thought. but also with one of tougas's replies, save EVERYTHING you get from old computers that you may accuire, it really stinks when you need a certain part or piece and realize there was one that would work perfectly but it was in a computer you threw out 2 days ago.
and basicly all internal parts can be reused, aside from hard drives, (actually som epeople make pretty cool stuff with hard drives but most is hobby stuff liek clocks and speakers) and if parts still work, you might be able to use them again at some point, or resell, Ex. used pentium IIs are often going to like 100$ online depending on which model. and i have been thinking about getting a bunch of old motherboards and making display furniture out of them, (ive seen some really cool coffie tables using wood, and mobos under glass with leds inside, looked really nice haha) abnd also its a great way of getting computer screws, also older cases often have heavier and better screws and panels.
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April 18, 2012 9:22:24 PM



#2 Phillips insulated, non-magnetic screwdriver. I like 'em long

Don't buy the cheap stuff -- but you certainly don't have to buy the high dollar stuff. Hit the electrical tools aisle at your neighborhood big box.

$10-$12 works for the most part with me. I actually use a Klein multi-tool most of the time. I nut-drive 75%+ of my 6-32 screws.

Do you mean serious MOD ?

A Dremel is great but they'll run hot for heavy-duty stuff. Don't be afraid of going angle grinder. :lol: 

A nice metal file is good -- some 00 steel wool or even some rubbing compound can clean things up.

You can salvage most any metal -- but being computer-related and standard design sure helps. A power drill (cordless or not, or have no issues throwing a biggazz drill press at it) makes quick work. A nice set of snips, side-cutters, small metal vise, clamps, etc ... really handy for bending and fabrication. You can go a long way with $30-$50, and do some really neat stuff.

Pop riveter and color rivets? Piece of cake. Color split wire loom? $1/ft at your local auto parts. 2 sf of LEXAN? $14

You mean those kinds of mods ??

:D 
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April 18, 2012 9:30:51 PM

I'm mainly interested in case mods and water cooling but as I get better I may get more daring. I only have a constraint with space since I live in a military barracks. So i essentially have a medium sized room to work in. Lol hence why I said toolbox lol. When i get my house I've already called dibs on a room for my workshop so then its fair game lol
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April 18, 2012 10:13:11 PM


There must be some machinist-types on your base -- convince them to do the heavy lifting -- and they might have some interesting ideas if you feed 'em the right design ideas and specs. Should be easy to build and mount a simple internal/external bracket(s) for a pump, radiators, manifold, or whatever.

Pictures and a physical description of what you want to do always helps. I suspect there are quite a number of products that can be readily retro-fitted, if required, with minimal effort.

Have you any ideas on your overall cooling design?

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April 18, 2012 10:23:02 PM

I'm still trying to work it out but the unfortunate part is there's no stores around here that sell the supplies so i can't get a hands on look at them so essentially I'm buying blind
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April 18, 2012 10:38:58 PM


Ultimately, it's your cooling demand that sets overall design, but it sure looks as if a Swiftech radiator might be a sweet match with your upper bank of fans. You need to determine your demand and size the radiator to either a 1-, 2- or 3-bay model.

It also appears that a 2-bay radiator may work in the front fan bays.

List everything you wish to water cool: cpu, gpu(s), chipset, FETs ???



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April 18, 2012 11:02:22 PM

I eventually want to water cool everything. with the way this case is i can set up a triple rad on top with 3 pull and 2 push. 3rd push would end up 2/3 inside of a 5.25 bay so thats not good. I can also fit a double rad in front and a double rad in the bottom. I may be able to make them push pull but im not sure. I definitely want to start with the cpu and i want to do the ram too just cause i can. Im debating the chipset. but for now the GPU will wait because i plan on upgrading to the gtx680 after my vacation. so what im thinking is setting up a double rad up top in push pull for cpu then out of the rad to a small res/pump to go to ram (because of restriction) then up top to a single rad with pull only then to a med res then to the main pump. I know it sounds extravagant but I kinda like the look of some over-the-top systems.
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April 19, 2012 11:37:30 AM

also one more thing, they are pretty expencive but great for fans, 3", 4.5", etc metal HOLE SAW they sttach right on to a power drill and if you spin them fast enough, cut through computer cases fairly well. 3"is almost the right size for an 80mm fan, where i live every one is an old person and no one sells tools on the metric system lol so i dotn know if you could find 80, 120, etc mm sizes or not.
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April 19, 2012 2:06:24 PM


The are some really interesting pictures on the NZXT site for your case. I'm lost as to some of their pump locations - you can likely recognize them better than I.

There is an article on Toms (somewhere) with your case and water cooling that may give you a few ideas.

You seem ready to begin the joy of trial and error :)  Start taking some pics, and let's boogie.

If you need a small hole-saw or something we'll worry about that later -- unless you are on-station in Alaska or some place overseas.

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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 19, 2012 2:15:33 PM

My method of cutting fanholes/Psu vents is to mark out the perimeter and then drill inside it with a small bit, 3mm is tidy enough, then file/saw them to join them up,
tidy holes and saves me buying a holesaw hehe <Tightwad.
but yes, check out the W/c gallery in overclocking for some ideas and general droolage :) 
Moto
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April 19, 2012 5:52:06 PM

Bottom half

Top half

Front

Top

Back inside

Inside

Inside top

Inside bottom

yes i know the fan situation is ugly. i transplanted them from the old case. lol
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April 19, 2012 10:48:51 PM

what do you guys think of this idea. to cut this design out of the front of the panel and glue some red mesh behind it to act as a debris filter. I think it will add some additional air flow since its my only 2 intake fans and the ports that it takes in from are the slits on the side which are small.

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a b ) Power supply
April 19, 2012 10:51:50 PM

#1 modder's tool = credit card !!
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April 19, 2012 11:02:17 PM

If your implying for me to pay someone else to do my work i would be insulted lol. and i dont like using my credit card on hobbies to prevent myself from getting in trouble lol/
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April 19, 2012 11:09:07 PM

i think adding something like that would be cool tougas, but.. you might want to 1. make the lines wider, just to add more airflow, and if u put leds in the case, the more spavce for light to go through would look really awsome. and 2 it would just look better, 3. be VERY careful, curves are hard to cut with dremel tools and even harder with most other tools, maybe take a thick but unneeded knife and kind of "carve" out the lines you need to follow with the dremel or other tool, just to make it easier to keep on track, like a guide hole when you drill through metal, not all the way through but enough to help hold you on track, you mess it up and you will not be happy with yourself, and if you do, dont get to beat up about it, just cut it into a larger easier shape, and then put mesh behind that, it might still look good. and also if it messes up and you do have to change it, it wil still add more airflow. im thinking of doeing some more modding to my unused case, so i could use it in a future build, its old though so the metal is really thick, that thing is an absolute tank lol.
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April 19, 2012 11:19:13 PM

Yea I had to design it so the only tools at my finger tips was ....drum roll please....paint . Lol I'm going to scale it when i actually do it
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April 19, 2012 11:32:56 PM

One of the most useful modding "tools" that I have would have to be the long strip of adhesive velcro that I have. It helps so much for cable management and is not permanent. Not really sure where you would get it. My dad got it from work.
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April 20, 2012 1:03:06 AM

so you are painting it on? i thought you wanted mesh? i guess it would sill look cool, not as much "wow factor" but still cool, however, paint is easy to mess up, but hard to clean up. especially on white plastic/metal, if it sits too long before you realize it isnt right (that is if it isnt right) the worse the damage will be, even cleaned off if it sits a little too long you might end up with a very very pale pink tint where the paint got messed up. or it might even dry on completely if you dont notice, then be almost impossible to get off without killing the white color as well. of course, some of this depends on what paint you use, some types arent right for the job, and some brands also have different consistencies, drying times, brightness, thickness, and quality. *regrets using thermal resistant stove/grill paint on computer case without proper prepping* ... it scrapes off the thing like its 100 y/o gold leaf painted on a stick of butter... ok maybe im exagerating but you can scrape it off with your finger nail easily enough, i didnt prep the metal properly i suppose.
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April 20, 2012 1:11:46 AM

No I don't want to paint it lol I used Ms paint. The computer tool lmao
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a b ) Power supply
April 20, 2012 10:32:44 AM

tougas said:
If your implying for me to pay someone else to do my work i would be insulted lol. and i dont like using my credit card on hobbies to prevent myself from getting in trouble lol/

" A thousand pardon's no " :lol:  ! Simply implying that all the tools , gadget's . gear , etc. associated with this " hobby " is expensive .
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April 20, 2012 5:48:16 PM


5" BLACK PLASTIC SPEAKER GRILL (CIRCULAR) WITH RED COLOR ACCENT RING



$ Five-Fitty

The woods are full of black-metal grills in all shapes and sizes. I recall seeing a design similar to yours in an all-white grill.

It's really hard to transfer a design 'through' metal without great experience. A stick-on decal of the design cut from a plotter might work, especially if you crank up the detail a bit.

Or, a one-inch pin like this would look good in the center



You might be able to find some ceramic pins in the shapes and colors you are looking for, but they cost $3-4/each, and that might start to get expensive.

edit: I fergit ...

Are you running a multi-loop? That case sure does look to be built for something like that.

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April 20, 2012 8:46:31 PM

Eventually ill have a multi loop
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April 27, 2012 1:27:39 AM

Best answer selected by tougas.
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July 16, 2012 3:25:00 AM

I've been told that the bosch power tools are more suitable for the replacement of laptop battery than other brand. But I didn't know if it is right and why. I really know little about the power tool. Who can have a look at the web and give me some advice? :) 
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