How To Customize Your PC Case & Achieve Professional Results

How To Install A Window Kit In Your PC

We asked Steve Horch to prepare a special "How To" project that we could show you. In this article, Steve will show you how to install a typical off-the-shelf side window kit and achieve professional results using common items that you have around your house.

When we started to prepare this article, Steve explained to us that most side window kits typically come with one sheet of paper with some vague instructions that really don't help you get the job done. Steve told us, "If you are experienced, the instructions that are included with most window kits are enough, but the problem is that if you have not installed one before, the lack of pictures leaves a considerable amount to the imagination. "The first window kit that I installed took me several hours due to problems with the rubber seal that they included with the kit. It just didn't fit well."

To begin, Steve asked us to order a typical window kit from a dealer. We called Michael Chang at Directron and he shipped us their Clear Acrylic Window Kit , which is available in three colors. The dimensions of the window measure 11.125" (28.2cm) x 8.69" (22.1cm). The window itself is made of 100% acrylic and uses a rubber window seal during the installation process. Michael explained to us that this continues to be one of the most popular case modding items in his inventory. However, the included instruction page led to more than one phone call to Directron's technical support department.

Before we get started, you will need to gather the following tools for the process:

  • A Number 2 lead pencil with a good eraser
  • A yard stick (a ruler will work, but a yard stick works best)
  • Tape measure
  • A roll of one" masking tape
  • A few sheets of newspaper
  • 3M quarter inch fine line tape
  • Jig saw w/36 tooth or finer blade
  • Drill w/ 5/8" drill bit
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Sand paper - 320 grit
  • Large towel
  • Cleaning rag
  • A cleaner to clean the outside of the case prior to the window install
  • Protective glasses to protect your eyes during cutting & drilling steps

Steve wanted to keep the use of exotic tools to a minimum. So, he focused on tools and items that are commonly found in most households, and, even if you don't have these items, buying them will not send you to the poor house.

Steve pointed out that one of the first mistakes that many people make is using a Dremel tool to handle the cutting of the case. A Dremel tool is not the best choice for cutting a window of this size, as you must have a steady hand, and the results often times are not as clean as cutting with a jig saw. If you are going to buy a jig saw specifically for this project, you won't need a professional series jig saw, the typical off the shelf jig saw will do the job just fine. As far as the jig saw is concerned, it is more important to select the right blade than to buy a really expensive jig saw.