This mod is going to resemble my MeanGreen mod.
Like all my mods, this one will still look / resemble the stock case that I am starting with. I like my computers to look like computers . I also like them to be unique to me and my taste. I had originally planned on doing a two tone fade paint job on the case. Well time, money, and family issues at up a lot of my time over the last several months. This mod was / is meant to be completed by Aug 2nd (in time for Quakecon 2006). With things actually slowing down here (website work, family issue behind me, and Quakecon finally being announced). I am able to get back to working on it.
The case I am starting from is the Ultra Aluminus case. I was very happy with the layout and structure of the Ultra Glossy Black case I used for MeanGreen. The Aluminus carries the same look and feel pretty much expect the fact that its made of aluminum. It still uses a similar front panel to the Ultra Glossy case. The removed the front USB ports (which in my opinion is a plus, they moved them to a 5.25" bay which is nice for looks but not to nice for functionality).
I decided to use the case without even taking a close look at it. The design I had in my head called for some modifications structure wise, which after receiving the case I realized was going to make things a tad harder. With the Aluminus having a removable motherboard tray. The structure for its mounting is what will give me a problem. But none the less I already decided to use the case and will deal with that when I get to it .
If I can complete the mod before the Aug 2nd deadline it will probably retain its stock finish (not ideal weather here to be painting in right now). If I can not complete the mod by Aug 2nd I will hold off on the doing the assembly and try to work in the paint scheme.
So to start things off I am sure some of you remember the Power Supply we scored not to long ago.
It was the first candidate for modding. The theme of the case is going to be loosely tied to Modders-Inc in color choices and design time permitting. So Black, Red, and Silver (brushed aluminum) will be the colors I try to stay with. The PSU came to us with blue windows and this was the first thing that had to go. Upon taking the PSU apart (man what a tight fit) I hit the first little snag. The blue windows are held in by 6 small tits that go through the windows and are bent over. Works for a window but makes them a little more challenging to replace. The next problem is how much actual room is available to work in. With the 120MM fan, 2 UV cathodes, and the standard parts, things are relatively tight. The stock windows are half inside the case and have outside of it. So using plexi makes it just a tad tighter.
So on with the new windows. For the time being I will be using some plain 3m plexi. If the look doesn't pan out when I mount it up I will remove them and toss in some red ones or possibly some mesh.
Now that the PSU is closed back up and tested on with the modding we go.
To start in on the case I went ahead and pulled off the front panel and scoped things out. Seeing how this is he second case of this nature that I was going to be removing the front louvers on and replacing them with mesh. I decided to alter the method I used. The last time I affixed the plexi to the front panel and then mounted the mesh to it. Well on this one I do not plan on using plexi behind the mesh. So the mess will be secured straight to the sides where the louvers where.
First step is to tape up the panels so I don't mar them up while working on them.
I used the tape on the backside as my lines to cut on.
[bleep]OK now that I temporarily patched the site back to this .[/bleep]
So once everything is tapped up I start in on the cutting. This process is relatively simple seeing how the panel is plastic. Doesn't take a lot of time to eat through it with a dremel or the likes (I personally use a right angle die-grinder).
Once I have the panel cut I removed the tape on the lower half making sure everything was going to look as I planned.
Now that I had the front panel cut, onto marking and cutting the mesh. I am a low budget modder so I use whatever I can . The mesh I am using is stainless steel provided from a friend.
Once things are marked up, time to pull the die-grinder back out. Now mesh will tend to eat your discs up a little quicker than on a solid sheet of steel like a side panel. As your cutting through the mesh your disc is getting the stopping / stopping scenario as you pass through the holes. Best thing to do is cut this stuff a little slower than normal.
Once the piece is cut then I move onto the bending/forming of it to fit the panel.
This process is also different on this case compared to my MeanGreen. MeanGreens mesh is flat except on the outer edges where I bent it at a 90 degree angle. This time I will add the contour of the front panel to the mesh while also doing the 90 degree bends to go through the openings I cut. On the top piece only I rolled the edge just a tad so that it doesn't catch to much attention. Where the two pieces meet will not be rolled at all.
For rolling the top of the top piece I simply take a pair of small needle nose pliers and going around the top edge, I simply put a little bit of pressure and a slight twist three or four times.
For the side bends (90 degree ones) I cheat a little. Low budget man here so I don't have a full shop handy. To get around this issue (while the wife is not home). I slip the kitchen table apart (like I am going to add the extra leaf in). Just enough to slip the mesh down between the two halves. I mark the mesh where I want the bend. Line it up with the top of the table (make sure you debur the edges or have something covering your table, I don't want any of your significant others mad at me ) and slide the two halves of the table back together. While using my body to hold one side and one hand on the other side (applying pressure to pinch the mesh), take your free hand and slowly bend the mesh. You can achieve nice even bends by doing this, or using a similar method.
Once thats done I start doing the final fitting of the two pieces.
More to come soon.