Case Modding How-To

Metal Polishing – Making Shiny Things

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The accidental miracle.

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I wanted to modify my MNPCTECH 360 OverKill grill to make it fit The Metallica Build.  My initial plan was to flat sand the Anodizing off of the top and then polish it like chrome. The only wet sand cloth I had that day was 600 grit and finer so the tough Anodizing was coming off very slowly.

 

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As I was sanding off the Anodizing a pattern started  to appear.  At this point I really hadn’t begun to appreciate the pattern and the plan was to sand it all off. I actually love the way this looked at this point, but that wasn’t the plan.  I may try another one in the future with this effect, If you don’t beat me to it. ha ha  After I went a little further I really started to like what I was seeing and decided to work with it.  Anodizing seems to be thicker in the high spots of objects, so the areas that you would think would sand down first seem to come off last. I rotate pieces a lot when sanding to keep things even, This is also why I use the biggest sanding block I can find.

 When I was done I polished it with Mothers and here is what I ended up with.

 

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Interestingly the little crown area of the Anodizing that remained almost looks like inlay of pearl, like they use on guitars. In our hurry to get things done fast we miss so many things.  Hand crafting has many benefits! speed is not one of them.  Modding is about making something unique and interesting. It doesn’t always have to be overly complicated or even expensive.  The Best builders that I see are able to do more with less, because they have mastered many techniques.  It is amazing what you can do when you put some time and effort into something you didn’t think you could do.  

 

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To say the least I was incredibly happy with what I’d stumbled into. If I had been using power tools I would have blown right past this and never found out what was hidden right in front of me.  I have used similar techniques on other parts of this build and I am sold on anodized aluminum.  You can sand and polish to get many varied effects.

For The Metallica Build I was going to use a black Anodized checkered plating to make it more original.  The Chrome plating had been done a lot and I needed something different.  Thanks to the secret I found doing the OverKill Grill I planned to weather the plate in the same way.  The final finish fits my build perfectly, Me and my sanding block are having a lot of fun! 

 

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Weathered custom mid plate for the Corsair 900D. I used this all around the case. I wet sanded the surface to expose just a bit of the Aluminum and then polished the whole thing.  I really prefer the Anodized Aluminum, because Anodizing is much tougher than paint and it lets you control how much you remove much more precisely.

 

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For this piece I polished the Copper and left the Aluminum in a raw condition to get contrast in the different layers.

 

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I have really grown to love polished metals. They can be very moody due to the light reflections off of them.  Aluminum will not tarnish, but Copper goes through deepening color changes as it tarnishes.  I haven’t clear coated any of the Copper on this build yet.  Some of the colors may look better than the highly polished look. I just use Mothers polish occasionally to bring it back to the original finish. 

 

Some Parting shots.

I wanted a better polish on the window frame and to remove the tarnish, so I wet sanded some more with 2000 grit and used some more polishing compound.

 

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For more pictures please see the full build Log for The Metallica Build here

Thanks to Modders-Inc and Dewayne for letting me present my techniques to you and I hope this is helpful.

 Editors Note: You can read Onevoicewild’s other how-to No CNC, No Problem Hand Crafted Metal Fabrication.

Another great How to guide by Onevoicewild! This is what modding is all about helping others learn how to create the things they want to make. If you have a How To Guide (Case Modding, Hardware or others) please let use know by sending a message to us through the Contact Page

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