There comes a time in everyone’s life where we start to search the web and see what other people are doing with their PC’s. Some times we see sites that offer the hardcore gamer showing off their uber PC with all the latest and greatest parts. Sometimes we even see those that go the extra step and have a dozen programs running to show the specs under a full load and how cool the machine remains or how quiet it is. Then, there are those of us who like to take a case and create something extra or add a little pinch of that special ingredient that sets us apart from others.
This mod I decided to do does not take a computer guru or an architecture genius. All it takes is a little time, a few tools and a little extra patience. The parts I used for this mod were a dremel, a jigsaw with a 18Tpi (Tooth per inch) blade, some strong double sided tape found at home depot, some “U” channel (purchasable online at FrozenCPU.com) cause this brand has adhesive in the “U” and a piece of acrylic also purchasable at Home Depot at .093 but not quite an 1/8th of an inch (I would have preferred the 1/8″ for sturdiness). As you can see I have taped my PC door from the Element S case found over at the Thermaltake.com website. After taping, I proceeded to draw the outline what I wanted the window to look like. Keep in mind I did not want to see the drive bay area of the case so I added a little extra in my design.
Also, keep in mind that you need to keep your corners on the rounded side so the “U” channel does not have to be cut. If you use right angles on your window you will have to cut (in all four corners) the “U” channel to make ends meet. So back to the mod. Once again in the first image you can see that I have taped off and drawn my window.
In this image you can see what I am going to use in order to make the incision for the jigsaw to then finish the cutting. Here, I am using a dremel easy lock with a metal cutting disk. The tape next to it will be used later on in this mod, but is there in order to show you a few items I am using or that you need to attain in order to finish your mod.
In the next couple of photos you will notice that my work area is well lighted and that proper safety measures have been taken. I will be wearing safety glasses, but not the ones that wrap around your entire eye socket. These are just glasses. It makes it easier to see, no fogging and you can peek out when you need to in case you feel you are off the line. When cutting please be sure to go slowly to some degree so that you don’t overshoot your rounded corners.
On our way! Here is the first incision of the case door. At this point there is no going back. I am not able to get just a door in case I mess up so have some confidence in what you are doing if you are unable to replace anything you are doing or using. Maybe even do some test runs in wood first, but please try it with a wood blade meant for curves.
At this point I decide it best to tape the entire door since using a jigsaw might just leave scratches in the unprotected area. Also, remember not to press so hard or you will rub up the tape under the jigsaw and scratch the case anyhow. What you are seeing now is the completed, but imperfect cut out of the windows. At this point I will leave the tape on and use either your dremel to clean things up or you can just as easily (I did) use a rounded metal file.
After I cleaned up as much as I could see, I removed all the tape to do a final straightening and cleaning of the outline. As you can see I did not scratch the door while using a jigsaw to cut it out. Please bear in mind using painters tape really works well as it will not leave a tacky mess! Do not use tape that will leave a messy surface problem for you later as it is just more to clean up and can be a pain to remove.
After I fine tuned the edge I broke out the “U” channel. This can be purchased online as I did not find it in Lowes, Home Depot, the local store, Home Owners Haven or even Westfield lumber. You would think that someone out there needs to cover an edge so that no one gets hurt. You can purchase this nice “U” channel over at FrozenCPU.com. Get the six to 12 day delivery. I ordered mine two days ago and already got it. Maybe I just got lucky!
Wow does it get any better than this? I don’t think so. Nothing quite like using your own hands and the noodle to get accomplished what you want! At this point I realized how close I was to finishing and started to get sad. However, I did come to think how good it was going to look on the case so I think a part of me wanted to go even faster!
Cut my acrylic using the jigsaw. It was a breeze with the next blade in the package that says: “for PVC”. I am not sure of the number on this blade atm. However, I do know it cuts smooth and nice! Now all I have to do is test it for size one more time and then peel off the cover on the tape, line up, center and use a little pressure to make a good solid connection.
Wow… all I need to do now is clean up my workspace and admire my case. The next mod I will be doing is in stalling Cool-It’s Vantage Class CPU water cooling. That should make for another interesting post.
I hope you enjoy the photos below cause other than a quick wipe from a new sock all we need to do now is install the door on the PC and we are ready to go! Enjoy folks and if there is anything you need help with or advice on please don’t hesitate to ask! Also, please right click and open to see these images in a larger size, you will definitely see more detail that way.
This was a very memorable mod that I found to be quite easy to accomplish. Again, if you have time, patience and a few extra bucks it is really nice to have a machine you can see the inside of. I mean really what good is it to have those really awesome parts and not be able to view them. No matter what cases I decide to buy in the future I will be cutting them. This one will always be my first, but it most certainly will not be my last. If you are in New Jersey and would like help or need some information please contact me and let me know.