Modding an Old PC Case.

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby Pabloz » 2019-3-14 @ 20:41

Does anyone at vogons has exerience in modding PC cases?
I have an old lianli case that i want to mod for a retro build
The case is nice but i would like it to have a side panel window made of acrylic.

My idea was to cut a window on the aluminum using a dremel

then to buy a piece of acrylic bigger than the window, and put it on the outside of the case.
+ 4 or 5 holes to place some screws and tight the acrylic to the side panel.

But i want the acrylic to look really nice, most cuts of acrylic have really bad edges and if i drill on the acryclic the holes will not look that nice. and condidering the acrylic will be on the outside part of the case and not the inside, the edges and holes will be very visible. (when in the factory for cases with window they use laser i belive?)
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby PC Hoarder Patrol » 2019-3-14 @ 21:14

Most windowed cases with the acrylic on the outside have bevelled window edges and IMHO diy versions can look naff if you don't do this (I'm not too keen on outside screws either). I'd suggest you put the acrylic on the inside and attach it with some high-strength double-sided adhesive foam tape (3M, Gorrila, No More Nails etc)

Which Lian Li case is it?
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby SirNickity » 2019-3-14 @ 22:29

I did something like this once, securing it to the inside of the panel with adhesive. I did about as good a job as you can do with hand tools, but it still doesn't look good. For one, the metal has a nice, treated exterior. When you go cutting it up, you expose raw metal, so your edges won't EVER look factory. Unless you're meticulous with the adhesion between the acrylic and panel, you'll end up with spots where there's a gap between the two, which just looks cheap.

Of course it's yours to do as you wish, but I would humbly suggest you not mar a nice case with a misguided attempt to add features to it. Coming from the voice of experience. There may be an acrylic side panel option that you can hunt down -- some of the Lian Li cases were available with optional side panel SKUs for this reason. Or just do what all self-respecting hardware enthusiasts do, and leave the side panel off for most of its lifetime. ;-D
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby luckybob » 2019-3-14 @ 22:57

leave the case alone. or just buy one with a window.

I've done it. it always looks like shit and you toss the case.
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby badmojo » 2019-3-14 @ 23:25

luckybob wrote:it always looks like shit and you toss the case.


+1
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby luckybob » 2019-3-14 @ 23:31

Also, to drive this home;

If you had the tools and skill to do this properly, YOU WOULDN'T BE ASKING US
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-15 @ 00:10

Case windows are overrated anyway.

Don't waste the time or money on this, you will likely hate the result and toss the case, as mentioned in the posts above.

If you really need to get this out of your system, go buy a new case with a case window on it already. Any ATX board will work fine in it, and with some retro-fitting, even AT boards can often be made to fit.
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby Pabloz » 2019-3-15 @ 01:22

the case is a lianli PC – A05FN, i really like the case for a retro build, i got 5 1/4 and also slot for floppy drive.
the thing is that i would really like a window with some lights.

cutting the hole with dremel would expose edges that could be painted with small touches of black paint and that would not be noticeable because the acrylic goes on the outside.


now if the acrylic as to go on the inside, then i need to use something like this, it doesnt look bad, but acrylic on the outside looks nicer:

https://mnpctech.com/case-mods-gaming-p ... clone.html

my idea was to build something like this, i dont think it looks bad, i just need to find out how to soften the edges of the acrylic:
Image
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby luckybob » 2019-3-15 @ 01:33

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby appiah4 » 2019-3-15 @ 04:20

luckybob wrote:Also, to drive this home;

If you had the tools and skill to do this properly, YOU WOULDN'T BE ASKING US


luckybob being right as usual.
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby Merovign » 2019-3-15 @ 04:57

Cutting a Lian Li side panel with a Dremel is like trying to cut down a tree with a fork.

I had a purpose-made heavy-duty rotary tool with a side-cutting bit and it took me several attempts and a few bits just to cut a couple of fan holes for better cooling.

Either hire a professional (water cutting works well, also plasma cutters), buy a pre-made windowed case or side panel, or get the right kind of tool and some scrap metal to practice on.

I can't remember what the tool I used was called and a quick search doesn't find it, most people use cutting wheels (messy) or nibblers (even more messy).
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby luckybob » 2019-3-15 @ 05:05

I specifically remember doing it to my old Antec case for my Pentium 4. I did a good job too. It looked fine, but it was never as good as the professional ones.
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby oohms » 2019-3-15 @ 05:06

You can get the case cut by a cnc laser cutter (including screw holes) and screw on the acrylic behind the panel, which is about as close to professional looking as you can get

Or you can get one of the old fashioned case window kits, cut the case to the supplied template and the messy cutting is hidden behind a wide black rubber glazing seal that holds the acrylic in place
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Re: Modding an Old PC Case.

Postby tayyare » 2019-3-15 @ 05:51

luckybob wrote:leave the case alone. or just buy one with a window.

I've done it. it always looks like shit and you toss the case.


The Wise Man of the day. I completely agree.

If you are not a professional handyman with enough talent, knowledge and experience, leave it as it is. Dremel is not a magic wand.
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