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Case Mod - In Progress Cephalot -- 40x 2.5" storage server

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by karbonKid, 9 May 2017.

  1. karbonKid

    karbonKid Minimodder

    5 Jul 2006
    Likes Received:
    Hi Bit-tech, long time no post!

    Why do the most involving projects always start so simply?

    It began with a killer eBay deal on 5 of these:


    So, the hunt for a case began. Criteria:

    • 10 5.25" bays (at least)
    • As small as possible, given the former constraint
    • The cheaper the better
    • Preferably no dividers between 5.25" bays

    Unfortunately, no-one wants to make cases with 5.25" bays any more. Everything I wanted seemed to be discontinued, and cases on eBay/Gumtree were tatty. After much searching, I managed to find a Zalman MS800 at megabytepcs.com, and it arrived within 1 working day of me ordering (over a bank holiday) - result!

    I then proceeded to procrastinate a bit, before dismantling the case enough to get at the metal underneath. I then prepped the case with some masking tape, to prevent any slips damaging the paint.

    Oh, yes, did I mention that this case had dividers between every drive bay? On both sides?

    The first thing I tried was to simply bend the tabs flat. I've had mixed results with this in the past, and there was no way it was going to work here -- the metal was far too thick and strong. Very impressive for a budget case.

    Next I thought about slicing the tabs off from the inside, using an angle grinder. This did work, but I decided it would be far too much work, require a lot of cleanup, and come with a big risk of damaging metal I actually wanted to keep.


    I then realized that on the right-hand-side of the case, at least, the tabs fell in between the dounting holes. So, a couple of long cuts later, I was left with this:




    The left-hand-side would be more tricky. The tabs were in line with the mounting holes, so vertical cuts would not work:


    I also wanted to retain the tool-less clips, if possible.

    After some thinking, I settled on the idea of making cuts from the edges of each tab fold, down to meet the nearest holes tangentially. This would mean:

    • I only had to make 2 straight cuts per tab
    • I could retain the toolless mounts
    • I could maintain the bottom set of mounting holes for each bay
    • The 'triangular' cutouts would look like they were meant to be there

    I first marked out the cuts using masking tape, then attacked with a Dremel from both sides.



    Once I had a more suitable cutting disk on the Dremel, progress was alarmingly quick:


    Final deburring/finishing was done with a needle file, to leave me with this:


    Next steps are to finish up the edges on the right-hand-side, paint to protect the raw steel, and then reassemble.

    The next post will also contain some more details on the hardware that is going to power this beast.

    In the meantime, does anyone know how thick Hammerite lays on? Thick enough to cause issues with screw hole diameter or sliding the drive bays in?
    Last edited: 9 May 2017

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