Greetings, all! This will be a quick little project I'll be doing on the side to move out some of the chassis I have laying around to make room for...well, probably more chassis. This project will be based around an old Cooler Master ATC-210 that I've had laying around for quite a while and figured I should either mod it or toss it. So I figured I'd mod it first before I attempted to toss it. Stupid project name aside , here's a pic of the chassis as it originally was... I've long since removed all the acrylic crap from it, but I still have all the little aluminum bits for it and I may use those or not; haven't decided yet. A buddy of mine's father has a system in a POS chassis, and I've always hated that his system sounds like a jet-engine with all the crappy high-speed fans he has in that thing. Ugh, a total eyesore. So I figured I'd make him another kind of eyesore! I really don't know exactly what I'm going to do to this thing, so I'm just kind of winging it. I had initally set up a mockup in red because I have some metallic red laying around, but I also have some metallic copper. I really don't know. Maybe I should 'age' things? I don't know, lol. I'll see what he thinks about it as well; that will probably show what I'm going to do about the paint-job. Here's the concept anyways... Let's get to work, shall we? Here's the stock case as it sits right now... I had mentioned to Bill the other day that I was going to start a small project log (this one, obviously) using an old case I had laying around, and I would be using one of the MNPCTech Steampunk grills I designed that was graciously sponsored by MNPCTech. Bill then proceeded to ask if I'd make a tutorial out of it. So after a good 25 mins. of me whining, crying and complaining, I finally conceded and accepted doing it. So, here's my little tutorial integrated into this project log in it's entirety. Put on your sarcasm-caps folks, and enjoy! ---------------- So here we are... An easy, simple, little grassroots-guide to installing an MNPCTech Steampunk Grill. This guide can be applied to any MNPCTech acrylic grill, but will not work at all with any other (read: inferior) brand grills. I don't know; I think it has something to do with DOS and BASIC or something. This guide contains certain assumptions of the reader. For instance, how to plug power tools in to wall sockets and how to breath. But these are all common things most human beings perform, but it's just a precautionary blanket statement. The case I will be installing the grill onto doesn't matter, but here's the top of the chassis for visual aid. And here we have MNPCTech's awesome, awe-inspiring and extraneously omnipotent grill. Well, one of them anyways. I decided I'm putting the grill on the top of the chassis because the stock case has a paltry single 80mm fan there, and I wanted to cover that up. Normally, I'd go through the trouble of creating some kind of overly-complex stencil that only I could decipher with no small help from my trusty decoder-ring I acquired out of stale caramel popcorn box with a sailor on it, but for ease of use and for the reader's comfort, I'm going to go back to the basics and do things in a normal, simple and obviously logical sense. Granted, it's been a number of years since I've modded in this low-tech fashion, so bear with me, kind reader! (Inserted comment... Regardless of what I do here, you really should masking-tape the panel you're cutting to protect it from any possible mistakes or bleeding incidents before beginning work on it!) After placing and lining the grill exactly where I want it to reside, I simply apply some tape to hold the thing in place. This isn't totally necessary, but for those who do not have a steady hand or those that aren't that good at playing the game Jenga or perhaps not adept at performing brain-surgery for instance, might find this a good thing to do. Next, I simply take a writing utensil of some kind; in this case it's a pencil (#2 to be exact, because no other pencil will work; Beauty & The Beast graphics on it counts as extra points), and trace around the inside of the grill's edges as well as the (in this case) 8 (eight) fan mounting holes. Some like to just hole-saw the holes out or even dremel them out in a circle, but this particular (read: awesome, awe-inspiring and extraneously omnipotent) design of these grills complement the inside edges of the fan itself; i.e. flat edges with rounded corners. So, in this case, I'm going to be cutting the case to match the inside edges of the grill proper. After about 4 hours of making sure my pencil lines are straight, I'm left with this lovely sight... Now, let's get to cutting, shall we? All modders have their methods. Some like to cut with a jigsaw; some with a rotary tool; even some that like to use a scroll saw or their own teeth. Personally, I like to use a rotary tool. They're easy to use, fast, and convenient. Kind of like a drive-thru bathroom, I suppose. Now, I'm not going to to take the time to delve deep into the logistics and philosophy of utilizing a rotary tool, because there are plenty of guides for that already. Bill's video Guide to Dremel Techniques is well-worth a viewing or 5. It's almost a religious experience, and it may save one or two of your precious digits, not to mention that irreplaceable case panel! Personally, I like to use a Flex-Shaft with my rotary tool because it allows better control. Of course, that's my personal opinion about them, but others may disagree; similar to the boxers-or-briefs debate. I also tend to use the reinforced EZ-Lock discs. I can get three cases-worth of cutting out of a single disc (your experience may vary), and they're way more reliable than the standard ones. Oh, and it may be a good idea to wear some hearing and eye protection. Just food for thought. You could easily cut along the lines you've already drawn and it will come out fine, but I like to take it one step farther by 'beveling' the cut. I just make a new path slightly outside of the existing drawn line which creates a buffer on the metal. By doing this, the final cuts will be made slightly wider than the grill's edges which makes the grill overlap your cut edges. It looks more tidy, and it will possibly serve as 'insurance' to those that aren't that good at the aforementioned Jenga game and the cuts are everything but straight. Now, let's start to cut the case panel. Simply align the disc along the lines and let the rotary tool do it's job. DO NOT push down hard, or barely at all. Again, let the rotary tool do it's job; i.e. removing metal. And after another 4+ hours of back-breaking and grueling manual labor, we're left with this... I simply like to run a flat-file along the edges of the cuts to remove burrs and snags and to 'shape out' slight errors in the cuts. You can also use sandpaper (if you're careful not to ruin the finish on the panel if you don't intend to paint) or even a rotary tool's sanding disc attachment. Whatever you choose will result in wonderful, glorious excitement to be had by all. I forgot to drill out the holes, but that's okay. Let's take care of that as well. I had a scrap chunk of wood laying around, so I propped the panel on top of that allowing me a flat surface to drill into as well as getting it up off the table. Again, everyone has their own method. Now, after that's all wrapped up and dipped in awesomeness, let's see where the grill's going to sit, shall we? Looks perfect. I then remove the protective paper from the acrylic (I personally like to wear disposable latex gloves to minimize fingerprints, peanut butter & jelly, or whatever happens to be on your grubby little hands at the time from transferring to the acrylic) and place it on it's final home. I also align the (in this case) two 120mm fans roughly where I want them on the opposite side of the panel. Next, let's begin to thread in the mounting screws into the fans. If all your drilling was actually straight this time, the holes should all line up with their corresponding holes through the panel and the fans themselves. I personally use larger #10 5/8" length screws for fan install if I'm not using socket-cap screws, but the stock screws that come with your fan(s) work just as good. Although the black-oxide screws look beefier and better though, don't they? Now, that 'beveling' I mentioned earlier? If you look closely, you can't see the edges of the cut metal. Looks killer and professional. Now sit back and admire your mod-godlike results... Let's flip on the fans for a little light-show action! (note: only LED fans will light up, so purchase accordingly. Some may not produce an actual light-show, but will create some light) And this concludes my little tutorial to cutting holes in your case and installing an MNPCTech grill. Again, this guide only works with MNPCTech brand grills, so please keep that in mind. Now, enjoy the fruits of your labor and--D'oh! I just realized I now have to do the same thing to the top of the inside chassis too, since there's two layers here! ---------------- Now, that was fun, wasn't it? ------------- Until the next update, I got nuthin'.