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First time scratch build - could use a little advice

Discussion in 'Modding' started by bennylava, 20 Nov 2020.

  1. bennylava

    bennylava New Member

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    Hi all, new here. I'm new to case modding but I've always wanted to try my hand at building a case. I have several questions, so I think maybe it's best if I just number them:

    1. What's the best I can do with standard aluminum angle from Lowes/Home Depot? I'm considering building the "frame" of the case out of 90 degree aluminum that you can buy from one of the big box stores. Good idea, or bad idea? Would I run into any trouble if I did this? Would it necessarily look somehow... ugly? Or is there a way to make it look good? And are there any pics of a case made this way? Perhaps someone here has done it at some point.

    2. Where's the least expensive place to order sheet aluminum in the thickness needed for a PC case? (and steel)

    3. Should I use aluminum, or should I use steel? I like the idea of aluminum because it's lighter. And I don't know why, but it just seems cooler somehow. It does dent/scratch easier though.

    4. Where can I buy the proper... extrusion to make panels sit flush? This will depend on the thickness of the panels of course. If you're familiar with extrusion, you may have seen those 90 degree ones that have a lip on the outside. One lip on each side of it. That way, once you've cut it and made it into a frame, any panels will sit flush inside the lip. This would give the case a more professional look. Granted you matched the thickness of the panel, with the depth of the lip it's going to sit in, of course.

    5. Can you just paint over old PC case paint? This question isn't related to building a case from scratch, but I may want to modify a factory painted case someday. Ideally, you wouldn't have to strip off that tough black paint that most cases come painted with. You'd want to just paint over it. But what do you use to make sure the new paint stick to the old paint? Etching primer? Some kind of adhesion promoter? Or do you have to strip the old paint off?

    6. Anyone know exactly what kind of paint they use to paint the outside of factory PC cases? That will help me determine exactly how I want to deal with the old paint. You might imagine a black Cooler master or Corsair brand case.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bossywalker

    Bossywalker New Member

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    1. Look at the project log for Da Module Thingy.
     
  3. bennylava

    bennylava New Member

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    Well I did a search for that, and unfortunately it doesn't turn up anything. Do you happen to have a link to the project you're referring to?
     
  4. enbydee

    enbydee Active Member

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  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Go for 3mm thickness. Looks will depend on finish: how you cut the rails, connect them together and possibly, how you paint them. Make the modular design a feature.

    Look for your local scrap metal merchant for cheap offcuts. Again go for at least 3mm thickness.

    Aluminium. Steel is a bugger to cut, and adds weight to a case pretty quickly (so go no thicker than 1mm). Someone once got his hands on some titanium sheet... which was virtually unworkable. Your case needs to be structurally sound but it doesn't have to survive a crash test.

    Google is your friend...

    Best finish would require sanding off the old paint, spraying it with primer and than the top coat.

    They generally use powder coating.
     
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Hardware store angle is a great starting point for custom building. I think we've all used it.
    Most links are dependent on your location. US resources for stuff:
    Mcmaster-carr - Industrial supply with everything. Not the cheapest.
    8020.net - T-slot extrusions.
    bolt depot
    delvie's plastics
    and, amazingly enough, e-bay. There's a ton of metal and industrial suppliers on there.
    online metals will get you a good idea of fair pricing. You can judge a local metal supplier based on that.

    90% of sourcing materials is using the right search term.
     
  7. bennylava

    bennylava New Member

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    Thanks to all for the replies. Here's a close approximation of what I'd like to build, but with cover panels. That way it can have some form or fashion of artistic flair. In an icy greyish blue color, or an earthy orange color with some scratches to the bare metal and some sprayed on stenciled numbering and lettering of some kind. Maybe a video game reference that isn't overt. Anyway just go to 15:10 in the video to skip right to it.

     
    Last edited: 28 Nov 2020 at 07:10

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