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Case Mod - In Progress Project Perspective | (Another) Silverstone TJ07 Watercooled Case Mod - Project Log

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Alec**, 23 Mar 2012.

  1. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    So about a year ago, I purchased a TJ07 off a mate who did a darn good job of building in a duel loop system, with a few mods to achieve a fantastic clean build, here's how it used to look...

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    The hardware that will be going into the build, well for the time being it will be pretty much what I'm using at the moment.. although there will be an addition of a Thermochill PA120.3 which should bring the temps down a bit.

    i5 850 @4.2GHz (Heat Killer 3.0)
    Sapphire HD 5850 (EK Acrylic & Nickel)
    Gigabyte P55-UD5
    OCZ DDR3 4GB 1600MHz
    X-fi Xtreme Music
    Samsung F3 1TB
    WDC 500 GB
    Epsilon 700W


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    So as I was saying.. the TJ has been sitting around here for quite a while, retired, with he aim of completing a pretty hefty mod on it. And now, reviving the highly regarded case, myself (& MikeMK) are now embarking on the mod.

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    Now, I'm not claiming to be the first person to ever mod a TJ07, but I've been developing a few ideas that I reckon would look pretty cool, and will make a nice introduction to the modding scene. I haven't developed some incredibly detailed renders from Google sketch up, but I can give you a taster of some of the mods it will include:

    • BTX - Something both myself and MikeMK have always wanted to do, and should work quite well with the next mod.
    • Roof Window - Replacing the cooling effective mesh and fans with slightly less effective perspex to add a slightly different perspective of the PC.
    • Window panel - So obviously with the BTX, a new panel will have to be cut, possibly a little neater for the build.
    • Mirror Mod - Furthering the different viewpoints, I'm keeping with the little touch I've done on my PC by mounting a mirror on the floor.
    • New motherboard tray - There's always been a inch or two gap between the mobo tray & drive bays, this mixed with the bazzilion holes in the current tray results in the need for a new, clean panel.
    • Drive bay cover - It always bothered me you could see the back of the hard drives etc. along with cables from inside the case, a neat cover should tidy this up a bit.
    • New floor / rad fasia - Yet more metal panels in aid of a clean finish, this will include the mirror mod.
    • Front panel - No more 5 1/2" bay covers, one clean panel with a flush DVD drive should work on the clean look.

    And there will be some more mods to come :)

    As for the final look, it will be powder coated, and after wanting to go for this look for so long, it will be white. The secondary colour, as a result of hardware and preference, also predictable, will be blue.

    I will mention at this point (if it's not already obvious) I am new to the modding scene, and so I'd really appreciate any advice or suggestions you may have for the build :) So I think that's about it for the brief, we should have quite a few photos (and videos) posted on here by the end of this weekend, with the intention of of completing the chassis ready to be powder coated.

    Thanks & Enjoy :)
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2012
  2. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Contents

    -Reserved-
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2012
  3. James'Mods

    James'Mods Mad Man Modder

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    Your old build is simple and clean. I like your new ideas on your next build. So blue for powder coating? Will you be painting the rads. as well?
     
  4. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Cheers James :) Well I'm torn between doing complete white powder coating with blue lighting and fluid, or possibly doing a combination of blue and white powder coating.. will make a call once the case is at that stage :p And the rad will most defiantly get done too, to match the Noctuas we painted for it 18 months back (shown in the TJ pic earlier).

    Will get some pics posted in a few mins :)
     
  5. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Afternoon, and time for the first update :)

    So we began last night by making the project board, which we know is possibly a little optimistic in terms of what we will achieve this weekend – “but nothing wrong with ambition!” – MikeMK

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    And to set the scene…

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    So we started off by making the first cut on the back of the new motherboard tray for the IO plate etc. and instead of using a dremel for a change we opted for a more meaty Jigsaw which gets the job done allot quicker :)

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    With that cut to size, we began to work on the new floor / rad cover. First up we had to drill out the rivets of the previous motherboard tray rails, and then cut the lip off the current floor in order to mount the new panel on it, with a curve.

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  6. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Biiiig piece of metal before cutting:

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    And then it was time for the ‘curve’ of the panel. We didn’t want just a fold, or 2 edges, instead something a bit nicer to look at, fitting in with the curved look. To achieve this, we used a metal pipe with 2cm diameter, and then worked the 15mm sheet of metal around it.

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    So we’ve just made a start on cutting the lower part of this panel down, which we’ll carry on with after a spot of lunch :)

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  7. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    So, after lunch we thought we should get back to it…

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    First job was to make mounting cut outs/tabs on the new mid-section/PSU cover panel. These will eventually be used to screw the panel into the floor of the case. First we marked out the tabs, and used the jig-saw to cut them out, using a drill to cut pilot holes for the centre cuts.

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    Then we took a dremel and used it to score down the back of each of the mounting “tabs” to make them easier to bend.

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    We needed to cut sections out of each end of the curve to fit around the main structural pillars of the case:

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    Its funny what comes in handy when modding, we were just drawing up a template for the curved cut that sits towards the front of the case, and realised the fish food pot in the shed was the exact size we needed… nice!

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    Filing it smooth – will probably need a little more work to get it flush…

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    And at last… a test fit… not looking bad at all!

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    And that’s all for today… more tomorrow – hoping to get the panel for the drive bay cover done.

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  8. James'Mods

    James'Mods Mad Man Modder

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    Great shots. Like your backyard workshop! Just enough room for modding. That's a lot of work for one day and you're done a good job with the cuts. Keep up the good work! Subscribed.
     
  9. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Cheers James, been a nice workshop in the good weather this weekend :)

    Okay so the update for today, not a biggie but achieved a few bits...

    Cut the slits down the bottom of the floor / rad cover for the side panel fitting:

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    Had to take a bit more off the side for the panel's side clip to fit in:

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    Then discovered that there were 2 steel lips preventing it from going in flush, so they had to go:

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    Next, onto the inside drive bay cover, another folding job :p

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    And finally, beginning to cut the hole for original drive bay panel to fit through the new floor:

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    Here's a mock up of how it's looking:

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    Not sure how quickly this project will take place, but will certainly get bits done here and there, and we'll have another couple of weekends for it in upcoming weeks / months.. so keep tuned :)
     
  10. SilveR_172

    SilveR_172 Member

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    Looking good mate , you do all this today with the hot weather ? Coming together nice , to be hones when i first saw the first page i wasnt thinking it would be all that good , but youve realy out done yourself mate, KEEP IT UP !
     
  11. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Hehe thanks Silver :) Yeah it's been a good weekend to get on with it outside, despite a few other bits going on and a couple of setbacks. Not sure about the pace of the project over the next few weeks, but will certainly not compromise on quality :p
     
  12. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    It's been nearly a year since this kicked off, and nearly a year since any progress has been made! But the last few weeks I've got round to continuing work on it, and now in a stage not so far from completion.

    So first up, 3 120mm holes were cut in the floor / lower shelf cover section which line up with the rad to go behind it. Again, the jigsaw was used, and the end result after a bit of filing isn't too bad. 2 'tube size' holes were also cut on the floor section of the panel for the res down to pump tube, and rad to CPU. This was done using the appropriate sized hole saw.

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    Just to prove the fans on the rad line up...

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    Not pictured, but this panel has been fitted by gluing the underside of the floor to a bracket, which is bolted to the original floor in the TJ. This appears to be a very secure fit, and enables the panel to be taken out.

    Next up, the motherboard tray. Using the trusty dremel, rectangular holes have been cut for Mobo, CPU, and GPU power, as well as SATA, front panel connectors, and USB ports.

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    Holes for the motherboard mounting were also drilled.

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    In terms of mounting, right angled brackets have been glued to the back of the new mobo tray, and bolted to the original TJ floor, as well as being glued to a removable bracket to the roof (not pictured).

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    So here's what it looked like with all pannels in place.

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    Originally I was planning to powdercoat the case, but due to being undecided on colours, cost, and curiosity of an alternative method, I used adhesive film in Matt Black. At about £10 for enough to do the case twice over, it made sense with the prospect of changing colour, or altering panels in mind. It was a bit of a pain to apply, more frustrating than anything, but none the less manageable. The overall finish: Generally I'm very impressed, it looks very clean and the 'soft' / 'silky' black looks pretty good, but air bubbles were an issue. The closer you look, the more you see :/.

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    So that's pretty much where I'm at now, next on the agenda:
    -Mounting hard drive cages in the front of the case
    -Sort some form of a front pannel for the drive bays
    -Cut side window, & Acrylic
    -Cut Acrylic for roof window

    And then it's pretty much onto the build! :clap:
     
  13. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    Looking nice.
    But I don't understand why you went and did so much metalwork when you could have just moved the sliders to the other side of the case and reversed the baclplate which would have gotten you inversed ATX with stock parts. You could have made a new mobo plate that could still slide out.
     
  14. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Shaping up nice :). I do love a good TJ :)
     
  15. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    bdigital - Cheers :)

    Hukkel - Yeah i did consider that, but it was more that I was going for a mobo pannel to cover the entire 'back section' of the case (top to bottom, and left to right), the only way to get that and to keep it looking pretty clean was to mount a new sheet, with only the necessary holes. The backplate used is still the original TJ one, so I didn't have to redo that.
     
  16. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    A Few Bits...

    Over the last week, I've been working on a couple of small things, and a solution to the HDD bays.

    To kick of, a tiny matter.. I had to extend the front panel connectors as a result of the BTX design, so I made use of a few spare cables in order to keep with the black & blue cabling theme...

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    Next up, due to the drive bay cover, the bays were left a little tight on room, which meant slightly adjusting the location of the PCB on the DVD drive to give the room for the SATA connectors.

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    Finding a solution to the front panel & hard drive storage has been on my mind since day 1, and today I've gone part way to resolving this. (For now) I've kept the original TJ drive covers, chopped the annoying screw brackets, and glued them to a single panel. At first I was planning on putting a hinge on this for quick access to HDDs / SDDs, but I've realised it's a bit too 'snug' in the front to get away with that.

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    I've recycled the original HDD bays (as pictured previously), as well as the support bracket with single thumb screw release for the bays. This is attached to a modified drive bay cage.

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    Some slight chopping and gluing with a second cage to maximize the space in the front for 5 HDDs.

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    Finally, using the jigsaw on 'painfully low' speed, a piece of perspex was cut to form the roof window. Holes were drilled to match up with the mounting holes for the old mesh meaning easy and secure attachment. Already getting fed up with the dust collection on the surface though. :/

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    I also opted for trashing the original USB / Audio / Firewire ports behind the flap, and replaced it with this...

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    So at the end of the day, here's how it's looking, pretty TJ07 esk...

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    I'm still unsure on how to finish the front bays, it looks pretty clean how it is, but i feel it could use a little more.. 'something.' I did consider modifing a portable TV LCD screen, or a digital picture frame LCD in some way to mount there, but I can't justify it practically..

    So short of finalising the front, I believe it's now just a matter of cutting the new side window, then seeing what problems arise when building:)
     
  17. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    A Delayed Update..

    So a few final shots of the last couple of mods, and the building process...

    As I said earlier I wasn't so happy with the way the front was finished, so the use of the old drive bay covers was scrapped, and replaced with a hinged door for easy access to the hard drive bays. A loose fitting:

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    Waiting for the glue to set on the hinges...

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    Next up, the previously mounted roof window wasn't quite right not being flush. Before:

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    So another piece of perpex was cut to fit on top, resulting in a flush top.. looks a lot better!

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    That's it for the primary mods, next onto the building process... I had a last minute change of heart on the colour scheme however, the previously blue & black braiding wouldn't have stood out enough on the matt black panels, so I decided on the addition of white cabling and tubing to really stand out, and compliment the Gigabyte motherboard. If I could have got decent sky blue coolant to match components on the motherboard, I would have probably used that. Here's a few shots of building in process...

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    It is now finished, the final shots will be uploaded hopefully in the next few days ;)
     
  18. Hukkel

    Hukkel James' minion

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    I absolutely LOVE the look through the top window. This is why EK needs to stop making their stupid circle blocks. BLERGH.
     
  19. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Couldn't agree more! That EK top's what inspired (made) me fit a roof window, have to say I'm a little disappointed with some of EK's designs atm.
     
  20. Alec**

    Alec** New Member

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    Some Final Shots of the Rig!

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