I started this thread last summer on a different website. I'll catch you guys up. Here's a cut-and-paste of the background of the project. July 4th, 2007 I have within walking distance of my house a small computer recycling center where people go to pay to have their working electronics taken away and later resold. I frequent the place and sort through the ten dollar computers stacked like wood in their back lot. Now this tuesday, july the 3rd, a thought suddenly occured to me: There is a Lian-Li behind AA (the name of the shop). I had no evidence to back this up and I had not visited the place in about a month. I went and looked, and Lo! There was a silver Lian-Li PC-6x (I don't know the exact model) whimpering in the grass. The computer it contained was decent, a 1.3Ghz Athlon Xp with 512ddr. Not bad. But the case! The glory! Of course, there was a catch. There was no front panel! 8O Lots of nasty brown spots everywhere... dust.... Good lord! Who did this to you, Lian, WHO!!?? :evil: That's right, someone DUCT TAPED the motherboard tray in place and filled it with cotton balls. It stays in place fine with screws, but apparently duct tape and cotton balls were needed. Idiots. With a little love and soap and water she should be looking top shape, but without a front panel she's most certainly not sea-worthy! I checked Ebay and google products to no avail. You know what this means, gentlemen! A modification is afoot! --------------- July 10th, 2007 --------------- I did a HUGE amount of work today, like as far as I can go with my current assortment of tools. I started by cutting the front 120mm fan hole It's far from perfect, I may have to redo it. The error was in the planning, not the execution. I figured that I could just put the fan in place and trace around the inside. The problem was that the inside was tapered, thicker around the center than the edges. Also, these silent fans have 11 fins which makes it hard for me to stick my pencil in there. This gave me uneven edges. It's okay, I didn't cut outside the real circle so I can redo it if it's too much of a problem. I also did planning on the back fan but didn't actually cut it in fear of messing up like I did in the front. I already determined that I can fit another 80mm in there. I learned from my mistake in the front and cut an 80mm circle out of paperboard with a compass (sorry you can't really see it). I then lined it up on the back and drew around it. You can also see where I cut out the back grill. I could have left it and made another one to match, but I hadn't ever used the scroll saw before and I didn't know that it would be feasable. So I'll use grills. Also, this front grill will have to be replaced for the simple reason that I don't have two of them and it would look bad to have just one. As I continue to be rather uncomfortable with freehanding it, I'll wait until I have a circle cutter and drill press, at which point I'll unrivet the case and put in the top and bottom fans, provided that I keep them in my design (depends what kind of radiator I go with, and if I go with one at all). I filed and die'd (died?) the feet. I will be using dome nuts with washers on the inside to secure them. A really, really bad pic of the three stages from left: ridged, filed, and died. Here they are in their completed state. I need to get to lowes and pick up some nuts, as 7/16 NF 20 is not a common thread and we don't have any nuts of that caliber lying around. I cut out the hole for the window. --------------- July 29th, 2007 --------------- I stopped by Shuck's today and picked up some sandable primer and spot filler. I looked at the paint that they had, but I didn't see anything that caught my eye in particular. Does anyone have any suggestions as to who has a large selection of spray paint? eBay doesn't have any at all, home depot just has buckets and boring wood paint, and shucks is okay but not great. And NOBODY carries 7/16-20 hex nuts, let alone dome nuts! I checked Home Depot, Ace, and Lowes! I'll have to pick some up online. Grrrr.... :evil:. Anyway, I worked on spot filling and sanding today. I probably could have started priming today, but I didn't. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. The sides with spot filler applied. A big dent on the side with spot filler sanded. ------------------- At this point I shelved the project for ~6 months while I worked on other projects. During this time I radically changed my plans for the project, so disregard any previous plans. Jan 1 2008 ------------------- I've been really busy lately due to a term paper, but I have managed to get some work done on this mod. I've been mostly making sketchups to aid the actual construction, but I did officially break major ground by taking out the internal structure. It's a fine structure, but it doesn't fit my intentions well and it would be harder to work around it than to make a new one. On to pics. Without the structure. Looks kind of like a really skinny quadraped, like a horse or a camel or something. Maybe I'm just nuts. Back view. I had to take out like 6 rivets just on that back power supply section, and about 8 more in the front. There's a problem. There is a rail that attaches to the internal structure that holds the mobo tray in place. I have a solution. I'll just put it on the end of the mobo tray, as there will be structure there. And that's what I did. Next week I will start in to this more, provided that the weather is nice and that I'm not working on other mods. ---------------- February 3, 2008 ---------------- I was away, and then I was buried, and then I was away again, and now I'm buried again. I brought my laptop with me on my trip and was able to get my sketchups done for the most part. These panels are for the inside of the lian-li. The box on the upper left is the psu, and I'm not making the back panel like that. It's just there for reference. All of those holes will be cut out using a chassis punch, and a plexiglass panel will be spaced 1/4" above it with congruent holes. The holes in the plexi will be slightly larger than the holes in the metal (9/8" vs 7/16"). The front of the psu is sort of how it will look, except that the plexi will be raised. Remember the Berserker? Same concept and materials, except that the cables will actually hold wires or possibly water. They'll screw into the metal using chase nipples and connect the sections together. In case you were wondering, the sides of the drive bay and psu are about 1/2" away from the edge of the case, so they won't have cables. They will be left open for ventilation, but every hole that can hold a cable will have one running out of it. I'll pre-run wires for any additions, so it should be relatively easy to upgrade. The panels will be held together using aluminum angle, standoffs, threaded rod, and cap nuts. I say that these sketchups are completed "for the most part" because I need to decide whether or not I'm going to make a plate for the mobo, and how it will affect the other panels if I do. I'm not sure if I put the psu and drive bay in exact alignment, and if I move them now it screws everything up because I can't move my guides with the workpiece. I'm leaning towards making it, but it would only be able to cover half of the motherboard because of the pci cards. Oh, and I'm making a hole-covered plate that will stand off of the video card(s) as well. My other big decision is whether I'll use frosted or tinted plexi. I have a host of 3/64" tinted acrylic, but no frosted. I've heard about spray-on frosting treatment for glass, but plexi isn't glass. I guess that I could just pony up, but I don't know. If you're silently wondering how my only accomplishment over the weekend was a few rectangles and a boatload of holes, observe it with the guides turned on: I measured and calculated to the 1/1000 of an inch, though I'm slightly less accurate than that with a ballpoint pen . I didn't render the plexiglass or standoffs or even the case because I don't need to: I use sketchup as 3d graph paper and thus frills are unnecessary. Let me know if this doesn't make sense and I can explain more or make diagrams. ------------------ February 9th, 2008 ------------------ I started cutting my panels yesterday. I upgraded my parent's comp and it has been going, how you say, not smoothly. In my spare moments I managed to cut a panel: It doesn't go in the front like that, though I will have to cut a new front panel of some sort. I just set it there for reference. It's the backplate for the drive bays. Today I was working and it was raining, but hopefully I will have progressed more by tomorrow. ------------------ February 11, 2008 ------------------ Today I got almost all of the necessary panels cut. The 3 long pieces are the drive bay sides and back, and the 4 smaller pieces are panels for the power supply. When I went back to cut the other side panels for the power supply, one of the top pieces chattered, got caught by the blade, and left. I was fine, but the piece was nowhere to be found! I searched all over my yard, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm glad that I wasn't standing in the way, but I have a new respect for the savage destructive force contained in my radial arm saw. Needless to say, I had to remake the piece. Here's all the panels for the psu. As you can see, the leftmost panel is all out of square. I'll probably remake it today. Here's a standard atx psu in place. Covered by the panels. I left room for expansion. With a 120mm fan. My tentative plan is to use a 140mm fan pushing air out the top of the case (It may blow it in, I'm not sure. Input?). Intakes will be in the back and the sides. I won't be just sticking a regular psu inside the shell; I'll be taking out the pcb and rewiring the whole thing using bus bars. I've got a method to suspend the pcb, I just need 6-32 nuts. My plan right now is to put my radiator like this: It's a dual 120mm rad, but it's a little odd. It has a built-in shroud, and you're not supposed to fasten the fans to it. You attach the fans to one side of a piece of metal, and the rad to the other. Because the existing front panel is full of holes, I can't just stick them both onto it. There's nothing to attach them to! So I have a new front panel: I need to cut it down to allow for the third optical drive. The inlet and outlet of the rad will be pointed inward, will take a 90 degree turn into the drive bays, and then will take another 90 degree turn inside of the bays to come out into the main space. I plan on making a side window on the right side of the case to expose the right side of the drive bays, so the 90's may have to be plated. So my question is this: What to plate with? Is nickel reactive? That's a rather tentative plan, and I may scrap it as 90's restrict flow. My other option is to cut long slots in the right side of the drive bay and feed the lines into the drive bay at a gradual angle and then have them exit the back. Let me know what you think.