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My First Case Mod

By BlindObject ยท 23 replies
May 23, 2007
  1. Since I am a computer nerd and I love messing with computers, I figured I want to modify my own case. But since this is going to be my fist time, I am gonna use an old Gateway case...from like...98-2000's. I've already started it last week cutting out an window on the side panel.

    So, right now it looks like this.


    Notice I've already put some pretty lights there. I got those for free from Radio shack last week.

    This is the "skeleton" of the case with the system inside.


    P2 400mhz
    100mhz FSB
    320MB RAM
    Floppy Disk Drive.

    Very old simple system, but I'm not worried about the system, I want to make this case look modern and make it so it will fit in with other cases. Yes, It's messy, but I'm not done with it...I got all the parts from scratch and put it together with parts that actually work...

    Now onto paint.


    These are all the panels I'll need to paint. Black will be the color. Theme will be Black, Blue and White. Everything will be black, and on the right side of the case I'll spray paint a stencil on.

    But here's a question for you guys. when I get newer parts and be able to build a better system, would I be able to fit my mother-board in there?

    Here's a picture of the back.


    I think that's an ATX. But I am not sure...please tell?


    What kind of spray paint should I use? Regular Plastic/metal paint?

    What kind of glass/plastic window should I find? I found some acrylic I could cut up...

    That's it for now....

    Any more cool ideas? Suggestions? Answers please!!!
  2. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 360


    Well for the plastic, id try Krylon Fusion spray paint you can buy it about anywhere it actually melts the plastic a bit and then bonds to it.. For the metal, you can use any spray paint but no matter what its not going to be the best lasting stuff and will chip or flake if you look at it funny, well not really but it isnt the best if you move your case around a lot. Just sand it first, get it rough then paint it, the paint will stick better.

    As far as the window goes, plexi is the easiest to work with and cut. I suggest using pop rivets to secure it to the side panal but make some type of tension bracket that you can rivet to and at the same time hold the plexi in snug as if you try to rivet the plexi directly it wil crack.

    Yes the case is a ATX case....
  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,380   +53

    try to clean up those wires if you can too :p
  4. gavilan

    gavilan TS Rookie Posts: 62

    yeah a new system should be able to fit it just fine, just make sure you have plenty of ventilation and a big enough psu.
  5. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    I see, I think I'm going to sand the metal parts, prime it and paint it. Pop Rivets..are those hard to find or expensive? Wouldn't it be more logical to drill holes and put some sort of screw and nuts to tighten it? Plexi glass does look promising....I'm gonna look for places nearby that might have that...
  6. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 766

    This is a standard ATX sized case... But it is not good idea if you going to plunk a new motherboard and install on this case, unless that case's I/O cover is removable.

    YOu might as well to move the hard drive back to the 3.5' box and screw it back in.

    You might considers to switch your IDE cable to newer UDMA66 cable. (Which it is available in most computer stores.)

    Your PSU is all right for now unless you have the 12VDC supports for your future motherboard. If not, i suggest you to get dual fan psu config.

    Good luck.
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    Rivets are cheap, and they look much better. Not to mention easier to use, and probably will be sturdier than nuts and bolts job, which may come loose after awhile....

    Local hardware shop should have riveting sets. I'd be surprised if they cost more than 25 bux. If it does, it had better do everything and more.
  8. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    I could buy a new PSU when I get a new system in there...and I gotta double check if the I/O plate is removable... I think I might be able to find the rivets nearby...

    I've been searching for plastics, and I found acrylic to be pretty cheap, does anybody recommend it?

    Also...how do you remove rivets?
  9. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 360


    Is the same thing as plexi glass. I am pretty sure. Also, you can get a rivet gun at Ace hardware from about $9.99 and rivets are avaliable for about $1 for 50.

    You remove rivets by drilling out the center with the appropriate size drill bit, takes like 2 seconds to remove a rivet with a drill.

    Also when you figure out your desired window size, just call around to places that sell glass, more than not they have a left over peice from a previous order or scrape just big enough for what you may need, they will sell it to you from roughly $10 and that is cut to the size you need, the guys in my town are that cheap anyways. And you dont need anything super thick 1/8th inch should suffice.

    When you look at the bigger picture, after buying all the stuff you need to mod a crappy ol case you could probably buy a pre-modded case for about the same amount. However there is no harm in doing a mod yourself and that is half the fun.

    Also a quick warning on paints. Paint in several layers acts as an insulator that will keep unwanted heat in your case. Especially that old gateway case which wasnt really meant for todays componants. But I dont know what you plan on putting in it so i will end my warning here. However just make sure you have propor air circulation inside the case.

    Also here is a good show of how many size of pop rivets there actually are so you can compare and know what to look/ask for. http://www.thefastenerconnection.com/Products/PopRivet.html

    And here is a dumb guide but it gives you the general idea. http://www.mech.uwa.edu.au/NWS/How_to_do_stuff/hand_tools/
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    While it is true that paint is a pretty good heat insulator, most of the heat from the PC is removed via convection: ie movement of air via exhaust fan. Don't worry about putting too many layers for that reason.

    Not sure if you can get too many layers that it starts peeling easily or something.

    And yes, you remove rivets via drilling the middle. Just make sure your computer components have been removed or something. Drills, drill shrapnels and stuff like that don't mix well with computer components. I suppose you've already removed them, but no harm just checking.
  11. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    Yeah, I'm going to have to drill the I/O rivets to take the I/O panel out...as of now I'm just looking for the plexiglass/acrylic plastic for the cover, AC Moore has Acrylic, they told me they could cut the size I want. I'm not sure about the price though, I have to check that today...

    Also, any details on spray paints I could use?? Like brand names and types of paint?
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    Most popular is the Krylon paint, but I don't know enough about paints to recommend anything else.
  13. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    I also realized I have to make my own hole for the Ethernet Input a newer motherboard will probably have...and other inputs. It will probably be better if I just took out the I/O plate.
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    Yes, taking out the I/O plate, as well as most of the back plate (PCI slots, and I/O plate holder) would save you alot of time too....
  15. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 360


    As I said the Krylon Fusion works awesome on plastic and will/does not chip off no matter what. So use that on the bezels and anything plastic. As for the metal sand it and prime it but I am not sure what works best. With spray paints, it usually pays to buy the most expensive.
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,038   +9

    I reckon the guys at the paint shop should know more about paints, and how to paint metals.... Ask them for advice.
  17. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    I'm going to AC moore and Home depot to pick up paint soon. And the Acrylic/Plexiglass window. And finish it up.

    As for the system, I'm taking out the P2 system. I'm buying a new motherboard and processor since I already have the memory(ddr400) and PSU along with Hard Drive and etc. I found really cheap deals at newegg with cheap motherboards and processor that should do just fine for a descent system.As Operating systems go, at first I'll be using a Linux OS, Ubuntu. Then if my friend can get me his XP, I'll be using that for gaming.

    And, I completely took out my I/O panel. It's a lot better, the new motherboard will come with a new one.
  18. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,364

    I don't see the point of an I/O panel... It just get's in the way when you change mobos. I personally don't put them in, I just leave the space empty.
  19. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    Wouldn't that collect more dust?
  20. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 470

    The I/O plate does a few things; helps ground the I/O ports, shields RF and blocks the air flow. With a rear fan right next to it some air flow will just go right in it and out the fan never cooling much anything.
  21. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    I see, logic really. It will have an I/O panel.
  22. Rilla927

    Rilla927 TS Rookie Posts: 149

  23. BlindObject

    BlindObject TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 399

    That site thought me a lot.

    Good news, the system is fully functional with Ubuntu 7.04. And I got the internet to work. Now I just need to figure out how to make the screen resolution 1024*768.

    This weekend I'm going to sand the metal window, and then onto buying the sprays.
  24. Rilla927

    Rilla927 TS Rookie Posts: 149

    Good, glad to hear that.

    Believe it or not the guy that made the paint sticky used to work for Ferrari.

    Keep us posted so you can give us some pics.

    Take care and good luck.
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