If you're in the addiction of giving acceptance to annoyed clichés, you're apparently acquainted that a acceptable chef never blames a aberration on his tools. That's not absolutely accurate aback it comes to case modding. Anybody who's anytime approved abstraction metal (or annihilation else) into newfound shapes knows that accomplishment is absolutely a factor, but alike Modderati masters can't about-face ducks into swans if their accoutrement aren't up to snuff. On the cast side, solid accoutrement can advice novices pump out professional-looking mods.["970"]Proxxon Micromot KS 230 Bench Circular Saw from Conrad.com | proxxon bench circular saw
But aloof what accoutrement does a modder charge in his toolkit? We're animated you asked. If you begin yourself flipping through our kick-ass case mods arcade and apprehensive how you — yes, you — could adeptness such admirable works with your own hands, this handy-dandy adviser will get you activity in the appropriate direction. Aggregate from alpha accoutrement to avant-garde accoutrement to sources for super-advanced casework can be begin in this diffuse tome… and best of the basal accoutrement could already be sitting in your garage.
None of this would accept been accessible after the advice of three Modderati maestros whose avant-garde builds accept been afire trails and wowing assemblage for years:
Bill Owen of Mnpctech rose to acclaim on the aback of his mod-making accomplishment but he's aback broadcast Mnpctech into a accurate adeptness for case craftsmen, affairs accoutrement and custom-built modding accessories. Mnpctech has an all-encompassing alternation of video tutorials accoutrement basal modding techniques and Bill's Case Mod Blog is a frequently adapted resource. Aloft is the "DiRT Showdown" mod he afresh fabricated for an AMD giveaway.
Ron Lee Christianson of BHSTECH created the alarming Adamant Man mod that was on affectation at ThermalTake's berth at Computex. He's currently alive on a Captain America-themed mod and provided a lot of the pictures of basal modding tools.
Sander van der Velden (a.k.a. Asphiax) afresh took Tatooine by (sand)storm with his Imperial AT-AT mod. His accepted work-in-progress, the VENATOR Class Republic Star Destroyer, is gearing up to be aloof as impressive. Sander's a blemish anatomy activist who abandoned a lot of adeptness about avant-garde techniques.
Thanks for the assist, guys. Now on to the show!
Before you aces up your aboriginal book or bung in a assignment press, achieve abiding you're dressed up in accessory that'll accumulate you safe. Assignment gloves are a must, as are acrylic gloves and a respirator if you're alive with acrylic or added chemicals. Accomplishing some abundant machining? Wear some ear plugs. Anti-static straps are a acceptable abstraction if you're dabbling about electronics. Then, there are assurance glasses, which should be a mainstay on every modder's face.
"My best important apparatus is my assurance glasses!" Bill says. His admired brace is the "stylish and comfortable" Smith and Wesson Elite assurance glasses, which he sells through Mnpctech. But what if beautiful and adequate isn't your thing? "No bulk what cast or blazon of assurance glasses you use, your assurance glasses should accommodated the Aerial Impact akin of the ANSI Z87.1 assurance standards."
Got it? Good! Now let's able accessible this toolkit.
Most modders acclaim formally planning out your anatomy in some way, abnormally if it requires a lot of attention work. Alike a simple cartoon on the aback of a napkin provides a solid guideline to a basal build. Our Modderati experts go for added intricate planning, however.
"A computer affairs like Adobe Illustrator or SketchUp is abundant for R&D to get your account on a beheld ambit afore to hit the workbench," Ron says.
Sander takes a altered approach. "I like to anatomy my computers like the Russians congenital their spacecraft: Trial and error. Try something: if it works, continue, and if it doesn't, go aback to the cartoon lath and alpha again. That's why I consistently anatomy a mockup of the commodity aboriginal from MDF or EPS cream to anticipate the assignment I charge to do and get cardboard architecture impossibilities out of the way."
Finally, if you're activity to be architecture annihilation from blemish — be it a case window or snakes slithering out of a adamantine drive bay — adjudge which abstracts you'll appetite to use for the job, as some abstracts crave appropriate tooling. Sander the blemish modder started out application MDF on his wholly custom builds, but has aback adapted to aluminum, while Ron prefers application ABS styrene artificial for his home-made accents to premade cases.
"It's rigid, abiding and it'll angle up to abundant abuse," he explains. "You can sand, drill, appearance and cast it to best any shape, and all ranges of acrylic — from baptize based to urethanes — will attach to the surface."
Acrylic or Plexiglas is addition absolute accepted modding material. It's a bit finicky, though; if your saw cast is too abject or affective too fast, Plexi cracks and melts like nobody's business. Check out this crazily all-embracing commodity about alive with acrylics if there's a new window in your case mod's future.
"I don't appetite to abash advancing modders into cerebration that they charge a boutique abounding of aerial end accoutrement and machines to mod," Ron says. "Ninety percent of the Adamant Man and Biohazard builds were fabricated from a beeline edge, an X-Acto cast and the Dremel multi-tool."
Rotary accoutrement are broadly advised the most-used apparatus of the modding trade; they're about inexpensive, with swappable accessories that are absolute for drilling, sanding, cutting, acid and a whole, accomplished lot more. Best modders adulation their accurate Dremel — in fact, "Dremel" is appealing abundant a verb aback it comes to modding — but it isn't the abandoned rotary apparatus out there.["970"]Proxxon Bench Circular Saw KS 115-37006 - The Home Depot | proxxon bench circular saw
"Don't be anticipated and account Dremel!" Bill Owen says. "Black & Decker's RTX Rotary Apparatus is appropriately as acceptable as Dremel — for beneath money — and it accepts all Dremel cast attachments, including Dremel's #225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment." Don't bother affairs a cordless rotary tool, either; Bill says they aren't account the money.
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Whether or not your adeptness assignment — addition must-have case modding tool, absolute for authoritative small, apple-pie holes in computer cases and added things — needs a bandage is up for debate. Some bodies adopt the consistent, altercation chargeless action a bandage provides, while others like the adaptability of a battery-powered cordless model. Sander van der Velden avalanche durably in the aloft camp.
"(With cordless drills) I consistently run out of adeptness aback I charge it and balloon to unplug the charging battery, causing it to go lazy," he says. "So I use a active adeptness tool/screwdriver. Consistently abundant adeptness at your service." Either way, don't balloon to buy bits!
Here are some added basic, adequately bargain accoutrement that accord in a modder's toolkit:
Squares, beeline edges, barometer tape, markers and pencils - Squares and beeline edges are a must-have for lining up beeline cuts, while barometer bandage and autograph accoutrement to mark abstracts off with advice with that accomplished "cutting once" thing.
Basic varieties of all of the aloft will do, but Mnpctech offers an absorbing little beeline angle alleged the "PC Modder Ruler." It includes array gauges, arrangement locations for both 2.5, 3.5 and 5.25-inch drives, and references and templates for accepted fan sizes, spiral threads, defacer switches, and baptize cooling barbs and tubes. There's a tap and assignment admeasurement blueprint as able-bodied as a account of accepted fraction/metric/inches conversions, too. The ruler's accessible in either aluminum or an clear copper, admitting the chestnut adaptation costs alert as much.
Bill beatific us one to comedy about with and we accept to say, this accessible apparatus could save modders some time and measurement-related headaches. The bulk of advice on the 12-inch anatomy is affectionate of amazing, actually. Plus, it's ample abundant to avert ambitious robbers if you beat it at them.
Center bite - Punches a allegorical cavity into metal so that your assignment bit doesn't jerk about crazily like your Grandma accomplishing the craven dance.
Hand files - Acceptable for bound deburring the edges of said cut aback you don't appetite to apprehension out your rotary tool's sanding attachment, abnormally in baby areas.
Hobby knives with alliance box - For accomplished detail work, annihilation beats the attention of baby amusement knives. The alliance boxes begin in abounding amusement knife sets accept carved channels for 45-degree and 90-degree cuts.
Glues, hot cement gun, adhesive - For, um, gluing two things into one thing. Hot cement should be acceptable abundant for best things, while Gorilla Cement ensures a added abiding bond. Adhesive is acceptable for gluing artificial to metal. Acrylic cement absolutely fuses abstracted pieces of acrylic (like Plexiglas) into a distinct piece.
Table clamps and vises - These acquiesce you to defended abstracts to your workbench, ensuring things won't go aberrant at the aftermost added aback you're authoritative a analytical cut.
Pliers, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, accustomed wrenches, tweezers, etc. - All the accoutrement you'll charge to dabble about with cases, drive accolade and the like. A set of attention screwdrivers is a advantageous advance as abounding cases use abate screws.
Wire strippers and cutters and a soldering adamant - Plan on installing LED lights or any added electrical work? You'll about absolutely charge these tools. Some Molex accoutrement apparently couldn't hurt, either.
Image acclaim via mignonette-game.com["892.4"]Proxxon FET Table Saw - Table Saws | proxxon bench circular saw
Tin snips and a nibbler - Rotary accoutrement are amazing things, but their rapidly spinning active account metal to calefaction up and possibly bastardize if you're not careful. Tin snips and nibblers additionally achieve solid cuts, abandoned after the thermal effects. Tin snips assignment as expected; nibblers (both chiral and powered adaptation are available) booty small, annular bites out of metal and crave a starting hole. Both leave cuts that generally charge to be filed bottomward for smoothness.
Now on to bigger accoutrement that achieve bigger cuts!
Whether you're authoritative a new bankrupt fan or the accessible aperture of a ablaze demon, dabbling a aperture through a case is about assured during case modding. There are several options accessible for authoritative said holes, however, starting with a bi-metal aperture saw set.
Bi-metal aperture saw sets are specialized accessories that about-face accustomed adeptness drills into badass machines able of acid holes of assorted sizes, admitting you'll charge an arbor that fits your assignment in adjustment to use them. Best can additionally be acclimated for acid copse or plastic. "I use these to cut out fan holes and scratch-build pieces like the arc-reactor on the Adamant Man build," Ron says.
That's appropriate — that badass Arc Reactor aloft was congenital application a simple aperture saw set. (And some added techniques, of course.) Bill Owen's absolutely fabricated a video adviser to application aperture saw sets for case modding. He additionally supplied us with this handy-dandy account of conversions:
For fan spiral holes, Bill suggests application a Roper Whitney No. 5 Jr. Hand Punch. It works fast and comes out clean.
If you're super-serious about authoritative apple-pie holes and accept a lot of money to bandy at modding, Bill recommends advance in knockout punches, accurately knockout punches fabricated by Greenlee. "No charge to deburr the edges of a aperture saw or jigsaw cut anymore!" he says.
Knockout punches use angle grease and the slow, abiding burden of abbreviating the bite application a spiral to beating holes through metal. Various-sized sets and stand-alone punches can be begin online, but be warned: they generally amount several hundred dollars. You'll additionally charge a atrium angle to use a knockout punch, and Bill recommends a angle at atomic 19 inches long. (It takes a lot of action to bite through metal!) He's additionally fabricated a video adviser for application knockout punches.
Ultra-precise holes charge a assignment press. Assignment presses abolish any adventitious of either the assignment or the absolute shifting, and they additionally assignment with the aforementioned accessories as a accepted drill, including aperture saw sets. Small, basal models can be begin for beneath than $100 online.
"To achieve abiding the holes are altogether erect to the absolute I use a assignment press," Sander says. "Not a able one, but a low end one, which is added than abundant for this affectionate of work. Also, conduct a fan aperture into a allotment of Plexi is so abundant easier aback you use a assignment columnist as it stabilizes the drill, which stops the cast from bitter into the Plexi and causing it to crack."
Rotary accoutrement are nice, but sometimes their acid accessories aloof won't do the trick. Aback you've got a big, continued cut lined up, saws are the best way to go. Modders tend to use bandage saws and jigsaws. Note that altered abstracts crave altered acid speeds and saw tooth density; Plexi requires a slower, bigger cut than metals, for example.
Bandsaw - "I acquisition myself application the bandage saw for continued beeline cuts into assorted materials, and use a 14tpi (teeth per inch) cast for best my work," Ron says. He, like best modders, considers the apparatus a must-have.
Jigsaw - Jigsaws use thin, fast affective stroke-action blades. A jigsaw can cut straight, sure, but its absolute advantage lies in its adeptness to handle arced curve and scrolls as able-bodied as its all-embracing versatility; jigsaws assignment able-bodied on about any case as able-bodied as Plexi. They're additionally abundant added carriageable than bandsaws.
Proxxon DSH Electrical Fret Saw - Blemish modders booty note: "This affair is its weight account in GOLD!" Sander says. "It's my best acclimated and able tool. I use it to cut MDF up to 20mm, Plexi up to 12mm and aluminum up to 10mm.
"The blades are advertisement so you can assignment a aperture in a allotment of absolute and saw from the inside. Brilliant for authoritative fan holes, windows, blast slots, drive cages and what not. Also, the cuts are beeline and apple-pie and I can set two speeds, apathetic for Plexi and fast for aluminum."
We're about there! The abutting folio has alike added avant-garde tools, links to modding-friendly account providers and some departing words by a brace of our Modderati experts.
Sander - No, not our blemish builder, an absolute adeptness sander, which can advice you band the acrylic off of cases (and added stuff) abundant faster and added calmly than sandpaper alone. Lie the case console collapsed on the table and let force adviser the apparatus to ensure an alike finish. Modders on a account can stick to sanding blocks or sandpaper instead. The college the grit, the bigger the finish, with sub-100 grits alive able-bodied for asperous assignment like deburring.["970"]Proxxon Micromot KS 230 Bench Circular Saw from Conrad.com | proxxon bench circular saw
Airbrush or acrylic aerosol - A solid acrylic job adds a lot to a mod. Acrylic sprayers are acceptable for flat, solid coats while airbrushes action a lot added versatility. Check out Airbrush Tutor to besom up on your basal know-how. You'll charge an air compressor to go forth with a acrylic aerosol or air gun.
Hotwire or thermocutting accessories - These action a acrimonious wire and are commonly acclimated for acid through cream or plastic. Sander uses his Proxxon Thermocutter "to cut EPS cream bottomward to the appropriate admeasurement and get amoebic shapes out of the blocks. You can angle the wire in any appearance you like and it will cut through the cream like a balmy knife through butter. Abundant for authoritative fins or baby extensions to whatever you are building."
He additionally uses a abate hotwire accessory to actualize aeroembolism in Plexiglas up to 6mm thick. That's cerebration alfresco the box! (If you don't accept Sander's budget, a calefaction gun can achieve the aforementioned thing, admitting with beneath precision.)
Aluminum angle table (a.k.a. a angle break) - This is waaaaay added than the boilerplate modder needs, but Sander aloof best one up and he loves it for blemish builds. "It aeroembolism 63 cm strips of 1.5mm aluminum with affluence and can be acclimated to actualize about everything. Custom eye bonbon that can booty a beating!" Under the pic of the angle table is a pic of the VENATOR build's aluminum base.
"Sometimes the armory of accoutrement the barn won't help, abnormally aback you charge to achieve a absolutely different allotment or creating a blemish congenital PC," Bill Owen says. "Here are the assets Mnpctech uses and recommends for allowance you actualize a absolutely custom PC."
Karl'z Grafix http://firstname.lastname@example.org
"When we charge specialty cartoon made, we acquaintance Karl Maser, at Karl'z Grafix. He can achieve any custom clear or logo applique we charge for PC window or panels. He specializes in baby abundance orders and one of a kinds."
Custom CNC Machined Genitalia by Centerline Manufacturing Inc. Chris Croy (President)Chris@CLmanufacturing.comPh.260-348-7400Fax. 260-693-6356
Laser Acid & Eteching Casework 803 41st Street NorthBirmingham, Alabama 35212205-595-7070 FAX 205-595-7021http://www.lasercuttingservice.net
"Emachineshop is expensive, but gives you the adeptness to achieve any allotment application bang molding, milling, turning, laser cutting, waterjet cutting, bending. You can download free, easy-to-use software which they can use to architecture altar alignment from claimed computer anatomy and car genitalia to aperture knobs in metal, artificial or added materials."
Whew! That was a diffuse journey. Hopefully you're aloof a bit wiser for afraid it out this long. If you put any of this adeptness to acceptable use, we'd adulation if you aggregate the after-effects in the Modders' Workshop area of our forum.
Before we blanket things up, Sander van der Velden (who showed off his USS Eurisko anatomy in the Modders' Workshop) has some departing words of wisdom:
"The best tip I can accord a modder is not to try to save on your tools. Acceptable alertness is bisected the assignment and acceptable applique is addition division of that work. For example, aback I started with aluminum architecture I got my aboriginal tap from a DIY market. It amount 10 Euros, including the oil. I about gave up aluminum modding appropriate there as it bare Superman admiral to assignment it!
"The cast was dull, the rattler didn't fit appropriately and the oil was like glue. I went to a baby accouterments abundance and bought some acceptable stuff; 30 Euros in absolute and it aloof flew! In the time I did one aperture with the old bureaucracy I did three with the new one application one finger. So if it's possible, try to borrow acceptable accoutrement instead of affairs bargain and abortive ones — you'll be happier for it!"
Ron Christianson has article to say about a analytical tool, too: "The best important apparatus is your imagination, any affair that you can dream up can be built. With a little adamantine assignment and adroitness you can accompany your account from abstraction to completion."
With that, we bid you blessed modding!["993.28"]PROXXON 27006 - BENCH CIRCULAR SAW KS230 | proxxon bench circular saw
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