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Wooden PC case?

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I have a friend who actually suggested me to make a custom made PC case
He is very good with wooden stuff, so I guess I would ask him to make me one :)
It will cost less (150$ for a NZXT is way too high for a PC case, not worth it)
and I want to know any suggestions especially on the dust and noise.
Is wood a better material for PC cases?
 

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If you are careful with airflow, I don't see any potential problems. Is it better? I think that is subjective. After considering effort I think you will not save too much though.
 

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How large or small of a case do you need? Find what your needs and desires and requirements for your future pc case. Wood isn't a bad idea, but it wouldn't take much to damage a joint or pull a screw...depending on how cheap you go with it.

There are some very good PC cases in teh sub-$50 range that have decent airflow with extra spots for fans and water cooling, USB3 ports, dust filters, cable management MB trays, etc. You don't NEED to spend $150 on a PC case to have a good case...it's purely subnjective to your desires though. If you feel that is the only case for your needs then maybe trying something different would be an interesting idea.

There was a project here on TPU where a member had made a glass table and put a wood PC case under it for his PC desk. Turned out to be VERY cool and something I would love to do someday when budget, time and abilities allow.

There have also been some wooden cases come and go...I prefer a metal tower still, I love my Lian Li Lancool PC-K62. I would imagine wood would be much better at noise isolation than thin metal. Thought that depends on how many fan holes you have, will you have dust filters? Will they be thick enough to impede airflow but isolate noise as well? Or thin enough to maintain good airflow at the cost of noise suppression? Will you use a softer wood to absorb more noise or a hardwood that will reflect more noise? How many fans to you plan to have? Will they be quiet fans or just your general 5-pack of cooler master specials from newegg? There's a million ways this could play out, it comes down to your decisions, your wallet and creativity.

The coolest thing about a custom built case is it'll be unique and something you can be proud of when you have it all together and working. I for one vote to see you do a wooden case just for the sake of seeing it! I may someday have to try the custom desk idea, we shall see...maybe you'll inspire me to find a way.

:toast:
 
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See my wooden itx in the project logs subforum!

I used 3/4 inch pine, going to stain it cherry.

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189908




best advice I can give you is get a really cheap steel chassis from newegg, cut out everything you don't want and then bolt the wood to it. The switchplate is from MNPCtech / Performance PC's and was pricey, about $24 with two $12 switches as well but it was well worth it.
 
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If you are careful with airflow, I don't see any potential problems. Is it better? I think that is subjective. After considering effort I think you will not save too much though.
Plus one to this. There are alot of project threads you can check out. I'm sure there is someone who can give you a blueprint or just simple directions for help.
 
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Plus one to this. There are alot of project threads you can check out. I'm sure there is someone who can give you a blueprint or just simple directions for help.
I recommend atleast 1/2" wood. 3/4" wood is closer to .66" these days. Pine is a good material because its very cheap and usually the high end pine has good accoustics (deadening) and uniformity of grain (large soft grain and small knots if any). You can stain it to toughen the surface after sanding it to about 220 to 320, going the direction of the wood.

If I was to build a mid tower, I would buy the cheapest mid tower that newegg sells, some of them are in the $20.00 shipped range. Then I would cut the motherboard tray and rear IO paneling as well as expansion slot and power supply metal out, possibly the floor of the case up to the power supply as well. This would then be mounted into the wood chassis. This will save you a lot of effort because your motherboard will be mounted to a metal tray along with all your slots and your power supply so everything is grounded properly and fits together nicely.

If you are going for a particular small form factor, pick the chassis that has the shape you want, remove the metal skin panels and the front plate and then build a wood box for that to sit inside of. Thats what I have done in my latest project. I took an Elite 120 for $20.00 after rebate and then cut most of the metal out (hole in motherboard tray, removed the front components, removed the HD cage, removed the metal below the hd cage and mounted the radiator to blow down. The 5.25 remains but I don't have an optical drive so the front of the wood doesn't have any visible 5.25 slot. I have the 3.5" HDD in the 5.25 with an adapter.

With this setup, I actually don't need any input fans because I have a large vented hole on either side, one for the GPU, and one for the rest of the system. Power supply upside down provides an exhaust and the radiator exhausts down into the floor (hole through the wood).
It passed 27 hours of prime with a max temp of 65*C so it runs quite nice.
I will probably put atleast 1 or 2 server 92mm San Ace fans in to provide ram and VRM cooling once I have the case finally to my liking, still working on the metal grills to cover the vents.

Another idea would be to buy an open air test bench setup (basically a motherboard and power supply mounting system and nothing else) and then build a wood cover to put over it with fans and what not, so if you want to do some benchmarking take the wood box off the top, otherwise you can keep it safe and secure inside the wood. Some elegant router work could make it very pretty.

As far as switches go, I recommend the MNPC switch kit. Its worth the money. If you must go on the cheap, cut the switch plate off of a sturdy metal case and mount it to the wood, but its going to be ugly.

Dual22mm:http://www.mnpctech.com/Bulgin-Anti-Vandal-Switch-Plate.html
1x22mm 1x16mm http://www.mnpctech.com/Delrin-Bulgin-Vandal-Switch-Mounting-Plate_16mm-22mm.html You can buy one with a 22mm one and a 16mm one, or one with both 22mm. You can buy switches that light up with LEDS, so if you want a HD activity LED you could have your reset be that one and if you want a Power LED make that your power switch.

They are cheaper here: http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=mnpc+vandal+plate
 
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The cool thing about wood or any other custom case is the flexibility of it, you can build it however big or little you want and with whatever layout you want. That would be the reason I would do something like that
 
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The cool thing about wood or any other custom case is the flexibility of it, you can build it however big or little you want and with whatever layout you want. That would be the reason I would do something like that
Limitation is you really don't wanna go below 1/2" wood in terms of trying to make something small.
 
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ya its tough to make anything very sturdy with really thin wood. If I built a wood case it would probably be a horrific monstrosity lol. I wanna do a mini itx build sometime, I would probably end up with like a CM elite 120 or something tho.
 
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ya its tough to make anything very sturdy with really thin wood. If I built a wood case it would probably be a horrific monstrosity lol. I wanna do a mini itx build sometime, I would probably end up with like a CM elite 120 or something tho.
If you aren't doing a wood case, the Elite 120 is a perfectly fine design if you do a bottom firing 120mm exhaust AIO cooler, cut holes in the sides and install two 120mm intake fans on the side thats not the video card, video card side cut a similar hole and let the video card breath freely, mesh both over, and cut the hd cage out to mount that AIO radiator. Other option is cut a hole in the front plate (thin aluminum over plastic) and put your AIO there to intake from the front using the stock 120mm fan location as your radiator mount. I cut mine all apart so I got a decent idea of it, its a good strong chassis but the weakpoints are the intakes and exhausts are not large enough. Right now my Elite 120 is basically a metal cage, I gutted it of everything but the 5.25 bay.

You could buy the Elite 120, keep it mostly stock, cut a hole in the front and mount this: http://www.mountainmods.com/mountain-mods-alu-triple-120-black-anodized-525-baycover-p-649.html and this: http://www.mountainmods.com/120mm-black-steel-mesh-fan-guard-p-657.html.
These two fit together nicely and have your 120mm radiator either intake or exhaust from there. Also I'd recommend cutting a hole in the bottom for the CPU's backplate and then making an acrylic cover for the bottom to protect the naked motherboard. That way you don't have to unmount everything to change your cooler.
 
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that's a good idea. My only concern with it was airflow, tends to plague most itx cases. But that would work nice. Next build will almost for sure be a mini itx, and probly that case modded for fans. Or maybe a bitfenix prodigy.
 
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