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Thread: Whats the best way to cut a hole in metal case and make it l




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    See the problem is that my power suppy units in the cases I use have no breathing room with the PSU's top fan nearly against the top of the case. I was thinking about cutting a round hole in the top of the case above where the PSU rest to unrestrict it's airventing. I'd like some ideas how to make it look good...


    Heres the case I have for all my P.C.'s.
    http://www.pcdirect.com/product.asp?Sku=MID1347%2DSEL

  2. #2
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    Jan 2003
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    Well, steel is tough to cut through, but I think your best bet would be a drill, jigsaw, and then a dremmel. If you want a square hole (easier), just mark out where the fan is and where the hole will be a draw a square around the center of the fan. Then, drill a hole big enough in one of the corners to fit the blade of the jigsaw. Cut along the pattern all the way around and then round the edges/finish off with the dremmel. If you want to make a circle, it's a little more complicated. Mark out where the center of the fan is and make your circle around it. Then, drill a hole in the center big enough to accomodate the blade on the jigsaw. The, cut out from the center to the edge of the circle so it looks like a sliced pie. Then snip off the big triangle pieces with metal clippers. Finally, saw off and extra metal with the dremmel and trhen sand it down to nice rounded edges (that'll take awhile though). Anyways, that should do it. My case is made of 1.2mm steel. I used the second method, but just ended up bending the triangular pieces into the case and placing the fan I have there on the outside. Looks ghetto, but you cant see it cause its next to the wall. Anyways, good luck, : peace2: Mista K6

    EDIT: heh, oh yah, you could also buy a bi-metal hole saw attachment for your drill. Put masking tape around the area (so it doesnt scratch) and mark out the fan, then just drill. I dont know how well they go through steel though, I've only seen em used on aluminum.
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

  3. #3
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    Sep 2003
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    totally agree with you mista, bout hour ago i just modded the top of my chieftec case, cut a big rectangle long ways and put plexi on it.. ..il have pics up soon..i just used a drill, then the jigsaw and used a regular file for it..make sure to mask all too, i scratched up the corner a bit ..ahh well..happy modding though spongebob
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  4. #4
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    Dec 2003
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    I used a jig saw with a fine toothed bi-metal, American made blade. Now, the P.R.C. made blades will shatter and put your eye out, don't buy them. Having said that, get a 18 gauge or less jig saw bi-metal fine toothed blade. Just outline the cuts. You may need to drill holes at the cornor of the cut to get the blade in. You may need to drill a small hole first then re-drill it with the bigger hole if you have crappy bits. They will be fairly smooth cuts. Sand paper 100 grit can take the burrs and rough edges off. I'm new to computer tweaking;however, I am a welder having worked will all types of metal for 12 years. That is what I'd suggest if you don't have a Dremmel. Even with a Dremmel, it's basically the same. I had to remove quite of bit of material out of this case cause they molded it so it would only accept micro-atx power. Who wants that? So, it looks good enough and the other thing is leave a enough metal to drill holes for the power supplies screws. Final thing, clamp it down to a bench without bending the case, this will greatly reduce vibration during cutting.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I think I can get a decent looking round hole in the case. I've drilled holes in metal house doors with those Bi-metal blades before for deadbolt locks and doorhandles but I'm thinking those are a little small since my PSU fan is huge. Maybe I can find a bigger diameter blade that will work somewhere or just draw a circle and do the slice thing like Mista K6 suggested.


    The top panel on that case comes off so getting to the spot to drill won't be a problem.


    I'm not quite sure what I'll use for covering for the hole, if anything yet.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    Well, a bi-metal hole saw will give you the cleanest job, no doubt about it. I just did it the other way because I didnt have one. A 3.5" hole saw will give you roughly a 92mm hole, so if you have a 92mm fan, that'll work nicely. You can then smooth out the edges using a fine file or low speed dremmel. Now, since the air will be brought in, I recommend buying a fan grill and putting it over the hole, as dust wont be healthy for your PSU or your case. Metal mesh ones look the best, in my opinion, and they have little impact on air flow (not like the plastic ones). They're about $3. Anyways, good luck and happy modding, : peace2: Mista K6
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

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