The Sleeper


Basket Chassis
Staff member
Plasti-Dip has been a big hit on some of the enthusiast forums I frequent because you don't really have to prepare the surface. The downside is it can crack if it doesn't dry properly because of the existing surface or it can peel easily.

I have been toying with the idea of powdercoating but I checked with a guy here in town and it's $90 + tax. Yikes! I could buy a case with the inside painted black already for that price.

The mod looks awesome though. Keep up the good work!


Tech Monkey
Work with the guy, or call around. See if ythe color you are wanting to coat with is run at scheduled times of the week, then break your case or components down and make it as easy as possible. If you can keep them from having to run a custom color, and instead, lump it in with an existing run where a customer has already paid the setup charge, you can save good money that way! I've got a place here in my city taht I have a "side job" agreement with the production manager and his son. The pieces are delivered, and I pay him directly. On BOSS, the frame was gloss black powdercoated for $50, I paid him $60.

See if they would be willing to do that for you.

If they wont, call around, I am sure someone else will!


Tech Monkey
So.... I have been pondering for the last few days, the layout of the inside of the case. I think I finally hit upon the right mix of component purchase vs "custom fabrication" that I needed... ordered one more part today, and went out tonight and thought about the hard drive location. I had an idea a few nights ago that was going to be amazing, but I feared it would take up too much room in the case.

Tonight, I came up with a solution! *MUCH* more elegant, and should be much easier to fabricate!

I'm going to take some pics tonight and see if I can get my idea across!

Soooo stoaked about this, can't believe it took me this long to think of it! ;)



Tech Monkey
Ok, so now I am happy that I kept all of those old drives! Even if they are non functional, I can use them to prototype an idea quickly!

Looking in the case, there is just not much space! If I put the hard drives in the middle of the drive bay in front of the fans, I am taking up critical floor space that will be needed for the water pump. And in a mid tower, there is just not much there. Add in the PSU, and then it really gets crazy....



My plan, build a side wall bracket that will cover the hard drives, but allow me to mount the SSD drive on the top of the cover to be fabricated over the hard drives. The cover will blank the drive tops into a consistent black, but leave their back sides exposed for easy cable attachment and routing. The cover will allow me to put the SSD drive on the top of this wall mounted assembly and displayed for all to see!


I am also contemplating a flared end of the cover on the side that faces the front of the case. On of the rad that will be there mounted to the front using a custom bracket, and 2 fans pushing air into the case through the rad. Since the rad will be the second rad in the loop, I am not expecting it to be pushing a lot of radiated heat into the case. I am thinking the first rad will handle most of that task. That said, the three 3.5 inch "spinning disk" hard drives will create heat. If I sandwich them without giving them some supply, I'll shorten the life of these drives. *Buuut*, if I put an intake flare/air funnel on the "to be fabricated" cover for the drives... and have that facing the exhaust side of the fans, I should be able to redirect some of the air onto the hard drives and keep them happily cooled!


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Basket Chassis
Staff member
Nice. I certainly wouldn't have thought about mounting drives that way but it makes a lot of sense since you're planning a double rad setup and need all of the room you can get without restricting air flow.

Keep going! I'm living vicariously through your modding. Hehehe.


Tech Monkey
So.... today I am in the garage working on the drive bay/hard drive mount.... and this thing is FRU-STRA-TING! ;)

12 holes (3 sets of 4) need to be drilled out so that the piece can be tested. So far, I have only been able to create a prototype mount. Which worked successfully, but it did not include all 4 holes per drive, only 2.

BUT.... I now have a reproducible template that I just need to tweak a bit to get it so that is spans all 3 drives accurately.

Almost there...
"stay on target...."




Tech Monkey
Ok, so I wanted to see what my space was looking like inside the case *before* I put the top on this thing. Grab the front rad Tech, and let's see how that works!



Looking good! That will let me estimate the placement that I need to have for the hard drives. I still have to attach the fans, and that will give me my final placement for the hard drives. But this plus a tape measure give me some good estimates. So, I need to create a prototype plate to hold 3 hard drives side by side...

So... you start with a scrap sheet of metal (in this case, aluminum)

Cut it to size and shape and try to create a template that will let you accurately drill holes... (hint: this one was not accurate)

But it was accurate enough to do a proof of concept:

Only got one row of screw holes lined up.... DOH!

Sooooo, this time I have a brighter idea than the first time, put tape over the bottom of the drives, and poke the holes in the tape to represent where the screws need to feed into the hard drives.

Then lay the tape on the next piece of scrap metal:

Bolt the drives on to make sure the holes work as expected and properly line up:


Prepare to shape down the metal. Bet you are wondering how I am shaping this stuff out? It is a drill mounted nibbler, and here is how I mount it to the bench!

Here I am eyeballing the basic shape I am wanting to cut:

Then I lay the pathway with drops of oil (for the nibbler)

After a couple of passes and a hole ton of these little aluminium splinters later:

you end up with something like this:

that you promptly take over to the belt sander to flatten out the edges of:

Which leaves you with *all* this tiny particulate aluminum dust! Here is an interesting point of trivia.... if you sneeze on this stuff, it is heaver than normal dust and (if you are wearing shorts and socks) will quickly drift down to your legs and ankels... making you ITCH LIKE CRAZY!!!! ARRRGH!!!! :) Just thought you should know....

Ok, looking better, but now I realize that my holes are angled in comparison to my straight edge sides... DOH!

Back over to the itchy dust maker for a couple more passes and you end up here! Still needs a little more tweaking...

More as I have it....


Basket Chassis
Staff member
I'm sitting here scratching my head wondering if that is the final location for the radiator I also don't recall the front holes being round. Looks like I'll have to go back and re-read the thread.

Keep up the good work and try not to scratch!


Tech Monkey
They aren't! That was a custom bracket that I built. If you look in some of the painting pics you will see it hanging! :)


Tech Monkey
Heheheeh, yeah. My camera really throws the contrast on pics like that. In person, it is not really that bad.
Just a nice, distinct contrast on components. :)


Basket Chassis
Staff member
The rad would look, uh, rad with one of the newer Gigabyte boards. I think it would match the heatsinks dead on.


The mod work you did on the side panel looks amazing. I cant wait to see the finished product. Judging by the pics of your previous mod, we are in for a treat. Keep up the great work, and a small bit of advice, measure twice, cut once! :D


Tech Monkey
Hahahaha! You guys are funny!
Ok, in case you missed it, here are the graphics and color scheme of the motherboard going into this machine:



The rads are blue for a reason... :)



Basket Chassis
Staff member
I was wondering what you would have to say about my Gigabyte comment.

Guy: "Cool Asus theme!"
You: "Yeah, check it out!"
*pop the side*
Waaaah, waaaah, waaaah, waaaaaaaaaaaaah....


Basket Chassis
Staff member
To hell with the rad! Nice New Balances!

Just kidding. I'm going nutty here at work having to deal with people who should be coloring with crayons instead of trying to troubleshoot SMB/FTP issues.

That's a nice piece of tech!