case mod 101: stealth blowhole and case handles

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Once the rivets are out, lift off the panel. With a PSU and a drive installed in the system, we can locate the blowhole in a spot that won’t interfere with the components. Set the case on its top, then locate and tape off the edges of the area where the fan will be installed. Next tape the entire area and locate the centerline of the panel. This will allow us to position our cutting tool precisely. Cut from the back side to avoid marring the paint.

position the fan
make sure the fan clears the PSU housing
centerline is marked
finding and marking the centerline

In order to get the cleanest cut without deforming the panel, use a holesaw. A holesaw is essentially a drill bit that cuts a circular hole. It’s important to clamp the workpiece to a board to avoid bending the metal panel. Clamp your backer board to a bench top to keep your workpiece secure. Line up the pilot bit along the centerline, and position it so that the holesaw cuts within the taped area.

clamp your workpiece securely
we’re clamped tightly to a board which is clamped to a sturdy benchtop
line up the pilot bit
line up your pilot bit on the centerline

Make sure to check the “holesaw hints” at the end of this article.

drilling the hole
go slowly and take a break if your bit gets hot
spinning the bit
the holesaw doesn’t need to spin fast to cut

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