hard drive window 2

marked for surgery

Using a marker and a straightedge, I prepared the upper housing for cutting. Keeping the window rectangular made the cutting simple, both for the acrylic window insert and the drive housing.

cutting wheel makes short work of aluminum

To cut the housing, I used a Dremel rotary tool with a fiberglass reinforced cutoff wheel. The housing was aluminum, which cut quite easily. I made my cuts freehand with the Dremel tool and cleaned up the edges later with files and sandpaper.

quite a mess to clean up

With two edges cut, you can see that the cutting wheel leaves quite a bit of dust behind. I deliberately made the cuts well inside the line so the edge could be cleaned up and still leave a nice lip for the window insert to sit on.

remove the waste

With all four edges cut out, the scrap from the drive housing could be removed. Small pieces of material in the corners held it in place beacuse I stopped short of the corners while cutting.

this cut edge needs finishing

The edges of my cutout were quite rough. Quite a bit of cleanup would be necessary to get a nice-looking edge. I used files to deburr and shape my edge, and sandpaper to finish it.

more test fitting

I actually had to cut several windows before getting one to fit the way I liked. This is another one I didn’t use, but you can see the rounded corners.

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