The invisible case

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let’s get cutting

It actually took me four attempts to get a drive cage that I was satisfied with. I built my first two before realizing that I needed the PSU in the cage, and the third was just a tiny bit too narrow to allow my DVD drive. It was all very good practice, though. I suggest building a few simple boxes from scrap before you commit to using adhesive on your final workpieces.

With the cage looking good and fit, I started cutting on my case panels. I had tested the idea of using the port cover that came with my mobo and a large rectangular hole. I hated the looks–I planned to have my ports accessible from the front panel, and I loved the way port cutouts in the test piece looked, I just needed to be a bit more careful cutting them.

workpiece chucked in the vise ready to be cut

the DVD slot partially cut

So I transferred my measurements from the port cover to the case panel, triple-checked the placement, and cut out the rough shapes with Dremel bit #561, a general purpose spiral cutter very similar to a Rotozip bit. The DVD slot was cut using a cutoff wheel. All the cutouts were shaped with needle files (roughly eight hours of hand work there) and meticulously polished with sandpaper and Novus #2 polish. The polishing took maybe another three hours, but the results were well worth it.

beautifully polished cutouts

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