The invisible case

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the tension is mounting

Now I previously mentioned that I deferred on deciding how to mount the cage to the case. I deferred a really long time, and then I found these wonderful clear screw fasteners on the website of US Plastic. I knew immediately that this would solve my problem, so a quick order in, and a week of waiting and I had a dozen lovely clear fasteners.

a problem solved

Only one problem. They came a bit too long. My material was a little under 3/8″ thick, and these had about 1/2″ of capacity. Well, I didn’t want a loose fitting drive cage at all, so I did what any modder would, and modded the fasteners. You can see the mod in the pic above. I cut them to size with a utility knife. I was very glad to have a dozen. I only needed four, and the rest wee spares. I dropped a couple into the vortex beneath my bench where nothing ever emerges.

Now I needed to cut my holes for fans. In the pic below you’ll see my DeWalt hole saw chucked in my drill press, and the material clamped and positioned for drilling. Sharp-eyed observers will note that there’s no pilot drill mounted in my arbor. I had this brilliant idea that I’d use the circles I cut out for something, and I didn’t need any hole in the center, thank you very much.

ready to cut my fan holes

Well folks, that pilot drill is there for a very good reason. I was completely unable to cut the holes without it, and only the protective paper saved me from marring my panels seriously in the attempt. My hole saw stayed firmly in my chuck, but the chuck came off the drill every time. Well, I replaced the pilot drill and all went well.

two lovely holes

I used the old trick of getting my position for the mounting screw holes by using a grille. I marked them and drilled them.

With that out of the way, the only remaining drilling was for the clear screws in the front panel to mount the cage to the case. Alignment was critical here, so I test fitted the cage with the DVD drive in place and marked the panel. Then I clamped the cage to the case panel and drilled with a hand drill (the only time I didn’t use my press) after marking the locations off with my square (I’m rather meticulous about things being square).

clamped up and marked for drilling

The result of the drilling was that my holes were a bit too small to accommodate the fasteners. So I enlarged them slightly with a tapered reamer and finished them with a round file. After that, the cage fit to the case quite snugly and lined up just so.

yet another test fit

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