Case Modding Tools

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PC Mods have become a very common sight amongst PC enthusiasts. You are limited only by your imagination. Mods range from adding windows, fans and lights, to altering the internals or painting the case to suit your needs. We will be covering some of the basic and most common tools used in PC Mods. Mainly along the lines of physical alterations to the case.

Whenever you do any cutting, filing, sanding, or clipping of the case you will want to perform these task out side. Preferably on a solid surface away from anything flammable. You will also want to wear the proper ear and eye protection.

If you intend to do any kind of cutting, filing, soldering, or anything that could potently send a foreign object into your face and eyes then one or both should be worn. I recommend wearing both whenever you decide to start cutting into metal. As i said earlier cut-off wheel will break., reinforced or not. Not to mention all the sparks that fly everywhere. Believe me they will burn your face. You will also want some sort of ear protection. Cutting metal gets quite loud.

The #1 tool of all modders is the Dremel®. If there is a hole to be cut this is the tool of choice.These tools have a great number of attachments available to cut through any material you need. I recommend getting a variable speed unit like the one pictured. When cutting through materials like Acrylic and Fiberglass you will need the lower speeds. Otherwise you will just be melting the material rather then cutting it.

The Fiberglass Reinforced cutting wheel is the best for cutting into metal cases. There are a few other cut-off wheel options available. These have a bad habit of shattering right in your face. Well needless to say it’s not a pleasant feeling especially when it was spinning at 25000+ RPM.

[img]cuttongwheel.jpg[/img]
Fiberglass Reinforced Cutting Wheel

One of my favorite tools in modding is the Kronus Nibbling Tool. I originaly purchased mine from Radio Shack You can also find them at FrozenCPU.com. Here is a picture of it for anyone interested in one.

[img]KronusNibblingTool.jpg[/img]

You can cut most anything using a pair of these. Granted you will have sour blistered hands but it works. I was able to cut a 120mm fan hole in the top of my case. I used these rather then the Dremel because the Dremel will easily scratch up your case. The nibblers leave a nice clean cut every time.

A must have in any modders tool kit is a set of Jewelers Needle Files. They are great for cleaning up ruff edges that the Dremel will leave behind. A must have for keeping your cuts sharp and clean.

You will also want a set of full size files. You always want to make you cuts just inside the line then file it all down to size. The larger files will make quick work of this. But that’s for another article.

There are other handy items you may want to have to help you prep your mod. Things like Painter’s Tape and an Exacto Knife. These are for planning out and taping off your cuts. This helps to minimize scratches on the case from a tool slipping out of the cutting area. A permanent marker is also a handy item for marking out your cuts from the inside of the case.

As mentioned before, modding is limited only by your imagination. So use any tools you can adapt to your needs. I’ve known many people who have used Jigsaws to cut there holes. A friend of my went so far as to buy a Drill Press and a very expensive set of whole saws so he could cut perfect 80mm and 120mm holes.

Overall the Dremel is a must have for modding. There are many add ons and bit options available for this tool. You just can’t go wrong with a Dremel.

This was just a short list of the tools used in modding. As I mentioned before anything can be used but these are among the most common. Any thing goes in modding so use your imagination.

Here are some of the tool i use.
[timg]modingtools.jpg[/timg]

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