Project
Custom wood PC case - no metal and no case fans
Category
Published
May 14 2015 by FaTe
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I have been disliking computer cases for sometime as they seem to be getting bigger and louder even though technology is getting smaller. As I never use disks and I only have 2 hard drives I seen no reason why the case could not be literately half the size of a standard case. But why stop there, I love working with wood and by abusing some laws of physics I can get away with even less case fans!

The shape of the case is the key in combination of using the hard drives heat in AID of cooling the case! As air is drawn in through the PSU and directed upwards the shape of the case compresses the air flow which naturally increases the speed just as it's passing the graphics card, CPU and memory. The hard drives are mounted above outside of the case but directly above so the heat they create creates a natural vacuum effect which aids in drawing air upward out of the case. This all together creates a super air flow and not one single case fan is required.

This entire case is put together with wood dowel and wood glue, no fast drying epoxies or screws at all, metal retains heat and is the enemy!
/media/wood computer case/1-wood-pc-case-airflow-3d-design
I used Rhinoceros to design my case fully before cutting the first piece of wood.
/media/wood computer case/2-wood-pc-case-frame
The back and bottom of the case are 18mm MDF using dowling rod and wood glue leaving over night to dry. The sides are 4mm cheap compound/ply wood.
/media/wood computer case/3-wood-pc-case-panels
It was important the front shape was marked out prior to continuing with the rest of the case.
/media/wood computer case/4-wood-pc-case-shape
Side preview of how the shape will look.
/media/wood computer case/5-wood-pc-case-hdd-mounts
The hard drives mount onto 3mm aluminium bars which have a slight bend on them to accommodate padding on the back to prevent vibration transference.
/media/wood computer case/6-wood-pc-case-silicone-seal
In order for the airflow to be effective I need a good air tight case everywhere but where I decide holes to be! So I silicone sealed all the joins.
/media/wood computer case/7-wood-pc-case-epoxy-strength
Next the entire case got a 2mm layer of balsa wood as I love the grain effect. At this stage the whole case got a coat of very thin epoxy. I used a sponge to constantly apply the epoxy until the wood was soaked.
/media/wood computer case/8-wood-pc-case-waxed
Once the epoxy is fully cured I was able to use 1600 grit sand paper to make it super smooth. At this point I applied the first coat of wax to begin protecting the case.
/media/wood computer case/9-wood-pc-case-panel-mounts
The front panel uses PC case thumb screws so the nuts required mounted on the side.
/media/wood computer case/10-wood-pc-case-front-panel
I used my soldering iron to tag my case with my tattoo across the front, I already knew some would be removed for the CPU stack but I liked this idea.
/media/wood computer case/11-wood-pc-case-hardware-fitted
My monster CPU heatsink sticks right out of the front bringing heat from the CPU up and out of the case instead of being blown around inside the case (like normal cases..). I planned for my touch screen to go in the front but it broke, so I require to fix that.. sometime lol.
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