Monday, August 22, 2005

The Window in My Computer

Several years ago I had placed on my wishlist at ThinkGeek a window/light mod kit for a computer case because I thought it would be really neat. My parents got said kit for me for Christmas that year. I then realized how difficult cutting a hole in the metal of my computer case would actually be...very.

The kit went into my desk drawer "just for a while". Then I got married and moved...still in the desk. Recently I moved again...still in the desk, but I came across while unpacking and decided that this was the right time to finally install the window/light kit.

First stop, Home Depot (luckily one is close). I picked up a metal drill bit, (yes, I know they're pretty much all metal but I mean one FOR metal you goof) some metal files, and a small hack saw. I went home and emboldened I took off the side of the computer case, drew the lines I needed to cut on, and started to make the first hole with the drill bit--simple enough, so I make a second hole close to it. Next I tried to file the metal between holes so I have a space big enough to start with the hack saw...and I snap the tip of the file off, great.

Finally I get a hole big enough for the hack saw, and I begin cutting with it...slowly. After 10 or 15 minutes I have about 2 inches cut, and furthermore it is very hard to make it go the direction I want it to go in (i.e. it's not). That was enough work for that night.

Next up, I ask some friends and co-workers if they have any metal working tools...not much luck. Finally a break! Someone lends me (thanks Rod!) a little cutting table and a RotoZip (aka a spiral saw-very nifty). I go back to home depot to get a metal cutting bit for the RotoZip (and exchange the broken file) but they don't have them (or make them, apparently). Instead I let them sell me a drill saw blade (you put it in a regular drill and you can cut with it).

The drill saw blade is slower than the hack saw, although easier on the hand, and slightly easier to guide. I try that for a while and again call it a night.

A few days later Karl is over and suggests trying the RotoZip even though there are no metal we do. We get one short side of the window cut and then the bit breaks. Called it a night.

Finally Sunday rolls around, I have some more time (energy) to work on the window again...I have about 1/3 of the total cut out. I say to myself "Self, screw it, just use the RotoZip and buy some new bits." (I don't really start my thoughts with "Self,"). So I did that. I got almost all the way around and only used two more bits. I had about 2 or 3 inches left so I decided to hack saw it. Fifteen minutes later I had finally cut my window! (JOY!!!). Lastly I filed down the edges of hole so that it was almost straight lines and had no sharp edges.

I thought I was home free...but it was not so. I still had to put the window in which was a lot harder than I thought. It has a black rubber molding that holds it in place but it was hard to A) get the molding to stay in the hole B) put the window in the molding without it falling out and C) put another rubber "locking strip" in the molding make sure the window stayed in place once put there. That took another hour or so.

Finally I just had to install the light. That was so easy compared to the rest of the project. I drilled a hole in the back of the case, stuck a screw through it and a bolt after that. Easy! I mounted the switch for the light in one of those plastic covers you use for a CD-ROM slot when there is no CD-ROM there. is the final result. My digital camera sucks and that's why so does this picture, but you get the idea. (Click for larger picture).

Next, I want to add an applique which is a reflective design which goes on the window.

Posted by Picasa


At 6:53 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you man.
No really want to sleep with me?



Post a Comment

<< Home