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Thread: mdf or plywood pc case?

  1. #11
    Maximum Bitrate DeltaFX's Avatar
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    3mm thick MDF does exist.
    Now Galileo is real. Muhahahahaha :p

  2. #12
    Variable Bitrate djvillar's Avatar
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    Just remember, being that MDF has good insulating value's heat from the outside won't get in but at the same time heat produced from the computer components won't get out either so a push and pull fan is vital.

  3. #13
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    In thin panels, MDF is not very strong, and is probably not your best bet. If a wood case is what you want, then I'd recommend using something like thin furniture-grade plywood, which is sometimes labeled birch plywood. The furniture-grade material has many plies, where standard 1/4-inch (6mm) plywood may only have 3 plies. Furniture-grade material is sound wood all the way through each ply, where the standard stuff is guaranteed sound only on the face plies. Even the face plies may have some filler in them.

    The insulation properties of MDF and plywood are similar; in fact, because MDF is resin-impregnated, plywood probably is the better insulator because it contains more airspace in the cellular structure.

    In either case, you'll want to be sure you have enough airflow to pull heat off the components in the case, and you'll want a way to get cool air to them. Venting a case into a hot trunk and sucking hot air back into the PC isn't ideal; see if you can duct air to the case inlet from inside the vehicle, where cooler air will be available.

    For construction, Gorilla Glue, or a similar urethane glue, is wonderful stuff. Triangular corner blocks will help keep everything strong.
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  4. #14
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    thanks for those precious advices

  5. #15
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    Not sure where you're putting this case or how you plan to finish it, but plywood is definitely better than MDF when it comes to moisture. Particle board, in my experience, even if it has "waterproof glue" seems to disintegrate pretty soon if exposed to water. If it doesn't fall apart, it still swells and messes things up. Water won't do the plywood any good either but it will hold up better. Someone mentioned MDF is denser - that isn't too noticeable for thinner panels, but when you get to thicker panels or more material it really makes a difference in the weight. Plywood is also much easier to fasten with screws as well.

    If you need it, there are marine grades of plywood 4mm or even thinner available. Wood aircraft builders use some thin high-quality plywood as well but it will cost you and is probably overkill unless you really need and want thin.

    In addition to t-nuts, there are threaded inserts which have a machine-screw thread on the inside and very sharp coarse threads on the outside that you screw into pre-drilled holes in the wood. I'm not sure how well they work in plywood as I've never tried it. In hardwood, I know you have to predrill the hole properly or they don't go in well at all.

  6. #16
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    i took a 1/2 mdf panel.

    i will paint it to get it waterproff

    thanks for the coment s!

  7. #17
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    how do you fix an ssd into a mdf box? how can i scwew the ssd?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by summer69guy View Post
    how do you fix an ssd into a mdf box? how can i scwew the ssd?
    You can screw into the middle of mdf of that thickness just dont try putting a screw into the edge....could also inlay and glue a bracket and screw into that if you wanna really go crazy

  9. #19
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justchat_1 View Post
    You can screw into the middle of mdf of that thickness just dont try putting a screw into the edge....could also inlay and glue a bracket and screw into that if you wanna really go crazy
    My preference is to use t-nuts to fasten into MDF, but -- to make building easy on myself -- my real preference is cabinet-grade plywood. Still, MDF works well enough, and some people prefer it.

    With 1/2-inch MDF, you can use coarse thread screws, but you want to drill pilot holes for each fastener. A pilot hole is the diameter of the screw's shaft, but not the threads; the threads cut their way into the wood. Without pilot holes, the MDF tends to fracture. Be careful to run the screws in just enough to tighten; don't overtighten them, or the MDF will fracture out.

    justchat_1 is right on: you don't want to try and screw into the edge of MDF. To fasten edges, use screw blocks, which are square or triangular blocks you can fasten into from each panel.

    I've had really good success with urethane glues, but any good woodworking glue will work well. Make sure the joints you make mate well. Good joints come from straight cuts.

    Take your time, and you can build a fine case from MDF.
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