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Thread: DIY metal mATX case

  1. #1
    FLAC
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    DIY metal mATX case

    I just bought the materials/tools to make a basic metal case for my motherboard. so far ive been running caseless, and i have various problems doing that (its just not a cool way to go either).

    so, parts bought-

    18" metal brake- $35
    26guage sheet metal- $10
    rivet gun/rivets- $20
    metric tap bit for screws- $4

    basic design, will be just a box that fits the motherboard, and quite possibly a harddrive. just wondering if anyone has any hints or tricks for what im doing. i know i could just buy a case for about what i spent in parts and materials, but theres no case i really want. i dont think ill paint this right away, ill likely wait for summer to do that.

  2. #2
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    You don't need a tap, infact I seriously doubt you can tap sheet metal that thin. Just get some self tapping screws for any screwholes you need.

    Otherwise, having made my own case let me say... good luck to you! You might look in to getting a thicker piece for the motherboard itself to provide some rigidity, and to actually mount the motherboard to.


    Also, use locktite
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  3. #3
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    Smile

    Trader, it's kind of funny that you are doing this. I'm in the same boat as you, sort of..... I don't have any hardware issues, but, my setup is most definitley NOT astheticaly pleasing. I just have a motherboard screwed down to some painted MDF. I was thinking function before fashion before I FINALY got it all working the way it should. Now it's been almost a year & it's doing what it's supposed to. I was thinking of dressing it up a bit. I'm just afraid if I disassemble I might fudge something, so I'm reluctant to pull the trigger. I like the thought process. Maybe if you don't run into any snags I'll jump on board & do a "carputer makeover".

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    locktite... should have bought some. the tap is just for the motherboard standoffs. youre right though, ill probably end up just nuttin those off on the backside. i went with thin metal because its easy to work with. there are ways to keep thin metal from flexing, its all in the design. hopefully

    i have flexible pci risers too... i might make the case thick enough to hold these cards flat with the motherboard. that would be really nice anyway.

  5. #5
    FLAC
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    i just dont like the premade cases for matx boards. i want something that is super small, not much bigger then the board itself... yet still can hold pci cards. the power supply (m2) will get its own case and continue to reside outside the main computer case (easier to work with like that)

    btw, the 18" brake was bought at harbor frieght. cant beat that place for odd things...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trader007 View Post
    i just dont like the premade cases for matx boards. i want something that is super small, not much bigger then the board itself... yet still can hold pci cards. the power supply (m2) will get its own case and continue to reside outside the main computer case (easier to work with like that)

    btw, the 18" brake was bought at harbor frieght. cant beat that place for odd things...
    I don't like the "off the shelf" either. I actually did away with my pci cards because every once in a while one would come loose no matter how well I secured it. It drove me crazy!!! Nothing like hitting a bump doing 65 & getting BSOD!!

  7. #7
    FLAC
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    yup i know what you mean. i had mine secured down with rubber bands.. actually worked well but man was it crappy. these flexible pci risers should take all the stress off the joints though, i actually think ill make thin boxes that just house pci cards- that way i can take off the bracket and mount the cards right to their little caddys. then, with that flexible pci cable, the caddys can plug into the motherboard and clip to the outside of the case. modular pci, if you will

    case is already coming along nice. i had to come inside for a bit to get warm, and toke up a little. i can definitely get the basic case done tonight, the hardest part will be lining up and cutting out the motherboard plate. that cant be off by even 1/8".... ill get some pics in a few hours.

    also, about vibration... thats another reason i wanted my motherboard in a case. it will be easy to mount the case with rubber mounts, or just wrap it in foam; it should help a lot compared to how its mounted now

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Raw Wave
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    I used even thicker sheet metal and ended up needing to add a support structure. Otherwise the whole thing bends and puts too much stress on the board.

    Bolts into the standoffs work alright but if you want a cleaner look (and a flush mount) either use tack welds or some jbweld.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by trader007 View Post
    I just bought the materials/tools to make a basic metal case for my motherboard. so far ive been running caseless, and i have various problems doing that (its just not a cool way to go either).
    I had to build a custom case because I had some goofy motherboard with a compact flash reader on the bottom. I built my case PVC. It's crazy strong.

    This is missing lots of pictures and not very much detail but you get the idea:
    http://43monkeys.com/carputer/



    Ron: That's a nice looking case!

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