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Bill Owen
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I'm asked frequently asked about recommendations for Tool Recommendations for your PC & Case Modding Arsenal,




Me and my Greenlee Knock out Punch!

We welcome everyone to post this own Recommendations for Modding Tools!






The oversized anti-static "mod mat" is a 200mm x 600mm which is over 47" x 23". This allows plenty of room to complete your entire build on without worry of static or scratching pricey hardware and parts. [/size]




The anti-static surface is safe for all components including your motherboard, VGA cards, RAM and any other electronic parts. Placing high finish side panels and parts are not an issue either as the non scratch surface will not blemish the finish whatsoever. This assembly surface includes both a grounding wire clip and an anti-static wrist strap to ensure proper precaution when conducting your next build. Both straps are connected directly to the modmat itself so you know you have a solid ground. [/size]The multiple reference guides are printed directly on the surface giving you access to build information including socket layout (in actual size), power supply pin-out diagrams with voltage denotation, fan sizing chart, hard drive measurement guide, vandal switch wiring diagrams, as well as liquid cooling reference information.[/size]


Order the Xtreme Modright Mod Mat





This 1/8" Rubber Work Surface is safe for working on PC hardware that includes Motherboards, PCB circuits, Video cards, Expansion cards, Liquid Cooling Components, Power Supplies, Radiators, Waterblocks, Windows and any electronic parts.[/size]




 Easy to read bright graphics with printed US and Metric rulers and guidelines for referencing all Motherboard dimensions.[/size]


Order the Mainboard Size and Cooling Fan Reference Mod Mat


Safety Glasses


If you prefer some stylish and comfortable safety glasses, I wear these Smith & Wessons





1x Pair LED Safety Glasses, http://mnpctech.com/...ht-temples.html

Optimal style in safety eyewear, with clean lines and sports appeal

  • LED Temples
  • Ventilated, straight-back flexible temples provide cool, pressure free fit
  • Rubber temple tips keep eyewear secure for the active worker
  • Built in rubber nose piece provides all day comfort
  • 9.0 base curve polycarbonate lens provides maximum vision protection
  • Exceeds ANSI Z87.1 High Impact Requirements

Clear Lens Features:

  • General purposes for indoor applications that require impact protection
  • First class optical lens provides unrestricted vision
  • Offers protection from excessive glare
  • Provides 99% protection from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays
  • Stylish, ergonomic frame combines with sleek polycarbonate lenses for the ultimate in protection and style

Respirator Mask with canister filters
Use when sanding, painting or using any hazardous chemicals



Order PC Case Chassis and Panel Steel & Aluminum Cutter & Nibbler


The PC Case Nibbler is an Affordable and Quiet Tool is used to cut soft material, such as sheet metal with minimal distortion. Nibblers are usually used to remove larger pieces of the material, before moving onto a hand file. Cut up to 1/16” Copper, Aluminum & plastic. Up to 18AWG Mild steel. Ideal for .062in PC board material. Hardened tool steel punch with steel body. 3/8" starting hole needed for cutouts.






Rotary Cutting Tool
The most versatile tool for case modding. You can cut plastics, metals, grind and polish. Dremel brand is most popular. Black & Decker and Craftsman versions are also popular.

My review of the Black & Decker RTX Rotary Tool, which retails for $39.99!!!!!



Dremel 225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment from Amazon

" The flex-shaft to be one of the most useful Dremel tool accessories. It's great for those remote, hard-to-reach areas of my work pieces where the width of the tool itself would hinder my efforts, ot it just can't reach. It took a while for me to get the hang of using it, since it required a bit more hand control than I originally anticipated. Just make sure to keep it as straight as possible, and don't bend it too much- it heats up pretty quickly, especially at the bends" - Zagnorch


Dremel Techniques For Case Modding, Part 1

Dremel Techniques For Case Modding, Part 2

I hear a lot of complaints about cutting discs breaking when cutting metal.

You need to use aluminum reinforced discs like these Reinforced Dremel Cutting Discs



Reinforced 1.5" Dremel Cutting Discs.



Power Drill!


Cordless Power drill

Minimum volts recommended is 14.4V, but 24v would be ideal with bit sizes 1/16 through for cutting various mounting holes and operating hole saw attachments.

Hole saw attachments for Drill
For cutting fan holes in acrylic and metal.

80mm = 3” hole saw
92mm = 3.5” hole saw
120mm = 4.5” hole saw


You can use 5.5" size Hole Saw Attachment for installing 140mm fans (140mm = 5.51181)
Amazon has good selections for 5.5" "Bi-Metal" Hole Saw attachment for your Power drill, HERE

Video Guide To Using Hole Saw Attachments For PC Modding


In order to use the Hole saw, you'll need an Arbor that fits your Powder Drill or Drill Press. Mine is 1/2"

Amazon.com: Lenox Tools 300033L Solid Shank Arbor for Hole Saw: Home Improvement





Here are some Handy template for Cooling Fan print-outs to download. (PDF Files) :thumb:

Before printing, you must select "None" for page scaling in your print dialogue box!

Download Page for FREE PC Cooling Fan & Radiator grill template download

140/280/420/560 Fan or Radiator Templates Download Page




Another Method for making holes in your PC case or chassis is a Greenlee Knock out Punch. These make very clean cuts, that don't require deburring the edges.

Greenlee part # 730EBB-120 Last time I inquired, they were around $450 in the states + Large 3/4" socket wrench, and 2" socket. I wouldn't use anything less than 19" long socket wrench. Estimated purchase price of $550 new.


Threaded shaft of Knock-out punch

Knock-out punch blade

Ready to cut hole.

You need leverage. Using 19" Socket wrench to draw in knock-out punch balde

Clean Cut

Video Guide on using Greenlee Knock Out Punch

Roper Whitney No. 5 Jr Hand Punch kit available here
Hand punch (estimate $60 new)


(for cutting fan mounting holes or enlarging existing fan mounting holes for rubber silencing grommets)




Hand Punch makes clean fan screw holes. No deburring.


You can use the Roper Whitney Hand Punch for making holes for PC Cooling Fan Silencer Grommets


Used for cutting panels and acrylic sheets. (minimum 18 teeth metal cutting blade) Black & Decker brand Jigsaws available here

Hand files
Deburring jagged edges on both plastic and metal.

12” and 24" Combination Square Rulers are great for Aligning window cuts, fan holes etc




Combined with 120mm PC Wire Fan Guard for determining new fan hole location




It's not considered a tool, but it's become common stable in PC & Case Modding, it's the "Tape of the Gawds" Good Ole, Scotch #4010 Super strength adhesion clear mounting tape. Used for mounting windows in computer cases.


If you plan to re-paint your Computer Case chassis, you'll need to dismantle it by drilling out the factory rivets with 1/8" drill bits. You must use a Pop Rive Gun to replace all of the rivets with new ones.





Pop Rivet Gun from Mnpctech


Pop Rivet Gun

You can get Black & Copper PC Chassis Pop Rivets from Mnpctech


Copper Rivets

These precision screw drivers are a new addition, They're great for small jobs such as dismantling SSDs, CPU Coolers, HDs, Mice, or game controllers..

Metal Tin snips
Cutting Modders Mesh & Sheet metal



Save time and headaches!

Using 24 Pin ATX Power Supply Removal & Molex Pin Extractor Tools when custom sleeving your Power Supply and Molex connectors.



[b]A good SAE/Metric Hand Tap & Die Set will allow you to thread and repair stripped screw holes. For PC Modding & Repairs, I suggest purchasing a set that has tap sizes for 6/32 and 4/40 screws.


60 piece set for $39.99 on Harbor Freight



Drill bits for cutting Plastics

Metal drill bits will not work for acrylic or plastic, they're made to bite into the metal as they are pushed into it. If they are used on acrylics they will chip and cause other damage to the plastic. When drilling holes for screws, you must make the hole larger than the screw itself to allow for expansion and contraction of the material. If not you will cause stress cracks at the hole and they will spread!




For custom wiring, you'll need a Soldering Gun or Wand

The ideal set up is this 40 watt "Soldering Station" by Weller (WLC100) $56.99 on Newegg
It hold your wand, for safety sake! You can adjust the Wattage. You can clean it on the included sponge, which rids the tip of oxidation that builds up on its surface, which accumulates rather rapidly and becomes a corrosive agent that will eventually eat away at the tip and ruin it.

This WELLER 8200is the type of Solder Gun I grew up with... A built-in light to illuminate your work, and heats up very quick with 100 - 140-Watts of heat.


Heat Gun for use with heating rigid acrylic tubing for liquid cooling or Cable & Wire Heat shrink tubing, bending acrylics/plastics

Ebay listings..

heat gun items - Get great deals on Home Garden, Business Industrial items on eBay.com!
To clean and debur edges of the rigid acrylic tubing for PC liquid cooling, you can use hand file or medium grit sandpaper. I've opted for quicker solution and used Plumber's tubing reamer. You can pick-up these Tubing / Pipe Reamers at most Home Improvement Stores, in their Plumbing Aisle. Pretty handy tool for this task, so placed a bulk wholesale order and stocking them here, 



Tubing Reamer / Deburr for Rigid Acrylic Tubing, used for Hardlined Liquid loops in Pcs
Place reamer on flat surface, hold it in place, apply pressure while twisting or rotating tube clockwise or counter clockwise between three blades, then flip reamer upside down and repeat for inner diameter.

 ...then flip reamer upside down and repeat for inner diameter.

It does decent job... you can also use medium grit sandpaper or hand file as alternative 

Hand Gloves are Very Important addition to your Modding Arsenal


I've purchase a box of Disposable Latex & Rubber Gloves for these tasks

1. Handling Any Chemicals

2. Paint

3. Adhesives & Epoxies

4. Applying Thermal paste or handling CPUs or Waterblocks







Link to PC Modder Work Gloves



I use Leather Worker Gloves for Safety in tackling these tasks


Operating Power Tools

Cutting Materials

Hand Filing


Bending Acrylic or PETG Tubing



the Ultimate Hacksaw! .....which I'll be using for cutting Copper tubing for hard line liquid loops  



$37.76 on Amazon, http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B000FK3WQO



  Key Features

  • Standard 90° for general use
  • 45° angle for flush cuts
  • Low profile position for tight spaces
  • Takes Sabre saw blades for a wide variety of uses
  • High tension for tightening the blade up to 30,000 psi
  • Cushion grip handle for better control and comfort
  • Magnetic blade storage inside frame


Cast aluminium construction for durability. Cushion grips at each end for comfort and safety. The Nicholson Professional 4 in 1 Hacksaw Frame is a high quality, lightweight high tension hacksaw frame designed for the professional and serious user that offers four different cutting options for greater flexibility. When you're working away from the workshop this represents true value. It is hard to get excited about a hacksaw, but the Nicholson four functions is different and worth a look. With the far end folded back into the frame the blade can be mounted diagonally forming a high access hacksaw for cutting in restricted areas. Last but by no means least the design allows you to fit a sabre saw blade to the end of the frame, limiting cutting potential only to the variety of sabre saw blades in your possession. There is storage for two to three blades in the frame. 300mm blade.






The best tape is 3M Scotch 233+ Green tape
3M Scotch Green 233+ masking tape is used by Automotive Paint Professionals. It's highly conformable to curved surfaces on both metal and plastic. It has good adhesion in a large range of weather conditions. It will peel off without leaving any sticky residue. Most Auto Body Supply Stores should be stocking this tape. It's also readily available online. 3M Scotch  233+ tape has a premium price compared to other tapes, but it performs the best 

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Jay Hernandez
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It's because of Bill Owens that I now own more and more modding tools lol but they all get used regularly B)
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Bill Owen
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You can never have enough tools, Jay :)/>

A Hand punch is more efficient way to making mounting holes for PC cooling fans. No need to deburr the edges of the holes.

Roper Whitney No. 5 Jr Hand Punch kit available here Hand punch (estimate $60 new, edit they raised the price to $80)


(for cutting fan mounting holes or enlarging existing fan mounting holes for rubber silencing grommets)


Hand Punch makes clean fan screw holes. No deburring.


The 140mm cooling fan hole is now ready for installing U-channel rubber trim molding


I'm using these

Fan vibration rubber grommets

to mount the fan



I use a Micro Flat head screw driver to install the Fan vibration rubber grommets


PC Fan Grommet link



the fan grommets also come in handy for using as washers, as shown with Corsair c70 replacement window kit


Give the fan hole a professional look by installing

U-channel rubber trim



The U-channel molding will cover any mistakes or scratches made while cutting the fan hole.

I use #10-5/8 Black cooling fan screws for installing any size cooling fan.








The 140mm cooling fan is installed and looks good!

A Micrometer is widely used for precise measurement of small distances. I use a Micrometer to measure the thickness in materials like sheet metal or aluminum. You can also use a Micrometer to measure the diameter of a cylindrical shape or sphere.
Types of Micrometers:

Outside micrometer (aka micrometer caliper), typically used to measure wires, spheres, shafts and blocks

Inside micrometer, used to measure the diameter of holes

Depth micrometer, measures depths of slots and steps.


This is a Starret T436XRL-9 Outside Micrometer from Amazon


This is a Metric "Caliper" style micrometer made by “Draper.” It’s manufactured from hardened stainless steel. Slider displacements are amplified by a rack and pinion mechanism and indicated on the dial. Four way measurement: internal, external, depth and step. Reading 0.02mm. Slider has lockscrew function. Display packed in plastic storage case.


80mm Honeycomb Acrylic Fan Grill, http://www.mnpctech....Fan_Grills.html





This would be nice to own. CNC Shark Pro Plus Router, sold for $3,599.99 by ROCKLER


You can use the CNC Shark for carving, cutting, engraving, and etching hard materials that include, aluminum, MDF, wood, pvc, plexiglass, acrylic, and plastic.

You must supply a PC computer with USB 2.0 port and a Bosch Colt router (router sold separately). Simply connect the USB cable to the controller box and the other end to your computer (not compatible with Mac computers). The CNC Shark work table measures 28-1/2” wide by 36” long. The router itself can be moved over a 25” x 25” work path centered on the table. With its open end design work pieces longer than 36” can be placed into the machine, and continuous machining is possible with careful indexing of the workpiece. The table is much improved over the original Shark and Shark Pro in that its made of a blue anodized extruded aluminum channel which allows for great flexibility in clamping down workpieces. CNC Shark does include Vectrix CAM and 3D design software, but you'll want better graphics package like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator to create advanced artwork.



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For rotary tools, the Flexible Drive Shaft accessory is great for detail work. Just keep in mind to try and keep the shaft straighter when running higher speeds as the more it is bent, the faster it will heat up due to friction and even more so when under load (grinding/cutting something)
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Modding... it is a fun and scary place all at once in an expensive goodie filled playground.
Project: S.I.T.H.

Evil is coming... soon.

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Bill will you include a CNC machine or 3D printer?
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At 4 grand they don't include the router or shipping. I don't consider the Rockler rigs a good deal.

-We could go on all day about mini cnc rigs available, so I'll shut up for now.:D
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I also find it funny (probably the only one) that they say "Bosch colt router required" and yet show a picture with a Porter Cable motor installed lol

They have another one for $200 more that's got more options for router motors, and has 2" more Z-axis allowance. I've actually seen one of these Shark CNCs in action at a Rockler Demo. It seems to work pretty well, but it was only used with wood there, obviously
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- Mosquito

Case Mods: Visible Contrast | Dancing Iridescence | Definition: Server | IBM PC-AT Reborn

Scratch Builds: Just A-PC | Mini HTPC | Music Box | Retro HTPC

Be sure to check out our Reviews, Podcasts, and Introduce Yourself, if you haven't already!

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My Dremel died a few months ago and so I recently just bought a Black-n-Decker rotary with a gift card I got for my birthday.

I can't afford one of them hole saws so I have been using the Dremel for making fan holes up till it died. When it died I had to use my scroll saw. OH MY GAWD I am totally not skilled with it as I am with a dremel. I'm SO glad I have a rotary tool again.

I need to get me one of them snake things though.
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At 4 grand they don't include the router or shipping. I don't consider the Rockler rigs a good deal.

-We could go on all day about mini cnc rigs available, so I'll shut up for now. :D

the mini CnC have there downsides, and certainly some pretty grim bugs, but noting a few hours of work cant fix with no money needed.

I am noticing more and more getting bought up, the guys who know how to use one are doing some epic work, the guys who dont are spending a lot of time in the ER
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Designer, Modder, Nutcase, Megalomaniac

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@Krusher - 90% of the time it's the little switch/electronics board that dies. Replacing them is pretty easy.

@Toby - The ER? I don't get close enough to let it bite me. Anyone who climbs in the thing while it's running probably asked for it.
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@Krusher - 90% of the time it's the little switch/electronics board that dies. Replacing them is pretty easy.

It overheated. I got a little anxious to get something done one time and just kept cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting etc. Now it only spins when it's held in a upright position. I've had it for SOOOOO long.
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Hmm this box cart is dying for PC case mod :lol:
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