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  1. Greetings fellow monkeys. I would like to share with you my first step into the world of computer modding. Nothing in this build is perfect but, it was fun and educational. I found things I would have done different and some that I may still redo, but I kind of feel like that's the point of this hobby. I didn't really plan on doing a log for this project so I don't have any "in progress" photos to share but, I will point out some of my headaches from the journey. Not long ago, I had a friend express interest in having me build him a new desktop computer. I knew it may be a while before he could afford the components for said build but, that didn't stop me from thinking of a way to make it unique. In this instance, inspiration came from the room where this machine will eventually live. He actually managed to convince his wife to paint one of the back bedrooms red and white as sort of a Detroit Red Wings man cave. I knew I had to make a case that would fit the theme. I started out with an old computer case I was no longer using, an MSI Raptor mid tower. It is a modestly sized case and doesn't feel too "busy" for lack of a better term. The inside of the side panel gave me a clear idea of how big to cut the window hole and also the plexiglass and the front bezel offered natural locations for accent color. The first major thing I learned on this project however is that I'm not a painter. This project used several cans of spray paint which I don't have the patience for. Several times I caught myself applying a coat too soon or applying it too heavy. I think I'll experiment with Plasti Dip next time to try saving some hassle. The next issue was the etching. I used a mirrored image taped to the front of the plexi to give me right view to etch the back side. This looks okay but, it is the part I'm least pleased with. I began with a Dremel bit that was too aggressive for this kind of work so the outer sections particularly are a bit rougher than I like. I will most likely redo this part soon. One problem with adding a window to this case was that I lost two fan mounts. The only way I could think of to get them back was to use the ceiling, or more specifically the roof. This case wasn't designed with much room between the motherboard and the ceiling so the roof seemed like a cool idea. I had some plastic fan grills on hand and put some white spray paint on some window screen material as sort of a ghetto dust filter. Not fully satisfied with the cooling of this case, I decided to add one more fan since I am a believer in positive pressure cases. I knew I didn't plan on adding an optical drive to this build so I did some looking and found that three 5.25" bays will hold a 120mm fan pretty well. I found a piece of metal floor trim at the local hardware store that I was able to bend and drill to make a fan mount. So, at this point the case is basically finished other than a few finishing touches like a 3.5" bay cover and some LED's that I still need to order. Again, I don't have a finished system in it at the moment but, I may be "borrowing" it to temporarily house my rig while I do another project. If I do I will post another few pictures of that. Thank you for taking the time to check out my work. Please leave any tips or questions you may have.
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