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How does one cut through the metal chassis of a PC case?

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JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I used hole saws to drill holes for my water hoses and 120mm side fans. Drilling through the metal into plywood (or some other wood) helps keep the hole clean. I also used a Dremel to cut away fan guards.

edit:These show the two side panel fans, removed rear guard, and water tubing.
DCP_0721.jpg
DCP_0728.jpg
 
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BoT

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
jig saw, rotozip, dremel .. etc ... sophisticated: laser and water machine cutting
 
OP
killem2

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Thanks guys. I was mostly looking for a way to cut through it but then I noticed later those annoying little bullet things that aren't screws but they are holding the case together. So I drilled them out and it came right off.

For fan holes (140mm and 200mm) what is the best tool for that? Same as mentioned or do they make circle drill bits for that.
 

BoT

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
i think a hole saw (drill attachment) would be best for 140mm, 120mm are not as easy to find. for the 200mm i probably would go with a jig saw and clean up with a rotozip or dremel
the rotozip could cut that too
 

Sydney

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Location
Reykjavík, Iceland
I made a 120x240 hole on the side of my case by the extension slots to suck cold air to my GPUs.

Dremels? Pft, that's a girly tool. I used an angle grinder :D
 
OP
killem2

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Thanks guys, one more thing:

With regards to cutting the hole say for the 200mm, do you make the hole 200mm or like 180mm so you have that other 20mms for screws?

like this

23v0wu9.jpg
 

noxqzs

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2005
Location
Boston, MA
When cutting a hole for a fan or anything else to be mounted, always concentrate on the mounting holes first. Unless space doesn't permit and you need to trim something to make parts fit, mounting holes can give you the necessary dimensions for everything else.

In the case of a fan, my steps are to orient the fan into position, mark one mounting hole. Drill initial hole, mount fan into place, then drill the remainding holes. Sometimes parts move around while marking dimensions, and one screw helps with keeping things in place. Once all mounting holes are done, draw line from opposite holes to find center, and use a holesaw or jigsaw to make rest of the cut. Marking eveything off with tape to protect and provide a stencil base is a big help. In the case of square holes, the process Is the same except I draw a line connecting all adjacent mounting holes, and then offset from there. How far from hole center to edge of cut depends on screw size, material, and weight of object.
 

TheGreySpectre

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
what kind of metal is your case made out of? I used a jigsaw with metal cutting blade and templates taped onto my case to cut out mine, but that only works if you have fairly sturdy metal (mine is 1-2mm think aluminum) if you have a flimsy case it will vibrate too much for this method to work.
 
OP
killem2

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
The main reason I was asking about cutting was because of those stupid little non screw things they have to hold cases together. Then I realized just drill them out and everything falls apart like its made of butter :)
 

maddog8686

New Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
just had a question im NEW to case modding and i wanted 2 cut my gamer name into my case i've tryed the dremel and it was SLOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW so what other tools would work faster without a air compressor btw i have a haf 932 case no the advance one the normal 1
 

HAL-9000

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Location
Deep Space aka Jersey
Below are the hole saw sizes typically used for blow holes. Very important.. make sure it's bi-metal. The only thing tough, once you start getting into 4.5" & up they'll generally run you a minimum of $35 for the hole saw & that's not including the mandrel.. which is great if you plan to do a ton of modding, but IDK if you want to pay $50-$60 to cut one port. If you have a steady hand you can pull it off with a jigsaw then deburr the edge with a dremel. Just make sure to use a bi-metal fine tooth metal specific blade. I got lucky & found a 3 pack of such Bosch blades on sale at Home Depot for $2.50 last weekend.

80mm = 3”
92mm = 3.5”
120mm = 4.5”
200mm = 7.5"
 

nightelph

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Location
SoCal
Hole saw bits can be expensive. :/ If you're low on cash youo can drill a 1/2" hole with a regular bit, then use a hacksaw blade by hand to cut the circle out. Not elegant, but cheap.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
The thinner the sheet metal you are cutting, the more TPI (teeth per inch) you'll need in order to make the cleanest cut. And yes, bi-metal for sure.
 

clash

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Location
Canyon,Tx.
Well, i can tell you how NOT to do it.. First case window i ever cut, i used a blow torch. Warp does not describe what i did to that case.
 

petteyg359

Likes Popcorn
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Beware of cheap bit sets. My dad helped me drill some holes (first a regular bit to have the center hole marked, then a hole-saw) in my Antec 900 (first model didn't have all the cable pass-through spots the newer ones do), and the first bit shattered and exploded.