The purpose of this case was to:
Roughly 20 hrs total start to finish. This does not include the construction of junction box. Both had to wait for JB-Weld to dry.
1 – 120mm Fan
3 – Power supply fans in custom made enclosure
1 – 80mm Antec fan
1 – 230W AT Power Supply
4 – “L” Shaped braces
2 – Small Mending Plates
2 – Large Mending Plates
1 – 4″x4″ Electrical Junction Box
1 – Rio (forgot model but 85gph)
2 – 3/8″ Diameter Plastic Barbs
1 – Package of JB Weld
2 – Chrome 80mm Fan Grills
1 – 4″x4″ Aluminum Radiator
1 – Long 5′ Plastic Tube cut to size
1 – Basic Toolbox (handle removed manually)
1 – Craftsman Dremmel (tool of choice)
1 – Set of varies coarse sheets of sandpaper
Phillips And Flat Screwdrivers
1 – Ratchet set to tighten nuts and screws
1 – Crescent Wrench for hard to reach places
1 – Permanent marker
1 – Ruler
Power Supply: Once you have obtained all the materials and tools, you can begin constructing an awesome box to hold all you water cooling stuff.
The first step I chose was to mount the power supply. I chose the back-right side corner. I then guessed where the general power supply fan would be blowing exhaust and drilled a small hole to see where I actually was.
After I found out I was pretty close to the center where the air blows, I began to dremmel further and further outside the circle.
Once I could see exactly the shape I needed, I finished the job and sanded the cuts to a smooth surface. I then drilled the 4 holes for the chrome grill. Be sure to leave the hole for the power supply also large enough to fit a power cord!
To brace the power supply to the box, I had to take the top cover off my power supply and drill.
I then put the power supply in where I would eventually place it to measure and mark where the L shaped braces would need to be drilled.
The markings were drilled through the metal box and through the side of the toolbox.
I mounted the appropriate bolts and nuts and went on my way. The power supply was now secure.
The AT power supply power on switch was also attached to the front of the box. I drilled a hole through large enough to fit the switch and proceeded to mount it through the two holes, using a crescent wrench here to tighten the bolts.
Mending Plates: – If you don’t know what they are, these are metal plates that are shaped like air vents. They havesharp points at the bottom, so watch out for cuts.
They are very sharp and I would dull them down.
I wanted to put these on the top of the box to allow more airflow into the case, so I measured the size of each mending plate and marked it out on the box.
After that, I measured a ¼ (quarter) inch inward of that marking and cut from there. I did this because that is the size of the gap between the sharp metal points and end of the plate.
This ensures a tight fit and allows you to even glue it if you would like (I chose to brace it with bolts and nuts).
I cut the hole with the dremel and dropped in the plates. After the plates were in, I drilled a hole as close as I could to the plate so I could mount the washer, bolt, and nut.
This was done on both sides of each plate.
Top Intake Fan: This was a pretty familiar mod for me and should be quite easy for anyone with a steady hand.
I measured 3″x3″ and proceeded to mark out a square shape, but I didn’t want to cut it just that way because then the fan wouldn’t stay.
Instead, I cut the hole in a cross shaped (+), leaving the corners with a ½”x½” square to mount the fan. One uncommon mod I made was to cut the backside of the fan. This was necessary to get the nut get fan tightened securely.
I then put on the chrome fan grill. I placed the power wires for this fan along the box’s body to minimize saggage in the setup and improve looks.
I then drilled a hole through in two places to have a washer brace it against the case. Make sure when you shut the case that the wire will not get caught. To prevent this, I put on three nut spacers, then an additional one to further tighten it. Works great.
Case Fans: This will likely not apply to everyone, but I had already made a rectangular shaped enclosure for 3 old power supply fans that are all wired to one 4 pin connector.
My purpose was to mount one 120mm fan, two 80mm fans or any configuration I’ll think of later to bring fresh air inside the box.
My point is it doesn’t necessarily have to be like my setup.
I first measured the size of it. I then made an educated guess where the fans would be on the other side (sounds unprofessional but it works fine if you made it past 3rd grade in less than six years).
I then cut a small square to see where I was and confirm my guess. I continued cutting until I reached the desired shape.
I sanded off the cuts and began fitting it to the box. I chose to brace it along the side of the wood box and the top.
The top of the wood box was mounted to the back, and the side of the wood box was attached to the bottom of the toolbox.
I measured where the braces would attach, drilled, and screwed in.
Mounting Electrical Junction Box: This box was made previously and I will not explain here how it was made.
In summary, just get the box, and drill a hole one size too small. Then thread it for 3/8″ diameter.
Put barbs with Teflon tape and JB-Weld the barbs. Drill a hole for your water pump and cut the wire to fit it through.
This was the easiest part of the box additions. The junction box come attached with 4 holes that easily mount anywhere, so that’s a plus.
I drilled a hole easily where the junction box would line up and braced it with a bolt and screw. I then had to get the power outside the box when the lid was closed.
To do that, I cut an exit hole for the power in the back of the box. This is pretty straightforward.
Tubes and more tubes: The water has to enter somewhere, so I decided the left side of the box would be fine. I drilled two holes (water in and out). I inserted the plastic barb into the toolbox and used JB-Weld to make it permanent.
Some people may want brass fittings, but that is all looks. You’ll probably want plastic if you plan to paint it. I attached the tubes running to the water-cooling container and clamped them tightly so it would not leak.
Final Steps– Radiator and 120mm Fan: This part of the construction was almost as easy as the mounting of the junction box.
I measured the size of the radiator (4″x4″) and proceeded to cut that shape. I left out ¾” square at each corner to mount the nut and bolt to go through. I also had to cut the backsides of the fan also so the nut would secure both the radiator and fan.
Wiring: After all the wiring was complete and the box was finished, I decided to electrical tape all the power supply and fan wires (except the top intake fan). This gave everything a solid shape and was not a mess. I suggest you do the same.
I now have a portable solution for my water-cooled PC that I feel comfortable lugging around without worrying about breakage. I also got a few other benefits.
Maintenance is easier with this type of setup. You can easily see when your radiator is becoming dirty from the front by looking and you can see the back of the radiator by simply removing the nuts from the fan and looking behind.
This is a lot easier compared to moving around cables and having to deal with the confines of a case’s limited area.
By bracing everything (I mean everything!) down securely, my solution was now safe from rattling out of existence and possibly leaking or becoming disconnected through a rough trip (or poking hands).
I also find that the machine is quieter, a nice fringe benefit.