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NienorGT

First time using a dremel...

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

Hey guys, I want to do some modifications on my aluminium PC case, so I bought a dremel since I know it can cut and make holes without needing more tools while being cheap.

As the title say, I'm a total noob and have no experience with a dremel, but I do like a challenge.

I watched YouTube videos about dremels, so I think I'll be able to do what I need, but I'm still a freaking noob that didn't used power tools since high school 20 years ago.

So... I just want to make sure that I'm not missing anything...

 

This is the case that I have. I knew it wasn't optimised for airflow and stuff would get hotter than my older ATX tower, but I really wanted something small because I was tired of having an ATX tower that were >50% empty space.

The thing that I didn't consider is that my GPU is taller than the normal size and thus totally prevent air circulation in the case, causing heat built up. It took me a while to notice it because, I don't game a lot, so my GPU sit mostly idle.

I got more fans, but now the poor design of the fan mounts (look at the stupid "abstract design" of the top fan...) make it impossible to have a normal fan noise without an annoying high-pitch whining. To be clear: I don't mind most fan noise, but I can't stand high-pitch whining, it's like nails on a blackboard to me.

Sadly, I noticed this problem months after the purchase, so I can't return the case, and anyway, the case looks perfectly like I want (ignoring the top fan ugly design), so I want to keep it and just jerryrig a fix. It might not look pretty up close after the modifications, but it will still look nice sitting on my desk.

My goal is to remove those lines on the top fan hole and use a basic fan filter instead and I will probably fully open the back and bottom fan mounts because those lines are way too much restrictive for the airflow and probably don't help the noise.

51gQGPzyaYL._AC_SX679_.jpg.f02793749f1a1a561c67b0f4aba01d03.jpg

 

This is the dremel that I got, the LCD display might be a gimmick, but I noticed that it is important to use the correct speed depending what you do and which accessory you use, so since the LCD show the actual rotation speed (36 = 36 000 rpm) it should help a lot. It's supposed to be a 200W motor, so it should be enough (many videos were recommending to avoid cordless dremels because it lacked power). I even bought Dremel branded cutting discs made for cutting metal, just to be sure of the quality (It was only few bucks and I guess Dremel is a good brand since people refer to rotary tools as dremel ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

I also have protection glasses, gloves and a mask for safety, obviously.

71ZrhCdTrBL._AC_SX679_.jpg.c7b4affdb89d0b5d2a3810f5f6f6bf3b.jpg

 

So, as I said, I watched few videos (like this one), so I know what to do, the use of tape and how to hold the dremel, finish with filling tools etc.

Since the case is all aluminum (1/8" or 3.2mm of thickness) instead of steel, it should be easy to cut as long I don't go too fast and make sure it doesn't melt. 

But, is there anything else that I might have missed or tips that I should know?

 

--- my post was starting to be too long since I had nothing to do else while waiting for my pizza delivery, so I kept the fluff if you want to read more details and why I bought this case:

I was once a PC enthusiast and gamer with a gamer overclocked PC (In the Athlon 64 days, I had a DFI LanParty mobo with UV bling bling), but now I'm a graphic designer who suffer from wrist pain (apparently not carpal tunnel syndrome says my doc everytime I ask him). So gaming is not a priority anymore and I built my new PC last year with that in mind, I wanted something that looks nice, but didn't want to care about overclocking and stuff.

That's why I bought a i5 8500 (wasn't able to find a non-F 9400 and I wanted the iGPU since this PC will go in a slim PC case when I'll upgrade to a Ryzen sometime, hence the low profile cooler).

I wanted something small because I was tired to have big ATX cases that had more empty and unused space than a bag of chips and I really wanted a mATX board because, I knew that I would require more than 16GB (and I did, I'm now at 32GB) so I opted for a Golden Field M3S which fit perfectly my style (a rebel graphic designer that live in a world dominated by Apple and a sea of rounded aluminium cases).

 

Everything was going smoothly, despite having a case that lack cooling abilities, it did what I wanted: being silent in idle/productivity work. I don't really care about some noise when I game because I exclusively use headphones.

However, because of the whole "global situation" right now, I end up playing games way more often that I was before, and since I play open-world / story driven games, I might play for long sessions.

But despite never getting any thermal throttling so far, my PC does get freakingly hot - it's an aluminium case, so it literally get hot to the touch - when I game and I worry about shorting the life of my components due to the heat and with summer coming around, I might finally get some thermal throttling.

I've bought more fans and changed the PWM curves, but the noise now hit a very annoying whining because of the way the case fan mounts are designed.

So, I told myself that I could learn something different and buy a rotary tool to do some modifications...

 

Edit: my full PC specs are on my profile, I thought that it would show on the side...

Edited by NienorGT
Typo and clarification
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The biggest thing about a Dremel is it likes to jump around and make jaggy cuts.  They actually make tiny plung routers and table saw like things to help avoid this.. Use a firm hand.

 

If you want to go up market, there is a more powerful system that Dremel which Dremel was basically designed as basically a cheap rip of called a Fordham.  It’s got a much bigger motor and only uses the flexible extension.  They’re preferred by jewelers.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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Try using the Dremel on a scap piece of aluminum first. For just a few dollars it could save you from having to live with a botched case modification.

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To save your a$$ on oh shit moments cover the metal and plastic your going to cut with painter tape, the Blue masking tape. Then you can draw your lines on the tape also

 

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On 5/14/2020 at 11:43 PM, NienorGT said:

-SNIP-

I have a post under the Window Mod which covers most of the steps you will need to accomplish your goal. I'd recommend to use a reinforced cutting disc and you'll want to layout your cuts as suggested with masking tape to prevent scratching. When cutting you will cut away from your final line and want to use a metal file to straighten up the edges done with the dremel and to clean up the burrs

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Sorry for the lack of replies, I had to delay my modding project due to work commitment.

 

Well, I was mostly procrastinating putting my PC parts into a temporary case because one of the most annoying part of my computer case is that EVERYTHING is cut sharp at 90°, making any manipulation of the case a potential accidental cut away for your fingers.

I was wondering if there something that I could do with one of those tools to polish down the corners to make them less dangerous.

The main corners I want to make less rough are going to be hidden by the black plastic band where the glass is sitting, so I don't care how it look, and I guess the easiest way will be using normal sand paper.

 

But I was wondering if there something I can do with other corners like those fan holes that really feel like touching a cheese grater plate when moving the PC around.

Since the sanding paper thing for the dremel is big, does the pink abrasive parts could be used to just make it less sharp?

20200601_203036.jpg

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On 6/2/2020 at 8:53 AM, NienorGT said:

does the pink abrasive parts could be used to just make it less sharp?

Can be hit and miss. I found using some abrasive stones that aluminium clogged them quite quickly.

 

Anyway you slice it, trying to round off sharp corners on that grating is going to be tedious.

 

It would be really hard to get consistent results on all and not do any marks or damage by dremel as you might have it skip or jump out.

 

It really needs to be done as part of the initial manufacturing process.

 

Aluminium is pretty easy to work so hand files can pretty easily deburr an edge. You could just get a thin round file and run it gently around all the edges just to smooth them off a bit.

 

Have you considered cutting that section out and installing a mesh or similar ?

 

 

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On 6/1/2020 at 7:53 PM, NienorGT said:

Sorry for the lack of replies, I had to delay my modding project due to work commitment.

 

Well, I was mostly procrastinating putting my PC parts into a temporary case because one of the most annoying part of my computer case is that EVERYTHING is cut sharp at 90°, making any manipulation of the case a potential accidental cut away for your fingers.

I was wondering if there something that I could do with one of those tools to polish down the corners to make them less dangerous.

The main corners I want to make less rough are going to be hidden by the black plastic band where the glass is sitting, so I don't care how it look, and I guess the easiest way will be using normal sand paper.

 

But I was wondering if there something I can do with other corners like those fan holes that really feel like touching a cheese grater plate when moving the PC around.

Since the sanding paper thing for the dremel is big, does the pink abrasive parts could be used to just make it less sharp?

20200601_203036.jpg

In theory.  In practice it could make it worse.  The problem with grinding bits is they tend to be very rough.  To take the sharp edge off a polishing type thing rather than a shaping type thing is preferred.  Brass wire wheel or buffer maybe.


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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