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Thread: Wood Micro-Atx Case

  1. #1

    Smile New Modder - Wood Micro-Atx Case Idea


    This is my first attempt at doing a mod (I built a compy over Christmas break but it's in a really crappy case). Anyway, I found this computer with a 1ghz processor, 128 mb video card, power supply etc.

    Actually, I found it in a dumpster, took it home, and discovered that other than having no ram, one bad ide port, and no optical drives, it ran great. Since I have another computer, this other one just sits around and I recently got the idea to do a mod for it. My brother is really into doing things with wood (I'm not so bad meself ) and so I thought it might be fun to do an all wood case.

    Currently I'm looking for advice on what motherboard to get (I'm currently thinking smaller is better for what I want to do), recomendations on how to cool this sucker (I'm starting out with some metal from an old case to put the mobo etc on, the the outside is going to be wood), and also I'm kinda curious if anyone has ever sold a modded computer. I'd really like to hang onto this one, but being only a poor student, I need money and + I can use what I learn on this case to do a totally awesome mod on me other one.

    I don't have much experience with cooling. On the computer that I built, I have 2x120mm fans 1x60mm fans, and the fans on the processor, video card, and power supply. The only problem is mine has distinguishable air rushing noises. I'd like this model to sit on a desk, be horizontal in nature, and not sound like a wind tunnel. I have no experience with water cooling and since I don't know anyone else who has done it I'd rather not try to do it on this one.

    I'm at the really basic design stages now (I have a video card, power supply, processor, and 40gig wester digital hd). I have yet to buy the rest of the parts so any suggestions are welcome and greatly appreciated.

    Thanks VERY much!!!!!!!!!!


    P.S. I'm thinking about getting a usb based wireless card, and also a bluetooth mouse that connects via usb and putting them inside the box (the less cables the better )
    P.P.S. The goal is to make this a decorative case. My brother has quite the collection of power tools and so I'd like to make this something a person would have on their desk and it would look beautiful.

  2. #2
    Talk nerdy to me nil8's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    Since you're trying to sell this, I would suggest something with a light stain and high varnish.

    The cooling thing won't be difficult, it will just take some work. Your PSU is going to need to expel heat. Also, I would suggest at least 2 fans; one intake & one outtake.

    Try going with a small atx board. It's not a bad idea to use an old scrap case to hold the optical drives, hard drives and motherboard.

    You might consider modders mesh over your fan holes.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    Thanks for the reply!,

    I'm new to this, so what is modders mesh?

    Is there any special way to tell if my power supply expells heat (other than holding my hand behind it and powering it up?)

    Also, I've been considering either making the lid a chessboard, or creating a holder to put a comercial chess board into the top. My grandfather has a really neat black and white one that might make this look interesting (I'd have to find another one because his has sentimental value).

    I saw a mod a while ago where the person moved the optical drive button, I've been toying with the idea of having both the optical and the power buttons hidden somwhere. Has anyone done this? Pros, cons, methods?

    Any more ideas?

    THanks again!

  4. #4

    Question Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    I've been having more ideas on this case thing and I wanted to see what ideas you guys had.

    I'm thinking about making this a media center pc. Since it is going to look really nice, having it in a living room would be neat.

    What kinds of hardware would be reccomended for this type of a setup?

    It is going to have a 1ghz amd processor. Should I upgrade this?

    Also, the quite factor becomes more important. What kind of fans have you found that work?

    Do I need to put in some kind of a video capture card if I want to make this a media center? Is a 20 gig hd enough or should this be bigger? What kind of ram?

    I'm really new with this custom thing so any help is greatly appreciated!!



    P.S. I'm thinking about going with the chessboard idea and making my cd drive and power buttons be tiles or something on the board that just have to be pressed . Any reccomendations on buttons that would work well with this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Phoenix AZ

    Default Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    This sounds like a really fun mod I did a lot of wood work in high school so ill try to help where I can if your going this the chess board consider making the peaces stationary and put them into a classic strategic formation

    I like the idea of your power and rest being tiles on the board however this would me either

    A. making your own board (witch is fun I still have the one I made in school)
    B. buying one and trying to remove two tiles without breaking it
    I would say make a close copy of your grandfathers

    As nil8 said cooling is not much of a problem as for noise you just have to read up on the fans them self to know there noise factor I've never really cased much cause if its loud I know its working kind of like when you drive your friends brand new car and u stop at a red light and go “oh man did it stall?” XD

    I wouldn’t worry about hardware a whole heck of a lot one of the nice things about computers is you can use the same case for a new system NORMALY however being a “poor student“ I would suggest give us a price tag then we can name some parts though if you going to store a lot of DVD rips music ect. I would suggest a bigger HD something around 200+ gigs

    hope this help =>
    Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.

    We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswerIs42
    I'm thinking about making this a media center pc. Since it is going to look really nice, having it in a living room would be neat.

    What kinds of hardware would be reccomended for this type of a setup?

    It is going to have a 1ghz amd processor. Should I upgrade this?
    have a quick look at or or
    for hardware set-ups and combatibility issues...
    or google yourself. In terms of amd 1ghz being enough. It depends on what you want your media center to do.
    just playing DVDs? Listening to music? playing mpeg4 encoded movies?
    Also, how much fiddeling are you willing to do? How much time are you willing to put into repairing and maintenance?

    For playing mpeg4 you might want something bigger than 1ghz, depending on what OS and software you're going to use, but it's not really necessary.

    A large harddrive if you want to capture video is a big YES, at least 160GB i would say. Especially if you're keeping the mpeg2 stream from the video capture card. That is approx 1-1.5 GB/h video, depending on quality.

    One heads-up for you: calculate your energy consumption carefully when designing your system and make sure that your PSU can handle large fluctuations in power. Many PVR cards (that's the video capture card), especially the PVR-350 from Hauppage draws energy like mad when capturing video (encoding of mpeg2). The benefit of using PVR-350 is that is it so widely supported by linux.

    otherwise, most info on this is out there... google is your friend, there are plenty of guides and how-tos. Decide on which OS and you're pretty much set to go.

    about the chess thing, it sounds pretty good. I know i've ran into some tutorials on building key-pads (can't think of where now) but that might be something to consider. However, you might need to customize your interface with your computer.

    These go to eleven. -- Nigel, This is Spinal Tap

  7. #7

    Smile Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    Thanks for all the great responses!!!

    I would like to spend around $300 on inside components. Since I already have the video card, hd (or at least the operating system hd), power supply (tenatively), I think I can probably do it.

    Judgement; thanks for the great post! I like that stationary piece idea. I'm currently thinking more along the lines of making it a workable board (not that anyone would actually play on it but...
    I know what you mean with the cooling. That's how I have judged it so far. If it's really quite I get worried that it's about to spontaneously combust

    opengswede; thanks to you also for the post! Thanks for the links. The compatiblity with linux is definitly something that I would like to have. I run Ubuntu Dapper flight 6 as my primary O.S. and I really like it. I can do some amount of fidling with it to get it running but once it runs I'd like to have to do minimal work on it (at least the inside, the software side is constantly tweaked).

    Thanks for the help guys!!! These are great ideas and the help is greatly appreciated.


  8. #8

    Smile Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    Over this next week my brother and I are going to sketch up a rough idea of what we want to do on the asthetic side. We will then make it work on the hardware side.

    I'll be uploading them in a couple of days.

    I'm liking the ideas so far!!! Now if I go the media thing route I also need to figure out what o.s. to use. Ubuntu is good, but I'm not sure if media center might be a bit more appropriate. Any thoughts from peopl who have used xp media center edition?



  9. #9

    Default Re: Wood Micro-Atx Case

    how about that free media center software that runs on windows. Does anyone know what I'm talking about. I forget what it's called, but it looks nice. is it gb-pvr? anyhow, its very nice. wait, if your using ubuntu, myth tv is also highly recommended for linux

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