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System Cooling and Case Cutting (Page 4/5)

Posted: February 21, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

Smoothing Edges

Remember that whenever you are cutting metal, there are bound to be sharp edges. This is especially bad with a jigsaw or dremel. To smooth out the edges, use either a file or a metal grinding wheel. Fortunately, the dremel had a grinding wheel attachment. This worked pretty well (except for the sparks that shot everywhere) and helped to smooth down rough edges and burrs. Here's a pic:

As a finishing touch, we used a Makita drill with a large wire brush attachment to make the edges especially smooth and clean. Also we polished up the area to give it a fine chrome look. This was very easy to accomplish as the Makita has a lot of power. Once this was done, you could rub the edges without even scraping your finger:

If you don't have a Makita drill and a wire brush attachment, this can be done with a small, fine file.

Putting It All Together

Now that you have a hole in place for the fan, and you have holes drilled for where the bolts line up, it's time to put it together. First, reassemble your PC as much as you can before sticking the fans into place so you can be sure they will fit snugly without problems. Do you want the fan to blow air in or blow air out? You will have to decide this on your own. If you have one fan blowing in, it's a good idea to also have one blowing out to circulate air. Line up the fan with the mounting holes and grab the bolts/nuts you purchased from the hardware store. If you have a grill for the fan, you'll need to line it up on the outside, as well. When they are lined up, feed the bolts through the grill and the fan itself. Do this with all four bolts (per fan), then put the nuts on the end and screw them in. Don't screw them in too tight because the fan probably is mounted with plastic. Here's the inside of our test case now:

The front fan is blowing air into the case and...

The rear fan blows air out of the case.

When you've mounted all your fans, make sure to plug them in. Start up your system when you're sure everything's ready and start fraggin'!

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