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Posted: February 25th, 2002
Written by: Davey McWatters
Disclaimer: *disclaimer: Tweak3D is not responsible for any damage done to your case while following these directions.*
Window kits are becoming more and more popular for the active PC case modders out there. It seems that anyone who is into modding their case has a window; however, Iím sure there are still some people out there who would love to put a window in their case but have no idea how to go about doing it, this article will help you with just that. If you canít figure out how to do it on your own then you certainly should be able to after reading this article.
As you can see from the above the kit is complete short of the case panel and the tools you need to cut the hole. The kit I am using is CaseETCís 9x12 Acrylic Window Kit (check it out http://www.caseetc.com/cgi-bin/caseetc/W-282.html). This specific kit includes the acrylic window, rubber molding, the locking strip, and two washers. Iím not sure why it came with two washers but it was rather confusing on which to use, the documentation only mentions a washer so that one stumped me, as the washers werenít the same size. I finally decided to just use one and see how it turned out.
The very first thing you should always do when working on something is read the directions; but many of you like to try to do things on your own and just toss the directions aside. To actually get started on the project you will want to trace out a diagram of where you want to cut a hole in your case. This should be made as accurately as possible do to the fact that nobody wants excess holes in their case :) This is where the washer you receive will come into play; you will need to measure your case to lay the acrylic window on it so it is square and not crooked.
After squaring up the window you will take the washer and place the edge of the washer against the window, now using a pencil trace around the acrylic with the pencil lead on the inside of the washer rolling it around the window. This will allow the gap needed to insert the rubber molding. After you get your cutting pattern drawn you are almost ready to begin cutting.
Before you attempt to cut anything I suggest you find something to hold your case panel in place. I suggest using a Craftsman Workmate workbench table and some clamps to hold the case siding in place, the table turned out to work very well. Iíve found it is best to have a friend around to help you out with the project. Below is a picture of my case panel clamped onto the worktable ready to have the window cut into it.
It is now the appropriate time to begin cutting, however there is one more important thing to do before you begin using the power tools, which is put on your safety glasses! I canít stress this enough, Iím sure nobody wants metal shavings hitting them in the unprotected eyes possible causing them to go blind.
Now it is time to break out the tool of the case modder gods, the Dremel. As I began to start cutting the whole I found that the Dremel blades were wearing down way to fast. Because of this I only used the Dremel to cut the corners of the pattern. For the straightway areas I used a band saw with a metal cutting blade, this made the task much, much easier. As you can see in the picture below my friend is using the Dremel to cut out that corner of the pattern.
After you have accomplished cutting the entire pattern out, the edges of your panel will be extremely jagged and sharp. Now you will want to change bits on your Dremel to a metal sanding bit. You will want to smooth out the edges as much as you can and remove any excess case that is left on the inside of your pattern line. The picture below shows me smoothing out the edges to make it nice and smooth so it wonít tear your grommet or not let it fit correctly.