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 Post subject: Powder Coating Case Internally
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:38 pm 
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I've got a HAF 932 on the way from NewEgg. It's going to be my first build, even if it is just moving parts from my current case to the HAF. I would like to paint the inside of it, preferably powder coated, because of the benefits, and to make it look a little bit custom. I was just hoping to get some opinions and feedback on the idea. Thanks.

EDIT: Apparently, powder coating doesn't look as nice as some other paint finishes, but how would it do for the inside of a case. Preferences on finishes?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:29 am 
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well, here's my 932. I just did some amature poof can automotive metallic black and then clearcoat, but I think having the inside painted makes it look 1000 times better than that gray with the nasty black over spray.

(click for larger pics)
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I gotta warn you, removing/reinstalling those tooless drive bay push button things is a mini-bitch. be ready with some touch-up for when you go to put them back on. Otherwise, the rest of it is pretty easy to deal with.

Good luck man! be sure to give us many awesome pics :D


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:55 am 
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How much did that cost, and how long did it take to do that? I already spend a bunch on the case, and I'm not completely sure how much I can dish out for extra material.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:55 am 
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Honestly, I wouldn't spend the money to have it powder coated. One thing they don't tell you is that it adds about 1/16" to all surfaces. Now, that may not sound like much. But if you got it powder coated, you'd have to drill out and possibly retap all the mounting screwholes, and possibly remove some powder coat to slide your drives in, among other things. Also, it may mess up how the side of your case slides back on. In essence, you'd be removing a LOT of powdercoat after you had it done. I would honestly save the tougher, better looking powder coating for the outside of the case.

As to powder coating not looking better than paint, that's a load. However, it all depends on where you take it to have it done, and how much experience the coater has. I should also mention it's not exactly cheap. I'm with mark on this one, go get some high grade rattle cans, paint the inside and clear coat it. Clear coat is optional, but it will make it shine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:46 am 
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So a regular matte finish from a quality spray can would be better and cheaper? I don't want any gloss or anything. Just a dull black coat, and if you've ever seen that Lamborghini with the matte finish, you know dull can still look great.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:51 am 
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Oh yeah, but keep in mind it's harder to clean the dust off a dull coat. It tends to stick very well, and in order to clean it all off, you'll need a damp rag or something. Gloss, however, is a simple wipe and go, with a dry rag. Just some more food for thought.

Get some good Krylon primer, and then some Flat Black paint. It will do what you want. Oh, and either some green or blue painters masking tape to protect what you don't want painted.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:02 am 
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Ya, just like bigt said. those drive bay slides were tight befor I painted it. the paint got marred up when I slid them in, but you don't see it unless you remove them, and there isn't much need to do so that often.

The spray can route is the way to go, unless you plan to use your rig as some big special demo model for a business. If only you and your buddies/family will see it, poof can will do great.

So I took my time, did 2 thiiner coats of primer, then 2 coats of paint, then a good clear coat. I didn't have any trouble with mounting holes, except for the previously mentioned drive rails and getting those push button things back in.

Like I said, I think it is totally worth some extra effort, not too many people see my case in person, but I do every day, and after this I won't have a black case and not shoot the inside. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:17 pm 
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bigtoyota479 wrote:
One thing they don't tell you is that it adds about 1/16" to all surfaces.


screw holes:
use a drop of loctite and fill every damn hole with screws, leave loose by 1/2 a turn.

Drive bays:
masking tape on the inside where they slide in or anywhere that you need clearance.

Exposed places that were masked off and you want to look pretty:
Use a Dremel with the polishing wheel and some jewlers rouge, makes the metal shiny and nearly mirror like.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Do you think you could take a picture more close up of the clear coat finish? I happen to use compressed air to clean the dust off and out of my PC. Would a matte finish hold dust enough to prevent the air from removing it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:35 am 
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I matte-finished my first case mod, wanted it to look mean and tough rather than glossy and sleek. even with textured matte finish, I can still blow off dust with a compressed-air can, but it does get dusty faster than a smooth finish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:24 am 
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Hmm, I'm just a bit worried that the gloss will almost make it look cheap, and not that "mean and tough" as you said, which is really what I was aiming for. I'll just give it some more thought and hope I get some more responses. Thanks for help so far guys.

It would seem that my HAF has finally been shipped out from NewEgg. Here's hoping it comes tomorrow, and beats the 3 day estimate. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:54 am 
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Well with mine the pics don't do it justice, I've gotten nothing but rave reviews from people that have seen it in-person, it still looks tough as hell. But this, like anything you do with asthetics, is up to the individual. At least this metallic paint I used is noy like "shiny" glossy, that may be what you are thinking you won't like. The metallic automotive paint is kind of a happy middle to matte and full on shiny gloss.

At least in a computer chassis, might be shinier (spelling?) on a car.

If you happen to have any old junk cases or panels laying around, go get a small can and do some experimenting. Find what you like. You might want some practice befor you go to shoot the inside of your case. it's a bit difficult to get to all the angles you need to get the paint everywhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:53 am 
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I guess I was more worried about sheen than gloss per say. I can live with sheen I suppose, but I don't want it to look like it should be in the next Fast and Furious movie. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:40 am 
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OK, well me and my grandfather are prepping the case to be painted, and I just have a few questions. First question is about the top fan. It seems out of all the Allen Keys in my house, they only fit in one hole to remove the fan. Now, I would really love to get that fan out of the case before painting. Secondly, how do you remove the Cooler Master ODD locks from the case?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Like I mentioned, those are the tough part of taking this case apart, and putting it back together.

(click to see larger)
Image

Where the arrow is pointing, if you have a pair of channelock-style pliers, preferably 2 pair of them, you can widen the jaws and clamp around the plastic part and squeeze to get the plastic tabs down and out from behind the metal tangs on the case. There are 2 small springs on each one of the buttons, so watch it.

Be really careful on at least one so it doesn't fall apart all over the place so you can see how they go together. I got pretty rough with them, they seem to be able to take some punishment, but I was sweating a bit, I was really hoping not to bust any of them. Just have some touch up paint ready to go :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:42 pm 
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It took me a second to figure out exactly what you mean by squeeze down, but now I that I figured it out, I've gotten 3 of the 6 out without any of them falling apart. In fact, I've got it down so well, I had to drop one on purpose just to see what you mean about going back together. My side panels are drying overnight in the garage. I did about 3 coats of primer each. I might make another run to the hardware store to get more primer, and some black paint. Hopefully painting the main section of the case without removing the rivets isn't too difficult and it comes out looking well. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Excellent! Ya, it's kinda hard to describe in text the way to get at those little boogers, but sounds like you got it down. Like with most things, it may be a bit more challenging putting them back in, especially with that new paint job.

Also, you may already be planning this, but only mount the HD slides you are going to use. if you don't use all 5 of them, just store the others away. you'll have that much better air flow. And I hope you got SATA cables with 90 deg bend on the HD side. It gets very crowded behind that panel with all that cabling getting stuffed back there.

Also, get some mechanic's wire, or a wire close hanger and hang that case, that way you can twist and turn it to get at all the little nooks and crannies it has. and it has many!

Can't wait for pics! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:16 pm 
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Only having problem removing the top one, since none of the pliers I've tried so far have fit. I have to go out and buy an Allen Key just to remove my fans. Hopefully I don't have the same problem with the pliers. :wink:

Pictures of the two side panels and the prepped case.
Image
Image
Image
My grandfather did quite a good job wrapping the front audio cables, IMO. I also think I did a pretty good job priming the panels for painting, seeing as how I'm learning how to paint on a $160 computer case. :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Very good!

There where the vid cards and such go, you can just bend the tab up and turn that shiny metal pin out, then slide it up and out. that way you can take the toolless latches out so you don't get paint on them. Actually, if you plan to use vid cards that tkae up 2 slots, I would just leave them out, and use screws to hold those heavy cards in place. Those don't hold the big vid cards very well.

That plastic top with buttons and wires comes right off. just take the 3 screws out that are under the rubber liner. I have the allen key that works on the se fan screws, but I am not sure the size. I think it's metric because it is smaller than 1/8". A t-15 torx works fine too.

Oh, and the little plastic keepers that hold the plexi in place just pop right out too. from the back or inside of the panel, just use a small punch or mini tip screwdriver and push the pin out of the center.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Yeah, I was trying to take the card latches out but I couldn't manage. I'll give it a fresh try tomorrow. The windows I just used masking tape to cover over, and you can see it at the bottom of the second picture. I think I used enough primer, so tomorrow I'll prime the inside of the case, and see how much primer I have left. Then I'll know how many cans of paint I need. I just can't help but feel that I'm going too light on the coating. BTW, it does look darker in person. The flash must have lightened it.


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