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Bill owen founder of the legendary MNPC-tech shares his most used modding tools,


I’m asked frequently about the Tools and methods I use for PC and Case Modding. I’ve compiled this list of the most common hand and power tools I use for modding.

THINK SAFETY FIRST!Edit

Saftey Glasses

Safety glasses are the most important tool in your modding arsenal. I always have a spare pair in the workshop for my guests. It took me forever to find glasses that were both stylish and comfortable until I discovered the Smith & Wesson “Elite” safety glasses while in a friend’s workshop. No matter what type you use, your safety glasses should meet the High Impact” level of the ANSI Z87.1+ safety standards.

Bil respirator

I’ve been known to supplement sunglasses when safety glasses weren’t readily available. Always wear a respirator mask with filtered canisters whenever sanding, painting or using any hazardous chemicals for projects.

Latex Powdered Gloves Large

Wear Latex or Rubber gloves for handling adhesive or any type of chemicals and Paint products.

Mechanix-gloves

Work Gloves for use with any equipment, including Power Tools

Bosch cordless drill case mod

My second most used tool is a cordless power drill. I recommend a minimum of 14.4V volts. I typically use bit sizes 1/16 through ½ for cutting various mounting holes. I frequently use hole saw attachments for cutting cooling fan holes in acrylic and metal. In order to use the Hole saw, you’ll need an Arbor that fits your Powder Drill or Drill Press. I prefer a Power Drill with 1/2″ size chuck, so I can 1/2″ size arbor for hole saw attachments.

Guide pc modding tools3

When a precise hole needs to be made, I use a Drill Press. I’ve owned this 12″ Craftsman Bench top Drill Press for 4 years without any problems, other than the LED swivel light burned out. 5 speed (manual drive belt) with digital depth readout and Laser cross hairs. $219.00 at Sears, Item# 00921914000, Mfr. Model# 21914. There are a couple of draw backs when using hole saw attachments. You risk twisting or warping some metal panels. You also have to deburr the jagged edge with a hand file. The alternative is using a knock-out punch. I use a Greenlee part # 730EBB-120 cutting blade.

Dazmode corsair 700 800 case mod fan grill5

The alternative is using a knock-out punch. I use a Greenlee part # 730EBB-120 cutting blade. Last time I inquired about the price, they were around $450 in the states + Large 3/4″ socket wrench, and 2″ socket. I wouldn’t use anything less than 19″ long socket wrench. Estimated purchase price of $550 new for everything needed. Fortunately I could write off the high cost as a business expense, but you can periodically find used knock-out punches on Ebay.

Black decker orbital jigsaw review2

Jigsaw should be in every Modder’s arsenal. It’s the most efficient hand power tools for cutting a chassis or case panel. The $39.97 price tag on this Black & Decker JS660 makes it a great starter tool.

GvLwin8

I use a variety of flat and rounded side hand files for cleaning edges of acrylic and metal.

GvL1

12” or 24″ Combination Square Ruler is handy for many measurement needs including aligning window and fan hole locations.

Case modders ruler measure mnpctech1

Last year I created the PC Mod Ruler. It’s the only measurement & reference tool for PC Building and Modding. It’s handy to have everything involved with PC modding in one tool. Other than taking measurements, you can identify cooling fan sizes, computer screw threads, Vandal resistant switch, watercool barbs and hose diameters. Template locations for mounting internal and external drives. Thickness gauge for most common build materials.

Case.mod.paint.2

A powered “Mouse” style hand sander will save you a lot of time. I use one for sanding all types of building materials including fiberglass body filler. I’ve also used it to prep factory case panels for base coat primers.

Sander

A Craftsman 3/4 hp 6″ x 9″ Belt & Disc Sander (model# 22500) I find myself using the sander frequently for detailing acrylic and plastic. The vertical belt is used to sand the edge and sides of the work piece at specific angles.

Screw driver pc comouter tools modding magnetic computer repair kit hobbes

HOBBES GROUP Computer Repair Tool Kit The HT–2021 was designed for the Professioan Computer Technician and includes Reversible ratchet handle, 10 pieces assorted bit, Slotted: SL5, SL6mm , Phillips: PH1, PH2, Torx: T10, T15, T20, Pozi: PZ1, PZ2 1pc adapter bit for socket, 5 pieces socket 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, Anti–static/anti shock wrist band, 6 pieces precision screwdriver, 4 1/2″ side cutter, 5″ long nose pliers, Flashlight, 2 pieces batteries, RJ45 modular crimping tool, 8P8C modular plug 25 pieces, Protection cap 20 pieces, Magic cable tie (150mm) 10 pieces


Screw driver pc comouter tools modding magnetic pbswiss

PB Swiss Tools 8220 Toolkit accommodates needs of those who install, maintain, and troubleshoot PCs, workstations, and more. Features include flat, Phillips, Torx®, and 5 mm socket screwdrivers as well as interchangeable blade assortment. While slender round form foster precision work, structured, slip-proof surface promotes safe screw tightening/loosening. Precision screwdrivers feature rotating cap and round shaped handle end.


Screw driver pc comouter tools modding magnetic1

7 piece Blue Code Magnetic Screw Driver Set.

Pop rivet blind tool gun computer case chassis

If you’re going to dismantle you PC chassis, you will need a Pop Rivet gun and new pop-rivets. I use 1/4″ length, 1/8″ diameter, Gripe range .092″ – .125″. You only need a “Medium Duty” Pop Rivet Gun for installing 1/8″ rivets in a computer chassis. Steel I use this Stanley Pop Rivet Gun that includes 3/32″, 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″ Nose pieces.

Molex pin male female sleeve tool extractor

If you wish to sleeve your Power supply cables, a ATX Molex Pin Removal Tool will make the job easier.

24 pin PCI ATX PSU power supply sleeve removal tool extractor

The ATX Pin Tool is handy for removing the wires from a 24 pin motherboard connector


Pc case mod tools die tap set M3 M4 ek hardware labs swiftech feser radiators

SAE/Metric Hand Tap & Die Set will allow you to thread and repair stripped screw holes. For PC Modding & Repairs,


Pc case mod tools die tap set M3 M4 radiator

Consider for PC Modding, Tap & Die set that has tap sizes for 6/32 and 4/40 screws or M4 and M3 screws


Drill bits plastic acrylic case mod

You’re already familiar with normal drill bits, but did you know there is bits for cutting acrylic and plastic? These types of bits have flukes with a 90° point for drilling holes in acrylic plastics like Plexiglas, Lexan, Lucite, or cast acrylic sheets or Makrolon polycarbonate sheet. Metal drill bits have blunt tips and won’t properly bite into the plastic and will chip and cause other damage.


HeatGun

A Heat Gun with a stand is essential for shrink tubing, bending acrylics or plastics. You can also use it for removing labels on your chassis or power supply. They retail between $50 – $100.


335325 lg

“Step” or “Unibit” drill bits are used for making holes in sheet metal, aluminum, LEXAN sheets, These are a lot better than traditional twist drills. You should use some type of cutting oil (or WD40) when drilling though thick/hard metals to help the bit cut and lengthen its life.

Wlc100

The ideal set up is this 40 watt “Soldering Station” by Weller (WLC100) It can hold your Solder wand, for safety sake! and you can adjust the Wattage. You can clean it on the included sponge, which rids the tip of oxidation that builds up on its surface, which accumulates rather rapidly and becomes a corrosive agent that will eventually eat away at the tip and ruin it.


Micrometer tools for pc modding starret

A Micrometer is widely used for precise measurement of small distances. I use a Micrometer to measure the thickness in materials like sheet metal or aluminum. You can also use a Micrometer to measure the diameter of a cylindrical shape or sphere. Pictured above is a Starret T436XRL-9 Outside Micrometer. Types of Micrometers: Outside micrometer (aka micrometer caliper), typically used to measure wires, spheres, shafts and blocks. Inside micrometer, used to measure the diameter of holes. Depth micrometer, measures depths of slots and steps.

Micrometer tools for pc modding draper

This Micrometer is made by “Draper.” It’s 0 – 150MM Metric Dial Caliper #52417. It’s manufactured from hardened stainless steel. Slider displacements are amplified by a rack and pinion mechanism and indicated on the dial. Four way measurement: internal, external, depth and step. Reading 0.02mm. Slider has lockscrew function. Display packed in plastic storage case.



Guide and images provided courtesy of MNPC-tech

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