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Windows 7: Making a custom side window

18 Aug 2012   #1
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 
Making a custom side window

I have an Inwin Dragon rider case which had a BIG grille on the left side panel. I saw this as having no panel at all and a way for dust to come in fast so I decided to replace the grille with a window. This helps seal the case to maintain the positive pressure inside to keep dust at bay.

These steps can be adapted to any side panel. This one was easy to cut out though since I had only to remove a center support thing with a few half inch cuts with a Dremel.
Here is the original panel from the inside and showing how the grille was attached using tabs which I bent and it came right off.

Making a custom side window-1-original.jpg Making a custom side window-2-grille-tab.jpg

After cutting.

Making a custom side window-3-side-braces-cut.jpg

I got a piece of acrylic (Acylite) 3/16" thick for the window and made it to a very rough shape. Then I used a jigsaw with a laminate cutting blade which makes a smooth cut to refine the corners.

Making a custom side window-4-rough-cut.jpg Making a custom side window-5-cutting-corners.jpg

After getting the radiuses made I used a belt sander and a detail sander to smooth the acrylic's edges all around. I then used, by hand, Increasingly fine sandpaper to get rid of the cut and sander marks. I used a headlight restoration kit to finely polish the edges clear.

Making a custom side window-6-edge-polished.jpg

I laid out and marked on masking tape where I want the mounting holes and drilled into the metal panel. I used it as a template to drill matching holes in the window. I taped the window to the panel with duct tape to keep it in place.

Making a custom side window-7-drilling-panel.jpg Making a custom side window-8-drilling-window.jpg

I found out one needs to drill acrylic slowly or it will break out, like wood splinters. Fortunately the finishing washers under my screws cover it up.

Making a custom side window-9-drill-bit-break.jpg

I had to use this electrical tool and cut my screws to the exact length I wanted so there wouldn't be a long part sticking out the other side.

Making a custom side window-10-cut-screws.jpg

And here the finished project is.

Making a custom side window-11-complete-1.jpg Making a custom side window-12-complete-2.jpg

I repainted the panel to cover the bare metal left by cutting and made sure all the Phillips heads are in alignment, in case anyone has OCD.




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2012   #2
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Nice work Gary, that looks pretty clean.
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18 Aug 2012   #3
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Thanks Derek, I like it too.
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19 Aug 2012   #4
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Excellent work, Gary. Now tou just need to paint the screws blue to match.
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19 Aug 2012   #5
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Thanks Steve. I like the polished stainless look, kind of industrial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2012   #6
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Gary,
Outstanding job on the window. Was there no option with putting the plexi on the inside of the case?
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19 Aug 2012   #7
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Gary,
Outstanding job on the window. Was there no option with putting the plexi on the inside of the case?
No Alan, the window would hit my CPU cooler, it's very close. I would have had to to a lot more cutting to remove the lip in the panel the grille set in.
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19 Aug 2012   #8
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

And if those heat pipes had hit the plexi it would make a crazy racket.
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19 Aug 2012   #9
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Heck Gary, you should have flared the Plexi out about 2".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2012   #10
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Custom molding plastic sheet is very expensive plus I would have to make a template to mold it to.
I don't mind the window on the outside at all, many cases are made that way, including my old one.

Making a custom side window-smilodon-case-.jpg


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 Making a custom side window




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