View Full Version : My toolbox will never be the same

03-31-2006, 11:28 PM
Hello all. This is technically my second project. Here is a little background. After completing my XBox mod, I wanted to do something unique with a PC. I built my last three computers, but I was tired of the standard PC case. My problem with the standard case is it's design. If you want to see the "guts" of your PC, you don't have direct access to your components (drives, ports, etc.). If you have access to your drives, you don't get a clear view of the "guts."

I was determined to use another toolbox. Obviously it needed to be bigger. I knew immediately which toolbox I needed. It was a four drawer box with built in handles. It is usually paired with a roll-away cart with additional drawers (I know use the cart to store excess PC parts). An issue I ran into with my XBox mod was keeping it cool...and quiet. Using a PC power supply in the confined space increased heat. I was worried that this new project would have stagnant air. To try and combat this issue, I used a 120mm heat sink fan, one inlet fan, three exhaust fans, and mounted the power supply so it's exhaust exits out the top of the case. Also, I had to figure out how I was going to mount the acrylic window. It just so happens that on the left and right side of the drawer space there is a thin vertical groove...the same width as my acrylic. I used the drive bays from an old case to mount the HDDs, DVD drive, and the media card reader. I mounted the motherboard so that it's ports were vertical. Most importantly to me, I have easy access to all my USB ports and LAN ports. I cut a groove in the back of the upper area of the top section to allow all cords to me routed to the rear of the system. The top section of the toolbox can also hold all accessories if I decide to pack-up and head to a LAN party.

I used UV reactive mesh and wires (all the wiring was supplied with the motherboard). I used black rubberized paint on the inside, top tray, and on the acrylic. It is similiar in concept to Rhino lining used in truck beds. This will hopefully reduce the chances of peeling and cracking. Also, it reduces the chances of getting scratched while working on the system. I used it on the outside acrylic to hide the drive mounts and it focuses your view on the motherboard and it's components. (The white floppy drive seen in the picture was there for design purposes. I currently have a bay insert installed while I await a black floppy drive).

The end result is a fuctional and visually appealing PC case. A little heavier because it is not made of aluminum. I am also looking at the feasibility of mounting a flat panel monitor in the lid. Deciding how to mount it is the biggest issue. However, considering that my speakers will be external, the monitor may be as well.

Enjoy the pictures. Also, does anyone know of any design contests I might be able to enter this in? Just curious. Thanks.










04-01-2006, 04:32 AM
wow nice and clean!:D that thing is huge too.
nice work.

04-01-2006, 12:12 PM
You have managed to combine two of my favorite past-times into one visually appealing design, computers and tools! I love it! I am impressed with the clean, showroom look that the Craftsman finish provides. Mounting an LCD in the lid sounds like a cool idea too and I'm sure you can get it done. All you need is a greasy rag hanging out of the lid and you're good to go! Nice work!

04-01-2006, 12:28 PM
i've seen a similar job...but this is way nicer....
btw what did u use to cut the metal....cuz from what i know that metal is super tuff

04-01-2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the compliments. I used everbody's favorite...a dremel. The fan holes where kind of a pain, but just keep arcing and using small strokes. I used the thin cutting wheel with the best results. You go through a lot of them and it gets a bit dusty. The composite disk throws a lot of sparks. The biggest challenge was the motherboard mount. I used a good guesstimate for the distance and was able to use an old mounting bracket (to mount the video cards). I designed it so the cards were mounted to the top/inside of the box. Also, if cutting your own fan holes, have your fan guards first so you can cut the holes just right. If they are off just a little, you can fracture the acrylic guards entirely too easy. If they are metal, you have some play.


04-01-2006, 02:19 PM
Changed the title because it sounds better. Hope you all enjoy the pictures. If you want some better shots or want to know what's inside...let me know. Of course everyone wants the best components, but sometimes the budget wins.


04-01-2006, 04:53 PM
Great work-and this gives me an idea for a new project-I'm going to build a tool box using an old computer case...seriously.

04-01-2006, 06:47 PM
you should make a foldaway lcd monitor on the top of the toolbox and make it so when you close the lid you cant see it

04-07-2006, 05:51 PM
Simplistic, accessible, portable, and stylish. Impressive.

04-07-2006, 11:47 PM
haha thats sweet, I like the red and blue, nice job.

04-12-2006, 09:08 PM
That is sweet. I am new to modding, but I was going to do this with a plastic Craftsman box that I used to use at work. I was looking at a used 14" lcd monitor that I could mount inside the lid. From what I understand, they come apart fairly easy. Oh well, I guess I've got to come up with a different idea now.