Adding a door to your PC case can be a fun project with both practical and aesthetic benefits. A door can provide easy access to the innards of your PC if you need to frequently swap hardware. Many custom case doors also have a window for visually monitoring the internal components.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cutting tool
- Case material
- Glass or plexiglass (optional)
- Glass cutting tool
- Silicone glue or epoxy (optional)
- Adhesive-backed weatherstripping
- 2 Hinges
- Drill (optional)
Decide on the placement, size, and shape of your door. If you want your door to be practical, it should be large enough to allow you to comfortably install and remove components such as CD/DVD drives, hard disks, and PCI cards. The placement of your door will be restricted by the mounting hardware on the inner walls of the case, and especially by the motherboard.
Cut a hole from the case that is the size of your door. For metal cases, use a rotary tool or tin snips, and make sure to file down the sharp edges to avoid cuts. For a wooden case, use a keyhole saw.
Attach thin doorstops on the inside of the case around the perimeter of the hole to keep the door from swinging inward. Look at a typical wooden door that only opens one way for an example of this technique. If you cannot easily construct these, simply make your door slightly larger than the hole to achieve the same effect.
Decide which type of material you want for making the door. If you intend to use the piece you cut away in Step 2, you must install doorstops as in Step 3.
Cut the door to size. Remember to add a half-inch to each edge, unless you are using doorstops.
Cut out an inner hole from the door if you want to add a window, and cut your glass or plexiglass to be a half-inch larger than the hole. Affix the window to the inside of the door with a glue appropriate for your materials, and let it set well before proceeding.
Place adhesive-backed weatherstripping on the doorstops facing out of the case. This enables the door to close on the weatherstripping to keep the case airtight. If you are not using doorstops, simply put the weatherstripping on the outside of the case all the way around the edge of the hole.
Set the door in place on top of the case, with the hole of the case lying in an up position.
Attach the hinges to the case and to one edge of the door while keeping the door aligned by hand. Make sure the hinges are oriented so the door will open and close correctly. If using a metal case, mark and drill the holes for the hinges, then use nuts and bolts. For a wooden case, just use ordinary screws. Be careful not to damage the PC's internal components when drilling or screwing.
Test the door to make sure it opens and closes properly, and adjust the hinges if necessary.
Affix the latch to the opposite edge from the hinges, and make sure that it keeps the door firmly closed when engaged.
Tips and warnings
- Use thin weatherstripping so the door closes flush with the case while still making an airtight seal.
- Check the heat resistance of your glue if installing a window, and make sure it will tolerate 15.6 to 23.9 degrees Celsius, the typical ambient temperature inside a PC case.
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