NAG case mod: Started some aluminium work!

Previous related articles for reference purposes:

Who is DAE_JA_VOO/Ettienne Venter

Intro to this mod

Dremel sponsoring DAE_JA_VOO

Full photo shoot, sketches, renders, and some ideas

Some new gear for the NAG case mod

Man, I’ve been having so much fun on this project. The more I think about it, the more excited I get.

I bought some 1.2mm thick aluminium yesterday for use in the mod.

There are four pieces lying there. Let me explain what they’re all for. The big guy is for the motherboard tray. Quickly have a look at the stock tray:

This motherboard tray caters for almost every motherboard form factor that exists, hence all the holes. While that’s a great feature, I don’t need it. I only need it to support ATX, and perhaps EATX. The tray also has three big holes along the bottom for cables, etc. I don’t need those either, because I want to make the holes for the cables in the perfect places, not general places like this. So how do we solve this? With a piece of aluminium that’ll cover all of that stuff, like so:

Obviously, it’ll get modded a whole lot before it’s finished, and I’ll get into that just now. The two smaller pieces are for the sides of the bay area. here’s the standard bay area:

And the bay area with the alu sheet covering it:

That’s just a quick test, though. By no means is that the finished setup. This is just to give you an idea of what I’m going for. The last thing I want is a million holes all over the place, so I’m trying to clean it all up 😛

So I started off with the motherboard panel. I needed to cut a big chunk of that alu out. So I’ve got it all masked up and ready for action:

After a few minutes with the Dremel 4000 series, I had this:

I’ve just got to mention something to you guys quickly. That Dremel 4000 series is freaking incredible. I’ve had a 300 series for a few years, and I got the 400 series Digital from Dremel when I just partnered with them (a few months ago). About 6 weeks ago they sent me this 4000 series, and it feels significantly better than anything I’ve used before. Don’t get me wrong, the 300 and 400 series are fantastic tools, and I still use both of those all the time, but the raw power and strength of this 4000 series is just incredible.

Anyway, after a few minutes with my file(s), I was left with some straight and clean edges:

And then it was time for a quick test fit to see if I had done what I wanted. So far, it’s looking exactly how I want it to be looking!

Alrighty. My next step was to cut a small piece out of the bottom of the new panel so as to make space for the rear end of the case getting in the way. These two photo will explain:

So, I measured it all up and got ready for some more Dremel lovin’:

All cut!

After some filing and sizing, it seems to fit pretty well. I’m pleased with the result:

Okay, now onto getting the new alu panel fitted to the motherboard tray. There are a few things standing in the way. A few stand-offs, and this guy:

I’m not going to lie to you guys – I have no idea what that’s even for. My best guess is that it’s for cables or something, but then again, it’s in the way, so who cares anyway, right? I need two things to get rid of this guy. First thing – my Dremel Multi Chuck:

Essentially, this little guy lets me use non-standard sizes in my Dremel tools. Where I’d normally need something with a shaft that’s around 3-3.2mm in diameter, this Multi Chuck allows me to use a wide range of sizes. If I pair that up with a small drill bit from my Dremel Precision Drill Bit set, I have a perfect match:

Wait for it…


Now that that’s out of the way, all I need to do is drill holes in the new panel for the stand-offs to come through:

This allows the new panel to sit directly against the motherboard panel, which means it won’t cause any short circuits or anything like that. Perfect!

So, all done, here’s a look at where it’s going:

I actually made a dummy motherboard and GPU specifically for photos and so on, but the progress pics of those were lost 🙁  There’s a possibility that I still have those photos on another memory card, but I don’t have that card at the moment. If I find the pics, I’ll upload them.

That board is the EXACT size of a regular ATX motherboard, and the GPU fitted there is the size of a GTX295 (measured from my own one 😛 ). Having this dummy allows me to be sure that I don’t build things that will conflict with each other. It also looks awesome in photos.

Anyway, I fitted the board to get a feel for how the board would sit over the panel beneath it, and it’s sitting exactly how I wanted it. Freaking perfect if you ask me! 😀

I’ve left it masked up to protect it. In case you guys may have missed it (or in case I didn’t mention it), the inside of this case will be black. Once I’m done all the cutting work, this case will get sent off to the powder coaters for some fun. I may have it anodized instead. In fact – yeah, I think anodizing is what I’ll go with.

As mentioned, this new alu panel covers up the three holes that the case’s motherboard tray has in it for cables on stuff. While this might seem a little counter intuitive, it’s actually another reason I made this cover in the first place. Those holes cater for a general field of motherboards. That’s great and all, but that’s not what I need from a case. I need this case to cater for one specific motherboard, and I’ll cut the holes for the cables to fit just right for the motherboard I use in the mod. This approach should give the case a much cleaner look and feel, and make the case look a lot more professional.

Unfortunately, I can’t make these holes just yet, because we’re waiting until a few weeks before rAge before we get the hardware for this case, so as to ensure that the machine is running bleeding edge tech.

I’ll start with the bay panels and the other panel next. I’m quite excited for that stuff.

The cable sleeving that I ordered for the project has arrived, and I’m going to get it from NAG today. I’m really amped to get my hands on this sleeving, because I made sure that we use the very best sleeving in the world for this mod. It was imported from Germany specifically for this project. I’m very excited about this stuff.

That’s about it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. As always if you’d like to get hold of me, drop me an email. Alternatively, you can follow me on twitter (@dae_ja_voo) for real-time modding updates, like quick photos I throw up with my phone. Also, be sure to check out my website ( for any updates/news on any other projects I may be working on.