as the title suggests this is my mostly all inclusive guide to building a triton style franken-case!
these are the suggested tools for building a quality frankencase!
- dremels are a GODSEND! without dremel making a franken-case is possible but much more difficult to do, get a nice cheap one speed dremel and a lamp dimmer thingy to make it variable! cheap! also get lots of cutoff discs and some other attachments
#2: X-acto knives
! - these are the next most important tool to a good frankencaser, good for shaving off stuff or shaping small parts and scoring bits that need busted off etc, you will use it a lot, be safe! stabbing yourself hurts, and bleeds all over your case
its not fun
#3: Hot glue gun
- very important, this is what holds your cases together in the mock-up stage and even the final produce will have this in it most likely, get a cheap big one, they work better than the little hobby ones, get hotter and adhere better, be careful not to burn yourself
#4: Sandpaper etc
- you will need this for the finishing stages, get a few different grains, the lower the number the rougher the paper, 180 grit is good for rough sanding but for finish sanding get something 400 grit or above
#5: Spatulas, sticks etc
- good for working with bondo etc, dont use em to cook with ever again !
this is the stuff you will need to make the case itsself!
#1: A source case
- this will be your raw material for the most part, the original case for the system or the systems controller shells or any other old case you have layin around is good material to use, its mostly ABS plastic and fairly easy to work with
#2: plastic - just sheet plastic is handy to have usually, polyproplyene is easy to get but doesnt like most kinds of adheasive, its what those big storage bins are made of, cheap but not the best, if you can get ABS or polystrene or other kinds of plastic use those instead (a good source is usplastics.com)
- no self respecting frankencaser would be caught dead without some type of bondo in their kit! bondo is used for gap filling and structural stuff, i use normal car bondo which is more difficult to work with having 2 seperate parts ( the bondo goo itsself and the hardener) dont use much hardener, mix it throughly and apply generously and try to shape it with your spatual or whatever to the shape you want, if its lumpy or the wrong shape dont worry, sand it later!
#4: Epoxys etc
- epoxy is useful and comes in many forms and stuff, it can be use to hold your case together instead of hotglue and bondo and can be used to make parts and mounts for things, also in this catagory is fiberglass, i havent messed with fiberglass too much but it hardens fast and is VERY hard, would be good reinforcing but i think the resin eats away at plastic, fiberglass can be used to make cases too, i may experiment with that later
before you start cutting stuff up you should try and plan out what you want your case to look like! a well planned case will save you much trouble with how stuff fits, also remember CHECK THE SIZE OF THE STUFF YOU ARE GONNA PUT IN THE CASE BEFORE BUILDING ONE!
becasue making the case too small would be stupid yes? yes it would!
so after you have a gameplan your ready to start cutting. its always good to have a straight edge (such as a ruler) to mark lines to cut along. straight edges make everything look nice and fit together better! there are 2 methods to cut parts off of your source case they are :
dremel it off
this is good for internal bits and really big parts where it doesnt matter too much how it looks when your done so long as its gone, you can cut fine stuff with a dremel but take it slow and be careful, its gonna want to hang up or jerk sometimes and that can mess stuff up. the other method is
cut and score
using your trusty x-acto knife you score a line into the plastic , a nice deep line then bust the piece off, it will usually break off on the line (point of least reisistance) or if its not a straight line or a small part you wanna remove you can just keep cutting it with the xacto knife or use a coping saw or something.
after you have what you want cut off of the source case or plastick next comes the mockup stage, where you make sure all your stuff will fit inside the case you are making, the easy and most temporary way to do this is with hotglue, you just glue the peices where they go and then test fit your parts
i will add more to this guide later, im tired of typing! lol