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Modification - Introduction

Modification of computers started when a simple case or component did not look or do what the end-user required. Often linked with air-cooling, modification, also known as and fondly called "modding" has become a vital part to many air-cooler's tactics. Modding brought the ability to modify the case to the needs of the user, to add, or remove hard drive bays, fans, grills, slots for Optical drives, floppy drives and various other things. It has allowed for creative minds to add and remove things to cases. For examples of modification, see the Modification section of the OCAU forum.

Case Modding Tools

  • The most commonly used, and revered, tool is the Dremel. The Dremel is simply a rotary tool. While there are various other versions (Ozito, Black and Decker etc.) of the tool, but they have all taken on the alias of "Dremel." The rotary tool is a multipurpose tool with a spinning action similar to a drill. It can be used to cut holes, grind, sand, buff, polish and engrave/etch. This swiss-army knife of tools is used by most modders avidly.
  • The Jigsaw is another of the common tools. Used on larger cuts than the dremel, it is usually used on a window.
  • The Drill. The drill is a common power tool owned by most households. Its use is simply to put holes in things. Keep in mind that a drill can have attachments such as Hole-saws, that allow 80mm, 92mm and 120mm holes to be put into a case in a single drilling action. They are also important to many modders.
  • The Nibbler. The nibbler is a tool that "nibbles" small chunks of metal away at a time. While it slowly wears out the user, it is useful for places where its not worth pulling out the dremel. There are also nibbler attachments available to use with electric drills for those larger jobs.
  • Hacksaw. For use when a jigsaw isn't worth getting out.
  • Masking Tape. This is VITAL if you are using any tools on a case. Unless you like a scratched up case, think about grabbing some tape.
  • Bondo and Hardener. The Bondo and hardener can be used as a strong adhesive for filling large areas (although there should be mesh or some other material (perspex/plexiglass is often favoured) to be bound into place. It can also be used to modify the surface, shape and size of various parts of the case.
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue. Used for seal areas where Bondo isn't used.
  • Araldite. For those bonds that need to stay together

Additional tools such as Pliers, Cable Ties, Electrical Tape, Soldering Iron and others are also used, but the basics above are what is used on a standard case mod.

A list of OCAU featured modifications can be found here.

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