120mm blowhole guideFormer staff writer -
It's time again, to do another How-to guide. This time, I will be taking you step by step on how to install a 120mm blowhole ontop of your case. Why on top? Well, it's been known that heat rises, therefore all the heat in your case will rise to the top of your case, but has nowhere to go. That is where the blowhole comes in to play. This 120mm Panaflo Highfan fan blows 103.8 CFM!! but be aware, the noise of it (in decibles) is 41.5 dBA! That much noise might drive you crazy. If you think it would, you might want to purchase the Panaflo 120mm Low Fan, which is easier on the ears @ 30 dBA but you will loose some air flow over the High Fan as it is only 68.9 CFM.
REMEMBER It's always a good idea to wear saftely goggle's when working with power tools. REMEMBER
If your top panel on your case is removable, it will be ALOT easier to do this type of mod. Usually if the top panel of your case snaps in place or has screws holding it in, it should be removeable. However, alot of cases, especially cheap-o-cases, are riveted in from the factory which makes it not removable. If your top panel is secured by rivet's, you can do what I did with my Sky Hawk case. I took a drill bit that was slightly small than the rivet and drilled the rivet's out, and replaced them with screws, and bolts. This will make it alot easier when you want to mod your case again. In any case, if your top panel isn't removeable, you will have to take everything out of your case, to prevents slithers of metal from coming in contact with your mainboard, psu, ect..
The template I used for the blowhole was an old CDR coaster I had. :) A CD is just slightly smaller than the fan hole, but once you get it cut and sand it down, it should be perfect. You can always buy a 120mm fan hole template from Cole at CaseEct.com. Or you could use a 120mm fan grill and trace around it.
Once you have your hole traced on to your case panel, you need to prop up your case panel on something so that when your cutting the hole out, you won't cut into the carpet. This doesn't apply to you, if your top panel isn't removeable.
It's a great idea to put masking tape around where you are cutting, as this will prevent you from scratching your case if you slip, like I always do :) I won't be using any masking tape this time, and I don't care if I slip because after I complete my blowhole and other mods I will be sanding the case down to metal and painting it.
You should know by now that I do all my mods with a Dremel. I will be using a fiberglass reinforced cuttoff wheel to do my cutting with. REMEMBER Don't apply too much pressure when using a dremel with a cuttoff wheel. REMEMBER If you apply too much pressure you're bound to break the cuttoff wheel. It should only take one maybe two cuttoff wheels to complete this blowhole.
Here, I am done cutting the hole with the cuttoff wheel. Don't worry about not staying on the line. If you go on the inside of the line, you can always sand it down afterwards. (Just try and not cut outside the line)
After cutting the hole out, you will notice the jagged edge around the hole. To sand those down we will be using this sanding bit, I don't know the official name of it. We will also be sanding down the part of the circle that isn't at the line we drew.
Here is my top panel sanded and all.
The next step is to drill the four holes for the fan grill. The best template for the four holes, is the fan grill itself. Just place the fan grill over your blowhole, and use a pencil to go aroound the inside of the hole. Lastly, put your fan on and use some screws and bolts to fasten it with.
There you have it! A nice looking 120mm blowhole. Once I have painted it, I will post an update. I will also be using a 120mm laser cut fan grill, from FrozenCPU.com, and they can be found here. They make your case look very unique.
Until next time, happy modding!