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Guide: Fueler's Custom Modded Folding Rig


Weight Reduction:

I never stated it at the beginning of all this, but one of the main reasons I wanted to use aluminum tubing for the frame was because it is lightweight. The steel framed PC I've made are ball busters to move around.

I also went with thin acrylic (later switched to Lexan) for the side and rear panels to help keep the weight down. There's not much I could do about the electronics that went into the case, as far as cutting weight goes (although I did ditch most of the steel case around the power supply). I also used aluminum for all the mounting brackets and the mobo tray. I do however have two weight offenders in the case. The first was a design choice, the oak end caps and the second is because it is what I had laying around, the steel bars that hold the castors.

I learned a lot about shedding weight building Drag Bikes in my younger days. If it's made out of steel then remake it out of aluminum. If it's made out of aluminum then remake it out of magnesium. If its a body part, acid dip it and if all else fails then drill holes into it till it looks like swiss cheese.

I used the swiss cheese method to lighten the wood and the steel bars.

Here's the oak caps after the treatment.

Here they are stained....can't clear them for at least 24 hrs. I struggled with which color to use but I finally settled on "Golden Oak" because I thought it would compliment the green lighting best.

I didn't have a scale to weigh anything, but I can tell you just by picking them up that the two steel bars weighed more than the aluminum frame so I gave these the full swiss cheese treatment.

A before and after.

After paint.

Next I went to work on the Power Supply and hard drive brackets.

A before and after of the PSU support brackets.

You didn't think I was going to leave them the way they were did you?

Here's a view of the bottom fully assembled with everything painted, stained and cleared.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Frame
  3. End Caps & Castor Wheels
  4. Power Supply
  5. Hard Drives & I/O Backplate
  6. Fan Brackets
  7. Top Fan Grill
  8. Panels
  9. Panel Retention
  10. Weight Reduction
  11. Finishing Touches
  12. Project Complete! (well, almost)
  13. Kill Those Watts!
  14. The Finished Case (Final Pics)
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