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Tools And Tips For Window Modding/plastic Fabrication


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#1 DaveRob517

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 05:45 AM

{EDIT} I ACCIDENTALLY POSTED THIS IN THE XBOX FORUM, AND NOT THE 360, BUT SEEING THAT IT DEALS WITH SIMILAR MODDING... IM REPOSTING THIS IN THE 360 FORUM FOR MY (ORIGINALLY) DIRECTED AUDIENCE. WITH ALL THAT ASIDE.....


WINDOW MODDING TIPS. TOOLS. TOOL TECHNIQUES. ETC.



First, i suggest if you havent already, to follow the tutorials on how to separate the 360's plastic outer case and such. I found that for the back clips... if you use nice sturdy ROUND toothpicks... you can just slide em in each slot to allow the back to come apart.


ALWAYS PRE-DRAW YOUR WINDOW/CASE MOD IF YOU PLAN ON CUTTING IT... TAKE YOUR TIME AND YOU'LL END UP WITH A NICER END RESULT.


As for the cutting:

I used alot of tools...
A dremel or "rotary" tool... You can purchase them at any major retailer of power tools for about 60$ US. Im not too sure if you have stores like Home Depot or Lowes... but if you do... theyre definitely there... Or Sears. They can be helpful... and tricky at the same time... the sander tip is probably the most idea for the case.

Theres a hand tool out there used to score lines in plexiglass... It looks like the one in This Link Essentially, you take the lower sharp point and make multiple passes to slowly remove plastic... the first few lines should be with little pressure, but as you go about it... you can add a little more pressure... just be careful not to crack the plastic, and also... they can be tricky to control... so i suggest working on the inside of the cover... just in case you slip and "scar" or scratch the case. THESE MAKE GREAT SMOOTH CUTS.

NOTE: IF YOU USE ANY KIND OF SAW OR DREMEL/ROTARY TOOL, BE AWARE THAT IT MAY BEGIN TO MELT THE PLASTIC (near the site of the cuts) ... but the little edges generated by the plastic can easily be scraped off with a fingernail. ANY SOURCE OF FRICTION WILL DO THIS... SAWS, DREMELS, ETC.


As for sandpaper... I suggest for the 1st sanding (rough sanding) use 160 grit... its medium strength... just slowly sand the plastic until smooth... then move on to 400 grit (which is extremely finer... Its usually black in color... and on the back it may say wet/dry 400 grit) Use this to sand gently... then dampen the sandpaper (if it says wet/dry) with a little bit of water and sand the edges again.... it helps lubricate the sandpaper... and it helps smooth it out. Finally move up to a 414 grit or somewhere around that and do the dry/then wet technique... the sanding of the cuts should be nice and smooth for paint.

NOTE: Do Not Go Nuts with the sandpaper.... slowly sand... because if you try and sand it really fast...
1. The friction will build up and you can start to burn the crap out of your hands.
2. You have significantly Less Control of how much plastic your removing by sanding.


Another Great Sanding tool is Files... Metal files (finer texture) will remove alot of rough material fast if you need to flatten a cut... There are smaller metal files that are called "Finger Files" because they can be as small as a quarter of an inch. 1/4"
or .25"... in diameter

X-ACTO, HOBBY, and POCKET KNIVES: X-acto and Hobby Knives are razor-blade knives... they are EXTREMELY sharp... and EXTREMELY versatile for shaving small pieces of plastic off... just be careful 'cause like i said... they're sharp. Pocket Knives can also be used to shave off plastic... granted they're gonna need to be sharp. I took an X-acto/Hobby Knife and (the blade was standing on the edge of my cut... vertically) SLID IT horizontally along the cut i had made at an extremely slight angle... it made a lot of noise... BUT it helped even the cut out.

Rather expensive if you dont own one BUT IF YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE ONE>>>****Another tool you can use is a Scroll Saw... if you have one... Drill a hole in the piece of plastic you plan on REMOVING... then disconnect one side of the blade from the saw... slide it through the hole and reconnect it... then cut from the hole to and edge and start to follow your lines of the window you plan on cutting out... NOTE: Scroll saws have a habit of making the aforementioned melted shavings.

MY OWN WIP:

::UPDATE::
Im currently sanding the outer cover, painting it... and getting a sheet of LEXAN (high-strength plexiglass) for the window, as well as planning on LED fans, Cold Cathode Lighting... My theme for this is going to be amazing... if i can pull it off. (Im keeping it a secret for right now... so I dont see one based off my idea pop up 2 hours after i post it)

Hope this helps.
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#2 stez38

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:09 AM

Great tutorial. Thanks a lot! I'll be going by this tomorrow when I start my WIP.

#3 DaveRob517

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:15 AM

Thanks... Im just tryin to help you guys out... make things a lot easier on yourself.

If you need any help, drop me a line and I'll be glad.



Just take your time and you'll do alright

#4 DaveRob517

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:04 AM

I figured I'd also add, that if you wanna get a nice soldering iron... I just purchased Cold Heat... a 4AA battery operated soldering iron that reaches temperatures in excess of 800degrees in seconds... and cools off to the touch in the same amount of time. Its amazing. No more soldering burns... but you do loose the ability to cut plastics and such... seeing in order to activate the soldering process, the target must be metallic/conductive. either way... GREAT BUY. only about 20 bucks.

#5 snow rider221

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE(DaveRob517 @ Jul 31 2006, 05:11 AM) View Post

I figured I'd also add, that if you wanna get a nice soldering iron... I just purchased Cold Heat... a 4AA battery operated soldering iron that reaches temperatures in excess of 800degrees in seconds... and cools off to the touch in the same amount of time. Its amazing. No more soldering burns... but you do loose the ability to cut plastics and such... seeing in order to activate the soldering process, the target must be metallic/conductive. either way... GREAT BUY. only about 20 bucks.




your going to sell that within a week... blink.gif


yeah, coldheat soldering irons cannot be user for any serious modding, and nowhere NEAR is capable of modding things like the ROL board, controllers, or anything else on the 360.




#6 liquid-core

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE(DaveRob517 @ Jul 30 2006, 09:11 PM) View Post

I figured I'd also add, that if you wanna get a nice soldering iron... I just purchased Cold Heat... a 4AA battery operated soldering iron that reaches temperatures in excess of 800degrees in seconds... and cools off to the touch in the same amount of time. Its amazing. No more soldering burns... but you do loose the ability to cut plastics and such... seeing in order to activate the soldering process, the target must be metallic/conductive. either way... GREAT BUY. only about 20 bucks.


I also purchased one but was unable to do any soldering with it. It is very difficult to use on things like SMDs and what not becuase you cannot tin the tip of it. Great tut BTW.

O'Malley

#7 Magixx

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 05:50 PM

I dont know if its just me, but I have the PRO Cold Heat and couldent even remove a LED from a PCB, mabey mine is broke?

#8 SpikeMage

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:38 PM

I didnt like my cold heat thing either. The tip was to large for me. mad.gif






#9 nekkron99

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 08:53 PM

QUOTE(SpikeMage @ Jul 31 2006, 11:45 AM) View Post

I didnt like my cold heat thing either. The tip was to large for me. mad.gif

Yes, I have that same problem. My tip was also too large. wink.gif

#10 DaveRob517

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE(nekkron99 @ Jul 31 2006, 04:00 PM) View Post

Yes, I have that same problem. My tip was also too large. wink.gif


As for the tip issue: they sell a smaller "round" tip that is used for more precise applications... maybe i should have worded the earlier post a little better... Im not saying that its a complete replacement for a good old iron... but its great for quick fixes and wire-to wire binding. and as for SMD's... of course you cant remove one with COLD HEAT... you gotta use a 15$ soldering iron. Im still using the Cold Heat for wire-work... i.e. dual fans etc.

#11 ptam91

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 07:41 PM

How do you stick the glass to the case? What material do you use?

#12 sicknasty413

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE(ptam91 @ Aug 27 2006, 02:48 PM) View Post

How do you stick the glass to the case? What material do you use?

hot glue

#13 DaveRob517

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:30 PM

Since I was using Lexan, I chose a silicone-based adhesive... but thats just me, it works amazing and its a solid solution... its flexible and will take abuse if you put it through it, i think hot glue would work too, but you usually have less control of it and it may not adhere correctly. Either silicone caulk (use an extremely small bead) or silicone adhesive designed for your window's material (usually found in the area around plexiglass/lexan)

#14 Heet

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 04:53 AM

Your cherry bomb case looks like the hood of a car. Wish I could paint like that!!!

#15 DaveRob517

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 06:17 AM

QUOTE(Heet @ Aug 28 2006, 12:00 AM) View Post

Your cherry bomb case looks like the hood of a car. Wish I could paint like that!!!


Haha Thank you... considering it was done by an automotive painter... I expected those results... Im sure if i had the tools at hand, and the time (which i didnt)... i would be able to do close to that...


It was seriously 3 coats of base (alot of the stuff was bubblin and all)
and then like 2 coats of clear
with a clear drip to fix alot of the dips and all.

I really appreciated him doing it... seeing that it was a favor... and free of charge.




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