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Tools Required for Modding
Tools Required for Modding
Date: 05-03-11
Topic: Tutorials and Guides
Author: Xanan

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Tools Required for Modding



Tools Required for Modding

A lot of people don't mod because they think they need some specialized tools to do so. However, this is quite far from the truth. My first mod was made using only a knife, a hacksaw blade and a screw driver, and as such, I'm putting up this guide in the hope that some modder-to-be reads this and gets a better idea of what they need to begin there first mod. Please note that the tools you would need will depend on the material you plan to use. This guide is by no way set in stone, so for example if I say that a certain tool will be helpful, it doesn't mean that if you can't get it, you can't mod- you can always find a way around, if you really want to. Also, the guide is organised according to the materials, and not by tools so that if you already have a material selected, you can jump forward to that section to find out what you need.

Card Board

Yes, you can make a cardboard PC Case too, and if you are wondering if its safe or not, I assure you, it is completely safe and won't burn down. Other benefits include easy workability, super cheap and easy to put together. The downside is that these are not very sturdy, and rarely lend themselves to a classy finish. If you are attempting a ghetto look, this would be a good choice.





Tools Required

Not many, really. If you have a pair of scissors lying around, that should be sufficient. For better finish, use a craftsman's knife, also known as a Snap-Off Cutter or a Paper Knife. You'd also need a steel scale if you plan to use a Craft Knife to get straight clean edged.

Total cost of tools: Rs 100 at max.


Acrylic

Working with Acrylic is very different from working with any other material, and hence the tools required are quite different too. The list below is the set you'd normally need while working with Acrylic, cheaper ones first, more expensive stuff later.

For Cutting:

You'd need a hacksaw with a removable blade. Typical cost: from 50 bucks to 400 or more. Blades can be bought separately and sell for as low as 5 bucks to 30-40 bucks.


If you have the cash, buy a Jigsaw. The cheapest ones cost about 1500 bucks and can be used to cut aluminum of about 4-5mm thick and more, so you won't just be limited to acrylic.


Drilling

You can make do with a combination of a knife and screwdriver. See my tutorial for more info. Else, you can use either a hand drill or a power drill.

Hand drills cost about 150-300 bucks. A power drill can range from 600 bucks to 3000 or more depending on the quality, so its really upto you as to what you want.

Hand Drill


Power Drill


Bending

This can be done in many ways, and tools depend on your imagination. Most common tools for bending are:

1. Hair Drier: you'll need a good quality one that can withstand more than 30 minutes of continuous operation at max heat. Should cost you about 600 bucks. I got mine for 250+ 1 cadbury's Silk.

2. Heat Gun: Quicker, but also riskier. Dunno how much it costs though.


3. InfraRed Lamp: The most economical. You can buy these at medical stores for about 300 bucks.

4. Strip Heater: Never seen one of those so no idea about the cost, but I'm sure these will be expensive.

5. Microwave Oven/Convection oven: These are suitable for small pieces but are risky to use. Avoid if possible.

There are other methods too, but these are the most common.

Wood

Woods requires almost the same set of tools like acrylic, barring a few others.

For example, for cutting and drilling, you can use Hacksaws, Jigsaws, Carpenter's Saw; for drilling you can use either Hand Drills or Power Drills. A hole saw bit comes in handy for making holes

The specialised tools for wood include Jack planers to smoothen the surface, various assortments of files (usually a file and other nail files will suffice- you might need more as depending on the specific requirement).

A jack Plane (steel ones are suited for plywood, wooden ones are suited for normal wood)


You should also buy a Trine Square (also known as 90 degree angle, Carpenter's square) which costs about a 100 bucks. Prefer the one which has a movable scale- its slightly more expensive but is worth the money in terms of flexibility


Also invaluable are a set of clamps, and at least one 90 degree clamp. These vary greatly in price so pick one that suits your budget. You will also need to have a workbench and a vice, or at the least a vice if you are short on cash. Please note that these tools are more than ten times there worth in terms of convenience, and your work will benefit a lot if you have them. The smallest vice costs about 450 bucks, but I suggest getting either a medium vice or a big one which vary from 900 to 1500 bucks and more.




Vice:


Steel And Aluminum

As you might have guessed, these also require specialised tools to work with. Cutting and drilling can still be done by manual tools, but power tools will save you a lot of sweat, blood and time.

Aside from Jig Saws, Files and drills, vices and clamps, you'll need at some point the following tools:

Taps:

No, not the plumbing taps, but these are specialised tools that make threads for screws in a piece of metal. These are available in both manual type and as bits for power drills. I will recommend a manual tap though as there are less prone to errors due to the slower speeds involved. Also, the type of taps you will need will depend on the type of screws that you will be using. Typically, the screws used for a computer case are M3 and M4 type. If the shopkeeper doesn't understand what M3/m4 means, you can always google to tell him the pitch of the thread and the diameter of the screw.




Aside from these, you might want to counter-sink your bolts and screws. You can use counter-sink bits for this. these are easily available. Price depends on radius, depth and type of counter-sink.

Riveting:

For these, you require a pop-riveter either a manual or a power one, and rivets. Depending on whether you are countersinking the rivets or not, you'll need a countersink bit too. Also, since the riveter doesn't make holes for you, you'll also need a drill to make the holes for the rivet to pass through.

Rivets




Common pop riveter costs about 300-400 bucks or more or less. Rivets usually either sell by weight or grosses, so it isn't possible for me to give a price.

These are most of the tools required for modding for the most common materials used by modders. I haven't added specialised equipment such as drill presses, CNCs, Engravers, routers and what not, because not many can afford these or will have much use for them. In any case, you can contact the local fabricators for access to these tools, at a price of course, but yes, if you can afford them, and know how to use them, then this guide is probably not meant for you anyway.

Happy modding.



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  #1  
By SidK!! 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

This is exactly what a modding newbie would require.Great article.
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  #2  
By mrnikhilsudo 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

lol. have lots of these tools! just too busy or lazy ) to do any modding right now..maybe after july!!! this thread is my favourite right now :cheers:
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  #3  
By KrashNBurn 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

You forgot the CNC Machine

J/k
Nice article again X man.

---------- Post added at 03:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:48 PM ----------

Oh wait you actually forgot files

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  #4  
By Xanan ♥ 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

Originally Posted by krashnburn View Post
You forgot the CNC Machine

J/k
Nice article again X man.

---------- Post added at 03:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:48 PM ----------

Oh wait you actually forgot files


not....The specialised tools for wood include Jack planers to smoothen the surface, various assortments of files (usually a file and other nail files will suffice- you might need more as depending on the specific requirement).
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  #5  
By KrashNBurn 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

O yes. I missed reading between some lines, but aren't they very important to level the surface especially when cutting metal. I feel they deserve a more prominent mention than that
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  #6  
By Xanan ♥ 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

You are quite correct. However, since this is only a guide for the tools, i did not menttion a work bench. Also, I have already written a tut on working with metals so this will be mentioned there. Thanks for reminding me.
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  #7  
By MOZ 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

Nice write up, and i can see u r trying ur best to promote the art of modding!
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  #8  
By ManISinJpr ♦ 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

Very well written and concise information for people who want to start modding and are clueless about the tools, I suggest we put links for these products being sold in India.. wherever on ebay etc ...
Reps to you Xanan.
I would have loved to see the Dremel included in this
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  #9  
By Xanan ♥ 21-03-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

The precise reason why I mentioned these tools and not others are because you don't need to shop online, or import them from somewhere- they are all available at almost every hardware store so anyone can buy them without spending big bucks. I didn't include a Dremel because while it makes sense for modders around the world as far as affordability is concerned, its just too expensive to justify the price. Also, I've heard, but am not sure, that the cut-off disks that dremel uses are kinda expensive, and the chinese ones don't attach very well to the machine. If some one has a Dremel, please inform me whether this is the case or not.
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  #10  
By dedasdude 13-12-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

lol, cant do without sandpaper and screw drivers.
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  #11  
By JD666 13-12-11
Re: Tools Required for Modding

add creativity and nimble fingers to the list... Good one xanan!!!
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  #12  
By sandraclark 03-11-18
Re: Tools Required for Modding

Nice article! Way to go!
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