Hanging in the Balance - Computer Case

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Project by Mosquito posted 08-28-2015 03:13 PM 3013 views 7 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just realized that although I had shared some pictures and video in various blogs/threads, I never actually posted this one as a project…

I entered a case design contest for an Intel NUC (really tiny computer). The contest was to design a case to hold the hardware, and then Intel picked 5 winners. The winners of the design contest were then sent the hardware from Intel and got 2 months to build their case (interestingly, this case was the only one done in the 2-month timeframe, the contest was extended for the rest of the participants).

The case construction is 1/8” plywood with some quilted Sapele veneer (hammer veneered). The rest is solid Wenge and Curly Maple. Finish is a couple coats of shellac.

In the last picture, it’s shown next to the original case the computer came in, and that measures 5”x5”x2”.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

26 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


12455 posts in 3460 days

#1 posted 08-28-2015 03:17 PM

I’d be proud to have that on my desk Mos. Nice work and shows a high level of skill and artistry.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View johnstoneb's profile


3167 posts in 3181 days

#2 posted 08-28-2015 03:31 PM

I thought yours was the best case design. I have a space on my desk where it will fit if you don’t have roomin your new place.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3201 days

#3 posted 08-28-2015 03:47 PM

Thats a sweet lookin computer!

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View bobasaurus's profile


3711 posts in 4193 days

#4 posted 08-28-2015 04:01 PM

Mos, that case came out great. I love wooden computer cases and plan on making more someday. How did you fare in the contest results? That looks like a winning entry to me.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View AnthonyReed's profile


10164 posts in 3449 days

#5 posted 08-28-2015 04:58 PM

So very sexy.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


10917 posts in 3301 days

#6 posted 08-28-2015 05:21 PM

Thanks guys, was a lot of fun to make.

Bruce, I’ll have more room in the new house for this kind of thing, so I think you’re out of luck ;-)

Allen, I ended up taking 3rd by 2 votes in the popularity contest. Pretty much as I expected, but there were no prizes involved there so I won just as much as everyone :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View ohwoodeye's profile


2584 posts in 4162 days

#7 posted 08-28-2015 05:34 PM

By default you should have won just because you were the only one to finish in the allotted timeframe. I would scream at them to be acknowledged as the winner….....that’s B.S.
Sure would like to see the #1 and #2 winners if this was a #3.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Mosquito's profile


10917 posts in 3301 days

#8 posted 08-28-2015 05:49 PM

Thanks Mike. I wasn’t that worried about it, I knew mine was done on time. One other guy had theirs done but didn’t wait long enough after clear-coat to put it in a foam lined box (we had to ship them, supposedly), and that ruined the finish (polka dots, was kind of neat). Oh well.

Lots of us here may be partial to the wood cases though lol. I quite liked the first one, if she would have finished it on time (and followed the rules of all the motherboard ports being accessible instead of just some)

First place:


Second place:


Third place:


Fourth place:


Fifth place:


More details and pictures are here:

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Woodknack's profile


13549 posts in 3389 days

#9 posted 08-28-2015 05:53 PM

Creative, nice break from the standard beige or black box.

-- Rick M,

View rhybeka's profile


5006 posts in 4130 days

#10 posted 08-28-2015 06:02 PM

Mos, you have an awesome talent. How do you bleed off the heat is what I want to know?? :D

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View Mosquito's profile


10917 posts in 3301 days

#11 posted 08-28-2015 06:12 PM

Thanks Rick and Beka.

Beka, on mine there’s a laptop sized blower style fan that blows over a heatsink on the PSU and out the back of the case. This thing doesn’t really produce much heat otherwise, so it hasn’t really been an issue so far.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Mosquito's profile


10917 posts in 3301 days

#12 posted 08-28-2015 06:13 PM

Here’s a picture of the back, that shows the exhaust on the left:

And there’s air intake on the side towards the arm

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4240 days

#13 posted 08-28-2015 07:32 PM

Very nice. Good job.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Brit's profile


8303 posts in 3851 days

#14 posted 08-28-2015 08:34 PM

I demand a recount!!!

I’d rather look at yours than any of the others Mos.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View bondogaposis's profile


5949 posts in 3360 days

#15 posted 08-28-2015 09:25 PM

You wuz robbed! Shoulda won hands down.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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