Bayfiller LOGO Guide
This guide will cover modding a 5.25? bay cover using a 4? CCFL for backlighting (Thanks to LampsElectronics).
If you wish to do this mod without a stencil, skip the first 3 paragraphs.
First you will want to select your design. For mine I chose to do my handle, Afturmath, in the Courier New font. Open up your favorite image editing program (Adobe Photoshop or Jasc PaintShop Pro recommended) and make a new file that is 5.2x1.4 inches. Copy or create your logo/text, and make it approximately 10 pixels from each side, or whatever size you want it. Once you finish, make a border around the image (if you used a white background) and print it.
Next we will make our stencil using the design. First, you must cut out the 5.2x1.4 image. It really helps to use a ruler here, but it doesn?t matter. Once you are done, take the sheet and cover it with the clear plastic tape. Next you will want to take the utility knife and cut out your design. The part to be used for the stencil will be the frame (not the cutouts), so if you must ruin one part while cutting, ruin the cutout. By cutting it with the tape on, you will be able to tape the stencil on to the bay, and it will also reinforce the stencil if you?re using a marker and prevent bleeds if you?re using spray paint. After you have it cut out, center it and stick it to the bay cover.
Next we will want to mark our design onto the bay cover. If you want, you can start cutting from here, but it?s recommended to spray or mark it on, remove the stencil, then cut. If you?re using a marker, go along the outline. If you?re using spray paint (suggested), take it to a well-ventilated area and spray 1 quick, light, but reasonably solid coat on it. Don?t waste your time getting it prefect, since you?re only going to cut the marked part off. Wait for the paint to dry then take the stencil off. You are now ready to begin cutting.
To cut the design, we will use a 1/32? or 1/16? engraving bit. You will ?cut? by first making a hole, then cutting along the border by moving the bit along the edge. This takes some practice, but the concept is simple and it?s easy to catch on to. For letters or designs with floating sections, such as the inside of my A?s, you should cut along the edge, then later take the cutout and shape the center. This will prevent any bending or breaking of the stencil by exerting too much force on a weak spot. Some letters and fonts will be tricky, so for your first one, make the design simple.
Once you have the design cut out, you will need to make a diffuser. An easy solution is paper. Paper will spread light evenly across the image. Other options include frosted plexi or fine mesh screen. Frosted plexi will work the best, but I did not have any at the time of this mod, so you will see a paper diffuser in my pictures. To make frosted plexi, take a piece of plexi that is cut to size and simply sand each side until you cannot see through it. It?s best to use a sanding block so there will be no light or dark spots. I recommend 150-300 grit sandpaper. Place your diffuser, with double sided tape or any glue adhesive (hot glue, superglue, silicone, etc), on the inside of the bay cover. Tape or glue your cut out spots onto the diffuser after you place it on the underside of the cover. If you want to paint your bay, do it before adding the diffuser. If you want to tint your diffuser, use window tinting from any car store, or use colored contact paper. Do not paint the paper if you?re using a paper diffuser. If you must color it, print a block of the color onto the paper.
With a well designed diffuser, lighting placement will not be critical. I used a 4? CCFL (Thanks to LampsElectronics) that rested on a hard drive. Other options may include LED arrays, but they will not be as effective. Another mounting option might include mounting the CCFL 2-3 inches behind the diffuser using plastic or metal tabs attached to the sides of the bay cover and the sides of the acrylic squares on your CCFL. My Photoshop creation shows more of this concept.
Well there you have it. You now have a bezel with personality. Go awe your friends with your 1337 cutout.
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