Fitting and Finishing
We are ready to mount so it's time to pull out the ever trusty double sided mounting tape. Like always I would suggest 3M mounting tape. 3M is a lot thinner than standard mounting tape which gives a closer to flush finish when adding things like windows. Like normal my 3M tape eludes me so you may notice the tape I am using is a slightly thicker dimension and requires a bit more patience to achieve an acceptable finish with. Run some strips of tape around the inside edge of your case panel, leaving a small 10mm gap between the edge and tape placement. This gap is so we can fit the U-Channel easily in the next step.
Next remove the protective film from one side of the acrylic window, also remove the backing from the exposed side of the case tape. Carefully line up the top of the sheet with the tape at a 45 degree angle and slowly apply the sheet to the tape working your way towards the bottom till the surfaces are joined.
We can now take care of those unsightly edges as well as clean up the ugly join between the metal case panel and acrylic window. I have mentioned it before that U-Channel is great for hiding edges and should be a permanent fixture in everyone's mod arsenal. Measure out the amount of moulding you need and add a few extra mm's just to be safe, concentrate on cutting the U-Channel ends straight as this will make joining up later a lot simpler.
Before starting you must remember that you will have to join the moulding up at one point - for this I like to place the join around an inch out from a corner. Joining on the corner may seem like the easiest method, but you will end up having an untidy L shape join instead of a clean fluid join.
Installing the U-Channel after the window is a touch fiddley as the back lip of moulding will need to be pushed between the case and the acrylic. This may seem like the harder way to apply the moulding, but with the panel in place providing compression, it helps to hold the u-channel in place as you work your way around. Once the moulding is in your desired location you may find that a few sections are being bothersome and moving out of place. If this is the case use some epoxy glue and apply a small amount to the inside edge of the channel. Use some clamps or tape to hold the moulding in place while it dries and you should end up with a nice straight finish.
Success! We have a window - flip your panel over and admire your work. At most this mod will cost around $25 which when compared to a lot of the aftermarket window panels that some manufacturers offer, it is a cheap solution.
Although this guide goes over the basics of window installation and modification, we are not limited to the ideas I have suggested. With extra mods like adding cooling vents or fan holes adding personalized etching or even experimenting with colours and cold cathodes the humble window mod can become much more complicated and unique.
So, why not experiment and see what you can come up with for yourself!
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