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 Post subject: The Nexus 120mm fan corner cutting guide...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:56 am 
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All images are clickable for larger versions.

The problem
Some case fans like the Nexus 120mm Real Silent case fan have "closed" corners. Most case fans have two flanges with a hole on each corner. With the "closed" corner fans each hole is connected by a tube to the corresponding hole on the opposite flange. I don't know if you can still understand me, so maybe some pictures will make it more clear.
Image Image
The orange fan has "closed" corners. The black fan has the more standard corners.

These tubes sit in the way if you want to use vibration dampening rubber fan mounts. Also when mounting such fans on a Thermalright XP-120, the tubes get in the way of the mounting clips. Well, if the tubes are unwanted, they have to go.


The Dremel Solution
I put an already used brown cutting disk in my Dremel. Use the thickest cutting disk you have. Don't forget to put your goggles on. Little pieces of orange plastic will be flying everywhere. My Dremel has a variable speed from 10.000RPM to 33.000RPM. I set the speed switch to the second "click". You shouldn't use too high speeds, 'cause then the plastic will melt.
Image
First cut two groves through the tube parallel and flush with the flanges. Then cut the rest of the tube into "fingers" that are a little wider than the thickness of the cutting disk. Next cut right through the middle of each "finger". The last bits of plastic are removed by gently tilting the cutting disk a little. (N.B. Never tilt the cutting disk when working with harder materials! The disk could splinter and parts of it could lodge themself into vital parts of your anatomy.)
Image Image
Use your fingers to remove all (almost) loose pieces of plasic. Then smooth out the surface of the remaining plastic ridge by running the cutting disk over it.

The result:
Image


The Hand Tool Solution
First use a hacksaw to saw two groves through the tube parallel and flush with the flanges.
Image
Then take some pliers. Use them to squeeze hard on the tube. It will break into pieces.
Image
Lastly use a small file to smooth out the edges.
Image


Conclusion
Using hand tools, it takes me less than half the time to open a corner, compared to using a rotary tool. Not to mention that with the Dremel you end up with pieces of orange plastic in your hair and all over the room.

If anybody has other ideas (Blow torch? Chainsaw?) how to open the corners, feel free to add them.

Don't take the text in this post to serious. I was bored this afternoon. But now we have pretty pictures to point too, when people ask about the "closed" corner problem.

Edit: Added 120mm to the title, as I saw several people on the forum think other sizes had closed corners too.

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Last edited by Tibors on Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:08 am 
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Thanks Tibors - I never would of thought of the "crush and file" method.

Sort of reminds me of the PTF-PTM method - Pound to fit, paint to match.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:09 am 
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I've wanted to do this for a number of different reasons, but I've always been a bit worried it might somehow affect the noise characteristics... maybe detract from the rigidity of the frame, or perhaps even the gripping/cutting might bend something very slightly out of shape, cause slight damage to the bearing etc...

I'm know I'm probably being a paranoid old woman (and the fans aren't exactly expensive) but can you confirm there are no adverse effects?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:09 am 
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Very Nice 8), I like it. One minor suggestion I would have is to list the name/model number of the specific cutting tool that you used with the Dremel. It may be helpful for others in the future when they try and figure out which cutting disk to use.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:25 am 
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I've used my (woodworker's) table saw to open the closed corners on globe 120's. I venture to say it's the fastest & most dangerous method, no filing required, just watch those fingers!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:28 am 
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sthayashi wrote:
One minor suggestion I would have is to list the name/model number of the specific cutting tool that you used with the Dremel.

I think the accessory I used is #540 1-1/4" Cut-Off Wheel screwed on a #402 Mandrel. I'm not sure about the disk, as it was one out of a box with assorted accessories. The #540 is the only one on the website with exact the same color, but in my box of pieces, I have disks of different thickness that are identical otherwise :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:54 pm 
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A nice thread here. Thanks for the info, I've been thinking about ways to cut my shoulders out. The plier squashing technique sounds sufficiently destructive to be fun :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:44 pm 
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Now a sticky.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:29 am 
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nick705 wrote:
I've wanted to do this for a number of different reasons, but I've always been a bit worried it might somehow affect the noise characteristics... maybe detract from the rigidity of the frame, or perhaps even the gripping/cutting might bend something very slightly out of shape, cause slight damage to the bearing etc...

I'm know I'm probably being a paranoid old woman (and the fans aren't exactly expensive) but can you confirm there are no adverse effects?

The rigidity of the frame hasn't changed. Look at the pictures above and compare the corner of the black fan to a cut corner of the orange fan. You'll see that the remaining ridge in the orange fan is still bigger than the small ridge on the black fan. I didn't expect other adverse effects either. Just make sure you handle the fan by the frame and don't use the hub to grip the fan.

But last night (01:00 AM) I tested if really nothing bad had happenend. I took my Morex Cubid 2677R case to the walk-in closet in my bedroom; removed the alarm clock from the bedroom; closed the airvent in the bedroom window; put the PSU brick under a stack of laundry; plugged the fans into the fanheaders on the VIA Epia 5000 motherboard and testing.......

I couldn't hear any difference between the Nexus fan I molested for the pictures above and an unmodified one.


Edward Ng wrote:
Now a sticky.
Wow, I'm honored.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:45 am 
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I cut mine out with a jewelers coping saw, just cut all the way round.

griff


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:44 am 
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Just another stupid method... but I used my tin snips and gouged out the corner bits then filed them down. Probably just as quick as a hacksaw but a bit messier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:14 am 
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im clearly going to be flamed to hell and beyond, but why are you cutting the tuybes, is it to allow suspension or a different type of grommet insertion?

thx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:40 am 
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hugekebab wrote:
im clearly going to be flamed to hell and beyond, but why are you cutting the tuybes, is it to allow suspension or a different type of grommet insertion?

thx


Consider yourself flamed. :)

It's to allow EAR-style grommet mounting, or to allow the newer Thermalright heatsink clips to clip into place.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:48 pm 
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k cheers m8.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:21 pm 
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I do have some problems with loading large versions of the images. Even loading the small ones takes really long time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Some servers at ImageShack are terribly slow tonight. When that happens, it is usually better in a few hours or tomorrow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:38 am 
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I decided to try this method even though I do not own a xp 120 yet :D
It was also an excuse to use the dremel. Like Tibors 1st post I used a cutting disk to flush out the tube with the end of the fans frame, but instead of cutting fingers in the tube frame I used a drum sander bit to cut the tube out. Also my computer seems to be running much quieter now then again it could be the fact I have not yet taken out my earplugs.
Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:16 pm 
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I used my Dremel with the #225 Flex-Shaft Attachment and the cutting wheel to make the cuts at the ends. Then I used a #9901 Tungsten Carbide Cutter to clean out everything in between. It did a nice job and was easy to use, especially with the flexshaft.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:53 pm 
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Thanks for this guide, it has helped me tremendously!
I'm not a DIY person so this was the first time I picked up a saw since school, and I probably won't be using a saw ever again which is a relief. Oh the horror!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:25 pm 
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LOL WIL! Great that you had the guts to mod that fan! I am a diy person but still was a bit scared going at my Nexus fan with a hacksaw, and huge pliers.. Worked a treat though, thanks for the clear guide mr T! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:35 am 
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For those who own utility knives the frame of the Nexus 120mm is so soft that cutting out the corners is dead simple with even the most basic of tools.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 9:04 pm 
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From chopping away at a Nexus fan with some tin snips, I found out half accidently, that if you cut out completely one side of the outer fan rim so that the fan blade is uncovered on that side, the fan still works, and a huge
breeze can be directed at hard to get to spots on the motherboard
by mounting that side strategically. I pointed it so the cut off side of the fan is cooling the ram, the chipset, and helping to cool the cpu, while the main part of the fan is blowing directly on the video card.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:17 am 
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When using the saw-and-crush technique, you really only need to crush the tubes on the two "thick" corners. For the two "thin" corners, you can just grip the tube firmly and then bend it down, using a motion similar to snapping a twig. This will snap off the tube cleanly and leave clearance all around the fan hole. Just make sure the cuts at the ends of the tube go all the way through the tube before trying to snap off the tube.

For the two "thick" corners (that have no visible tube), I made a cut through the middle of the tube, parallel to the two cuts at the ends of the tube. This makes it easier to crush, since more pressure could be applied on a smaller portion of the tube. You'll have to crush twice, but you won't need the strength of He-Man. This really helps, especially when you have to crush the corners for eleven fans :shock:, like I did... :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:09 pm 
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Hmmm, I just did the hacksaw, cornering crushing technique on my fan. I was very careful not to put pressure on the bearings when doing this....but...well....it now makes a loud humming noise... Oh well, time for a new fan, and my dremel... :)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:20 am 
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Damn, i Tryed it, i cracked the fan case. So i just hooked it on without cutting the corners off, it stays on fine and the crack doesnt even make it produce anymore noise.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:33 pm 
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Tibors, thanks for the excellent post and pics. Looking at your closeups of the Nexxus fan and the fact it already has "starter" holes, it looks like a nice fat drill bit, and your Dremel on high speed would cut right through in about 10 seconds. Am I wrong?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:56 pm 
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LEATHERMAN tool. Cant live without one. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The Nexus 120mm fan corner cutting guide...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:52 am 
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Tibors wrote:
Also when mounting such fans on a Thermalright XP-120, the tubes get in the way of the mounting clips. Well, if the tubes are unwanted, they have to go.


Great article Tibors! :)

As an aside, has anyone tried these XP-120 top flange clips? I'm not too confident in my ability with the "cut 'n crush" technique.

PS I did try a search before posting and got 225 pages of possibles....

BTW Merry Christmas everyone, Santa has just visited Oz and is headed your way now! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The Nexus 120mm fan corner cutting guide...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 8:54 am 
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Firetech wrote:

As an aside, has anyone tried these XP-120 top flange clips? I'm not too confident in my ability with the "cut 'n crush" technique.


Yep, I'm using them on my XP-120 and SI-120 with Nexus fans. They work perfect.

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 Post subject: Thanks Ralf
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:56 am 
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Thanks Ralf! :D

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