Hardware Mod - Wooden Back Panel

I decided that I would custom build my own back panel out of wood! I wanted a sturdy point from which I could connect and disconnect my peripherals without the feeling I was breaking my unit.

In this session, I will show you what I went through; from design to completion! :smile:

First up, the materials I purchased from a local craft store. I went to Michaels, but you can find these items pretty much at any craft store.

1) Two Birch Plywood 1/8 x 4 x 12 inch wooden panels
2) One Balsa 3/8 x 3/8 x 36 inch
3) One Balsa 1/8 x 3/8 x 36 inch

You will need some type of saw to cut the wood. I purchased the Revell Razor Saw Set, but really, anything that doesn't destroy the wood while it is cutting it.

Additionally, I used a Dremel, and you will need carving tips to cut with if you use one as well.

Since I couldn't locate screws at the craft store, I headed over to the local hardware store and purchased the screws. Ironically, the store I went to, Ace Hardware, was out of stock for the size wood screws I needed so I used sheet metal screws instead.

1) 14 Sheet Metal 3/8 inch screws


  • I drew the design, loosely, using the plastic model that Pascal provided with the console.

    I actually did some measurements of the case and the ODROID XU4.

    Well, at least I said, loosely :wink: I think this changed a little over the course of going from design to the finished product, but it was a work in progress. The idea was to have fun but make something that looked good and worked as expected.

    I also made sure that I included spots for the rivets, and the indentation between the two point where the HTPC motherboard would mount. There's about a 1/8 inch drop there to account for.

    Also, while drawing this design, the plywood itself is 1/8 inch thick and the the 3/8 x 3/8 bar sits on top of that board. on top of that, there are the four metal machine screws that normally mount to a metal case, but I needed them to mount the ODROID so it would stay off the wood.

    You will see this through the rest of this session at various points.

    I wanted it to be strong and safe. But additionally, look as good as possible :smiley:
  • I started by cutting the back panel from the plywood. I used only one of the two sheets of plywood, but I had the extra just in case.

    I measured and cut the 3/8 x 3/8 pole to the length I deemed right to mount to the back panel and support plywood panels.

    I used a drill with a 1/16 bit to pre dill the screw holes.

    I used a Dremel with a carver bit to carve out the holes for the rivets. I also used it to carve out the holes for the ports on the ODROID.

    For the screw holes, I needed to make the wood contact thinner, so I used the Dremel with a carver bit to take away about 1/16 inch so the screws would reach the holding power they need to hold the board in place. I also thinned out the back side screws as well. The rest of the screws I just pre-drilled the holes. I used the 3/8 Sheet Metal Screws for all screws except the machine screws needed on the motherboard.

    For the brass motherboard screws, I predrilled the holes and hand-tightened them in. Being careful as to not destroy the wood, but put them in snug to the wood's edge. I used the 3/8 x 3/8 wood pole for the two supports below the motherboard. To get the mount hole positions, I placed the motherboard on the brace, and used a pencil to mark through the mount holes on the motherboard.

    I mounted the motherboard to the mounts using the same sized machine screws.

    The entire time, I constantly rechecked my progress with the case and the motherboard. I often made tweaks just so that it would be as close as possible to the position and sizes I needed.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I know this wasn't *exactly* a how-to, but it does give some insight on how I made it, and you can see what I did.

    Take a look at all the pictures and enjoy!
  • For some reason, the files are failing to upload. I'll get them up soon. Sorry about the inconvenience!
  • edited March 2017
    Gonna try something else. I put the files on my own server and I'll try linking them here.


  • Woo, I missed this one!
    Great work @computercoder !!
  • Great one : )
    If someone is interested you can find the thing also on shapeways.com . The STL will be released on the backer area when I am done with sending them out.
Sign In or Register to comment.