How to safely ground a PC in a custom wooden case against ESD and static, etc?

Elf_Knight

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Nov 9, 2013
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Hi people!
I am building a custom all-in-one gaming PC made from wood. The case itself is a redesigned and repurposed wooden chest with a lid from Amazon that I varnished and shortened to size about 6-8cm tall. My components are all mini-itx except for the motherboard which is micro-atx due to Amazon being short stocked!! :(
My problem is that my case is not grounded safely so I do not know if it will be a fire hazard. What anti-fire things can I use to treat my case and make it safe and secure? I know wood is generally not a problem for PC parts because they are very well cooled these days and I have seen some builds on YouTube that are just fine.
My parts are here:
i7 4770 (not overclocked)
8gb ddr3 ram
gtx 1050ti
525gb ssd
1tb wd blue hdd
300 watt silverstone PSU
micro atx lga 1150 motherboard
Noctua low profile mini-itx cpu cooler

I have taken a plank of wood and used a pointed screw and a screw driver to make holes into the wood. I used a pencil to mark the points on the plank of wood for the motherboard standoffs. I got some brass standoffs from a PC screw kit and installed them using a sacrificial screw. Once all the standoffs were successfully in place I installed the motherboard and screwed it in place. I might actually remove the motherboard and make a cut out for the CPU cooler because that will be a right pain every time I need to add more thermal paste or a new cooler.

I'm using an old Fractal Design HDD tray for my Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD. I hand-made more holes into the panel since I don't have a drill and screwed the tray/hdd to the panel. It is safely secure and has breathing room. For my SSD and PSU I simply turned the PSU so that the fan is pointing upwards and there is plenty of space between the case and PSU exhaust for ventilation. I will get my dad to drill some holes into the wooden box for the PSU exhaust and make some kind of walls to direct the exhaust flow.

The SSD and PSU both are using velcro strips to tape it securely to the wooden panel for now though I might make a custom wooden frame to screw them into.

I have the Gtx 1050ti low profile gpu and I swapped the normal PCIE bracket for the low profile one so it won't break the screen.

I did some basic cable management though I need a better way to hide the cables. Maybe some zip ties and tall screws to tie the excess cables down to.

My monitor has vesa-mount support and I will screw it into the inside of the case lid which has holes in it for vesa-mounting.

I will make a custom lid using a sheet of metal I got from a DIY store which has some holes in it for ventilation and will make a wooden frame around it since it is too small to cover the whole box unfortunately.

I have a custom power button and USB hub and USB wifi antenna from Amazon for the build. All the cables except for one power cable will be tucked away neatly in the box and I have a wireless mouse and keyboard combo to use with this all-in-one PC.

I will try to install some fans and see if I can screw them to the metal sheet for exhaust to pull the air out of the case. I will try to find some dust filter material that I can use. Though I have no idea what to use. All the dust filters on Amazon are only for 120/140mm fans and I need a lot more than that!

Any thoughts on this build project? I will upload some pics when I complete it. I want to know how to safely ground the motherboard from the power supply or if that's not necessary. The DIY store had some sheets of metal for sale though I don't have anything to drill through them with. I could simply put them underneath the motherboard and PSU? Would that work? Or am I just wasting time here?
Many thanks in advance!
 
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Elf_Knight

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What paint should I remove? Should I remove the paint from the box? I only used oak varnish to protect the box from spills and water for example. Or should I remove the paint from the PSU? I'd rather not tamper with the PSU if possible. Is there any fire protecting material I can put around my case?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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If your PC components get hot enough to start to burn wood, you have other problems...:pt1cable:

People have been making PC cases out of wood or plastic, or even no case, for years. With no special workarounds for ESD or grounding.
 
Your PSU is grounded in itself , as soon as you plug it to the motherboard the motherboard & components become grounded too.

You don't actually need to do anything extra apart from make sure the standoffs are correct & theres a decent gap between the rear of the motherboard & the wood itself with no components or traces touching.

Just try & get good airflow both in & out of the case is all , you want an intake & an exhaust fan fitted - wood is an incredible insulator which is why it's been used to make doors/windows & houses since the dawn of time.
 
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meztek

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I would also point out you should mount the motherboard and other components with screws that are contained within the case and not sticking out to the outside. If you were going to use machine screws and nuts going through the wooden case to the outside, you may encounter unexpected problems in the future.

As madmatt30 pointed out, your computer is grounded via the PSU - but you don't want screws touching the ground plane of the motherboard also sticking out of the case.



 

Elf_Knight

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Nov 9, 2013
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Everything is installed onto a different wooden board aside from the wooden box and I will have an exhaust fan and an intake fan with proper ventilation from a sheet of metal that had some vent holes in it that I got from a DIY store. The wooden panel that has everything attached to it will be inside the wooden box so no screws will be outside the case. I guess I don't have to worry about the motherboard being insulated. I have installed standoffs to give it breathing room and raise it off the wooden panel but I don't know how to elevate the graphics card since i am using an extension cable to lay it flat. I want to lay it flat on the side that doesn't have fans so that it picks up air from the top of the case which will be ventilation. How should I best secure it to the wooden board? Would zip ties suffice or would the other side overheat if I secure it to the wooden panel?
Cheers!
 

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