Build of the week: a wooden case that was paid for in blood

Every Monday, Build of the week highlights a unique rig from the web’s most dedicated PC building communities.   

This build has everything from the five standard content categories: wood, metal, power tools, severed fingers, and a dog named Sir Watson. It’s that first one, the wood, that really makes me love it. Like James, I despair of the endless sci-fi aesthetic of most PC builds. We get it, you spent $2,000 building a Hot Wheels car that looks like it’s going through a goth phase. I love seeing a PC with old-timey flair, something deliberately outdated like a waxed mustache or a devotion to strong employee unions and labor rights.

That’s why I was so excited come across Brandon McCarthy’s beautiful wooden PC case at Quakecon. It’s so confident and understated that I walked straight past it. It’s no wonder; color-cycling LEDs and black plastic look great in the hazy Quakecon swamps, but this PC deserves to shine in direct sunlight.

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I included Brandon’s case in my favorites from this year’s Quakecon, but I was still sick with envy weeks later and wouldn’t shut up about it. Brandon kindly sent me a link to his album full of build pictures—along with the news that he won first place in the scratch-built case competition this year.

Essentially, Brandon built an aluminum frame for his PC, then lovingly cladded the entire thing in smooth, hand-fit wood. Not just wood: fine, American Walnut and strong, spalted Maple. I don’t know if the Maple was American too, but I’m assuming it was because Brandon seems like a patriot. The aluminum chassis slides out from the wooden shell for cleaning and maintenance, and when it slides back in there’s an extremely satisfying ker-tunk noise.

You can see the entire process by reading through Brandon’s build log, and I really suggest you do. There’s a picture of Sir Watson, and Brandon almost cut off his damn finger. Plus, Brandon somehow managed to get through the entire thing without making a big deal about how he’s describing his wooden case in a build log. I’d never have the strength to resist the pun, but Brandon is a stronger man than I. A better man.

Project Breadbox components list: 

CPU: Intel i7 7700k Delid 5GHz
MOBO: Asus ROG Z270i Gaming
GPU: Asus ROG GTX 1080 8GB OC
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance RGB 3200
SSD: Samsung 960 Evo 500GB NVNe m.2
PSU: Corsair SF600
CASE: Log! Log, you get it? Because it’s a wooden case. A build log for a wooden case. Classic.