Wooden PC Case

Our shop needs a new, more powerful computer to run the business, edit videos, and do some cad work. So, Q1 of the New Year 2023, we will begin the limited edition run of these cases. We’ll reproduce this 1935-era Zenith radio wooden PC case and build our office PC inside of it. You can  PRE-ORDER yours today.

Wood Computer Case

Can you build a computer inside a wood pc case?

Yes, of course, you can.  I really don’t understand the debate over the answer to this question which seems to stem mostly from heat and combustion.  Just look at the image of the back of the original radio.  See all those vacuum tubes?  Do you know how much heat they put out? Modern computers get nowhere near the 500 degrees (the flashpoint of wood) it takes for wood to combust.

In designing our wood computer cases.  We take into account wood movement (like in all furniture we build).  And like in any computer case we have to make sure we provide airflow, which of course, we will.  ‘nuf said.

For a long time customers, have asked us to make them a custom wooden pc case. We also have been building our own PCs since the early 90s. Remember one of the reasons we started this business in the first place, was to combine our passions. I get to nerd out on wood and build a PC at the same time. It is high time we built a wooden PC case for ourselves. In this build, we will replicate the Zenith 811, an Art Deco style radio, and make it our Art Deco desktop computer case.

Do we have enough room to put all the tech inside and still have proper cooling?

Fill the form below and see how we can build your next computer case.

Wooden Case | Design and Aesthetics

I love the look and feel of this piece and so I want to keep the proportions and dimensions as close as possible to the original. Since I don’t have one of these 811s handy I have had to do some internet sleuthing. From what I can tell, the 811 is approximately 17 1/4″ tall by 12 1/2″ wide and 8 5/8″ deep.

The overall dimensions of this wooden computer case will dictate the tech we put inside i.e. motherboard, power supply, and other peripherals. With that in mind and given its size, the motherboard must be an ITX or Mini ITX variety. I will cover the technology side of this down below.

The other thing to wrestle with is how close of a replica I want this to be. Do I want to put a modern twist on it? My gut tells me… to modernize it but just a little.

There are 4 wooden knobs and a brass and glass radio frequency dial. We need 2 switches, one power, and one reset. I would love to put an analog gauge where the frequency dial is. Does anyone out there know how to convert the digital temperature data into an analog signal that I could send to a gauge? Maybe with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino? The space that the radio frequency dial occupies should have something there to round out the overall look. I also feel like it should be functional. I don’t really want digital readouts or anything modern on such a classic wooden PC case. I shudder at that thought. Ping us and let us know your thoughts. Leave it out? Make it cosmetic? Maybe a nice piece of marquetry? Again, let me know what y’all are thinking.

Some images of us building the prototype of the Zenith 811 reproduction computer case

  • Wooden PC Case Zenith 811 reproduction
  • Wooden PC Case Zenith 811 reproduction
  • Wooden PC Case Zenith 811 reproduction
  • Wooden PC Case Zenith 811 reproduction
  • Motherboard

  • CPU

  • RAM

  • NVMe SSDs

  • Cables

  • Fans

Share This Story, Help Us Grow!

Cables, Power Supply, Fans, and a dust filter and how they get mounted

  • Custom Computer Case
  • Custom PC Case
  • Custom PC Case
  • Wooden PC Case
  • Custom PC Case the Zenith 811 front veneer
  • Three different finishes, trying to see which I like best

Replacing a tower PC with what is essentially a 1/2-height wooden computer case. One thing to consider in any case is dust control (especially in the shop). As luck would have it the original case has a speaker in it. The speaker area can be air intake or exhaust. Installing some vintage speaker grill fabric on the inside of the front panel then the fabric will act as a filter. Somehow making that removable would make cleaning a little easier as well.

Cable management won’t be much of a nightmare either given my choice of motherboard and power supply. I can run the 24-pin main cable to the motherboard up from the bottom (wait, will I put the power supply on the bottom)? Since we don’t have a ton of room inside this case. I will reach out to CableMod to get shorter lengths of cable to keep the inside nice and tidy.

Read more about our custom computer cases under services or clicking this link.  Custom Computer Cases

Here Is Tech We Need To Fit Inside

Let’s Talk Tech!

Before we can lay out the carcass, we need to choose our technology. As of the writing of this article, my CPU of choice would be an AMD 7950X except for how hot it runs (Only concern is keeping this below tj max and this isn’t a case thing, its and AMD thing). I don’t want to run water cooling inside the case, or have a massive fan inside (not even sure we would have enough room) that will make much more noise. So, the choice is the AMD 5700G APU. It packs 8 cores and 16 threads running up to 4.6 GHz. The Radeon Graphics on board the APU will handle Premier Pro for our video editing fine.

Time for the Motherboard. I chose the ‎ASUS ROG STRIX B550-I GAMING which measures only 6.7 x 6.7 x 3.2 inches. This will fit nicely inside this wooden PC case. It comes with PCIe gen 4, so the NVMe SSDs (drive) will be screaming fast (no hard drive here). It also packs WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and a 2.5Gb LAN. More than enough for most power users today.

To power this beast, I am looking at an SFX power supply, but have not landed on one as of publication time.

Some other considerations when it comes to laying out the carcass is how do we connect peripherals? And not just the rear I/O but also the front USB connectors. I mean we have to get the video out to the monitors as well as connect USB devices, our wired Ethernet cable, etc.

This APU comes with a Wraith Stealth cooler, we should design room for an upgrade, like a Noctua NH-L9x65, Premium Low-Profile CPU Cooler or if we need some extra cooling something like a Noctua NH-U14S, Premium CPU Cooler with NF-A15 140mm fan. We will also put a fan on the back for good internal airflow.

Wooden PC Case | 1935 Zenith

Wooden PC Case For Sale

If you would like one of these Zenith 811 replicas for your very own we are taking orders for a limited quantity of numbered and signed units.

Shop now (link here)

More on custom computer cases can be found with this link.  (Link)

Looking for a Home Theater PC case (HTPC), look at this link.  (Link)