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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Hardware Hacking > Metal MacBook

Metal MacBook
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Guy Kuo
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Jun 17, 2006, 12:36 PM
 
White was a bit too bright and attention grabbing compared to my PB AL. Here it is a metallic finish. The black stripes are my customary addition of rubber fusion tape to improve grip. My laptops literally go everywhere with me as I walk about during the day. The black strips aren't pretty, but they keep my machines firmly in hand.




Metallization was done with metal effects contact film. Goes on easily and looks great. Without the black strips, it's a very sleek look. Didn't do the bottom. You usually don't see that side and I'd worry about heat transfer. For protecting the bottom I use multiple strips of the rubber fusion tape. No scratches and the machine is darned near impossible to slide off a counter. The film also waterproofs and protects the top from scratches. Peels off. Any adhesive residue comes off with alcohol. I usually use transparent film on my laptops. As a result my PB AL is scratch free after three years. If the film becomes worn, I just replace it with a fresh piece.
     
stwain2003
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Jun 17, 2006, 02:04 PM
 
Dude, thats sick!
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Waragainstsleep
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Jun 17, 2006, 02:50 PM
 
I bet the guys over at macmod.com would appreciate a short mod guide if you're up for it.....
     
shunt
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Jun 17, 2006, 07:05 PM
 
Hey, that looks great!

Why didn't you cut out the Apple?

Where did you get the contact paper and rubber stuff?

*inquiring minds want to know*
Please keep in mind the ambiguously selective general understandings we've all agreed upon...
     
itasor
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Jun 17, 2006, 08:06 PM
 
Nice, two questions:

1. How did you not get any air bubbles?

2. Can you see the glowing Apple through it?
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Jun 17, 2006, 08:35 PM
 
The metal effects film and linerless rubber splicing tape are available at Home Depot.

Contact brand film is in the coverings and liners dept.

Linerless rubber splicing tape is in electrical. This is NOT vinyl electrical tape.

It's very easy to apply without bubbles. Just be sure to peel off only a portion of the backing and gradually work it across the laptop while peeling more and more liner off. Smooth down the film with a cloth as you lay it down and there will be no bubbles. If you make a mistake, peel it off and clean any residue away with rubbing alcohol. BTW, the laptop should be completely clean before applying the film.

The width of the film must be narrow enough to avoid curling in two directions in the corners. The film does not stretch. Once the film is in place, I sliced it at the edges with a sharp xacto blade.

The black rubber fusion tape is optional. I always use it to make my laptops slip-free, but most people dont't like the looks of the tape. The tape peels off very easily and usually gets replace every few months.

Yes, the apple logo glows through the metallized film. I considered slicing out the logo, but that would almost certainly scratch the plastic and I'd lose the waterproofing features. With the laptop off, the logo can still be seen subtlely as if embossed.
     
MacSpeakers
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Jun 21, 2006, 09:57 AM
 
Actually the rubber strips you put all over the bottom will be much worse for cooling than a thin sheet of metal covered in even thinner sheets of plastic. Rubber is a VERY poor conductor.
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Jun 21, 2006, 11:09 AM
 
The bottom isn't covered by black strips, just a few to keep the machine from ever slipping off the small metal workshelfs at work.
     
SSharon
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Jun 21, 2006, 02:59 PM
 
I would love to see another pic of the metal with the apple visible.
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imitchellg5
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Jun 21, 2006, 11:09 PM
 
I don't like it that much... no Apple no likey.
     
stwain2003
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Jun 22, 2006, 01:57 AM
 
cry me a river...
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©öñFü$íóÑ
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Jun 22, 2006, 02:48 AM
 
OMG......... what brand did you say you used for the metallic contact film?? I got nothing to do this summer and i think this would make my old Mac look interesting.

Don't bully me, I got an Uzi... HOO-HAH!
     
Guy Kuo  (op)
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Jun 23, 2006, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon
I would love to see another pic of the metal with the apple visible.
Here is the Apple Logo with the metallization film over it and also glowing with the lights out. Of course one could very carefully cut around the logo outline to expose it, but I didn't see much point to that. You still see the logo with the machine on - almost appears out of nowhere.




Everyone who sees it live loves how it now looks. Not bad - brushed metal for just six dollars.
     
SSharon
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Jun 23, 2006, 02:52 PM
 
Thanks for the pics. I can get a much better feel for the product now.
nice job.
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imitchellg5
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Jun 23, 2006, 05:27 PM
 
Oh good you can see the Apple. I like it now.
     
gooser
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Jun 26, 2006, 01:02 AM
 
everybody laugh, i think it looks good & in a few years with a little goo-gone this may be the only white book out there without a thousand little scratches all over it.
     
finboy
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Jun 26, 2006, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by gooser
everybody laugh, i think it looks good & in a few years with a little goo-gone this may be the only white book out there without a thousand little scratches all over it.
Yeah, that's the only thing I really didn't like about the switch from clamshell to all white a few years ago -- my G3 had numerous scratches after just a couple of days of gentle handling.
     
Cross
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Jun 26, 2006, 03:52 PM
 
Very nice, I like the logo the way it is.. now to do that with black to my ti book hehehe... looks like I am going to Home Depot today!
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kick52
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Jun 28, 2006, 08:43 AM
 
very nice. like the brushed-metal look.
     
HowEver
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Jun 30, 2006, 06:31 PM
 
That's a great look. Makes me wonder what it would look like on a black MacBook.
     
Tuoder
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Jul 1, 2006, 06:48 AM
 
The light showing through the metal is bad as hell, I love it. I just like that kind of thing though, I was amazed at the iMac G5 sleep light for wuite a while after I saw it for the first time.
     
hickey
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Jul 21, 2006, 01:39 PM
 
I actually like the black strips on the top. If I get a macbook, I know exactly what Im doin with it now.
     
mikochu
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Jul 21, 2006, 01:48 PM
 
Looks like the macbook is trying to be a Dell..lol
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imitchellg5
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Jul 21, 2006, 02:57 PM
 
Now that you mention it, it does look a bit like a dell with the metal.
     
davoomac
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Aug 1, 2006, 06:32 PM
 
Pretty sweet. too bad you can't put brushed metal on the inside too!
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cbrfanatic
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Aug 17, 2006, 11:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cross
Very nice, I like the logo the way it is.. now to do that with black to my ti book hehehe... looks like I am going to Home Depot today!
you can actually have your ti pb anodized black....it would def be one of a kind, im thinking of doing it myself.
     
Kyros
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Aug 21, 2006, 03:09 PM
 
Honestly it looks like a cheap PC to me...
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Stradlater
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Aug 21, 2006, 03:12 PM
 
Some of you are harsh. It looks much nicer than "a cheap PC", etc...
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drqoo3512
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Aug 24, 2006, 02:18 PM
 
hey!
good work!
people who appreciate your work would really try doing that!
     
HowEver
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Sep 23, 2006, 08:23 AM
 
I'm just wondering how the "metal" film is holding up, whether it has needed to be replaced and how difficult the tape has been with respect to leaving sticky residue.

.
     
HowEver
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Oct 1, 2006, 01:47 AM
 
I've asked the OP for an update, either by private message or here in this thread.

Also, has anyone else tried this? I'm wondering whether there is residue from the metal effects contact film or linerless splicing tape, and if there is what it's like and how should it be cleaned.
     
praterkeith
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Oct 1, 2006, 03:02 AM
 
That is pretty nicely done. I would love for apple to bring back the aluminum 12" laptops, but it'll never happen.
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Guy Kuo  (op)
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Oct 1, 2006, 03:03 AM
 
After a month it was holding up well, but alas. My MacBook fell victim to sudden shutdown syndrome. We replaced the logic board (at that time the heatsink defect wasn't know yet). After that didn't work I was swapped out to a new MacBook. Because I didn't trust the new machine completely, I didn't redo the mod on the new unit.

Taking the film off prior to taking the machine into service meant some cleaning with alcohol. Took about an hour to make it look like a brand new stock machine.

BTW, my 2nd MacBook also failed after a month. Hopefully, the newly found heatsink defect will be corrected and I'll finally have a MacBook that doens't suddenly shut down.
     
HowEver
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Oct 1, 2006, 07:49 AM
 
Thanks, I appreciate hearing about how the mod worked out, although it is saddening to read about the shutdown problems.
     
   
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