Loc: McKeesport, PA
Here is my very first mod on the G4. I stripped it bare and painted everything except the clear handles. It took me a while to remove the silver paint from the sides but some metal bristle brushes and my drill helped. I used Easy Off oven cleaner but it probably didn't help as much as alcohol might have. I'll definitely use alcohol next time as I had a hard time getting the silver paint from the corners and edges, as you may be able to see. I made the mistake of painting the front of the CD drawer part and the panel in front of the hard drive below the CD. I actually did that first and painted the back of the front panel afterwards and liked that result better. That's why the gloss gets dull as you start from the bottom and go to the top of the case. I need to buff the outside side panels though. It's a basic paint mod, but not bad for a computer I only paid $25 for, plus the 15" Apple LCD monitor was another $25, and the Motorola 802.11g card was $10 new on ebay!
Wow, what a deal! As many modders do, I get excited and hurry a bit on some mods. It seems you have done the same. I dont want to bring offense, but the silver paint is visible in the pics. Why not go get some alchi to do it right? The front view looks pretty good though. May I suggest stripping the paint from the side panels again and getting every bit of the silver off? Some people you brasso to buff plastic, but if you look you can find some good plastic buffing compound that will give it a brilliant shine. I still cant believe you steal of a deal!
Loc: McKeesport, PA
Thanks everyone for the judos. Except for you Maestro on the copmlaining of silver in the case, haha (kidding of course). Yeah (sigh) I did start to get a little excited and rush it, but mostly I had done all that I could in terms of getting the original paint off. I recall reading one article where the writer used isopropyl rubbing alcohol instead of normal alcohol, but I wasn't sure where to find the normal alcohol. So, being into car models I used Easy Off Oven Cleaner.
First I let it sit for a day or two but it didn't have any effect. Next I used it again and only sit for a few minutes before sanding it down. With 200 320 and 400 grit sandpaper, it seemed nothing really helped until I got the metal bristle brushes from Lowe's hardware. That got a lot of it off including the hard-to-reach areas of the corners. Now you've got me curious on re-doing it. The plastic paint was the Krylon for plastics that only cost me $3 or $4, and there's still some left (but I'd rather get a whole new can just in case). I was at Wally World and other hardware places searching for paint thinner for plastics but couldn't find any. At least, ones that I were confident that would not mar or distort the plastic.
If I redo the side panels do I have to strip it completely or can I just apply it to the edges? The original paint started off with one or two light coats, then a heavier one, but if you hold each panel up to light you can still see through it. This is no problem for me as the actual chassis itself is all metal. Also, I'd like to redo the DVD drive flap and panel below it and paint from the inside so that the outside still retains its original shine. Are there any different steps I should take to accomplish that or can those tips be found elsewhere in the forums?
As far as getting it for $25, there's a story behind that (if you have time here). I worked at Guitar Center up until this past October. We're had a few G4s stored away. One was working fine and I was able to auction that off on ebay and another site. My job there was taking used and vintage gear and putting it up for grabs on multiple auction sites. So after selling the first one, months went past before I found another one. Since there was no software in the store that we had as a demo that could run on the G4, I tested it out. After a lot of troubleshooting I double checked with a few Apple reps out of state and confirmed that it was a bad logic board due to a single broken USB port (the other port still worked). The G4 itself was not built into our system for some reason, which worked out even better. After talking with my manager, the operations manager (UNIX dude who got into Macs because of me), and the district Manager and explaining all the troubleshooting I did with it, and explaining that it's not logic to put $300-$400 into a new logic board from Apple for a 6-year old computer, they decided to sell it to me for $100. It was higher than what I wanted to pay seeing how working G4s were going for $100 or less, so I turned them down.
The next day I talked to the manager again asking him to reconsider my price of $25. I guess he didn't want to have the old broken Mac sitting in our store doing nothing, so he sold it to me for $25. They built it into the system for a penny, priced it at $25, then sold it to me. As a fluke I guess my manager didn't want to bother with the WORKING 15" LCD Apple monitor either, and priced that at $25 too. I only took the Mac home on a Friday and let the monitor sit in my office over the weekend. During that time I was debating on it since I knew I would be leaving soon (involuntarily due to corporate eliminating my position), and let the other salesmen have a chance at it, even though I really didn't tell anyone. So the next Monday I decided to buy it myself. Some guys were a little ticked that I got it, but I explained that they made more money than me due to working on the floor and making big sales, whereas I was limited to dealing only in used items and selling on the internet.
The best thing about this whole thing was that during the troubleshooting I was using the stock Apple keyboard and optical mouse that came with it, yet when I got it home and tried my Logitech optical mouse and Radium 15" monitor for the 90's, the thing worked perfectly! It's still flaky and I have to watch what I hook up to it, but it still works. Just to be fair I even took a USB 2.0 PCI card and put it in the Mac while it was at Guitar Center to bypass the USB ports and try to get the thing running, but still no luck.
My girlfriend works in the autism field had has met this single dad with two boys, a teenager and a 6-year old. The dad isn't working and the teenager ends up taking care of the 6-year old who has seizures. They're barely scraping by too. I've made up my mind to give them a bunch of older star Wars figures that are still in the box (and some vehicles), but I'm also thinking of giving them this G4. I'm unemployed, living with my parents at 33 years old and trying to get back on my feet, plus I don't have a car, but I feel guilty that I have all this stuff compared to them. i'm still considering giving it to them instead of making it definite, because I don't know them personally and I don't want to see them stuck if anything happens to the Mac software-wise and they have nobody to help them troubleshoot it.
Everyone gets into difficult times (I know I do). Dont let it get you down. Good things come to those who wait, or so Im told. As for the panels, you would need to strip them fully to fix the paint mishap. But donating seems like a good idea. Chaulk it up as a learning experience (I have broken a ton of stuff to know what I know), and give it to them. I gave a couple of old macs to a school who wanted to paint them for a project.
Loc: Florida, USA
I tryed to make my iBook clear and ended up just painting the top. I used 400 grit sand paper and steel whool with paint thiner. Last week I asked a friend of mine that restores car headlights and he told me I was on the right track but I should of finished it off then to get the clear non scratchy finish is to use 1000 to 2000 grit sand paper and take off one to two layers. Since I killed my iBook I still have a chance to try it on my old sawtooth case. At the same time i'm afraid to try it.
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