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Building a ClearMac from Quadra/Performa 630


Well-known member
Hi everyone,

I had posted in another thread regarding the technical aspects of this conversion; here I will document my progress as to the real thing..

My goal was to give my girls (age 5 and 3) a small enough machine running System 7 to allow them to play some games and learn computing on. Part of the goal was to make sure that no internet access was possible (no issue there), and to let them play the games I grew up on. Currently they are using my LC 520, but it is very heavy and takes up a lot of room from front to back.  My idea then was to pack a machine in a small(ish) case, and combine it with an LCD to take up a smaller footprint. The LCD was pretty easy to source, thanks to the suggestions of those here ($9 at Goodwill). I started with a Performa 630 that I had and I didn't really care about. I then decided to upgrade and get a Quadra 630 motherboard instead, combined with the rest of the Performa innards. My last want was to make this thing clear: seeing the internal components would be pretty cool to my girls.

So, the first thing I did was tear the thing apart and get it working. Quadra board was re-capped, CD-ROM drive and IDE HD removed. SCSI2SD was installed in place of the CD drive internally. I hooked up the Apple 14" monitor to get the proof of concept working:


So once I got that going and shook out all of the bugs, I started to design the case and mount points. I got a great box of various-sized plastic and metal mount posts and screws. I mounted various components on these to be mounted on the sides of the box:


I bought some 14 x 11 plexiglass sheet, and also got some metal screen sheet off of Amazon for EMI:


Next, I mounted the motherboard connector and motherboard on the bottom piece. My drill press helped make the holes:


I next began to prepare for mounting the power supply. I aligned it with the metal braces that I am using to hold the plexiglass together and drilled new holes:


I then drilled holes in the casing for the front volume/headphone package, and mounted posts:


The next thing was to start mounting all of the components on what will be the top part. The floppy drive, monitor interface card, and front volume panel were all mounted. The next step was to drill holes for and mount the fan:




Of course, stupidly, I was overzealous with the drill bits (I didn't have the correct ones for acrylic) and cracked the sheet! Darn! Well, I tried to re-glue it, but it was a fail:


Next, I am waiting for the drill bits to try again with a new piece. I have high hopes, and I think this will eventually work out. I hope this inspires others to try similar things and conversions. Let me know if you have any suggestions as well!



Sweet project!

Sharp bit, proper RPM***, clamp plex up tight to a backer board right next to the hole for drill thru and use a drill press of available. Tap/tap drill sets from Lowe's work great in plex. Tapping the holes for a nut free install in that 1/4' plex would be easy. [;)]

*** smaller bit = higher RPM bigger bit = slower. It's the speed of the cutting edge of the bit that matters. If you get curls of plexi coming out it's just right.



Well-known member
Ok, so I pretty much got the thing finished other than a few little details. It came out really nice, although you are always your own biggest critic. First, I redesigned the fan vent area to have long slits instead of holes. Works better too, I think:


I then mounted everything and set about making the sides as well. The sides were not 100% straight, but hey, this was my first go at using a scroll saw with acrylic...I'll do better next time. You can also see in the very right of the next picture the holes I drilled for the speaker...that was trying. The other larger holes are for air intake:


The other side (actually the top) mounts the floppy drive as well as the monitor out card and clock battery holder:


Then, I had my daughter test it out to make sure it worked well :)  :




Well-known member
Lastly, I built the other side panel and the door. Side panel holds the volume/headphone jack/power light box (note the grounding braid I placed onto the corner of the power supply. That runs from the volume/headphone box - it needs to be grounded for sound to work properly):


Last, I made the side door. It had the port holes and key lock that I was integrating into it:


Here, you can see the door installed, and the lock at the bottom left. The lock is simply an easy way for me to open and close the door for maintenance, and to keep my kids out while they are using it.


Lastly, I installed some replacement audio cabinet feet to support it off the table (necessary, since there is a right-angle power connector sticking out the bottom):


The finished product. You can see that the floppy drive works toaster-style:




ToasterMac coolness! :rambo: Love the Floppy popping out the top when done! Very, VERY nicely done.

The only suggestion I can come up with would be to bury the Audio/Monitor Subassembly within the box so your VGA Adapter's HD-15 is flush with the top of the case for strain relief or even a bit sub-surface with just part of the cable shroud and half of the lug knobs protruding?

Loving it, especially the EMI shielding, looks  hella cool. Way cute rug rat ya got there too. :approve:



Well-known member
Yes, I agree that the monitor thing is a little off...part of that happened because I was originally planning to have the monitor cable internally when I was going to make a companion monitor that would be one piece along with it...but that proved too difficult.

Thanks for the praise!



Maker of Logos
Wow, a tower, and it's looking sharp! It's always nice to see people doing hacky things with the 630 series! Having never finished my own custom 630 case, your work inspires me somewhat. :)



Well-known member
Thank you! That's the first time I've ever done it myself. The goal was to make something that took up less front-to-back room than the LC520 that my daughters currently use to play games. Here is the final setup now that I have it all together. The el-cheapo Dell monitor I got for $12 at Goodwill. You can see the LC520 behind for comparison:


I also got creative and created some adhesive vinyl icons for the ports and buttons: