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View Full Version : My 'Scratch Proof' 8700 housing mod


bigmatty
02-01-2007, 02:09 PM
So... I was hurrying across the street yesterday and my beloved 8700 hopped out of its holster and 'slid' across the road! Ouch! I guess I've got a touch of OCD or something when it comes to my devices, because these kind of things drive me absolutly crazy.

I found where I could buy new housing for $90, but I cant say forking over 'a bill' for a strictly cosmetic issue would have a pacifing effect on me. (Sure, the scratches would be gone, but then I'm the nut who spent $90 to have them gone!)

Anyways, many a time I've taken apart something, only to break it. But, as I get older my success ratio has gone way up. So, I figured I would take it upon myself to repaint my BB myself!

When I started into this procject, I wanted to 'rough up' the current paint so the new paint would stay. In the middle of this it occurred to me... If I just remove all the paint, and it looks okay, then I would effectivly have a 'scratch proof' unit (excluding screen - which i have a trimmed HORI on).

So check it out! I think it turned out pretty good... And I tend to be a pretty tough customer. The end result was 'a black brushed satin finish'.
The beauty of it is, I can use fine sand paper to remove any future gouges! I used a 220 grain sandpaper.

UPDATE: Moved Pictures Here--------------------------
Okay, I took a bunch of shots to try to capture 'how it looks in real life' and I am pretty happy with these three...

Shows how it matches the Lenovo:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse1.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse1.jpg

Good shot of the front:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse2.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse2.jpg

Realilistic 'up close' against Lenovo background:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse3.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bbhouse3.jpg
--------------------------

EDIT: Original Photo Below
In the picture below, the flash really makes the grain stand out, in real life its not quite like that. (It ends up being *very* close to the Lenovo finish on the ThinkPads.)

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bb-housing.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bb-housing.jpg

What do you all think? Cool, not cool?

PS - Yes, I considered painting it gold metallic!

UPDATE - ADDED THE GUIDE AS MS WORD DOC - ATTACHED

BallHawk3
02-01-2007, 02:17 PM
got anymore clearer pics?

I like the idea.

I suffer from the same problem as you, everything has to be brand new looking and un-damaged/scratched

allen2oo3
02-01-2007, 02:23 PM
looks good! when my bb takes a fall (hopefully it wont) i'll have to give this a shot. can we get a close up picture? use the macro function on your camera.

bigmatty
02-01-2007, 02:33 PM
Yes, I will get a better photo up soon. Ill photo it next to the Lenovo too so you can see how similar they look.

:)

JordanA
02-01-2007, 06:08 PM
Looks awesome. I want to give this a shot, as my 8700c has tons of scuffs!

Did you just use sandpaper? What grit? Hand sander/block or electronic?

bigmatty
02-01-2007, 06:16 PM
Okay, I took a bunch of shots to try to capture 'how it looks in real life' and I am pretty happy with these three...

EDIT: Moved Photos To Top Of Thread

My cam is 6 megapixels, and some of the 'more up close' ones, especially with the flash, didnt represent it well. These pix are about as good as I can get.

Thanks you guys for the positive comments on it. I'm glad to hear it, I've shown a few people here at work, and they cant even tell its 'not stock'. (Them non-techie-geeks who dont realize a Cingular 8700 BB wouldnt come in anything but silver!)

bigmatty
02-01-2007, 06:19 PM
Looks awesome. I want to give this a shot, as my 8700c has tons of scuffs!

Did you just use sandpaper? What grit? Hand sander/block or electronic?


Yeah, I used a 220 grit sandpaper, did it by hand. I was tempted to bust out the Dremel, but then decided against it. I will write up a little 'guide' based on my experience. (I started with a 'how to disassemble your 8700 that I found linked to here, but it didnt go so far as 'removing the micropohone' and other things like that.) Since I have to finish up work it will be tommorrow.

;)

meatnpotatoz
02-01-2007, 07:09 PM
would you be willing to make another one, I would be interested in purchasing one from you

DaBlackberryBoy
02-01-2007, 07:12 PM
sweet stuff!!!

wingrider78
02-01-2007, 07:32 PM
I have considered painting my BB, never had the guts to try it yet though, I just don't know how well it would turn out.

Your sandpaper job looks really good. I have the 8700g and I think it might look cool with the scuffed up blue color. I may give it a try.

Thanks for the idea.

MERK350Z
02-01-2007, 08:55 PM
So... I was hurrying across the street yesterday and my beloved 8700 hopped out of its holster and 'slid' across the road! Ouch! I guess I've got a touch of OCD or something when it comes to my devices, because these kind of things drive me absolutly crazy.

I found where I could buy new housing for $90, but I cant say forking over 'a bill' for a strictly cosmetic issue would have a pacifing effect on me. (Sure, the scratches would be gone, but then I'm the nut who spent $90 to have them gone!)

Anyways, many a time I've taken apart something, only to break it. But, as I get older my success ratio has gone way up. So, I figured I would take it upon myself to repaint my BB myself!

When I started into this procject, I wanted to 'rough up' the current paint so the new paint would stay. In the middle of this it occurred to me... If I just remove all the paint, and it looks okay, then I would effectivly have a 'scratch proof' unit (excluding screen - which i have a trimmed HORI on).

So check it out! I think it turned out pretty good... And I tend to be a pretty tough customer. The end result was 'a black brushed satin finish'. In the picture below, the flash really makes the grain stand out, in real life its not quite like that. (It ends up being *very* close to the Lenovo finish on the ThinkPads.)
The beauty of it is, I can use fine sand paper to remove any future gouges! I used a 220 grain sandpaper.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bb-housing.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y18/bigmatty/bb-housing.jpg

What do you all think? Cool, not cool?

PS - Yes, I considered painting it gold metallic!

90 dollers for housing is u nuts what crack site is u looking on lol. no i mea serious i have the 8700c from cingular and i got the housing from e bay the silver one from the 8707 ran me 29.99 full housing including the front cover back cover and speaker and lens. dont get me wrong yours looks good but could have saved u some hard work just get the new housing oh well its all good

toddz
02-02-2007, 12:27 AM
90 dollers for housing is u nuts what crack site is u looking on lol. no i mea serious i have the 8700c from cingular and i got the housing from e bay the silver one from the 8707 ran me 29.99 full housing including the front cover back cover and speaker and lens. dont get me wrong yours looks good but could have saved u some hard work just get the new housing oh well its all good

Yes, 3rd party housings are available for considerably less cost than OEM housings. OEM housings only come from 2 or 3 sources and are very expensive.

toddz

loveandhate
02-02-2007, 07:05 AM
Very nice. Based on this pst, I bet some1 will come out with a "brushed" black 3rd party housing.

takeshi
02-02-2007, 10:11 AM
90 dollers for housing is u nuts what crack site is u looking on lol. no i mea serious i have the 8700c from cingular and i got the housing from e bay the silver one from the 8707 ran me 29.99 full housing including the front cover back cover and speaker and lens. dont get me wrong yours looks good but could have saved u some hard work just get the new housing oh well its all good
Except that a new housing would have painted/dyed plastic which would really show scratches (one of the OP's concerns).

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:11 AM
would you be willing to make another one, I would be interested in purchasing one from you

thanks for the compliment! I will PM you about this, and also want to detail some of the risks involved... I'd love to help out people that want these, but it took about 4 1/2 hours, and there is considerable risk (as in if I broke your BB then it becomes a miserable situation). More in your PM!

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:19 AM
I have considered painting my BB, never had the guts to try it yet though, I just don't know how well it would turn out.

Your sandpaper job looks really good. I have the 8700g and I think it might look cool with the scuffed up blue color. I may give it a try.

Thanks for the idea.

Thanks!

Yeah, I am still curious how it would have turned out had I actually chose to paint it gold metallic! ;) LOL

In regards to getting a blue scuff, keep in mind my phone was silver before I started, and at the end (so how it looks now) I think turned out so good because its basically down to the plastic now - no paint on it. I could see where a *super fine* grit may allow you to get a blue scuff (by scuffing existing blue paint), but I would definatly try the sandpaper on some other 'painted blue plastic' thing to make sure you can get the results you want first.

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:29 AM
90 dollers for housing is u nuts what crack site is u looking on lol. no i mea serious i have the 8700c from cingular and i got the housing from e bay the silver one from the 8707 ran me 29.99 full housing including the front cover back cover and speaker and lens. dont get me wrong yours looks good but could have saved u some hard work just get the new housing oh well its all good

LOL! I know, thats what I wanted to say to the site selling it! (At work, though a corp plan we can get these phones $199! (Mine is my personal one though.)) Those were OEM too though.

I hadnt considered using another carriers housing. Before I started this project I would have been all over the $30 tag, but now Im glad I've got a 'worry free' unit.

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:35 AM
Very nice. Based on this pst, I bet some1 will come out with a "brushed" black 3rd party housing.

Thank you!

Yes, after I got this all done, and back together, and especially sitting next to the Lenovo, I really have to wonder why companies, especially cell phone companies, dont have some similar housing availble at retail. (As in, 'just plastic, not painted'.) Literally, they could even include, or make separate, a little sand-paper sheet and call it a scuff eraser, or something. (Ha, I guess then someone would use it on the screen and scratch it all to heck!)

The funny thing about it compared to the Lenovo is that they actually use a paint to get that satin look! They have slight little sparkles in theirs, so I guess thats why...

All I know is, if I could buy future 'high-priced portable electronics' in this 'worry free housing' I would ALWAYS choose to do so. I hate having to keep such a close eye on all my stuff. (You know, get the Logitec case for the PSP, never put my phone in my pocke with my keys, and so on....)

:)

allen2oo3
02-02-2007, 11:55 AM
does it feel rough at all? i think this will make me brave enough to use the oem holster (i love how slim the profile is) instead of my seidio holster w/ silicon case.

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 02:15 PM
does it feel rough at all? i think this will make me brave enough to use the oem holster (i love how slim the profile is) instead of my seidio holster w/ silicon case.

No, its very smooth. Feels very close to the OEM holster actually. :D

bhixon
02-02-2007, 07:41 PM
did you sand the whole thing? what i am curious about is around the keys on the front....and around the other "silver" stuff....

MERK350Z
02-02-2007, 08:28 PM
LOL! I know, thats what I wanted to say to the site selling it! (At work, though a corp plan we can get these phones $199! (Mine is my personal one though.)) Those were OEM too though.

I hadnt considered using another carriers housing. Before I started this project I would have been all over the $30 tag, but now Im glad I've got a 'worry free' unit.
i have the original housing for my 8700 what i am going to do is wet sand it and then going to prime it and get some nice paint and use my paint gun on it and try a clear coat over it see how it comes out i will have a detailed process written up and pics to show how to do it. should have it done by the end of next week. i was thinking about a nice white with a silver or a blue with a silver tint

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:30 PM
did you sand the whole thing? what i am curious about is around the keys on the front....and around the other "silver" stuff....

yes, I sanded 100% of the silver off. i had to remove 99.9% of the pieces from the housings front, back, and battery cover. i wouldnt try to do it any other way, ie - dont try to sand around the keys and silver. i say this for two reasons, first - i think it would be almost impossible to not scuff something like a key, siver button, screen, etc.. second - you dont want that much dust flying around 'your unit'. (or your blackberry! :O )

i will detail out the steps i did, it should be posted by tomm.

bigmatty
02-02-2007, 11:32 PM
i have the original housing for my 8700 what i am going to do is wet sand it and then going to prime it and get some nice paint and use my paint gun on it and try a clear coat over it see how it comes out i will have a detailed process written up and pics to show how to do it. should have it done by the end of next week. i was thinking about a nice white with a silver or a blue with a silver tint

that sounds awesome, i am excited to see how it turns out. i dont have a paint gun, its one of the few remaing tools i want to get for 'electronics'. (i do consider 'resurfacing' a category electronics ;) ) origianally i was going to use spray paint to get an even coat...

bigmatty
02-04-2007, 01:47 AM
Okay, I finished the guide, and attached it to the first post as a MS Word doc. Also, I moved the better pictures to that post.

b3n_asian_freak
02-11-2007, 10:35 AM
I just got it done last night, man, it was a b*tch doing that, plus I have to do two of them, mine and my gf's. Unbelievable, it looks awesome. I just order BSE to apply on my gf's since she prefers a glossy look. Mine looks fine and I do like the matte finish.

BryanHarig
02-11-2007, 08:59 PM
I am interested in doing this to a 8700g, possibly painting one housing as well. I think the blue 8700g keyboard will look odd though. Is it possible to replace the 8700g keyboard with the black 8703e keyboard?

bigmatty
02-11-2007, 11:46 PM
I just got it done last night, man, it was a b*tch doing that, plus I have to do two of them, mine and my gf's. Unbelievable, it looks awesome. I just order BSE to apply on my gf's since she prefers a glossy look. Mine looks fine and I do like the matte finish.


woot! way to go! yeah, i felt like the whole process was an unbelievable PITA, but was worth it at the end. dang, though - doing two? thats A LOT of careful work!! 8-) (y)

bigmatty
02-11-2007, 11:49 PM
I am interested in doing this to a 8700g, possibly painting one housing as well. I think the blue 8700g keyboard will look odd though. Is it possible to replace the 8700g keyboard with the black 8703e keyboard?

Im not sure. Maybe check the stickies on this 8700 section, as it has both conversion and disassembly pix... I can say that I could see it going either way, as the whole BB is pretty "exact fit", but also the inside portion looks the same for the different carrier's housings....

BryanHarig
02-12-2007, 12:24 PM
I know the 8700c had a different one. But the 8700g and 8703e look very similar. I think I will just try it. 8703e keyboard is only $3 on cnn.cn.

jetspeedz
02-12-2007, 12:37 PM
great write up, ill have to do this when it gets back... i personally like the black look anyway coming from a 7290 to a 8700c

b3n_asian_freak
02-13-2007, 11:02 AM
woot! way to go! yeah, i felt like the whole process was an unbelievable PITA, but was worth it at the end. dang, though - doing two? thats A LOT of careful work!! 8-) (y)
You did this so you know what a hassle it is. I had to sit there for like hours doing that. I did not need all the stuff you have on the guide, I just got some sand paper at Sears, then the air duster, t6 screwdriver, that was all I have. I just had to be careful at the edge and the front screen, i can't believe I didn't even scratch my lcd, how lucky.
I was in process doing that and my gf got home, at first she thought it was a stupid idea. Then after I got mine done, she said hers need to be done like that also (hahahahah, oh women!!!)
By the way, I got the BSE for her, it's glossy black baby! This was so much easier than painting it black and have a clear coat on it, just sand papered it people, and BSE on it.
And did you know you can make patterns with the sand paper also, my gf's has a heart shape pattern on it and she loves it! (hahhaha, that sounds so gay!) anyway, you to let you guys know.

geekaleek
02-13-2007, 09:47 PM
My dog chewed my case so I might do this...but What's bse?

b3n_asian_freak
02-13-2007, 10:44 PM
My dog chewed my case so I might do this...but What's bse?

Best Skins Ever RIM BlackBerry 8700c or 8700r Total Body Skin (http://www.bestskinsever.com/servlet/the-10/RIM-BlackBerry-8700c-or/Detail)

stripesace
02-19-2007, 06:19 PM
interesting.. i like the look. when I scratch up my 8700 that im getting tommorow i'll strongly consider this. I'd be tempted to use a sanding device of somesort (mini sandblaster?) so that I get a common grain or smooth grain. I'd definitly have to make sure I went in the same direction

nostril
02-22-2007, 10:13 PM
You mentioned having a trimmed HORI on your screen....forgive my ignorance... What is a trimmed HORI?

FLIP954RR
02-22-2007, 10:47 PM
its the brand of screen protector for the PSP-which is very good!!

You mentioned having a trimmed HORI on your screen....forgive my ignorance... What is a trimmed HORI?

bigmatty
02-22-2007, 10:52 PM
You mentioned having a trimmed HORI on your screen....forgive my ignorance... What is a trimmed HORI?

Hori is a company that makes screen protectors! The whole story though... I discovered the Hori brand screen protector (or Hori) after getting a PSP. Those things have a nice screen, and as previoulsy said- I'm a nut-job when it comes to my portable devices! :) I only ever used a special sunglasses chamois (not even the cheap one they include w/ the PSP) and the screen looked real nice. One day I got it in the sun though, and with the unit off I could notice (what the PSP forums termed) 'microscratches'. Sure, pretty unnoticiable, but still...

So I did some reseach and found the Hori brand to be well established as 'the best'. I bought a regular screen protetor and put it on my glass monitor to test, and it made the screen seem all junky, and you could easily see it was a protector. Then I eBayed one and WOW! The Horis are 100% clear, you cant tell its on there. Also, it adds a glare filter, and is removable for cleaning.

If you are lucky enough to live by a Fry's, you can get them for about $6 each. I recommend you get 2 for any project, because they are very tricky until you are used to them. They are made up of multiple layers, including a silicone-y bottom one. Also, you can wipe them with your shirt or pants... whatever, they basically dont scratch at all! (They make them for DS too!)

nostril
02-22-2007, 11:04 PM
Thanks! I will look into te HORI's you mentioned.
I am currently using a trimmed Belkin Palm Pilot screen protector for a Palm III that I found in a local dollar store. It definitely protects the screen, but it is not as clear or as bubble-free as the product you are recommending. (although at 18 sheets for $1, I can't complain :smile: )
BTW I would also recommend using one to protect the front of an IPOD

bigmatty
02-23-2007, 01:06 AM
Thanks! I will look into te HORI's you mentioned.
I am currently using a trimmed Belkin Palm Pilot screen protector for a Palm III that I found in a local dollar store. It definitely protects the screen, but it is not as clear or as bubble-free as the product you are recommending. (although at 18 sheets for $1, I can't complain :smile: )
BTW I would also recommend using one to protect the front of an IPOD

I think you will be sold on Hori and never go back, if you've already done stuff like this! The pictures may not illustrate how clear it is (kinda half to see that in real life), but it shows the bubble-free nature of it. (y)