How this started So this all started with one little block of copper, it’s a long story but in short I wanted to try to make my own water-cooling block for my cpu with a little copper block I found one day. After some brainstorming and some help on another thread, we came up with this design: A high flow, pretty neat looking water block. Seeing as I have a friend who has a cnc at his workplace, getting the copper and acrylic cut should be reasonably easy.(and cheap) So I had to design a water-cooling loop to go with the block. That got me thinking…if I can wc my cpu, why not the cards too and make water blocks for those too? And maybe some overkill cooling and some case mods? And so project cold lava was born. My first real project. The only modding I have ever done before this was to put a couple of blowholes on my case and make a custom fan controller. So this is a BIG step up. (Bear with me if my finishing touches are not so good, im still learning…) So my idea is to have a real overkill system based on the premise of trying to keep the cpu and gpu cores as close to ambient as possible. Why cold lava? Well I’m going to be using orange coolant, hence the lava. And cold…well you get the idea. (Also I think it sounds kind of cool, but correct me if I’m wrong) The project starts And there we have it, so I started by taking the aforementioned case to bits: Yes I am keeping the color scheme, I love orange, so I’m going for black orange and white And the innards were unwittingly dumped on my table to wait for their new home to be built. Looks a mess right now but it will have to do. I don’t have mouthwatering parts, but I’m pretty happy with my setup, and it definitely suits my needs. Getting a Radiator So now that I had a goal, I had to get a radiator for my case. So I went about looking for something cheap that would be reasonably easy to mod. I was racking my brains and it hit me while I was following another project… an A/C heat exchanger! These should be great, especially because my neighbor works in air conditioning, he should have a spare he could let me have cheap right? And yes he did! For only 850Rs (20$) I walk away with this baby: It’s a bit bent but nothing some patience can’t cure, but it was never used, the pipes are still sealed! But it is a big one: Much too big for my case. so we bring out a little friend to help out: It’s from my dad’s younger days (before all this power tools rubbish); you fit a hacksaw blade into it, really practical for those tight spots. And here we go: chop chop I didn’t take a picture (silly me) but I then removed about 10cm of fins off the bottom of the rad (that’s about 20fins or more) so that I can rehose it. That was fun, i had to pry a side of with a screwdriver and slowly using my hands i remove the main portion of the fin. if i used pliers, it would be much more hassle because the fins would break off in ever so small bits, whereas by hand, bigger chunks came off. So after changing my finger prints forever, my rad was basically ready, but it originally came with 2 places to screw it on down on each end, but seeing as I chopped this off, I needed to make a replacement. So I took some L bar that I had laying around and made this little bracket: This is a tough customer, I had smoke and blue shavings flying off even with lubricant applied, but finally managed to get it ready. And while I was doing that, I got visited by this: It looks like a mosquito, but this thing is actually bigger than my hand; just the body fits in the palm of my hand. Don’t you love the tropics? Next up I wanted to put the radiator on the side of the case and to protect it from getting damaged, im using this: It’s not modder’s mesh, its speaker mesh. I really can’t say if this is better than modder’s mesh, because I have never used any of that, but this is thick!! About 2mm and it is pretty strong. It costs 15$ for a square that is 40cm x 40cm. Good stuff, but not so easy to find… And to stick it together I used this: It’s a slow curing epoxy, it takes about 10hrs to cure, but when it is done, it’s almost impossible to remove without some damage. And to hold it while curing some clamp pron: Please disregard the mess in the background Now having painted the bracket and the end of the rad (without taking pictures again), I fixed it to the side panel along with the mesh. I epoxied the mesh to the panel and used little plastic spacers to jack the rad up a bit. it sits roughly 5mm of the panel and there is space above for fans and whatnot Blurry pic alert! So now all that was left was rehosing the other end of the radiator that i had chopped off and i learned a valuable lesson while cutting the ends to length: If you are going to cut copper with a hacksaw, make sure you know what you are doing! This stuff is really a pain to cut. the teeth dig in, they bite too much and you end up inventing new ways to swear at inanimate objects. In the end i used a dremel cutting disc. But there was still the question of what to use to rehose the ends. i wanted something sturdy but reasonably easy to work with... the tubes in the rad are 1/4inch, which was a relief really. It made things that much easier. So at the usual shops i look for parts, i found this: Reinforced hose. It is strong, durable and it is armored against idiots. seems like the logical thing to try. So a few loops later and voila: it fits perfectly and is watertight without clips you may have noticed the weird arrangement of the tubes. That is because of the way the radiator works. It had two inputs and one output(or was it the other way round?) Anyway, this led to an awkward arrangement of the tubes, but this actually suited me perfectly because i needed two loops in the case. why 2 loops? thats for next time. Anyway i think this looks pretty neat But i noticed that the big loop on the end was a big long so: Ahh much better! Next up, overkill cooling systems. (i'll be posting that tomorrow!) So ill leave you guys with another of my favorites: Until next time!