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Cooling Waterblock construction questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by olv, 26 Jan 2004.

  1. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    Like a lot of people i'm really eager to watercool but the scary expense makes it out of reach. I'm coming to the end of my A-levels this summer and taking a year out so will have a lot of time on my hands. Prime time i thought to have a go at building my own waterblocks...

    I've been reading the ProCooling forums for a while now. The guys there seem to know what they are talking about but a lot of it goes straight over my head. What i have gathered from there though is that the #rotor style block seems to be the easiest to make. The main limiting factor of what i can produce seems to be the machinery i can use. I don't have access to a mill or other exciting pieces of equiment, just pretty basic stuff. The #rotor can be made with a pillar drill and dremel + standard stuff.

    For those unfamiliar with the #rotor design it is pretty much like this.

    [​IMG]
    (Sorry for the quality, paint sux :p)

    The method is simple, drill lots of big holes and then join them together so that the water can flow through, at least thats how i understand it. The blue is the water(!), orange is the copper, yellow rings are inlet and outlet and black are mountng holes.

    The first problem i can see is how to seal the block. i'm under the impression that without a mill or other accurate machinery its very difficult to cut the channel needed for an O-ring. so thats ruled out. Other methods are? Glueing and using adhesive sealants, makes cleaning the block difficult if needed. Any thoughts.

    I love the simplicity of the design, which i guess is why it is so popular. Like every design it must have its downfalls right? It looks like it would require a pump with a high head and flow rating, especially with 2 other similiar blocks in the loop?

    Anyone that can shed some light and give me some pointers/advice on where not to go wrong. Different easily produced designs? Ideas welcome.

    Thanks

    [Edit] A few things i forgot to mention. What affect does the size of the holes in the #rotor design have?

    Also i'm planning on using acrylic or similar to make the top, does this make any difference?

    thanks
     
  2. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Hey olv,

    have a look at www.zerofanzone.com to see what bladerunner has done. He has made all his own blocks, including some (HDD block springs to mind) where he used only basic tools (i.e. no mill, CNC etc.) He solders everything using a blowtorch.

    If you use distilled water with an additive to prevent corrosion and buildup of algae then you should never need to clean your block as I understand it :worried:

    Of course if you're making your own blocks you'll want to do mega leak testing before it goes anywhere near your expensive treasured rig...

    Good luck, and definitely do a log if you're making your own blocks - always cool to see homebrew w/c kit.
     
  3. Ben

    Ben What's a Dremel?

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    If you solder the block then try to get as little as possible in the center as solder has terrible heat transfer per watt.
     
  4. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    thanks mclean007, i'm very aware of bladerunner's work, extremely impressive stuff, his work is stunning.

    I dont really have a clue about soldering so i'd rather give it a miss.
     
  5. 8-BALL

    8-BALL Theory would dictate.....

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    Volenti used a kind of double sided sticky backed gasket for a lot of his work. Don't know where to get it though as he's in Australia.

    I would suggest asking about the sealing issue at procooling. Lots of home made blocks there.

    As for the top. I would suggest polycarbonate instead of acrylic. A lot tougher, so less likely to crack (which has been an issue in the past!)

    8-ball
     
  6. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    yeh. i'm planning on posting on procooling nearer the time. i take it volenti is over on Procooling? i'll have a search for him.

    Another thought i just had, where can u get hold of big blocks of copper? i was thinking of a scrapyard but dont really know.

    Also i was thinking of using copper about 10mm and drilling in about 7mm. is 3mm thick enough for the base to prevent warping under mounting tension?
     
  7. Lupine

    Lupine What's a Dremel?

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    Silicone engine gasket might be of some use...

    http://www.motortraders.co.uk/carcare-Enginecare-Gasket.htm

    But if I were doing this, I'd also screw the top down, as I don't think I'd trust the silicone to hold the top on under pressure :D

    Disclaimer: I've never tried this, I've never made my own block, this is entirely untested, and I know nothing at all about the behaviour of any of the gasket meterials on that page. (checks to see if he covered himself enough :) )
     
  8. olv

    olv he's so bright

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    yeah i forgot to mention that i plan on bolting it together aswell

    thanks for that link, might prove useful :thumb:
     
  9. metarinka

    metarinka What's a Dremel?

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    you should be able to get copper stock, from say a local machine shop, or construction supply type of place. If not I believe danger den sells them...
     
  10. McWarren

    McWarren What's a Dremel?

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    Nothing to it! I made a multi-hole drilled block, and didn't know diddly squat about soldering, but I managed it.

    Clamp your two pieces together, heat them with a torch for a while until they're hot enough. When this happens, just push a strand of solder into the gap between the two blocks. Capilliary force will draw the solder in. Do this all the way around and you've got a hard-as-nails seal.I used standard solder for electronic work, but somebody will probably say that you need lead-free solder or whatever- something suitable for plumbing work. Made that block 9 months ago, it was working up until last week when it got replaced by a Vapochill :D
     
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