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My homemade water block

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Ghastard

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Location
Minneapolis MN
As I mentioned in my earlier post "What do you put in your bong water", I'm going to show you guys what I've made. :)

To start out, I'll mention that I've had no real experience (yet) with water cooling. I have read up on the subject, and eventually decided to jump right in.

One thing that I kept in mind while planning this out was the access I had to a CNC mill that's in one of my classroom's at my high school. The thing works very well, but isn't used very much. I used it in the past to make things like engravings (My teacher and I tried to market custom engravings to students and staff to raise money to buy a nice geek toy, but only one person ordered something), but never actually "machined" anything. This block turned out to be a pretty tough thing to do, and I had to consult with the machine shop teacher occasionally. In the end, it turned out MUCH better than anything I was expecting.

I had initially planned to use copper, but I found out that copper is much harder to machine than aluminum. I was somewhat dissapointed, but figured that it would still be cool to get working.

I designed the block in Autocad, which I could export to the mill. There's a lot to learn about milling, and I still don't know much, but I managed to figure out enough to make this. Granted, it isn't a professional piece of work, but I'm happy with it.

The whole milling process was pretty tedious and ended up taking a few hours to complete (spreaded over three days). I still don't have the top made, but I'm planning on epoxying or screwing in plexiglass.

I'm pretty sure the channels are deep enough to use 3/8" hose with pretty good flow. I made the channels zig-zag to try to create more turbulence.

It's pretty obvious that I haven't lapped the bottom yet, another thing on the to-do list.

Dimensions are:
60mm*60mm*20mm
min. channel width - 4mm
channel depth - 17mm

I'd love to hear any suggestions you have!

Sorry for the poor quality pics, the digital camera I used is pretty finicky.

Here's the block from above:
 
OP
G

Ghastard

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Location
Minneapolis MN
Looks like vBulletin doesn't like the Opera browser. I'll use IE for uploading the rest.

Here it is again, from a diffrent angle:
 

Tecumseh

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
Location
Ohio
It is funny how the corrupted picture made your block look like copper. :eh?:

Looks good to me. You should have excellent turbulence.
It does look like you need some lapping on the bottom,
however.
 

Silversinksam

Moderator/ Silver Paste Taster©
Joined
Aug 8, 2001
Location
Sunshine State, USA
Hey thats pretty nice!

I remember as a kid in High School I was proud of the Fishing Gaff I made.......Looks like these days, Kids in High School are a little more advanced than I was ;)
 
OP
G

Ghastard

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Location
Minneapolis MN
Silversinksam said:
Hey thats pretty nice!

I remember as a kid in High School I was proud of the Fishing Gaff I made.......Looks like these days, Kids in High School are a little more advanced than I was ;)



Thanks for the compliments. To tell you the truth, most people wouldn't be doing this kind of stuff in my high school. In the class next door (machine shop, the one with the CNC mill I use is a drafting/cad/computer tech class), people are probably doing the same things you remember. I'm the geek that helps fix computers and stuff, so I get access to some pretty cool stuff. :)

I go to a pretty big (2000+ students), public high school that's classified as "urban" because of the neighborhood it's in. I don't know why they base it solely on location, because (apart from some parts of it), I wouldn't consider it to be "urban". 2/3s of the students aren't from the surrounding neighborhood. It really all depends on the classes you're in. The main reason I'm explaining this is because of this fun tidbit: there are many organizations/corporations that give grants to "urban" schools to fund technology. Of course our tech department doesn't have the kind of funding most private schools have, but we get a fair amount of grant money nonetheless. The class I'm in right now has about 30 computers of various speeds, ranging from pentium MMX 233s to PIII 1Ghzs. Most are on the bottom end. Other labs in the school have somewhat better comps. We recently got a grant that will upgrade all 30 machines in this lab to Athlon XP 1800+s, with 40 gig hard drives, and 512 megs of ram. Better yet, I get to use one of them for the watercooling setup I'm building!

Not too bad for a school in a district that's facing giant budget problems in the upcoming year! :D
 

Yodums

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Looks very nice! You must need something like a 500gph pump to use that block correctly literally!

Yes that first pic does look like it's copper, it would be sweet if it was copper too :D

Yodums
 

RnPgrosz

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Location
NJ
Nice job on the waterblock! 1 GHz PIII's aren't that bad. At my school we have some celeron 400's and some PIII 733 crappy dell systems.
 

michael westen

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Location
holland
hey real cool looking block
but i just one small question why dint you go for wider channels and bigger hose's bin reading a lot around here and found out that whit water cooling bigger is beter
bud still think its one of the nice's blocks i ever seen :)
 

Lt. Max

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Location
Seattle, but im Estonian
Finally, the mill I used to make it (right now it's drilling model airplane airfoils from a block of balsa wood):
how did u drill it ? by hand? u say its drilling right now, is it an automatic one? that u like draw in the computer and then it drills in the block? if thats so where did u get it ? :p
 

Radman

Registered
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Location
Twin Cities
Looks like a nice piece of work, Ghastard, it's good to see a young fellow like yourself applying the theory to the practical. For myself, I would'nt mind higher property taxes (a big issue in the Twin Cities area) if it was used in this manner, as opposed to more administrators and diversity training!!! Good luck on your project, skills learned on this could lead to greater things for ya.

The Radman
 
OP
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Ghastard

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Location
Minneapolis MN
Lt. Max said:

how did u drill it ? by hand? u say its drilling right now, is it an automatic one? that u like draw in the computer and then it drills in the block? if thats so where did u get it ? :p


Yeah, it's automatic. Basically what you do is take a drawing from Autocad (in this case Autocad 2000), and import it into software that communicates with the mill. The sofware's pretty finicky, so you have to have it formatted just right. You have to specify the speed at which it moves, spins the spindle, how deep it goes every time etc. If you screw up, the bit will snap, and you curse yourself for wasting a few dollars.

After the computer's got the instructions loaded, you put the right bit in the spindle, line up the material, and hope it works! Some pretty cool stuff can be done with a machine like this, you just have to know how to use it. :D


Oh, and to answer the question on where I got it, it's at my high school, where I have access to it. I was told that it cost around $15,000 when it was purchased a few years ago.

Here's a link to the manufacturer's page for the mill:
http://www.lmcorp.com/productcenter/new - pro-light1000-page1.html


Michael asked why I didn't make the channels wider. When I was designing it, the main thing I had in mind was to increase turbulence and surface area. It's wide enough for 3/8" ID tubing, which is good enough for now. Even in that article from the front page that Hoot wrote, the 1/4" ID Gemini blocks outperformed the 3/8" channel. I'm not saying that my block is as good as those, but is goes to show that channel width isn't everything that matters.


Once again, thanks for all of the comments! :D
 

graphinesys

Registered
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Location
Boston, MA
alls i gotta say is nice work, and you lucky *******. I was the "computer geek" at school too, but we didnt' have very much cool stuff to play with, damned LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District). ... they suck, and have no funding, so no cool toys at all. i went to a huge highschool too...3500 kids (800 suppost to grad in my class, only 600 did ... hehehe)...anyways, good work, looks nice, keep it up!!


--Tom
www.graphinesystems.com/
 
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