Surly Joe’s Beehive Water Cooler

SUMMARY: Using readily available materials, Surlyjoe’s “beehive” water block cools as well as more expensive designs.

Surlyjoe is one of the more inventive folks we have lurking around, and his latest idea, what I call the “beehive” water block, is one of his more interesting creations. The “beehive” is a standard plumbing part (copper cap) and readily available at places like Home Depot.


The brackets are interesting if a little rough – spring loaded so it’s more friendly to the socket’s lugs. Looking inside, what you see is a forest of copper pins – this is where the cooling power comes in; adding pins or heatsinks to water cooling blocks is going to be a lot more common. I think it is just as effective as drilled blocks and cheaper to make.

Beehive Open


Once again, I used my double peltier test rig (about 100 watts) with Swiftech’s gorgeous fan and a Beckett in-line 150 gph pump. I tested the “beehive” against BeCooling’s copper block (pictured below).

Two Blocks


Beehive: -32.6 C
BeCooling: -32.6 C

Well, not too surprising to see Surlyjoe’s block equal the BeCooling block – heatsinks in water perform very well and are clearly an efficient design. The only question I have is the size of the tubes on Surlyjoe’s block – 1/4″. Most of the water pumps and radiators use at least 3/8″ tubing, so the smaller tubing does constrict water flow somewhat. Surlyjoe is making one up with 3/8″ tubing, so we’ll do a side-by-side test and see what the impact is, if any.

Well, for all you folks out there with itchy blow torches, something to consider!

PS: Click on over to Surlyjoe’s website – just starting but his personality is, ummm…, distinct.

Email Joe

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