This is the toughest part of the equation as you will need to make them yourself
or through the services of a machinist. If you do not have access totools such
as a drill press but still want to make your own block, you can enlist the services
of a machinist. There are many machinist shops that can be found around the
Ubi inustrial park area.
You will need to get the materials ready for them and also the design you want.
Design-wise, you can draw them out neatly and clearly on paper with all dimensions
shown and pass the design to them. Keep the design simple with relatively wide
chanels and not very narrow ones as most of them do not own CNC milling machines.
For a simple design they may charge around $ 50. You can get the raw materials
required from Kelantan Lane, near Sim Lim Tower.
You can get them to cut up copper or aluminum blocks for you in the shops.
Copper is definitely recommended over aluminum as they don’t cost so much more
and will surely outperform Aluminum.
For those who want to get down to making the waterblocks themselves, a drill
press is a bare minimum requirement. There are a rare few who actually use hand
drills to drill the blocks but it is much more difficult to do so.
You can build a simple cross-drilled block by just drilling 3 deep chanels
across the sides.
The single chanel marked in blue will be sealed off at the end. You will need
to tap all 3 holes to put in the screw threads so that you can screw in the
brass fittings. 2 hose barbs will be screwed in for inlet and outlet and a brass
end cap should be screwed in to seal the side. Teflon tape shouild be wrapped
around the screw threads of the brass fittings so that the assembly will be
Another way to make your block will be to drill holes overlapping each other
to make a chanel on the copper block You may also want to use a milling bit
to help connect up the holes.
Next, you will have to decide on how to seal up the top. You can braze or solder
up the top. For this, you will need a brazing torch and brazing rods. For tips
on brazing, please check out the phase-change basics 1 Article here. You can
get brazing torch, gas and rods from Teck Hoe A/C supplies at Geylang Lorong
You will need to braze on the brass hose barbs as well. Brass fittings such
as hose barbs can be bought from Kelantan lane area as well. Just near the shops
where you can buy the raw materials shown in the map above.
You should file and smoothen it after brazing or soldering.
It is also possible to cover the top without brazing or soldering. You will
need to tap screw holes in the block so that the top plate can be screwed down.
The top plate can be copper or acrylic or lexan. If using plastic, then a thick
peice must be used as they are susceptible to cracks.
.The 2 holes for the hose barbs must also be tapped so that the barbs can be
screwed in. Now for it to be leak-free, you must either use a waterproof sealant
all around the sides and in between the top plate and block, or you must have
a rubber O-ring in between the block and top. The rubber O-ring must be bigger
than the chanels so that it can properly seal the whole chanel. You can get
rubber O-rings that are sized suitably, or you can make your own rubber O-ring
by cutting a sheet of rubber to size. Rubber sheets can be bought from the same
shops that sell the copper blocks in Kelantan Lane.
You will of course need to think of the mounting method to the processor. This
is usually done through bolts and nuts and springs. Thus, you may want to integrate
the appropriate holes into the block itself like this.
Or you can also mount up using a mounting plate over the block like this
Mounting technique is quite important and will affect temperature a lot. It
is my opinion that waterblock design are not so detrimental to performance as
long as there is sufficient surface area. You can make up for an average design
through increasing the water flow rate. Of course, when it comes to squeezing
for the best temperature, it is a variable that you will need to tweak.