Mac Mini Cooler

Now that I've established the prototype cooler works I'm moving on to designing the real thing. I've been using a TG Pro for monitoring temperatures and as a fan controller, this excellent little program also logs temps which proved the cooler worked. I ran a Handbrake encoding a Huge H.265 file for over an hour and temps never got over 90c, a pretty decent improvement with no increase in noise. 

Hardboard

Hardboard

I drew round the Mac onto some 4mm hardboard and set about cutting it to shape with a coping saw, block plane and a file, took about 10 mins from start to finish. If you ever need to make a template always make out of thin material, this plywood or hardboard is easy to shape and if you need a thicker working template it's easy enough to copy it to thicker material with a router.

Cut and smoothed out.

Cut and smoothed out.

Fan hole.

Fan hole.

Attach first template on to thicker piece

Attach first template on to thicker piece

Upcut spiral bit.

Upcut spiral bit.

Eyes, ears and lungs.

Eyes, ears and lungs.

Working template.

Working template.

It took literally a minute to make the thick template, spiral bits cut so cleanly with no need to sand. 

Attach the thick template to blank with screws.

Attach the thick template to blank with screws.

Wooden Mac Mini!

Wooden Mac Mini!

I attached the thick template to my wood blank and ran round it with the router. Took no more than a couple of minutes to complete.  

Long job to cut the hole out.

Long job to cut the hole out.

As you can see once the templates are made it's a quick job to make the actual item. Cutting the hole out wasn't much fun, it took as long to do that as it did to do everything else so far. A big slow turning drill with a lot of torque is what's needed. 

Cutting the recesses.

Cutting the recesses.

Gluing the plugs in.

Gluing the plugs in.

I bought a Veritas Plug Cutter to make plugs to fill the recesses for the spokes. I used an 8mm drill bit for three of the recesses and a 6mm router bit for the other one that contained the cable and made a little block to fill it in. Just need to sand and finish it. 

In place.

In place.

Its now sanded and finished, small aluminium feet were used to elevate it off the ground and add that finishing touch.

Note: A few people have contacted me asking if i could make them one of these to order, unfortunately I don’t have the time. :(