Polishing the HDD Waterblocks
The outside HDD waterblock is going right up close to the window of the case, so I want to make that block look spectacular by polishing it.
To start with I removed all the screws holding the acrylic block to the nickel coated copper plate.
Most Bitspower logos at least on their fittings are etched in, and there is no way to remove them, but not in this case! As I suspected there was a thin piece of plastic on top that comes right off. Obviously this will not be going back on.
I removed the o-ring seal for now.
Here’s my set-up. I’m using a piece of glass from an old end table I had around. I use a squirt bottle to wet the sand paper. That is half a sheet of 400 grit wet-dry sand paper to start with.
After sanding with 400 grit I move onto the 800 grit.
Then I used 1200 grit, 1500 grit and finally 2000 grit. However, take a close look at the middle area of this block. As it turned out after I polished this surface, it was apparent that I did not use the 400 grit enough, and had to redo the process starting with 400 grit again.
So don’t short cut the 400 grit! This just shows how important the first step with the 400 grit sandpaper is.
Now see the complete sandpaper marks across the entire block after starting over with 400 grit.
Here’s after the 800 grit.
After going over it with the 1200, 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper again, the outside is ready for the polishing. I use Meguiar's PlastX Clear Plastic Polish with a micro fiber cloth to polish the block with.
Here we go with the outside surfaces all polished.
The top polished block compared with the stock block on the bottom. See how all the inside machining marks are identical.
Now to do the inside of the waterblock, I taped off the sides because they are very smooth already. I think those surfaces just need the polishing compound, and I don’t want to scratch up those surfaces with the sandpaper.
I used a small block of wood and 1/8 sheet of sandpaper wrapped around it.
Then with scissors I cut out a piece shaped like this, and used my finger to get down into the areas going to the ports. I also wrapped some sandpaper around a 50mm extension fitting that fit perfectly into the circle area at the bottom. By twisting the fitting around I was able to get into the corners of the circle area.
Here’s after the 400 grit was done. This time I made sure to get this sanded enough! The hardest part was getting the circle area near the ports where it meets the angled area sanded enough. The 400 grit requires the most time. Each finer grit is just removing the sanding marks.
Here is after using 800 grit.
After doing the 1200 grit and 1500 grit, here’s after the 2000 grit was done. If you look carefully at the bottom left corner of the outside of the block you can still see some sanding marks on the outside of the waterblock, I had to polish that corner a little more.
The top block with the outside polished, and this inside sanded all the way to 2000 grit. It just needs the inside polished now.
Here is where the real magic is! The top block with the inside all polished on top of the stock waterblock. It looks like it is made out of glass
Imagine a nice clear red fluid running through these waterblocks with the blocks illuminated with white LEDs.
I did use some precision tip Q-tips to get into the corners in the circle areas near the ports.
I mounted the acrylic block back onto the nickel coated copper plate. It looks even more spectacular in person!
Here’s with some red coolant. That is actually some watered down EK red I had in a jug from when I was playing around with some different coolants. That’s not the coolant I’ll be using, but it is close just so we can see what it looks like with red fluid.
I’m super happy with how this came out. I did not really keep track of how long I spent doing it because I would spend 30 minutes here, and hour there. I would guess that I spent a minimum of six hours, but more likely between eight and ten hours. It certainly requires patience.
The second HDD waterblock is only going to show the end where the fittings go into, and a little bit of the top of the waterblock, so I’ll probably just polish those two surfaces on the second waterblock.
Once I have that completed I can mount these waterblocks onto the hard disk drives, and make the LED harnesses for them.