Overclock.net banner

1 - 20 of 614 Posts

·
Case ***der
Joined
·
5,040 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A guide of sorts. This isn't the 5 minute process you might have seen elsewhere. This version is to get glass like clarity. It doesn't matter if you are polishing a frosted block or an already clear block the instructions are the same. The clear blocks will still have machine marks that need to be removed. I'll be using an EK CSQ D5 top that is frosted stock.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-101.jpg.html

In this pic you see the machine marks that we need to get rid of. For the CSQ blocks they are on the inside only. They must be removed to have glass like clarity at the polishing stage.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-16-5.jpg.html

First you use a heat gun on the EK badge. Get it nice and hot but don't melt the acrylic
tongue.gif
. If you are not going to reinstall the EK badge you will need to sand the recessed circle at each stage.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-15-7.jpg.html

Start w/ 400g on the bottom of the block. Use a piece of glass to make sure you are sanding flat when you are doing the bottom. You don't want an uneven sand job and possibly get a leak. For the flat part of the bottom you will want to sand in two different directions. You don't need a lot of 400g. You will also need to use 400g on the inside machined areas where the coolant flows.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-14-8.jpg.html

Then move up to 800g. You can do the tops and side w/ this grit as well. Not too much pressure on the top though as you want to maintain the circles and print. By the end of 800g all tool marks should be gone. Once again sand in the coolant channels. Make sure to get the edges.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-13-7.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-12-7.jpg.html

Move up to 1000g. Do the entire block just like above.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-22-8.jpg.html

Rinse and repeat w/ 1500g (if possible) and 2000g. Should look similar to this at the end of 2000g.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-21-8.jpg.html

Now the polish. Use a good acrylic / plastic polish. Not a metal polish. It will cut polishing time significantly. I use Meguiar's PlastX. You'll need some good polishing cloths too. Old t-shirts work.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-18-8.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-19-8.jpg.html

Now go to town on the polishing. Use a liberal amount. Continue polishing w/ one part of the cloth until the majority of the polish has been taken off the acrylic. Then move to a clean part of the cloth and continue polishing until perfectly clear. You shouldn't be able to see any scratches of any sorts as long as you sanded properly. You can easily do a second run w/ the polish as it takes very little time.

To polish inside the CSQ circles take a toothpick. Break off the sharp end. Then stick it in to a double folded cloth. Use the end of the toothpick w/ some polish to get the insides of the circles as much as possible. To clean insides the threads you can corkscrew in a cloth covered in polish. Then repeat w/ a clean part of the cloth.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-20-8.jpg.html

Finished product. Notice how the inside of the block reflects light. A block that has not had the insides sanded and polish look dull. This will also make non-pastel coolants really pop.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-5-11.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-4-9.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-2-15.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-6-13.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-3-12.jpg.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,475 Posts
Wow, the amount of detail and clarity on those blocks is insane... Two hours of polishing? It's like looking at a block of the most purest form of a crystal gem.

+1 rep for all that effort and thread starting.
 

·
Case ***der
Joined
·
5,040 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfeZZor X View Post

Wow, the amount of detail and clarity on those blocks is insane... Two hours of polishing? It's like looking at a block of the most purest form of a crystal gem.
About 3.5 hours total of sanding and polishing I'd wager.
redface.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,475 Posts
Now why can't EK make blocks with that much clarity right out of the box... It's clearly (no pun intended) what some customers want over those crop circles. I can only imagine how drop dead gorgeous a 4x SLI bridge link would look with a smooth surface and micro polished like that pump top.

I look forward to seeing some coolant in those blocks of yours. With that much clarity, you can probably see the grainy particles that make up the color in the dye.
biggrin.gif
 

·
Case ***der
Joined
·
5,040 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Although I have never done a bridge larger than a single. I do believe the larger ones are more difficult since you can't sand inside the coolant channels.

As for coming stock like this. Not going to happen. Even the clear blocks they sell will have machining marks. It really isn't possible for the CNCs to make cleaner cuts. Hand polishing is pretty nessessary if you want really clear acrylic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,475 Posts
I probably could have invested a little more time in polishing my blocks on the inside and out, but I'd like to think they came out pretty good. Although I did use your method on sanding the flat surface of the block on a leveled surface, I did get a leak on my CPU block. I've made adjustments accordingly, so I'm good to go.

If I decide to get that new R4BE block that comes out in a few weeks, I'll go to town on that one, since it has a larger surface area and water channel to polish.

http://s176.photobucket.com/user/Profezzor_X/media/PC Build/R4BEMonoblock.jpg.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

A guide of sorts. This isn't the 5 minute process you might have seen elsewhere. This version is to get glass like clarity. It doesn't matter if you are polishing a frosted block or an already clear block the instructions are the same. The clear blocks will still have machine marks that need to be removed. I'll be using an EK CSQ D5 top that is frosted stock.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-101.jpg.html

In this pic you see the machine marks that we need to get rid of. For the CSQ blocks they are on the inside only. They must be removed to have glass like clarity at the polishing stage.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-16-5.jpg.html

First you use a heat gun on the EK badge. Get it nice and hot but don't melt the acrylic
tongue.gif
. If you are not going to reinstall the EK badge you will need to sand the recessed circle at each stage.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-15-7.jpg.html

Start w/ 400g on the bottom of the block. Use a piece of glass to make sure you are sanding flat when you are doing the bottom. You don't want an uneven sand job and possibly get a leak. For the flat part of the bottom you will want to sand in two different directions. You don't need a lot of 400g. You will also need to use 400g on the inside machined areas where the coolant flows.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-14-8.jpg.html

Then move up to 800g. You can do the tops and side w/ this grit as well. Not too much pressure on the top though as you want to maintain the circles and print. By the end of 800g all tool marks should be gone. Once again sand in the coolant channels. Make sure to get the edges.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-13-7.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-12-7.jpg.html

Move up to 1000g. Do the entire block just like above.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-22-8.jpg.html

Rinse and repeat w/ 1500g (if possible) and 2000g. Should look similar to this at the end of 2000g.

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-21-8.jpg.html

Now the polish. Use a good acrylic / plastic polish. Not a metal polish. It will cut polishing time significantly. I use Meguiar's PlastX. You'll need some good polishing cloths too. Old t-shirts work.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-18-8.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-19-8.jpg.html

Now go to town on the polishing. Use a liberal amount. Continue polishing w/ one part of the cloth until the majority of the polish has been taken off the acrylic. Then move to a clean part of the cloth and continue polishing until perfectly clear. You shouldn't be able to see any scratches of any sorts as long as you sanded properly. You can easily do a second run w/ the polish as it takes very little time.

To polish inside the CSQ circles take a toothpick. Break off the sharp end. Then stick it in to a double folded cloth. Use the end of the toothpick w/ some polish to get the insides of the circles as much as possible. To clean insides the threads you can corkscrew in a cloth covered in polish. Then repeat w/ a clean part of the cloth.
http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-20-8.jpg.html

Finished product. Notice how the inside of the block reflects light. A block that has not had the insides sanded and polish look dull. This will also make non-pastel coolants

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-5-11.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-4-9.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-2-15.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-6-13.jpg.html

http://s18.photobucket.com/user/tulcakelume/media/PCA77F/export-3-12.jpg.html
Guide on polishing the inside of waterblock, plz.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,853 Posts
@ lowfat, I am going to show this thread to a friend of mine that works for a company that makes medical equipment, with your permission can he show it too his boss? they make acrylic parts for a heart machine (black in color) and it has to have a flawless finish and I know for a fact they don't do it like your method as they have employees sitting at tables polishing and buffing on theses parts and they take up too 5 hours on one part and they are only 7"x7" in size.
 

·
Case ***der
Joined
·
5,040 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlhawn View Post

@ lowfat, I am going to show this thread to a friend of mine that works for a company that makes medical equipment, with your permission can he show it too his boss? they make acrylic parts for a heart machine (black in color) and it has to have a flawless finish and I know for a fact they don't do it like your method as they have employees sitting at tables polishing and buffing on theses parts and they take up too 5 hours on one part and they are only 7"x7" in size.
I have no problem with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Lowfat, this is a great guide and it came out so perfectly clear. I have started to put together my watercooling build and have XSPC Razor GPU blocks. I was goint to leave them as is but after seeing the clarity you got I will take the extra time and polish them up. Luckily the acrylic doesn't touch the water channel so I wont have to work about leaks. Do you think using a buffing pad for a Dremel or rotary tool would work as well or better? or would it remove the polish too fast?

p.s Oh by the way, +REP
 
1 - 20 of 614 Posts
Top