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Plexi-Glass CPU Fan Duct Guide

Former staff writer    -   July 7, 2001
Category: Cooling, Modding
Price: Less then $10


Introduction
I was looking around my computer case trying to figure out how to get more cool air over my CPU. Then it hit me, "A Duct"! I wanted to run a duct from the front of my case to my cpu. I noticed that the removable hard drive cage in my Antec SX-830 case was right in line with the CPU socket on my motherboard. Also, the removable cage has an 80mm fan in it. So, this got me thinking! Why not run a duct from the cage to my CPU and have a steady stream of cool air feeding it? Lets get started!!!


Materials needed:

  • Sheet of Plexi-Glass (18" x 24" $5.77)
  • Plexi-Glass Bonder (small tube $3.34)
  • Some fine sand paper
  • Screws (to attach it to your mounting points)
  • Drill and drill bit (to make holes for the screws)
  • Good Measurements!



Installation
Start off by doing a bit of planning. Take your Measurements. Remember to subtract the width of the Plexi-Glass from the inside of an overlapping corner. Next, get some Plexi. I got mine from Lowe's. If you give them your cut list they will cut it at no charge. If you have never worked with plexi (like me) you will want more than you need, to test. I picked up an 18"x24" sheet of 1/8" plexi. The sheet was only $5.77! Leave the protective covering ON the plexi! You can drill right though it and peel and tape back the area you need to bond. Once you are done with the project only then remove the protective covering! On the test pieces try making a couple of joints and drilling some holes. Lightly sand the cut edges to get a flat surface for bonding. The plexi bonder is easy to use and you get a strong joint in about 45 seconds. You start of by applying the surface activator to both sides. Wait for the activator to completely dry. Then apply the bonding agent to one side. Next press both sides together and hold in place for 30 seconds. The two pieces should now be bonded together. For drilling just mark the holes and drill slowly. You will want to drill your holes first. So as not to put any unwanted pressure on the joints.

The duct I wanted need to be 12"L x 4"W x 3-3/4"H. With one closed end and an open end for the fan. One of the 12" sides was only going to have an 8" piece of plexi in it. This made a nice hole at the end of the duct on one side that fits right over the top of my CPU fan. Building the duct took about an hour and a half. Now I had to do a little work on my computer. I had to remove my hard drive from the cage and mount it in a 5-1/4" bay. Next I needed to cut away some metal from the tray that the drive cage sits on. Before, I had to pull the drive cage back about 3-1/2 inches to remove it from the case. With the metal cut away I only have to pull it back a half inch before it's free! I then mounted the duct in the drive cage. I used existing holes in the drive cage that matched up to the holes I made in the plexi. I then used short sheet metal screws to attatch it. The next step was to mount the cage and duct in my case. It slipped right in with no problems. Here is what the finished product looks like!

Conclusion
Well, for less than $10 and a few hours time, I was able to drop my CPU temperature 6-8 degrees under full load! I also like the look of it in my case. Now that I know how easy plexi is to work with, I will be using it a lot more! I highly recommend this type of project for everyone; it is very easy to do! I think I am going to use my left-over plexi to make a duct to force air behind my mother board near my CPU socket, using a 40mm fan. Look for an update on that! Best of luck on your projects!!!




  1. Plexi-Glass CPU Fan Duct Guide
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