Archive for September 22nd, 2010
I suppose I should have known better: the bottom of that heatsink wasn’t anywhere near flat. I think it mated directly with the top of the CPU through thermal grease, not a compliant pad.
The obvious solution is to flycut the thing, which is where the Sherline’s limited Y-axis travel and teeny table put a cramp on your style. Normally, you’d put the length of the heatsink parallel to the X axis so the flycutter would clear on both ends, but there’s no obvious (read: quick and easy) way to clamp the thing that way.
So I mounted it parallel to the Y axis, which meant I couldn’t get the flycutter completely off the near end. The first pass at Z=-0.1 mm, however, showed that not only was the surface curved, but it wasn’t parallel to the top of the fins (which were flat on the tooling plate). I suppose I should have expected that.
This cut is has Z=-0.1 mm referred to the front end. It completely missed the other end:
I flipped the heatsink around, measured the front-to-back tilt (about 0.16 mm), stuck a couple of brass shims under the front, and the second pass at Z=-0.05 mm from the new low point did the trick. Copper is nasty stuff and I did these cuts dry: the chips visible near the front are stuck firmly to the surface.
I scrubbed both the heatsink and the spreader plate on some fine sandpaper atop the sacrificial side of my surface plate until they were all good. I can see the remaining flycutter marks, but I can’t feel them, and the plates slap solidly together with a pffff of escaping air:
A dab of heatsink compound should work wonders; the maximum dissipation will be under 20 W, roughly comparable to that old K6 CPU, but now the heatsink will be contacting the entire hot surface.