Build your own laptop cooler thats completely powered by your laptop for less than $18 USD This is not a simple instructable and unless you have a good set of tools you should probably not attempt it because its decently time consuming due to the type of lightweight wood you will be working with... many people would rather just pay the extra 25 to 30 bucks and buy a pre made laptop cooler but for the people who like a challenge and a cheap build read on...

unfortunatly due to my A.D.D i didnt take very many pictures during the build so ill do my best to describe what i didnt take pictures of..

Items Needed:

Power Drill.
Ratchet set.
Small clippers capable of cutting nails
Drill bits (sizes Vary)
Clamps or a very steady helping hand.
Soldering Gun (optional but recomended)
Electrical Tape or Heat Shring Rap. (or both)
Sand paper (optional)
Spray Paint (optional) - less than ($2)
Wood Glue (optional

Other Items-----
Small Nails ( I had these laying around )
Nuts and bolts... no longer than 2 inches long and preferably thin enought to put through a pc case fans grill holes ( I had these laying around )
PCI slot tower computer cooling fan (I used the MADDOG brand) - ($ 12.98)
USB Cable - (I used an extra so i didnt spend any money on this.)
Decently lage peice of Masonite (Compressed Cardboard) 1/4 inch thick (the reason im using this wood is because its extremly light yet its timeconsuming to work with because if your not careful you will split the wood easily) ($4.98) for my 6 by 6 piece.

Step 1: First Cut the Wood

Use a table saw to cut the approxamate shape of the box..

I made mine 16 inches Long by 12 high but you may choose diff depending on the size of your laptop.

Be smart and cut the long peices for the sides the same size at the length of the box but make sure to make the side for the hight of your box 1/2 inch longer because the wood is a quarter inch thick and you need to compansate for the extra length due to the side panels that run along the length of the box... if you dont understand now you will when you mess up and have to cut the pieces agian... ( i made this mistake.) make your box about 2 inches this so that you have room for your internal pci slot fan...
By the way, it is now Jan 29 2011 and this is still working perfect! Sitting under the very laptop im Typing on..<br><br>Unfortunately I'm not building stuff these days, Mostly focusing on my music <br><br>http://www.youtube.com/slaterbeatz
ok, now dremel off the excess bolts inside, throw some hinges on it and a lock and you've got yourself a case/cooler ;]
Thats a great idea
dude, I was thinking the same thing!
How hard would it be to use some rechargeable batteries? or maybe, even better, to use a old cellphone battery... man, I getting some crazy ideas outa this... tks for sharing!
Im not so sure a cellphone battery would do the trick so well, maybe use a nicad RC car battery that you can just recharge with a rc charger, im not sure what you would use to drop the current though so you dont turn the fan into a helicopter blade
well, me being a cheap broke highschool student, i just sit my laptop on a old 3inch binder. i punched holes in the front of the binder to vent air and it doesnt burn my legs off too! =D<br/>
That's a good idea, too. especially if you can put a fan in the binder. You might be able to scrounge up a fan from another piece of equipment.
instantnoodle - I am posting this comment 18 months after yours so a bit behind but I did the same as you only punched more holes along the spine area as well and sit a $9.99 AUD desk fan (or pedestal-style) behind my laptop which blows air into the holes on the spine and circulates through the holes on binder front under where laptop sits. It keeps me cool too if I angle it slightly to either side. I purchased one too like others have, to find it does not cool laptop enough, especially in the hot months. Great instructable
I had to do this to a notebook I got shafted on by circuit city. I bought the full warranty but what they don't tell you when you purchase it is that the warranty is not through them but a separate company. Tiger direct sent me a notebook that the company thought was comparable. Bunch of BS. Any way my design was not nearly as elaborate but much lighter. I just mounted my fan under the hole of the fan that was there and seeled the bottom so all the air being sucked is str8 from the inside. Kinda a double layer fan deal. At first I was worried about the fan inside burning out so I took it apart and found that they both operate at the same speed just the outtake built into the laptop is so small and barely any air was being pushed out. It used to be quite warm on the bottom and would shut down if it was sitting flat on my bed. It is now cool as can be and all i have is a fan the same size as the one you got on the bottom all cleverly matched and masked with electrical tape.
This is a great instructable! No more cooked legs, no burnt desk... 5 stars!
damn, xoxide.com has them for cheaper
When I was living in college dorms, my roommate smoked in the room, so we'd always have a big window fan on, pointing out of the window on his side of the room. The other window was near my desk. I took a binder, sealed up one side other than enough space for some flexible tubing, left the other side open. The laptop was sitting on the binder obviously, with some holes drilled in the top surface of the binder. I opened the nearby window about 4 inches, but fit a cardboard insert into the opening, with a hole in it that the flexible tubing fit into. That way, when the fan blew out of one window, it sucked an insane amount of air through the flexible tubing hole in the other, and cool air from outside would enter the tubing, and flow through the binder that my laptop was sitting on and then exited the other side of the binder. Even at 100% CPU usage, the laptop stayed cool, and when it was cold out the palm rest was actually too cold to use comfortably for a long time. I bet this would be evenmore effective with a gaming computer/tower PC.
Brilliant! I love using box fans to pull negative pressure on a room, but I've only used it to check for gaps in insulation. Although this time of year I like using that toasty battery to warm my legs up :-P.
Great job. I'm thinking about making one similar. but wit my 6 port HUB built into the front. It would also be pretty cool with adjustable feet on the back so that you could adjust the hight of the screen.My desk is so high that when im sitting down I can barely read the letters on my keyboard, the feet would correct that ( I could buy a new chair but wheres the fun in that?)
My laptop cooler was 20$ CAN, which is about 18$ USD. &gt;_&gt;<br/>Good job on making it look presentable, though. I find the similar instructables here look a little, <em>barbaric</em> I guess would be the right word. And who wants something like that under a laptop?<br/>
very cool..but why such thick wood? it looks to be heavy. i like to sit with my laptop in my lap and i dont want to add so much to the weight. i have a store bought cooler made from plastic but i lost the power cord =/ but i love how it perfectly sits under my laptop..cant see it or feel that its there. maybe i will crack it open.. put in more powerful fans and add a new power cord. but anyways great instructable <br/>
As far as instrucables go this one is pretty well written. One thing though is that this thing would work many times better made of or koated in metal. Wood does not make a good conductor for anything.
That's a pretty cool laptop, but what is the brand?
This cools by blowing air on the underside of the laptop. How much gap have you between the laptop and the cooler? L
I think this fan blows air out the side of this cooler bringing air in from under the laptop.
Isn't this fan a 12 volt unit and would run slow on the USB voltage (5 VDC.) There doesn't seen to be a gap under the laptop for air flow and the wood case is not a good heat transfer medium. Just wondering. Good instructable, well documented with good pix.
It looks good, except I would make the sides wedge shaped to get a slight incline for typing comfort.
. Excellent!
Sorry i didn't have more pictures of the actual build process hopefully this is detailed enough to work with... Good luck to anyone that is going to attempt this instructable.

About This Instructable




Bio: Im in the USMC im a tanker.... not the commen inventer but i just like to think of new things and build random stuff.
More by slater101:The DIY Laptop Cooler 
Add instructable to: