Butter Tub Laptop Cooler

As many of you laptop users are aware, our laptops can get to be quite HOT, even after just a short period of use.  And as everyone knows Heat and Electronics DON'T MIX.  I have looked into purchasing a laptop cooling pad for my laptop, but then got to thinking and decided to make something of my own and use it for my first instructable, so here goes.

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Step 1:

For this project you will need the following:

1 24 oz. butter tub
1 USB cable ( or you can salvage a cord from any old USB device, ie mouse keyboard)
1 old computer case fan ( not sure on size but I will try to find out and post in near future)
Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks
wire cutter
exacto knife
sharpie marker

Step 2: Mark for Your Cuts

Lay your fan on top of you tub and using your sharpie marker, mark where the corners of the fan sit on the edge of the tub. Then hold the fan next to the side of the tub right under the top lip and mark the bottom of the fan for your depth.

Step 3: Cutting the Slots

Carefully cut the four slots out for your fan to sit in and test fit.  You may have to make some slight adjustments.

Step 4: Cutting the Top Opening

Take your fan and lay it in the lid and mark around it for your intake hole and cut it out. Then check your fit.

Step 5: Glueing Your Fan

Place your fan into the tub and turn it upside down on your work surface.  Then take your hot glue and fill in any gaps between the bottom of the fan corners and the slots in the tub sides.

Step 6: Cutting Your Wire

Cut your wire and then carefully seperate the individual wires inside.  Once seperated you will have 4 wires (red, green, black, and white), a foil shield, and then a copper wire shield.  We will be working with Red and Black wires which are the ground and 12volt positive. Snip everything else down short and out of the way.

Step 7: Finish Glueing Your Fan

Finish glueing your fan into the tub at all four corners.  Then connect your wires black to black and red to red.  you can use electrical tape, or solder them if you want to, I just twisted them together and and insulated them with a big glob of hot glue.

Step 8: Cutting the Exhaust Port

Find a spot near the bottom of the tub and mark off an area about 1/2 to 9/16 inch tall and about 2 inches wide and carefully cut it out. 

Step 9: Something to Sit Your Laptop On

Now find something for your laptop to sit on. I use a couple of empty SNUS tins and a couple of empty candy tins, but you can use anything that is about an inch or so tall. You need these so that when you sit your fan near you laptop it can blow cool air under it.

Step 10: Plug in and Start Cooling

Now plug your fan into an open USB slot and sit the tub with the exhaust port facing under you laptop and  let it enjoy the breeze.  It doesn't blow very fast but it does blow enough to cool it well enough that after 3 hours of use the bottom of laptop was just mildly warm instead of blistering hot. Enjoy I know your laptop will think you.

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    9 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 6

    Well I created this almost 2 years ago and have been using it ever since with no problems. And since there are no real constrictions in the air flow it won't be bogged down. It really does work very well try it.


    6 years ago on Step 6

    Unfortunately it's only 5v so you will need to make sure the fan spins okay at that voltage first before attemptting this.

    USB pinout:


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wait... what. I've always thought USB was 5V at 500mA.
    Have I been wiring things wrong my whole life?

    4 replies

    you have a 5V, a 12V, data, and a ground inside the cable just use the appropriate wire for your cause


    Oh, ok. I've always thought it was ground, +5V and two data in a double helix shape.
    Could be an old spec I'm thinking of.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    No you are remembering the specs correctly its FireWire800 that uses 12v.


    Anyway, I'll be shredding two spare laptops I've got and hooking them up like this. I won't make a frame yet though, I'm a little short on material.

    Thanks it's just something I made from obtainium. Couldn't afford a commercial cooler so I used some brain power and looked at what I had on hand and came up with this.