Heatsink Candlestick




About: Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX. Buy my projects at bit.ly/LWLaser

This is almost an accidental instructable - my son was taking apart a computer fan for a different project, my eye fell on the heatsink and I had a lightbulb moment...

Step 1: Materials & Tools

This candlestick is made from a retired PC fan, and that's all you really need in the way of materials.

The tools are almost as basic - all I used was my multi-tool. If you haven't got a multi-tool, then you'll need a small screwdriver (probably a cross-head) and a pair of pliers.

Step 2: Disassembly

This instructable is not so much a make as an unmake - most of the work is in disassembling the PC fan and the frame that holds the fan to the heatsink.

I started by unclipping the fan itself from the frame.

Four small screws released the frame from the heatsink, and then a quick wrench with the pliers removed the plastic widgets that presumably held the fan in place in the PC case.

This left me with a copper bowl, surrounded by aluminium vanes, and all atop four dinky little feet.

Step 3: Wash!

Once the heatsink was released from its bonds, it turned out to be full of fluff and dust.

A quick rinse in hot water fixed that, and once it was dry I could call the candlestick finished.

Step 4: Display

I actually had several identical PC fans, so I made a second candlestick, and I now have a pair, one at each end of the mantelpiece.

If you're not stopping to take photos, this whole project only takes a few minutes, so keep an eye on the tech scrap you collect in your stash - some of it is more decorative than you think!

Lights Contest 2017

Participated in the
Lights Contest 2017

Fire Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Fire Challenge 2017



    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • 1 Hour Challenge

      1 Hour Challenge
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    4 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This is a super neat idea!

    This one make a pretty candle holder, but a future project if you ever find any other sinks would be to put LEDs down inside so they shine out between the vanes and cast crazy patterns everywhere.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!

    It would have to be a sink with straight vanes, though, so I could get between them with a drill...


    2 years ago

    From many many centuries B.C. to the 20th Century A.D.

    ..two very different technologies come together as one. I'm not entirely sure why, but I like it :-)

    1 reply