DIY Copper Heatsink (No lathe, no power tools)

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tvizk
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DIY Copper Heatsink (No lathe, no power tools)

Now, I know a lot of us have minimal power tools or a full workshop so we have to rely on buying custom made heatsinks which can be a little expensive. I’ve looked around for a lot of copper items that can be used as heatsinks. Sure, copper pipes and fittings exist but sometimes can be troublesome to cut them to size or filling them up with more mass, especially when you have minimal or no power tools since copper will work harden. I’ve found that copper shims are best and easiest to work with, at least for me. Reason why I wanted to make these was to drive my S2+ and M1 (FET + Luxeon MZ) as hard as possible and reduce thermal sag and it worked wonderfully!

Here’s how I do it:

Finished product

Tools you’ll need:
- Pliers
- Torch / jet lighter
- Solder paste
- Flux
- Copper shims

First, apply a generous amount of flux and solder paste

Sandwich and squeeze out excess

Heat up copper. I’m just using a scraper and heating up with my jet lighter on the bottom. Make sure you line them up best you can with pliers

Voila! Quick and easy!

Now, to get it to shape, you can just use a file and slowly file away. It shouldn’t take long since you can get copper shims of 15mm or 20mm which is pretty much the perfect size for most small flashlight heatsinks. I have some milling bits so I chucked those onto my drill press and grind it to shape which took just a couple minutes. For those wanting to build a triple in a host like a Convoy S2+, you can get the 15mm shims and stack it to height. It’s perfect for the pill, you just have to sand down the rim which is easy. You can also get the shims in different thicknesses to suit your needs. I’m using 2mm thick shims here.

In the lights. Some 11w/mk thermal paste and a thin amount of Fujik on the bottom and a layer of Fujik on top for a nice, tight fit.

Hope this helps! Feel free to share it here if you make it!

Edited by: tvizk on 12/25/2018 - 08:58
Yokiamy
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Nice to see this craftsmanship!
It’s done with coins as well

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58373?page=1

tvizk
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Yokiamy wrote:
Nice to see this craftsmanship!
It’s done with coins as well

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58373?page=1

Thanks! Yes, I’ve seen that post. One thing I didn’t really like was you have to sand the coins flat. Plus, the coins are usually a mixture of copper with some other materials which probably won’t affect thermal conductivity much, but it’s something to consider. Also, gotta look for the coins as well. Copper shims are cheap and you can get a pack of 30 for like USD3 if you look around.

everydaysurvivalgear
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You can also buy copper rods from metal shops or ebay in 20mm size and just cut it to the right height.

Jerommel
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What’s that plastic clip on the Convoy S2+ ?

tvizk
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Jerommel wrote:
What’s that plastic clip on the Convoy S2+ ?

It’s the Thyrm Switchback V2.

Jerommel
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Yes, those copper shims are very handy.

Quote:
You can also buy copper rods from metal shops or ebay in 20mm size and just cut it to the right height.
The problem with a rod and a saw is that it’s hard to cut it straight.
With stacking shims you can be quite certain that it’s straight (enough).
tvizk
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Jerommel wrote:
Yes, those copper shims are very handy.
Quote:
You can also buy copper rods from metal shops or ebay in 20mm size and just cut it to the right height.
The problem with a rod and a saw is that it’s hard to cut it straight. With stacking shims you can be quite certain that it’s straight (enough).

Yep, what ^ said. Also like I mentioned, copper work hardens and cutting a 20mm diameter rod by hand is no fun at all. Really wished I had bought a bandsaw instead of a scroll saw years ago for other projects.

Yokiamy
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Another tip; buy a jaxman E2L host for triples, no pill needed like with a S2+, lighter and shorter as well, and a nice SS bezel.

tvizk
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Yokiamy wrote:
Another tip; buy a jaxman E2L host for triples, no pill needed like with a S2+, lighter and shorter as well, and a nice SS bezel.

Yes! The E2L is what I always recommend to those who want to build a triple. It’s also easy when you want to swap out different optics. Also has better thermal path, and is cheaper than getting a S2+ with the spacer. Convoy has the fancy colours though. Big Smile

CRX
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Ah, old skool Smile Thumbs Up
I used to do this but changed to using solid bar, keeps you fit Big Smile

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Before I found Kiriba-ru I did this with coins, even though not all coins are made out of copper. These shims are an excellent DIY job, thanks for sharing.

WillyD
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Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to look for those shims. I need a small 20mm plug to finish up a light I started 2 years ago.

thijsco19
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Nicely done!
Always great to see some handwork.

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Nice work tvizk. Thumbs Up

 

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Did the Switchback or M1 require any modification to work together?

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Quote:
I have some milling bits so I chucked those onto my drill press and grind it to shape which took just a couple minutes.

huh? drill press is not a power tool?

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this is great info OP, thank you or sharing. Could you share an ebay link or similar for the copper shims? Never knew you could buy these, i have copper 3/4” bars saved on my wish lists i was going to try and cut up and use. The shims seem much better.

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Copper squares for those looking – LINK search your local ebay for copper shim heatsink
I believe they are used in laptops etc.