woodbox v1.0



A Dell PowerEdge 1750 has seven 60db fans inside it to keep things cool. To simulate what this sounds like, try sleeping on top of a running vacuum cleaner. Our goal was to keep the server at home and at the same time try to remain sane.


  • Create a climate controlled, sound proof space for a ridiculously loud rack-mount server.
  • Spend as little as possible; less than $100 would be ideal.
  • Learn how to cut a straight line with a wood saw.
  • Waste an entire weekend doing something 'constructive'.
  • Construction:

    The start of the server box. We decided to go with wood because it would be awesome. The dimensions of the inside are 2ft x 3ft x 6in which will accommodate any server up to 3U. We built the box with double walls to help insulate temperature and to keep the sound down.
    Our glorious AC unit. It took some effort, but we managed to finagle the demo model AC unit from our local Frys. Not only were we able to walk out of there with the cheapest unit they had, we got an additional discount since it was the demo model. In order to get this AC unit hooked up to the server box, an AC-Unit-Adapter (or AUA) will need to be built.
    The AC-Unit-To-Wood-Server-Box-Thingy (or AUTWSBT, pronounced ought-wiz-bit) is the key element of the AUA. Two of these make up the side walls of the AUA.
    The final AUA release candidate. The AC unit will slide into the AUA and be supported by the two 2x4s underneath.
    The AC unit's first time inside the AUA; keeping things ice cold. That pretty much wraps up the construction of our data center. Now time to get the server in there.
    Currently, we only have one 1U server for this box. To maximize the effectiveness of the AC unit, we built a simple frame inside the box that the server sits on. We also placed some rubber foam under the server to cut the noise. The AC unit blows cold air right into the faceplate of the server.
    The woodbox in action! The wood blends in well with all of the other junk in the garage. The AC thermostat keeps the inside a steady 66F. We even have 24x7 security on the premises to keep the local kids from jacking it (as you can see). Oh by-the-way, you are viewing this page from the server inside woodbox. (we moved)