Two solutions to the problem of cooling a high temperature, high heat flux surface using controlled spray cooling are presented for use on a mandrel. In the first embodiment, spray cooling is used to provide a varying isothermal boundary layer on the side portions of a mandrel by providing that the spray can be moved axially along the mandrel. In the second embodiment, a spray of coolant is directed to the lower temperature surface of the mandrel. By taking advantage of super-Leidenfrost cooling, the temperature of the high temperature surface of the mandrel can be controlled by varying the mass flux rate of coolant droplets. The invention has particular applicability to the field of diamond synthesis using chemical vapor deposition techniques.