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DIY Fume Extractor

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I've spent too much time breathing the stuff that emanates from the tips of soldering irons. After checking out the available fume extractors, I thought I could do better putting something together myself. If it didn't turn out that way, at least it would be my loud, expensive, and low air flow fume extractor. Maker’s remorse is always better than buyer’s remorse.

Luck was on my side this time and I don’t have to deal with any remorse. I’m happy with how this project turned out. There’s more than a couple improvements that I could make and more than a few things I could have added at the beginning, but keeping it simple helped get it done. This DIY fume extractor does the job and it's a great addition to my work bench.

WARNING: This project requires making AC power connections. Please give it the diligence it deserves. Don't take risks that might end up hurting you or someone else.

 
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Step 1: BOM

Bill of Materials:

Cooltron AC Axial Fan 120mmx120mmx38mm 110 CFM 2600 RPM
Carbon Filter Material
2 x Silverstone Fan Filter with Grill 120mm
120mm Chrome Fan Grill
Hammond 1415D 6”x6”x6” Steel Enclosure
16A 125V DPST Rocker Switch E-Switch RR812C1121 or equivalent

1/4” Wire Grommet
Wire Eyelet
4 x 2” #8-32 Machine Screws
4 x 1.5” #8-32 Machine Screws
4 x #8-32 Nuts
4 x #8-32 Nylon Lock Nuts
4 x #8-32 Wing Nuts
IEC Power Cord (Computer Power Cord)
Shrink Tube
Rust-Oleum “Hammered” Black Spray Paint 7215830
Self-Adhesive Rubber Feet
ninjanody1 year ago
nice design. i am using just a simple pc fan with filter from cooking extractor and a grill protector.
inertia181 year ago
You can also use a PSU unit, just reverse the fan and you have an instant fume extractor and a nice bench supply for your electronic projects.
nice 5 stars
Bonecaya1 year ago
Very nice Filter. Nice clean and compact.

Would it be possible to use the second grill that you got instead of the chrome wire grill on the intake side of it though? Of course remove the added mesh and just leave the larger honeycomb openings. Or would that restrict airflow too much and reduce the effectiveness?
Ktulu_1 (author)  Bonecaya1 year ago
Sure. The chrome grill is on the exhaust side of the fan, but why not? I haven't measured the airflow but it looks like the Silverstone grills are much more restrictive than the chrome grill. Removing the mesh looks like it would improve the airflow a bit.

I'm debating replacing the Silverstone grill on the inside of the filter sandwich with a chrome grill, but I'm uncertain if it will seal the filter adequately. I might remove the mesh from the inside grill as you've suggested.
pudtiny1 year ago
WOW great work, how did you cut the 4.5" holes?
Ktulu_1 (author)  pudtiny1 year ago
With a drill press and hole saw.
LynxSys1 year ago
Very nice looking project! I feel compelled to issue a health warning about evil fumes, though. The foam "filter" that's used to keep dust out of your computer case will not capture the nastiness that soldering produces.

Because soldering fumes are composed of both tiny particles and gasses, you need both a HEPA particulate filter as well as an activated carbon filter to neutralize the respective threats. You might also consider a standard filter in front of the HEPA filter to extend the HEPA filter's lifespan.

Also, you need to be sure that your airflow is great enough that you're really getting all of the fumes. Realistically, for the hobbyist who isn't soldering all that often, (OSHA inspectors, please skip to the next paragraph) you can probably skip the math for the airflow requirements and just go with "if I can't smell it, it's probably not hurting me...too much." Obviously, if you can still smell or see the fumes your filtration is either ineffective, or you're not capturing all of the fumes to begin with.

Also, a question about the form factor: is there a reason that you chose an enclosure with as much depth as that one, or did it just happen to be the best fit? If there's no functional reason to have it be that deep, I be inclined to try to build a thinner one and perhaps mount it on a gooseneck or something similar.
Ktulu_1 (author)  LynxSys1 year ago
Finding a suitable enclosure was difficult for me. I needed something that was sturdy and with 6" ends on it and the Hammond box was really all I could come up with. I would have loved a similar box with about half the depth. The enclosure was by far the most expensive part in this. A cheaper enclosure would make this much more of a deal when compared to commercially available models.
jimbalny1 year ago
This is a really nice looking fan, think it's about time I build myself one! The other day I dipped my soldering iron in tip cleaner/tinner and got a nice plume of smoke right up my nostril. I could taste that crap in my LUNGS, such a bad menthol/chemically taste ugh.
ledshed1 year ago
That's a very nice looking device!
Z.K.1 year ago
Nice Project though a little on the large size for me since I don't have a large work space. I am planning on using a DC Fan I have laying around with a PWM circuit to control the fan speed. I am not sure if I really need a fan control, but some of these fans get really noisy and I don't like a lot of noise. Maybe I will look around for a whisper fan though they tend to be a bit expensive.
joerice011 year ago
Love the look, nothing looks better completely black.
Could you get the same result from a DC fan or is AC they way to?


Z.K. joerice011 year ago
Depends on what you need. You can get some fairly good DC fans. You just need to make sure they move enough air. I would also put a speed control of some sort on it as fans do get quite noisy.
Ktulu_1 (author)  joerice011 year ago
The AC fan made it easier to put this together but a DC fan and appropriate power supply would work just as well. There's probably a much broader choice of 120mm DC fans as well.
agis681 year ago
really grate work. . I have a similar device, not very good looking as yours but on mine i adde also a thick CO2 filter.
Does anyone have experience making a similar unit for small scale welding with stick and TIG?
This same one would probably work fine for that as well.
Hmmmm . . . The airflow rate is too low. About 500 - 700 cfm would be suitable to create the capturing air-pass velocity over the weld area. Perhaps lower cfm in an enclosed or sided box enclosure work area?
londobali1 year ago
QUOTE: "Maker’s remorse is always better than buyer’s remorse."
yeah.. true story! :)

great job! looks super professional too..
Thx for sharing..
jhr0071 year ago
Awesome! I'm gonna make one for sure. I've got enough DC wall warts sitting around.

As an FYI for those who haven't seen this site, it will take your dimensions and give you the plans to make your own box. Free!(as in beer) Laser, CNC, or just manually cut the lines.
http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/

mtnredhed1 year ago
Wow. Looks nicer than the commercial units (like Hako). I already have 12vdc on the bench, so I'll probably go with computer fans and a pull/push box.

Again. very nicely done.
rosenred1 year ago
Excellent Instructable. I wonder whether one could use this for extracting cigarette smoke (yeah, nasty habit I know but...)

The filter would need to be regularly changed for sure.

Oh, you get plus points for "BOM" :)
dantistus1 year ago
Thank you, final result looks cool!
looks great! I need one of these, that stuff is nasty. how often do you have to change the filter? how much does something like this retail?
Ktulu_1 (author)  amandaghassaei1 year ago
I'm not sure at what point I'll need to replace the filter.
There was some confusion over at Hackaday about powering it up. I think they thought it was a DC fan that you were using.

This is one of the most professional looking projects that I seen on instructables. Very nice, simply elegant.
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