I don't do a ton of soldering, but I *hate* the fumes that are produced and am too cheap to buy a $100+ HEPA or activated charcoal soldering fume extractor. I decided I would try making my own for a little cheaper. Here's what I used:

1x  Holmes-Type Air Filter (I bought a HEPA one at Target for about $20)
1x 12v Power Supply (Check your junk drawer, these are one of the most common type of "wall wart")
1x  2.1mm female power supply connector (to match above)
3x  80mm computer fans (I bought new ones for about $3 each, shop around or scavenge from old hardware)
1/2" plywood or other enclosure material
1x  5" x 10" screen (nylon, wire, or something similar will work)

Optional extras:
1x  SPST switch (pretty much any cheap switch will work to turn it on or off, or you can simply unplug the power supply)
1x  200 Ohm linear trim potentiometer (this is optional, and probably not needed)
1x  activated charcoal filter sheet ($6 online, because I don't believe in such thing as "overkill")

I did this in one day without a lot a foresight, so I HIGHLY recommend reading through this whole Instructable before building anything. Read the final section on "What I'd do differently" if nothing else. :)

Step 1: Constructing the Enclosure

Building the enclosure is pretty straight forward, and can be accomplished a myriad of ways. I actually designed an acrylic enclosure to laser cut from Ponoko, but the cost was a bit prohibitive for me. I used some scrap plywood laying around and cut two 5 1/4" x 8" panels for the sides, and two 8" x 11" panels for the front and back. I also cut two 5 1/4" x 10 1/2" panels out of 1/4" plywood for the fan and filter shelves. Take one of the large panels and cut the air intake hole/area. Then I simply dado-ed the vertical pieces to hold the fan and filter shelves. The top dado is about 1/4" from the top and 1/4" wide to accommodate the fan shelf. The second dado should be about 2" lower, so that there is some room for the fans, mounting hardware, and electronics. I then drilled holes for the power supply connector and the on/off switch on one of the side panels. I choose the side so that I would have the ability to place the extractor on it's face and have a larger air intake area if needed. I rabbeted the front and back panels to keep measurements simple during assembly. Finally, I used 2 1/4" pieces of wood for the fan and filter shelves. Cut appropriate holes for each! Finally cut some blocks to hold the filter in place.
<em>I made it!!!! easy peasy.</em>
<p>great build. i love it. well done mate.</p>
I like the concept. I would enhance it by enlarging the opening and adding a 12V LED light strip to illuminate my work area. I'll probably make one out of corrugated plastic sign board as soon as our local by-election is over ;)
I like this project of your. The whole idea of making something which you can call your own, especially when you can save money in the process, recycle the stuff you have around you and customizing it to your needs can be a rewarding experience. I built something similar using recycled PSUs to make a desk fan which can also be used as a fume extractor. Here is the link <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Fan-Power-Unit-EFPU/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Emergency-Fan-Power-Unit-EFPU/</a>
Beautiful design! When I first looked at your enclosure I thought what a novel design, speakers pointing upwards, I wandered what sonic properties it would enhance? Then I read the title - it must be a joy to look at on your work bench. Have you done what Homer does? Now it's on, now it's off, now it's on etc. Well done!
sweet build. I really like adding a Final Thoughts step. Something I'm a person fan of in my Instructables. Great Job on your First.
Thanks! I like your Rick-Roller booby trap too! I'm actually working on an LED lamp that uses a PIR sensor to automatically turn on when someone is around.
Thanks. And good luck with your PIR build. Motion activation is awesome. I think all lights should be wired with PIR. Plan your build carefully, the heat off a lot of bulbs will reset the &quot;norm&quot; setting in arduino software.<br>
so are you pushing air through the filters or pulling the air through? thanks
The fans are on top, so they are pulling air through the filter and blowing it up. You could easily modify the design so that the fans were below and the filter is on top if you'd prefer the fans to be blowing rather than sucking.
Now i have something to put my 3 120v fans in this will defiantly help with fumes

About This Instructable


87 favorites


Bio: I'm a tinker, inventor, and occasional software developer. I spend my time building and fixing things, from electronics and automotive to remodeling and furniture ... More »
More by catfang: How to build a Fume Extractor on the cheap
Add instructable to: