Picture of Solder smoke air filter
I know how to solder. I've been avoiding it as much as possible for a long time due to the really crappy soldering iron I've had. As an early Christmas preset, my fiance bought me an Aoyue 937+ solder station. There are better but it's been the best solder station I've ever used. So I've gotten back in to soldering things rather than just twisting and clamping wires or using solderless breadboards.

The problem with all the soldering, smoke. I swear no matter how I position my head, the smoke always goes straight to my face. They make the fans that filter smoke to buy but they are about $80. No thanks. So I opted to make a quickie one. i didn't even care if it filtered air when I started, just get the smoke away. So I threw some stuff together. This is a very basic build. I could do some fancy stuff like add a switch and throw some carbon in a filter and put LED's on it. But that won't really improve performance. I just wanted something that worked. I don't want to make it complicated.

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
My plan was to try and make this with as many spare parts as possible. Most Instructablers probably have this stuff sitting around. In fact most have probably made one of these. I actually picked up the vent filters from Lowes for about $3, I didn't have those.

- Some spare cardboard
-Computer case fan
-Air filters
-Cloths hanger (metal)
-9-12 volt wall wart
-Some glue and tape

Step 2: Cut the cardboard

Picture of Cut the cardboard
This is pretty straight forward. I just cut off the tab pieces of a small box and lined them up against the fan and made another cut. Now I have the pieces to use as the box around the fan.
I_StarkGuy2 years ago
I really need one of those!!
This looks great! I'm definitely going to try this!
jmancuzo3 years ago
Nicely Done! Those types of filters can be expensive. I'm probably going to look at building one myself. I'd probably check to see what professional fume extractors use and then build something similar.

But smoke outta the face is great. That stuff isn't great to breathe in.
CaptPikel (author)  jmancuzo3 years ago
I looked in to it and the big Difference was the ones you buy come with carbon filters. But you can make some cheap fan similar to this and just put one of the high end filters in front. You can buy the filters separately for most of those. I didn't put a carbon filter in front of mine so I'm not sure how much that will affect airflow. I'm willing to bet it will reduce airflow a lot. But the filter I used is for air vents and it does filter the smoke from what I can tell. The big difference is that I think a carbon one will filter better and probably reduce the smell. I don't notice the smell with it since it pulls it away from my face.
CaptPikel (author)  alindsey33 years ago
lol Yup. That was the plan. You could even do this without the stand piece and it works fine too. One thing to note is that without the cardboard shroud, it doesn't seem to perform as well(at least for me). I'm assuming it's something about creating a small vacuum between the filter and the actual fan to get an even air intake... but I try not to question physics :).
Does it actually filter the smoke with the vent filter?
CaptPikel (author)  Mragonizehut3 years ago
It seems to. The filter says it filters smoke. If I take off the filter I see smoke come out the other end of the fan. If I put it on, it doesn't. So it seems to. Either way it's out of my face :). I have some carbon for a fish filter I could sandwich between two of the filters to truly filter the air. But that would probably drastically decrease air flow. Haven't done it yet to check though.