Shark Fan (Solder Smoke Filter)




Introduction: Shark Fan (Solder Smoke Filter)

About: To see more of my work, be it wood, painting, or other stuff, find me on Instagram at AMATEURHOUR87.

As an electrical engineering student I've been doing a lot of soldering and was in desperate need of a fan to filter out the fumes that melted solder creates. Also being a student I didn't have much money to spend on a store bought fume extractor and while I'm pretty familiar with wood working and even the use of microcontrollers, I haven't done many practical projects using electricity (let alone an Instructable).

To make this project unique I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and with a few scavenged parts and a few cheap buys I was able to build my own smoke filter and give it a unique look too.

Step 1: Supplies and Preparation

Before constructing the box out of plywood I created a simple model out of cardboard and masking tape to get the general proportions right. The proportions were based on two computer fans I took from an old PC tower and the charcoal air filters which I purchased online.


x2 Scavenged 80 mm Computer Fans (12 volt .25 amp)

x1 Charcoal Air Filter (5.1" x .4" x 5.1")

Purchased a 5 pack from here:

x1 Scavenged Toggle Switch

X1 12 volt 1 Amp wall adapter

Purchased here:

A piece of 1/4" plywood about 2' x 1'

Electrical Tape and Wire

Soldering capabilities (Optional)

Paint/Brushes (Optional)

Wood Glue/Screws

Wood Dowel



Soldering Iron (Optional)

Power Drill

Wire Cutters

Step 2: Building the Box

Using the cardboard model and the sizes of the filters and fans, I drew the box's sides out on a sheet of 1/4" plywood and then cut them out on using a jigsaw. I drilled a hole in one side for the toggle switch and another for the power cord. With all the sides cut out I glued and clamped the box together then drilled holes in the sides for wood screws. After the box was dry I sanded it so the edges and corners were smoothed out. Optionally you can leave your switch side off until the wiring is done. This makes it easier as you won't have to try and solder inside the box.

To create the shark look I cut out two side fins, a dorsal fin, and four teeth from the plywood scraps using the jigsaw once again. To attach the dorsal fin I drilled a hole into bottom of the fin (and into the top of the box) and used a wooden dowel and glue to secure it together.

In some of the pictures I have the side fins extending outwards from the shark. To save space I decided to glue them to the sides as seen in the main picture. The teeth can either be glued on now or later. I decided to glue them on after I painted them (not painting the spots where glue would be) so I didn't have to worry about having to paint around them.

I also added small strips of plywood to the inside of the box on two sides for the filter to rest on.

Step 3: Wiring

After removing the wall adapter's plug I found the positive and negative wires and soldered them to the toggle switch (be sure to find out which prongs of the toggle switch are which if they were unlabeled) along with the positive and negative wires from the fans as shown in the first and second picture. Its a good idea to make all your connections with tape first before soldering to ensure it all works properly. In order to get the power cord in the box, it must be soldered after everything is in place (or you can remove that side of the box if you did not glue it). The fans are wired to the switch in parallel so the 12 volts from the wall adapter supplies 12 volts to each fan. After soldering I wrapped electrical tape around each connection.

With everything in the box I needed a way to keep the fans in place and without much hardware to attach them I cut a piece off an old power cord and wrapped it around the fans to make them fit snugly in the box.

Step 4: The Shark

I looked at photos of the P-40 Warhawk airplane for inspiration and then drew a similar face on the sides of the box. I used latex paint (it was a paint with its own primer). After the paint job I popped in the filter (the teeth overlap the filter which helps keep it in place, although once the fan is on the suction keeps it pretty secure) and started up the fan. The fans I scavenged have LED's in them which gives everything a pretty cool glow and they supply more than enough suction ( I can solder at least eight inches away and see the smoke get sucked up).

Hope you enjoyed the Shark Fan Instructable! Feel free to vote for it in the Beyond Comfort Zone Contest!

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5 years ago

Hey i just wanted to know, my ventilators have three wires not two, there is one gray cable with the other two what should i do with them?


Reply 4 years ago

You need to use only red/yellow and black. Not exactly sure what the grey one is for - maybe to control the speed?


5 years ago

Love it! I need a smoke extractor, and love this design.


5 years ago

I will buy it off you and could you send me the pictures of manufacturing how much would it cost for you to make for me with manufacturing