Solder Smoke Air Filter




Introduction: 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.

Step 1: 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

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.

Step 3: Attach Cardboard to the Fan

For this, all I did was attach the cardboard to the sides of the fan. originally I was going to use rubber cement. terrible idea. It does not glue cardboard very well. So in the end I just used electrical tape. This would be best performed with a hot glue gun in my opinion.

Step 4: Make the Base for the Fan

Take the coat hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. Bend it in to a Uish shape. Take that and put it through the holes of the fan. Now take both side of the coat hanger and bend them down.

The actual base that touches the table can be whatever suits your needs. I just went with one that was going to be stable. The front part of the base is where the two end points of the hanger meet. I just wrapped it in tape.

Step 5: Attach the Fan to the Wall Wart

Take the positive and negative wires for the fan and the wall wart and connect them. You can use crimp connectors, twist and wrap in tape, or solder and seal them like I did. make sure you have the polarity right and it works before sealing it all up. I used a wall wart from an old cordless phone. It's 9 volts at 300ma.

Step 6: The Filter

My original idea was just a fan to pull away smoke. I opted to throw something fuzzy in the way to at least make an attempt to filter it. So I saw some vent filters at Lowes and just cut a square out of one. there was no need to work out a way to attach it since the suction held it in place, but I figured that was an easy fix so I put the rough side of some Velcro tabs on the cardboard and just pushed some of the filter on to the tabs.

1 Person Made This Project!


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4 years ago

this is a simple, yet very effective build. Thanks for sharing!


10 years ago on Introduction

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.


Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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.


10 years ago on Step 6

Does it actually filter the smoke with the vent filter?


Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

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.