Fume Extractor




About: I like electronics.

When you solder, you melt tin, lead & flux. Flux is there to help the solder run, or flow, but also burns toxic. Not much, but toxic is still toxic.

This cheap & simple instructable will whisk away the fumes so you can work in a nice, clean environment.

These retail for several hundred dollars here in Australia, so you will save yourself a fortune.

Most of the parts can be salvaged from stuff.

Step 1: Parts & Tools.

You will need:

a plank of wood (anything works. Ply, MDF, whatever you have lying around)
2 fans (you can use more if necessary)
A Switch (I used a fan controller because i was going to make them switch on and off individually, but i
decided against it. i still used it though. Makes it look cool. any SPST will work)
A 10~14 v supply (DC, whatever amps your fans are.)
Heat shrink

Soldering Iron
Wire Cutters
Drill Bits
Flat Blade screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver

Step 2: Marking Everything.

Mark the holes of your fans & switch. when you do, look for a symbol on the fan. it will show rotation & air flow direction. these will help when marking stuff out.

Step 3: Modding the Switch

This step is only required if you are using the 3 speed switch. if you are. follow the instructions. if not, continue on.

Pull the knob off.
Then, remove all the stuff coming from the back of the switch. You should end up with something like below. if not, I can't help you.

You will have Common (or C) 1 (or M100) 2 and 3.

Step 4: Drill Vent Holes

I was unsure what to do here. If you have a finger guard for the fans, then cut out a big hole. if not, I just drilled lots of 5.5 mm holes. Works fine.

Afterwards, attach the switch.

Step 5: Fans

These two can go on now.

Just line them up with your markings, and spin the blades to make sure they don't hit on any oddball wood splinters. If so, clean up with a file.

Drill holes respective to the fan power wires. then, bolt everything down.

Work out your plug pack polarity & and mark that.

Flip it over.

Step 6: Wiring

Attach the negative fan wires together to ple plugpack. Then, solder and heat shrink them up.

Attach the positive coming from the plugpack to the common (or C) on the switch.

If you want your fan to come on in all 3 positions, Just link M100, 2 & 3 together with the fan positives.

If you are using a toggle switch or similar, Attach the negatives together as explained. then, attach the plug pack positive to the Common pin and the fan positives to the other side.

I hope the images help.

Step 7: Done!

Now plug in and switch on. the fans should instantly start spinning and air should move. Any sparks, smoke, fire, lights in THE WHOLE STREET DIMMING etc etc is a bad sign. recheck your work.

Enjoy a clean environment!!!

Participated in the
The Instructables Book Contest



    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    14 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Oh! I now that round fan! It's a Pentium 3 fan, with the square frame cut off. To be exact, model 0925-12LMB.

    If I were you, I would make the air holes way bigger. Currently, I use a $20, 20cm fan from Costco for soldering.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    do u have to use a heatsink? wat do they llok like? good instructible!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Filters for aquariums are carbon and washable. Might be just the thing for this. I was looking for a vacuum to clean dust from PCs when I open them. I think I will add a small hose to the intake side of this for what I need. Thank you!


    10 years ago on Step 7

    So where does the toxic air end up? Where did you position the fans and how did you dump the toxic air to the outside? I need an extractor like this one but would like the extra info, it would help a lot.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 7

    It just removes the air from out of my face, and blows it upwards, where it disperses.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 7

    Would be better if it had a filter. The particles are still in the air, and will settle on surfaces eventually.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I really hate it when I see people suggest a "go buy it instead" solution, but this has worked SO well that I feel like I have to share. I apologize to everyone in advance. I've tried fans, but they only blow the fumes around the room and ducts to the outside aren't usually practical or convenient. I stumbled upon a much better and reasonably inexpensive off the shelf solution. A HEPA air filter. Flux fumes in, clean air out. My wife can't even tell when I've been soldering anymore. You can get a small desktop unit for less than $50, ( I'm using a Holmes HAP242-UC) The only down side I've found so far is that it doesn't have very good reach. You have to solder within 4 or 5 inches...or use a VERY weak fan to blow the fumes toward the filter.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    "I really hate it when I see people suggest a "go buy it instead" solution

    I know. Those HEPA filters aren't avavilable here in Australia. And the price sounds a bit out of reach for a 13-year old like me.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, I like your idea. I use something similar to this when i'm soldering, but i think this idea can preform better. For example, do not dril tiny vent holes, but just make a hole as big as the fan. Also, you have a chance putting your fingers or soldering iron in the fans, maybe you could place them at the other side of the panel , and if you use bigger holes you could buy a fanguard for example. But the idea itself is great.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah thanks for the comments. It was a quick design and the only reason I didn't use one big vent hole was because I didn't have a fan guard. I originally mounted them on the other side but it didn't suck as well. also, I had all of those parts and I didn't want to go buy a fan guard. next time I will put a carbon filter on. Thanks again for the constructive criticism.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    1. Make one big hole instead of those little holes - air flow will be better 2. In stores you can buy filters with "active carbon" - it looks like thin, black sponge - place it behind fans - it will clear the air - smell killer. 3. Make a stand from solid wires, or hang it above your workplace - the smoke usualy goes up :) [possibly I will make an instructable about my solution...]