Make a Small Air Filter/ Fume Extractor




Make a small air filter out of a few fairly common parts for when you are soldering or for if you smoke (filthy habit), also, if you use a lit fan it makes a cool night light for younger children. This is my first Instructable so please, constructive criticism only. I already had this built so the pics are of it already assembled, but I figured it would be nice for the dead computer contest. I don't expect to win but I thought it would be something fun to make.

WARNING- This does deal with some minor electricity, I seriously doubt you could be injured but, regardless, YOU are responsible for YOUR OWN actions.


Step 1: Materials


-Old speaker, preferably one with a tweeter
-Computer fan, doesn't need to be lit but I had one and it looks cooler
-Toggle switch (optional)
-Maybe some wire
-Activated carbon (buy at a pet store in the fish section)
-Window screen
-12 Volt DC power pack


-Dremel, X-ACTO knife, or similar cutting tool.
-JB-KWIK Adhesive 
-Heat-shrink tubing
-Sabre Saw (optional)

Step 2: Take Apart the Old Speaker

 Take everything out, save nothing but the housing itself and the wire jacks in the back. The back on mine was held together by some sort of adhesive, this is where you use your dremel or X-ACTO knife.

Step 3: Put in the Fan

 I had an 80mm computer fan that fit perfectly in the large speaker hole. Use your JB-KWIK to mount it in. Make sure the fan is facing to pull air IN to the speaker housing. The hole where the tweeter was is where the clean air will come out.

Step 4: Wire It Up

 First, if you want a switch in the top like I have, I used the drill to make a pilot hole for the sabre saw to cut out the hole, but a dremel should work nicely. Also, I used a little bit of that JB-KWIK to secure the switch. Put the fan's positive wire straight to the back of the red wire jack. Then, put the negative wire to one lead of your switch, and the other lead of the switch to the back of the black wire jack. If you don't have a switch, wire the negative wire straight to the back of the black jack as well. If you have a third wire, it is ground and you can just leave it inside. I covered any exposed wire with some heat-shrink tubing, but that's totally optional. NOTE- In mine, I had to use a little yellow wire to extend the red one on the fan.

Step 5: Make the Activated Carbon Filter

 Take the window screen and cut it and staple it into a pouch that fits into the speaker housing, but remember to leave one side open until you fill it with the carbon. When you need to change the carbon, use a pair of needle nose pliers to pry off one side of staples.

Step 6: Assemble

 Put the activated carbon filter inside, only leave a centimeter or two of clearance between the fan and the filter. You may want to secure the filter with a little duct tape. Then, screw it all together.

Step 7: Connect the Power Pack

Make sure the power pack is the same as or less than the fan is rated for! Take the power supply and cut off the end. If you're lucky, the wires will be labeled or coded on the back, but more than likely it isn't. To find out, just switch the wires around in the jacks until the fan turns on. You may want to label them positive and negative when you find out.

Step 8: Done!

 There you go, your own activated carbon air filter. Give me some feedback to let me know how I did on my first instructable. 



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    7 Discussions


    The only suggestion I can make is to seal the top front hole, and add a hole to the rear.  You should also find a way for attach the activated charcoal filter to the fan, maybe with a 4inch piece of PVC pipe to force the air to actually go through the filter. Unless you're actually forcing the air to go through the filter, it'll take the path of least resistance and go around it.  Otherwise, it's a brilliant idea for dead speakers.

    1 reply

    How loud is that thing?

    I like it.

    Would something like that be usefull in a kitchen or bathroom odor type situation, or is the airflow of it too small?

    4 replies

    It appears that his is attached to his computer so putting it in the bathroom wouldn't be the best of ideas. If you were to put it into a bathroom you would have to find a different power supply as the power supply listed requires a mains adapter.

    Yes, I am aware of all that.  I was just curious as to the effectiveness of a unit of that size as a room deodorizer.  :-)


     Mine isn't loud at all and it does work okay in the bathroom, but its air flow is somewhat limited, it isn't intended for large areas by any means.