Saturday, September 22, 2012

DIY Fume Extractor

I've spent too much time breathing the stuff that emanates from the tips of soldering irons. After checking out the available fume extractors, I thought I could do better putting something together myself. If it didn't turn out that way, at least it would be my loud, expensive, and low air flow fume extractor. Maker's remorse is always better than buyer’s remorse.

There's more than a couple improvements that I could make, and more than a few things I could have added at the beginning, but keeping it simple helped get it done. Scope creep had me thinking of incorporating a fan speed controller, indicator lights, and other features. When it came down to it, I decided that simple was the order of the day for version 1.0. The basic design incorporates an AC fan, power cord and switch, carbon filter, and enclosure.

Luckily, I’m not suffering any remorse with this project. In the future I can see maybe coming up with something more complicated, but I’m satisfied with how the fume extractor turned out. This DIY fume extractor does the job and is a great addition to my work bench.

Bill of Materials:

Cooltron AC Axial Fan 120mmx120mmx38mm 110 CFM 2600 RPM
Carbon Filter Material
2 x Silverstone Fan Filter with Grill 120mm
120mm Chrome Fan Grill
Hammond 1415D 6”x6”x6” Steel Enclosure
16A 125V DPST Rocker Switch E-Switch RR812C1121 or equivalent

1/4” Wire Grommet
Wire Eyelet
4 x 2” #8-32 Machine Screws
4 x 1.5” #8-32 Machine Screws
4 x #8-32 Nuts
4 x #8-32 Nylon Lock Nuts
4 x #8-32 Wing Nuts
IEC Power Cord (Computer Power Cord)
Shrink Tube
Rust-Oleum “Hammered” Black Spray Paint 7215830
Self-Adhesive Rubber Feet

See the Instructable for detailed build instructions


  1. I like it! you should also drop in a plug on the side for your iron so its all on one switch. or you could daisy 2 or 3 more fans or even lighting.

  2. Hey Jeff,

    Is a single 120mm fan enough air movement to clear the fumes? I'm very tempted to build something like this but am considering doubling up.

    1. Derek, the filter really kills the airflow but it's still adequate. If you really want to move air, more fans, side-by-side, wouldn't hurt.

  3. What about adding a second fan to help pull? One in front, one in back?

    1. I'm torn on this. My intuition tells me that with such a small volume box a fan in the front and a fan in the back would fight each other. I think this would result in an airflow number less than what you would get by removing the filter and grills from the front. ff you really want to move more air using a higher output fan or putting side by side fans in a bigger box would be the way to go.

  4. Reputed manufacturers for fume extraction systems. Fume extractor is exextensively used for removal of fumes, mist, smoke, fine powder.

  5. Safer to use a real fume extractor because small amounts of carbon in those kinds of filters saturates quickly, stops absorbing, and recirculates pollutants even more. At very least, would recommend using bulk industrial carbon. 800-701-2513