Weekend Project: Solder Fume Extractor

As a maker, safety always comes first. Here's a quick little project that will take care of your solder fumes in under an hour.

 

Instructions_header_materials
Materials:

1 x 12v DC fan (or voltage of your choice)

1 x switch (slide, toggle, latching button, etc.)

1 x AC to DC power adapter (w/ same voltage as your fan)

1 x 2.1 mm female barrel jack (or connector on power adapter)

1 x activated carbon filter

Some wire (solid core or stranded)

 

Tools:

Soldering iron

Solder

Wire stripper/cutter

Third hand tool*

Glue/poster tack*

3D printer w/ filament*

 

*Optional - alternatives easily available

 

Instructions_header_instructions

Step 1: Electronics

The electronics knowledge and soldering skill required for this project are fairly introductory, but there are some details to pay attention to. First off, you want to snip off any connector that the fan comes with, then proceed to solder on the barrel jack (or any other connector you have).

You want to be careful because most barrel jacks come with three tabs to solder to, and it's important to attach the right wires to the right tabs. You can figure out the correct polarity by measuring the voltage of your power adapter with a multimeter: place the negative probe inside the adapter's jack and the positive probe on the surrounding metal sleeve. If it returns a positive voltage, it means that the center pin is negative and the sleeve is positive. If the value is negative, it is vice versa.

Use this measurement to correctly wire the connector. The back tab should be for the barrel jack's center pin, so solder the appropriate wire there. Then connect the two remaining tabs (see picture; I just put a wire there) and solder the second wire to one of them. This ensures that the voltage actually flows to the fan instead of sitting on an unconnected tab. You should end up with a single wire on the back tab, and the other wire electrically connected to both of the front/side tabs.

Now, simply snip one of your wires in two and solder the switch in. Most switches come with three different tabs as well, so it may be helpful to use your multimeter's continuity test range to find out which two actually close/open. Solder each exposed wire to one of the tabs that work.

You should now have a fully functioning circuit. Plug it in via the power adapter and see if flipping the switch will turn the fan on/off.

 

 

Step 2: Attaching the filter

Next up, you'll have to attach the activated carbon filter. There are a number of ways to approach this: some people like to go the fancy route and create a custom housing, while others, like me, prefer simplicity over flare. Fearing that bulldog clamps would be too powerful, I quickly CADed together some simple clips and printed them out. They're quick, effective, and can be replaced in a matter of minutes, so I think they're a lot easier than complex housings. If you would like to have the file, please leave a comment below.

 

 

You're Done!

Now you should have yourself a working solder fume extractor! Plug it in, flip the switch, and watch as the wisps of smoke stream into the blades! If you want to keep the switch out of the way, simply stick it to the side of the fan with some glue or poster tack.

Keep this little device ready for your next soldering job, and make sure your precious lungs aren't contaminated by harmful substances.

 

Leave any questions or comments as a reply below, and if you liked this project, don't forget to subscribe!

 

Happy Hacking!

1 thought on “Weekend Project: Solder Fume Extractor”

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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