Redneck fume extractor

As I was getting ready to build the motor driver controller board, I realized that it would be a good idea to use a fume extractor.  This was a major soldering build, more than I’ve done in one sitting in quite a while.  I’ve seen these used, and my local hackerspace has one:  Hakko Fume Extractor


I didn’t have an extractor, but I did have the parts for one.  A spare wall wart power supply, a surplus squirrel cage fan, an activated carbon filter, and a bit of plastic to mount it on.   The first item to be selected was the fan.  As any good hacker, I have a junk box and happened to have a squirrel cage type in the pile.  Squirrel cage fans are good for moving air, which I need if I’m going to be sucking it through a carbon filter.  I already had the formed plastic on hand, it just needed a hole cut for the fan.  A 3″ holesaw did the trick to cut a hole for the intake.  A 12v wall wart provides enough power to spin the fan at it’s highest speed, which is too noisy and moves too much air.  Downgrading that to a 9v wall wart seemed to give enough air movement without being too noisy.


It sits nicely over the PCB holder in my PanaVise.  It worked well during the soldering of the motor controller board, and it’s continued to serve me well.