Solder Fume Extractor -- advice needed!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by GreenPenInc, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. GreenPenInc

    Thread Starter Member

    May 13, 2007
    In order for me to be able to pursue my electronics hobby at home, I'm going to need a solder fume extractor. After all, we're having our first baby, and I've read all about the harmful effects of lead on children -- and I don't imagine the lead-free stuff is all that much better!

    I found a relatively decently-priced commercial model here:

    I also stumbled across pretty simple-sounding instructions for making my own:

    Does anybody have any experience in this area? Any advice as to which route I should go? If the homemade version seems likely to be comparably effective to the commercial model, I feel I'd be up to the challenge of taping a few pieces of cardboard together...

    Thanks :)
  2. techroomt

    Senior Member

    May 19, 2004
    a valuable project. from all of the ones i have seen in production and assebly shops - the main idea is to extract harmful fumes from your facial/breathing working area. anyone please correct me here if i am wrong.

    now the air removed should be handled properly - as in sending it outside, or adequately filtered for recycling, per your project.
  3. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    I don't think an hour or so of soldering would generate much fumes. It's mostly the flux the smokes, well sometimes wire insulation, ocassionally components... Having a baby so close to your work area probably would create more serious hazards. Soldering with a baby sitting on your lap probably wouldn't be a good idea.

    A piece of dryer duct and an old computer fan would probably work well enough. Just cut a piece of plywood to fit the width of the window, a hole for the duct, and the window should close down to make a fair seal. Kind of depends on what kind of windows you have I suppose, and how close your work are is to one.
  4. Salgat

    Active Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    If you are truly worried about lead poisoning, simply put a fan in front of it. Soldering really doesn't produce anything your baby will ever be affected by.
  5. noltex


    Apr 18, 2006
    The solder melts, it doesn't vaporize. It's only the flux that smokes, and even then in only very small amounts. If the wife complains about the smell, open a window. I really can't see the need for some huge commercial powered filtration vent system. The noise alone would be far worse than any fumes.
  6. mrmeval

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    There are no 'lead fumes' what smoke you see are rosin flux fumes. Those fumes can eventually cause an allergic reaction in some people and then can repeatedly trigger an an allergic reaction with more exposure.

    Keep the baby out of the area where you solder.

    If your solder area has carpet get rid of the carpet or completely cover the area with a removable so dropped waste does not contaminate the area. A drop cloth that can be washed is good.

    Keep your solder and electronic waste separate and dispose of it properly.

    After handling electronics or soldering always wash your hands before doing any other activity especially anything to do with food preparation.

    Keep the waste, lead solder and other electronics locked up or lock the work room.
  7. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Good advise. Although I still find it unlikeley soldering a hobby project would create enough fumes to be of much concern. With a baby, it would be very wise to confine your work area to its own room, but realize that often there aren't any spare rooms, so its a desk, coffee table, or dining room table. This makes it tough when the baby starts crawling/walking. The child will naturally be drawn to anything grown ups are focused on. You step away for just one second to answer the phone, or deal with all the coffee you've been drinking, and that child will be over there checking out the cool tools.