Have you noticed that solder fumes always tend to rise up into your nose? As the type of solder I’m using is particularly irritating, I decided to do something about it, ending up with a very low-tech solution…
Normal fume extractors (Dutch link) tend to suck the air in, filtering it through a carbon filter to actually remove the fumes from the air, but I find them a bit unwieldy. Yet another power cable to clutter my workbench.
Here’s my solution:
A small 12V brushless PC fan, which happens to still start up and rotate reliably at 3.6V, as provided by three Eneloop AA batteries. Stuck to a battery pack (with on/off switch) using hot glue, which also doubles as weighted base for it all. The fan is slanted slightly downwards, to better cover the area on the table.
The result is whisper quiet and generates a micro breeze which gently diverts the solder fumes away from my nose. This particular fan draws only 30 mA @ 3.6V, so it’ll last some 70 hours on a single battery pack. And since these are rechargeable batteries of which I keep a constant supply, that’s plenty for me.
Long live re-use!