Welding Fume Extraction

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Chris In Marshfield, Dec 25, 2017.

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  1. Dec 25, 2017 #1

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    Hi all,

    Setting up my small basement shop and planning for welding accommodations. Aside from running dedicated electric for the welder, I also will probably need some fume extraction. I’ll be doing simple welding down there - nothing huge (since I’ll never get it out - a la Gibbs). Will somethIng like a large bathroom exhaust fan do the trick, perhaps with a removable flex tube from a dust collector?

    ~Chris
     
  2. Dec 25, 2017 #2

    BJC

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    A fan from a small HVAC air handler will move lots more air, and be quiter than a bathroom exhaust fan. (The typical bathroom exhaust fan would not move enough air.)

    Have you considered a fan that also would provide some cooling in the summer?


    BJC

    edit: Such a fan may be available for free from your local HVAC contractor.
     
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  3. Dec 25, 2017 #3

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    The room that’s becoming the shop is air conditioned, so no problem with heating and cooling. But I thought I might need something to exhaust welding smoke, lest I set off a house full of smoke detectors.
     
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  4. Dec 25, 2017 #4

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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  5. Dec 26, 2017 #5

    TFF

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    For $120 you can get a hvac squirrel cage fan. Build a mount and stick it in the basement window or build a separate stack. You don't want air blowing across your welding.
     
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  6. Dec 26, 2017 #6

    Little Scrapper

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    I'm glad your title says extraction because that's the only way to look at it. Fumes need to be extracted, not blown around.

    If you spend enough time researching this topic you'll probably discover very very little in the way of DIY extraction. The reason for this is because extracting fumes is extremely difficult. In reality extraction is best left to the pros.

    In a basement situation, welding fumes really don't belong. 4130 has very few fumes compared to say Stainless. Stainless fumes need special attention, 4130 or mild steel not so bad..

    So, if you're gonna do it in a basement I think you first need to seal up your leaky duct work.

    I believe lots of welding gases actually drop to the floor so that needs to be considered.

    I don't know, I guess my 1st step would be to think in terms of air cycling and exchanging because actual extraction will be very very difficult in a basement without some pretty major engineering. But again, TIG welding a little chromolly once in your life probably isn't that bad.
     
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  7. Dec 26, 2017 #7

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    My first thought was an exhaust fan of some sort, 7-8”, discharged to outside air, just like a bathroom vent. Put a flexible hose like from my dust collector, and hang it near the piece I’m welding to catch smoke/fumes and blow them outside. Easy peasy.

    There are self-contained extractor/filters that I’ve seen, but **** they’re spendy. That inline fan I referenced from HD along with some ductwork seemed easy enough to construct.

    I’m certainly not considering full-fledged room air swaps and such. Just providing a way to get small amounts of occasional welding smoke out of the room.

    But I see what you all are saying. Thanks for your guidance.
     
  8. Dec 26, 2017 #8

    Little Scrapper

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    Just an FYI, in my shop I open the door and weld. It's just an airplane not a 8 hr shift of daily welding so I'm ok with that. I will not weld stainless or galvanized in my shop.
     
  9. Dec 26, 2017 #9

    Little Scrapper

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    The big challenge is I'm always moving around and welding from off spots so I'd go nuts trying to get an extraction to work.

    Honestly, I'd think in terms of "air exchange". Some how you need to pump fresh air in and in another spot you'll want to blow air out. The basement becomes a giant air exchange block. Toxicity from 4130 is pretty minor welding such small sections at a time.

    Stick and MIG, no frickin way I'd do that in a basement. TIG is a serious advantage in this area.
     
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  10. Dec 26, 2017 #10

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    Thankfully, neither of those on my plane :). How do you feel about aluminum?
     
  11. Dec 26, 2017 #11

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    I have the same feelings about O/A. That crap stays in the garage. I’m not blowing up my house because an acetylene leak makes its way to the water heater.
     
  12. Dec 26, 2017 #12

    Winginit

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    I don't think you need to move a lot of air, just create somewhat of an upflow above your welding area and you should get most/ all of it . I'd look on Craigslist for an old oven hood or some kind of cheap metal box or trough (Tractor Supply) to gather the fumes and mount it above your welding area. They sell some furnace vent tube that's maybe 8" diameter . It should be pretty reasonably priced. It's like a very thin plastic sheet made into a tube. If I remember correctly it has some fiberglass inside with maybe some wire for support. Anyway, it's very flexible and easy to route. Run it from the oven hood to the outside and put a cheap squirrel cage blower ($50 used) . You should have plenty of air volume. You might need to make a variable vent outside so you can control airflow. Not sure if you could use a thermostat to vary it or not. Anyway, you need to remember that the torch is flowing gas down over the weld and you will be pulling fumes upward, so you probably just need a small flow of air.
     
  13. Dec 26, 2017 #13

    Kyle Boatright

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    It isn't like Chris is a member of a crew running a half dozen cutting torches in a confined space. He'll be running a little bitty torch intermittently.

    Leave a window open on the other end of the house, and point a box fan out the window of the shop. Done...
     
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  14. Dec 26, 2017 #14

    Little Scrapper

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    Maybe something like this?

    Argon sinks to floor. Fumes rise. Fan from Harbor Freight.

    Center top duct over approximate work area.
    IMG_20171225_200847560_LL~2.jpg

    Screenshot_20171225-200428~2.jpg

    Obviously you need to think of where the fresh air will be pulled from. Crack anther window and you'll pull cold air in, lol. I'd probably just open a door to the upstairs and pull air from all the leaks in the home. :roll:

    Like I said, I weld in my shop and just crack the door open out back. TIG on 4130 is very very clean, especially if you clean your joint.
     
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  15. Dec 26, 2017 #15

    Little Scrapper

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    Aluminum really should have good ventilation, Chris. Weld near a door, haha.
     
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  16. Dec 26, 2017 #16

    Chris In Marshfield

    Chris In Marshfield

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    The room has a really big window :)
     
  17. Dec 26, 2017 #17

    Little Scrapper

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    You could keep it simple and weld tabs to the fan shroud and screw it to a plywood piece that fits a basement window. Bungee cord the handle to a joist to deal with the awkward leverage. Pretty simple really and I bet that would pull any fumes out.
    IMG_20171225_202801679_LL~2.jpg
     
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  18. Jan 1, 2018 #18

    Little Scrapper

    Little Scrapper

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    Not sure where to put this so I'm putting it here, before and after.:gig:

    FB_IMG_1514777269999~2.jpg
     
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  19. Jan 1, 2018 #19

    Geraldc

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    From Miller Site
    "Examples of work practice controls include:
    Body Positioning: keeping his or her head out of the weld plume; changing body position so that the airflow moves from back to front; and making sure any air movement in the work area pushes fume away from the breathing zone.
    Routine vision testing can identify changes to eyesight and whether the need for glasses or magnifying lenses is necessary. In some cases, this can prevent welders from placing their head so close to their work piece, keeping their head further from the plume."

    It is very difficult and expensive to suck fumes away.A small fan blowing on the work area is better.But be aware the most dangerous fumes are the pm10 that travel the furtherest.

    When we had our workshop doors open the fumes from the heavy traffic volume blowing in probably were more harmfull
     

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