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  • Fume Extractor

    Would it be feasible to use a shop vacuum that was housed outside the shop to extract fumes instead of purchasing an expensive commercially made fume extractor? The extractors seem way overpriced for what they are. Is it me or are they just a vacuum with a special filter?
    Thanks,
    Nick

  • #2
    Originally posted by KIWI
    Would it be feasible to use a shop vacuum that was housed outside the shop to extract fumes instead of purchasing an expensive commercially made fume extractor? The extractors seem way overpriced for what they are. Is it me or are they just a vacuum with a special filter?
    Thanks,
    Nick

    They might seem like a vacum with a special filter but I think they are designed to carry more air through a larger hose.

    Might be better off with one of the smaller " dust collectors ".
    I actually use a " dust collector " for the job .... used to use a shop vac, now that I have one of these the shop vac is used mainly for liquid cleanups. Sorta like a huge shop vac for pull saw dust away from woodworking tools. They are designed to run continous, more so than a shop vac. Bigger motor = more power to pull fumes through longer plumbing ( hoses ).

    Something like this unit - Delta AP400

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...400&lpage=none

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Some of the units I saw at the EXPO had small hoses and little suction. I thought that if the unit were outside it would eliminate the need for filters due to the fumes being vented directly out of the shop.
      Nick

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      • #4
        Harbor Freight sells a unit similar to the Delta listed above that gets good reviews. I'd be worried about the cloth bags with sparks, but you could pick up some 4" flex tubing and vent the fumes outside. My woodworking dust collector moves a lot more air than the Delta and is vented outside with no ill effects. Of course that may vary depending on your shop and heating method.

        I've been toying with the idea of converting from a fiber drum under my collector to a metal drum, and throughouly cleaning it out after any woodworking so I can use it to vent fumes and grinding dust when doing metalworking.

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        • #5
          Matt,
          The dust collector would suck the fumes into it , but unless it were mounted outside the shop wouldn't the fumes just be recirculated back into the shop?
          Nick

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          • #6
            Nick,
            FWIW, I would not use an ambient dust type filter or a wood shop style dust collection system for weld fume removal/extraction. They (their filters mainly) are not designed for metal fumes/particles and I think any manufacturer would most likely warn you against using their product in that manner.

            Fume extractors, like the one in the attached pic, are mainly for point of use removal and are usually situated in areas where welding is not the only process going on. The Lincoln in the picture is at one of my clients shops and works very well when you are welding production style for long periods (all those parts on the table). However, it is quite noisy and I don't like to use it if I don't have to.

            In my shop, I wear a 3M particulate respirator and I also have an exhaust fan in the wall. That works well for my needs. The shop vac idea might indeed work but it would depend on the size of the unit and how close to the point of suction you were welding. Maybe a more detailed description of what you want to accomplish would give me a better idea of how to steer you.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by KIWI View Post
              Matt,
              The dust collector would suck the fumes into it , but unless it were mounted outside the shop wouldn't the fumes just be recirculated back into the shop?
              Nick

              This is why most " dust collectors " are mounted outside the shop. You could install a second collection tank inline with diverter to collect anything too heavy for the impeller. Again this is not meant for use as a 'filter' but a means to extract fumes from the work area.

              We have tested one with two auxillary collection tanks while burning up a pound of flux core on scrap rusty steel and it makes a difference as we saw on our face mask filters. Very little material was collected in the aux tanks and all of the smoke and fumes were pulled outside.

              The higher priced " filters " are nothing more than vacums with filter elements designed to remove offensive fumes and matter then recirculate the shop air. If you suck it all outside the shop, where's the harm.

              As to the original question ... Yes the " fume extractors are vacums with expensive filtration ... a Dust Collector would be better than a Shop-Vac. If you have to keep it all indoors the more expensive " fume extractor filter system " would be the way to go.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KIWI View Post
                Matt,
                The dust collector would suck the fumes into it , but unless it were mounted outside the shop wouldn't the fumes just be recirculated back into the shop?
                Nick
                I agree--that's why i would vent it outside. My system is already vented outside. I have a cyclone system which drops the larger particles into a drum (a fiber drum now). Most hobbiest woodworkers have the dust collector in thier shop because of space, and to avoid pulling heat out of the shop (and possibly causing a backdraft in furnace and hot water heater flues.)

                I also have a home-built spray booth which has a large fan mounted in the back wall. I've found that running that fan clears any welding fumes from my shop in no time flat.

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                • #9
                  Good Unburnable Dust and Fume Collecter

                  Don't forget the extractor that is used for high temps. A cook stove air extractor. They are available in all types and styles. You don't have to mount it in the room to make people laugh.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by leeschaumberg View Post
                    Don't forget the extractor that is used for high temps. A cook stove air extractor. They are available in all types and styles. You don't have to mount it in the room to make people laugh.
                    Actually this ain't a bad idea .... but think on a larger scale.

                    Restaurant going out of business??? Get there exhaust hood, mount it above the welding table and build duct work to exhaust it out.

                    This of course would work for those fortunate enough to have a large shop with a dedicated welding table area. You could paint it Miller Blue ... and who would know?

                    I only thought of this because from time to time I get stuck with restauarant equipment and have to sell it off.

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                    • #11
                      I have 2 smoke removers that uses an electrical charge to remove the smoke,one is made by Smokeeter the other is maded by Smokemaster.Takes smoke in, puts clean air out. Portable to move around shop.

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                      • #12
                        Hey guys,
                        I appreciate all of the information. I saw one of these Lincoln fume extractors the welding expo. They seemed easy to set up and easy to move. The problem was that they were very expensive. Upon closer inspection they just seemed like a shop vac. The way Lincoln used them was by placing them close to the workpiece at each welding station. So I thought that I could do the same thing with a shop vac sitting outside my shop. My goal is to limit my exposure to airborne toxins which will not be accomplished by a particulate mask. I provided a photo so you could see one of the extractors.
                        Thanks,
                        Nick
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          I was thinking about this topic as well.

                          What is the net effect on shielding gas? Any ideas?

                          Chris
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                          • #14
                            Have had to move fan to get rid of fumes and not the sheilding gas. Main thing is not to have head in the fumes and use any method that works to achieve same. There are some things you just do not want to breathe...ever.

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                            • #15
                              Hey Kiwi what did you end up with?

                              Ji
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