I built this week's project out of necessity. Since I have been using the soldering iron more lately, I needed a way to get rid of the fumes from the solder, which are not healthy to ingest. Although a well ventilated room is always a good solution, having a fan that can extract the fumes is even better. I was inspired by many similar projects on the Instructables website, and thus gathered the following materials:
- A used fan from the inside of an old computer (12V);
- A used 12V DC power adapter, found in our tech room;
- A small toggle switch from Radio Shack;
- A spare piece of carbon filter from a portable air purifier;
- Cardboard, glue gun and tape.
After cutting off the plug from the 12V DC adapter, I connected its two wires to the two wires on the fan using electrical tape, temporarily. When ready, I plugged the adapter into the wall to see if it powered the fan. I had to switch wires around until it worked (In this type of project, there's no harm in mis-wiring because the fan will either turn in the opposite direction, or in my case, just not work).
Connecting the Switch
Once I got the fan to work, I took off the temporary electrical tape. I then re-connected the ground wires together with solder to make it more permanent. For the positive (red) wires, I took the toggle switch and put it in between, soldering one wire to each leg of the switch. This way, I can use the toggle switch to turn on and off the fan as needed, while leaving it plugged into the wall.
Adding the Filter
Once I got the switch to work, I then added the carbon filter. I cut a piece just big enough the cover the intake area of the fan, and used a glue gun to seal it on. It's important to remember that you want the fan to pull air IN from where the filter side is, so you should feel the draft of the fan on the back side.
Once all the main components were assembled, I cut out some cardboard to make a simple stand and a place to put the switch so that it wasn't just laying on the ground. I may follow up with a version 2.0, using wood or some other permanent material, but this works just fine for now.