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Smoke Eater



arandall
12-08-2009, 12:16 PM
Recently on the forum I noticed a question regarding welding fumes, and how to deal with them.
Some time ago, I built a "smoke eater" to try to deal with the problem. I found an old "electrostatic air cleaner" salvaged from a forced air furnace at a recycle place here in Saskatoon. I had an old "squirrel cage" blower laying around, so I built a box for the whole affair, and fabricated a mount for a pre-filter in front of the electrostatic unit. - Both filters are washable, and they need it frequently.
It actually works quite well. If the shop is quite smoky, you can see a trail of smoke flowing into the filter, and nothing coming out the other end.
A chemist friend of mine nags at me about breathing the ozone from the sparking of the dust particles being trapped by the filter, but I'd rather deal with that, than breathe in the smoke and dust that it's trapping.

Cheers,
Art R.

torqueman
12-08-2009, 06:51 PM
Cool idea. How often do you have to clean all the welding and grinding dust out of it?

KHK
12-08-2009, 07:36 PM
Nice Idea, I have put an exaust fan with a hose to pick up the fumes.

weldingtwopotatoes
12-08-2009, 10:50 PM
Very nice, the name is the best part "smoke eater".

depotdan
12-09-2009, 08:23 AM
Cool, Do you mind If I adapt it to my own design?

HerbD
12-09-2009, 09:48 AM
arandall,

Nice recycle of a cast off item. Many of the homemade exhaust systems have a negative impact on the indoor temperature when they simply blow the (conditioned) air and/or smoke out into the yard outside of the building, especially if they move a larger volume of air.

It will be interesting to see if anyone with more firsthand knowledge chimes in on the ion question. It would seem that since these units are used regularly in home furnaces that the question has been answered though.

Thanks for the pictures too.

HerbD 8-)

arandall
12-09-2009, 10:17 AM
Cool idea. How often do you have to clean all the welding and grinding dust out of it?

It really depends on how much work I'm doing, and the nature of the work.
When wleding, it pops and snaps at the smoke, but doesn't clog very quickly. If I'm grinding two or three foot long welds on fenders etc., it collects on the filters pretty quickly, and you have to clean it about once a month. But that's worst case. If I'm spray painting, the thing really nags at me, popping and snapping, but again, doesn't clog up very quickly. - I prefer that to breathing any more of the nasty stuff than necessary.
During summer, of course, I leave the shop doors open as much as possible for fresh air. However, our winters here are quite long and cold, so I don't like to leave my doors open for any longer than necessary, because of the expense of heating the place. That's why I wanted a recirculating system, to clean the air, rather than exhaust it. - - It's not perfect, and you're still breathing some stuff that's not really recommended, but it's better than a kick in the ass. By the way - I wired it so it comes on with the shop lights, so I don't forget to turn it on, and that way it also helps to even out the heat in the shop.

Cheers,
Art R.

---------- Post added at 11:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:15 AM ----------


Cool, Do you mind If I adapt it to my own design?

Of course I don't mind. If it helps, I'd be pleased.

Cheers,
Art R.

BearNPum
12-29-2009, 10:16 PM
I am going to have to build me one of these. I have a huge mess in my shop now from plasma cutting, I have black dust sitting on everything. I started to clean it up, but ended up walking away.

I have a squirrel cage and an old range hood. Probably go with a HEPA and standard furnace prefilter, as I don't know where to get a cheap electrostatic.

bradler451
01-08-2010, 04:34 PM
i wish the welders at work had this the day i was working up in the ceiling ughh thanks it looks great man!!!!!

Uncle Ed
01-08-2010, 05:06 PM
I love when folk make gems out of junk. That's a great project.

Now to the IONS!

I run a small commercial grade ionizer (http://www.lightningair.com/industrial.html) in my shop quite often for odor control. My research tells me that it's more of an irritant than harmful. Some folks are just more sensitive and can get nose and throat irritations from the ozone. Even on full blast in a 10x15 room I get a nose tickle that shortly goes away. For a ionizer used for continuous odor control much of the ozone is depleted when it contacts something to bind with, adjust it until you can detect just a trace of the ozone and that keep just enough free ozone in the air to work well. An analogy would be pool chlorine. You may need to dose at 20 PPM to control 18 PPM of germs leaving only 2 PPM free to be an irritant.

Now with that said, an electrostatic air filter is a slightly different animal. It uses charged plates to attract airborne crud out of the air stream and onto the plates. An ionizer shouts out large quantities of ozone to seek and destroy odors and mold spores like a fumigator. An Ionizer puts out much more free ozone into the room than a filter will so I wouldn't worry about that part. It's basically an electric high flow air filter with the benefit of some odor control.

In a shop - ALWAYS use a pre-filter on an electrostatic unit. Metal dust can bridge the plates and short out or over work the unit.

arandall
01-08-2010, 06:35 PM
Thanks Grebbler. And yes - a pre-filter is a must.

Art R.

KHK
01-08-2010, 10:11 PM
If I'm spray painting, the thing really nags at me, popping and snapping, but again, doesn't clog up very quickly.


Cheers,
Art R.

Art, be carefull, If you get to many paint fumes can cause an explosion. The electronic air filters use high voltage to operate. They generate sparks (as already you Know) Sparks + fumes = explosion

arandall
01-08-2010, 11:03 PM
Art, be carefull, If you get to many paint fumes can cause an explosion. The electronic air filters use high voltage to operate. They generate sparks (as already you Know) Sparks + fumes = explosion

You're right Keith. I'll be careful. I'm usually only using rattle cans, so not too much volume, but to spray a car would be a different story. Of course you have the same problem with pretty much any gas fired heater. That's why mine is roof mounted, to keep it as far from fumes (possibly gasoline if your cars tank leaked) as possible. Also, the newer high efficiency furnaces have sealed combustion chambers, and use only fresh outside air for combustion.

Cheers,
Art R.

JME
01-09-2010, 02:11 AM
looks great

Gadget
01-09-2010, 06:51 AM
looks great

Hi JME and welcome to the forum. When you get time please post an intro in the introduction forum so we can get to know a bit about you. Feel free also to post pictures of your projects if you can, we like pictures.
Again welcome,
Dan

robert
01-11-2010, 05:47 AM
We have several of those at work and its mandatory that we use them if were near one they work good but i've seen several catch on fire.

KHK
01-26-2010, 03:03 PM
I have an exhaust fan set up above the work bench. I have not made a funnel for the end of the hose or a magnetic base to hold it in place. Things for the future.

robert
01-27-2010, 06:07 AM
Looks good Keith i've been wanting to do something like that.

torqueman
01-27-2010, 03:59 PM
That does look good. I have to do something as this blade grinding creates a lot of dust.

arandall
01-27-2010, 04:52 PM
Keith:
Looks good to me too.

Cheers,
Art R.