There has been some back and forth on fume extractors. I am working
with the OKI and have found it excellent for my needs in a larger 400
sq ft studio where building ducting to a fresh air outlet is
impossible or so expensive that it is not worth the expense. A friend
of mine is an engineer who is very knowledgable regarding fume
extraction and metals. He has also soldered jewelry and also welded
titanium. I’m planning to sell these units, I believe in them.
However before I do, we are performing additional testing on the
pre-filters, as this is a triple filtration system for electronic
soldering which we are adapting for gas soldering… My engineer
contact will be talking to the engineers at OKI, but basically it is
a pre filter, which sits on top of a hepa filter connected to a
If you want a unit which will draw fumes away from your face in
simple soldering operations, I stand by this unit. At 20 lbs, it is
light and mobile. What we are building is the metal flexible hose
unit that will take higher heat. Mine was modified with some duct
tape and an off the shelf plenum from Home Depot. I only turn it on
when I need to, and the unit comes with a remote control.
However…I am researching this until I am ABSOLUTELY satisfied that
it is safe for our needs.
I sent him the specs on the OKI unit and this was his response.
“Basically, fume removal does not depend on the source of the fume -
it only depends on the size of the particulate. Lead solder flux
fumes are partly organic and very sticky so they are easy to remove
with most any kind of filter. Brazing fume is basically dry and needs
a finer filter. The unit you are planning to use has a HEPA filter
with 0.3 micron capture efficiency. That is good and will most likely
remove the greater part of the particulate matter - it will not
remove any of the exhaust gases. Neither will any other fume removal
system that does not have a scrubber. From what I remember, the
fluxing elements that you typically use are either acids or borax,
neither one of which is particularly harmful to humans - irritating
but not harmful. The issue with fume removal is to get the
particulate away from the face to lessen the amount that you breath.
Your proposed unit will do this. If soldering operations were a real
hazard, OSHA would have put stringent rules in effect by now - and
they have not.”