Soldering without an open window?

I am going to have to move my workshop into a small room without a
window. Does anyone know how I might be able to still solder without
an open window?



I’ve never had an open window for soldering gold or silver. Not even
in goldsmith school with about 6 people soldering most of the time.


Not ideal, but… stove/oven/range hood, flexible dryer vent hose…
and a window or exterior wall near by to allow one to vent through.
You will be limited by the length of the “run” you can do, but in a
pinch… What kind of work do you do?


Leave the door open and run a fan.


Two easy solutions if you are willing to put a hole in the wall.
Dryer Vent kit is made w/ metal hose. Use it. Three methods below.

  1. Set it up with a small (9" box fan) facing away from where you
    are soldering. Have the fumes feed into the box fan right behind
    your soldering station, then go through the vent hose into a hole in
    an outside wall.

  2. Set up dryer vent hose directly behind soldering station. Have it
    feed through a small inline fan, then out through hole in the wall.

  3. Stuller or others sell a Quattro system that has strong “suck”.
    More expensive, but is used in mall kiosks. Available for 1, 2, or
    more stations.

Happy Ventilation!
Ruthie Cohen
Mountain Metalsmiths School of Jewelry & Lapidary


The room is right next to the bathroom so I could vent into that.
I’m a beginner so I’m making rings, bezels, pendants, bracelets,
etc… This isn’t my day job but I try to work on soldering,
polishing, etc. about 16 hrs./week.

Christi-sorry no one has given you an answer. Hard soldering with any
proper flux for the job produces bad fumes- breathed enough to know-
so some venting arrangement is a must. I use -when I think of it - a
kitchen exhaust fan. Or usually in the summertime in S. Texas just a
box fan to move the bad stuff away from my face. I dont really do a
good job of protecting myself but YOU should. Do something to insure
your health- dont take chances.

-If you are a bit free-thinking and creative (who isnt on this list
though!) you can devise a good backup desktop vent… Make magazine
or Make’s website has a great tutorial for a little fan for doing
rosin-core soldering that helps remove the fumes- just adapt it!

-Saw a gent in Estonia with the same idea- he had a piece of 3" dryer
vent hose with a wad of aquarium filter (Carbon fiber) in the end-
the other end was connected to a vacum cleaner on his balcony! the
noise was outside, as the fumes vented there- and the filter was on a
large enough hose he didnt have fierce suction stealing his lemel!
The carbon filter was there to catch any that did get pulled.

-Be safe and never stop creating!

This link is to something that Stained Glass people use called a
Soldering Fume Extractor.

I know it’s for different type of soldering that you need, but it
may work, it may not, but check it out, it’s small and not too

Hope it helps…Valerie

Good thinking Christi,

This is an important thread.

I devised a simple system by ordering a small air purifier from for under 50 bucks and connected a piece of flexible
drier vent hose to the intake grill with gorilla tape while making
sure to seal off the entire area. I can now place the end of the hose
any place to adequately ensure safety. It is very quiet, has a Hepa
filter with a good carbon section and an ozone free ionizer for a
nice fresh scent. It works well for me and I just change the filter
every three months or so, to make sure the harmful fumes are not
lingering in the air for my dogs to breathe. Good Health to all.


I have a squirrel cage fan from Granger Industrial Supply that I use
when soldering (and annealing and fusing). My bench is in the middle
of my studio, so the fan is connected to a hose that goes straight
up to the ceiling and across to a dryer vent cut into the outside
wall up under the eave to be less noticeable.

I installed it way back when I was pregnant but, because of the
noise, I didn’t use it much after my son was born. I developed asthma
about 7 years ago, and now I turn it on every time I use the torch.
(I have a collection box for the flex shaft.)

Be safe! Victoria

Victoria Lansford

I’d be very interested in plans for that vent. could not locate it on
the Make website. Can you provide a more direct link?

Thanks in advance.

Thanks to all for your input. It got my attention. I was not taking
this serious enough before all the responses. I used to have a larger
shop with good air circulation and some ventilation. But, now I’ve
recently started working in a 12 X 12 room in our home. I use both
oxy/propane and acetylene/air. I will now take one of the solutions
like the one Jill posted here.

Thank you so much for starting the thread and for posting all the


You might also google, or whatever, Instructables… again, a lot of
"seat of your pants, use locally or what you have on hand approach."
They have even features small forge construction.

Good luck.

Although I have many windows, fans, door, etc. I have the Quatro
system - which is self contained - expels clean air - love it - but
without windows I recommend you at least leave a door open and do
not heat your pickle.

I also would recommend you get a mask with cartridges specifically
for soldering/brazing/welding fumes, make sure your solders are
cadmium free and your fluxes do not contain flourides.

I have had asthma since WAY before I became a metalsmith - and even
with my set up, and preventative medication - and following the
above advice - foranything more than a quick tack solder, I still
use the mask - it makes a huge difference.

If you want more info please go to the link below for more info
about lung damage & consequences


I’ve seen a benchtop smoke absorber on Contenti. Could this be a

The blurb says: “Make your bench top a smoke-free zone. The Smoke
Absorber removes flux fumes generated during soldering, by drawing
smoke through an activated carbon filter. The exceptionally quiet
fan can process up to 1.37 cu. meters of air per minute…”

I’ve been thinking about getting one and would be interested in
hearing if anyone has used it.

R. Barr

I have one of the carbon filter benchtop smoke removers under
discussion. Mine is a ‘Fume Trap’ by Inland, bought at a
stained-glass supplier for about $80.

It certainly appears to have good suction, and all visible ‘smoke’
is being moved thru the carbon filter when I solder with paste solder
or liquid flux, but I can still smell fumes in the air.

Overall, I’d say it is much better than nothing, but not as good as
a hole-in-the-wall ventilation system. I have been using a shop vac
for this. Too noisy. I’m planning to set up the Fume Trap set up to
extract thru the wall.

If you can’t have a hole in the wall, you might be best to use a
fume- rated mask in addition to the Fume Trap.

Susan Ellenton

I have one of the carbon filter benchtop smoke removers under
discussion. Mine is a 'Fume Trap' by Inland, bought at a
stained-glass supplier for about $80. 

And if you were using tin/lead or other low melting temperature
solders and the associated fluxes it would be ok not perfect but ok.
It will capture a lot of the fumes from the low temperature fluxes.
This is what it was designed for, not brazing which is what we do
with silver and gold solders even though it is called soldering by
most of us.

It certainly appears to have good suction, and all visible 'smoke'
is being moved thru the carbon filter when I solder with paste
solder or liquid flux, but I can still smell fumes in the air. 

It is just not enough filter to handle brazing fumes. A small table
top type unit that is suitable for brazing or welding is available
but costs in the thousand dollar range.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts