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Ventilation requirements for public studio

Hello - We are a new art school, open to the public, in Clemson, SC.
I’m setting up the jewelry studio, and I’m having a hard time with
the ventilation system for the soldering area. How do I determine
what kind of fans we need and how much suction is necessary to
safely clear toxic fumes from the work area? Along with the safety
considerations, I also have to deal with the fact that this is a
public space, and that sooner or later we will get a visit from the
OSHA folks, I want the studio to be in compliance with federal
safety regulations. What (if any) guidelines are there for this



There are several companies that make specialized soldering fume
extraction equipment. Some of them make clever high-velocity little
snouts that take in the contaminated air just locally and duct it to
filters. The advantage of small, local fume collectors and a
filtering system is a reduced energy demand on heating and
airconditioning. This way, you don’t pay to heat/cool the studio then
dump huge volumes of conditioned air. We use equipment from Nederman
in our manufacturing. They are a Swedish company with a USA
distribution arm. You can find them at


I would think that if you are concerned, as you should be, about
complying with OSHA regulations, that you contact OSHA directly and
find out what their requirements are. I can also tell you that I
teach a couple of jewelry courses at a community college and that in
the last 9 years there have been no visits from OSHA or any other
local or state agencies.

Joel Schwalb

Patricia, You are going to need a professional. If you intend to be
compliant you will have no choice in this matter. There are a lot of
formulas involved. Your insurance provider will certainly ask.
Liability, liability.

Did you ever look at that word? Li - ABILITY. or ABILITY to LIE

If you want to learn the language find a copy of Ventilation A
Practical Guide, by Nancy Clark, Thomas Cutter, P.E.; Jean-Ann
McGrane. Center for Occupational Hazards. Google it, there are copies


Bill, Deborah & Michele
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx

Pat - if you want the vents to function and actually pull fumes out
you need squirrel cage blowers because they have enough torque to
get the job done. public studio? you should buy very large squirrel
cage blowers to power the system!!


Ventilation requirements are generally set out by ASHRE. There may
be OSHA requirements and / or local code but usually it is based on
the ASHRE manual. A good point to remember is to replace the air you
are exhausting by something like a duct to the outside hooked into
your HVAC system or even a special heat exchange unit. In your own
studio you could always open a window etc. but in a public place it
needs to be more fail safe than that. You can get an idea of how your
system is doing by having all the windows, doors etc. closed;
running all exhaust and checking at the door with it just barely
cracked open. Ideally there should be just a little flow out
indicating a slight positive pressure. If it is the other way there
are several issues which can come up: the germs, vapors, allergens
etc will stay inside and concentrate; making for high indoor
pollution. (a “sick” building where many sicknesses make the rounds
all winter. etc.) Also there can be a problem with the gas furnace,
water heater etc. not venting to the outside and Carbon Monoxide
poisoning resulting worst case.

Hope this gives you a good start on determining your needs.

Dan Wellman


There is a company by the name of Quatro air systems. They offer a
dust fume hood that would work over the plating and soldering area.
It does not allow any air to be blown outside of the bldg.

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungo

Hi Patricia,

I can’t give you guidelines, but I can suggest fans that you, or
anyone, might use to ventilate your shop. I have used Fantech inline
duct fans in two large shops and they have worked just great. I
currently have two on them in the shop. One pulls the soldering
fumes away from the ten goldsmith benches and the other is connected
to hoods over the kilns and plating area. The inline fans come in
different sizes, depending on how much air needs to be moved. We
installed them above our suspended ceiling, near where they are
vented outside. You can hear them running but they are not terribly
bothersome. We had a local heating and cooling company install them,
along with making the sheet metal hoods over the casting and plating
areas. You need to use professionals so they can calculate the
volume of air the is being removed from the shop and be sure you
have enough fresh air to replace it. I have really been very happy
with them, at my last shop we used one for 15 years without any
trouble. Hope that helps. Usual disclaimers.

Mark in beautiful Wisconsin