Recognize the Black & Decker unit up top? Yeah, that’s part of a leaf blower.
[Paul] does a lot of soldering. He had one of those cheap desktop fume extractors but it just wasn’t doing the trick. So after being inspired by the countless DIY fume hoods, like this one, he decided to try his hand at it. A sale on an electric leaf blower inspired a Saturday afternoon of hacking.
The leaf blower is one of those models that can also suck up leaves, so no modification was necessary. He still cracked it open though and upon taking it apart he discovered the motor is in fact a Universal Motor, that can run off of AC or DC! Not wanting to suck up his entire setup, he began to play with a variable power supply to determine the best voltage to run it at — 30V was the sweet spot. Quiet, but still powerful. A few simple modifications to the case and wiring, and it was good to go.
Next up was the enclosure, and like most fume hoods, he started with a large plastic bin. He also happened to have some nice aluminum profiles on the scrap heap that he used to finish the cut edges of the bin, and to support the leaf blower with. It’s done for now, but he also plans on cleaning up the wiring a bit more permanently and adding a proper carbon filter. You can still tell it’s a plastic bin, but we have to admit, it looks pretty nice!