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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this is the right place for this question ... I now have two laser machines, and my early experiments with the first one quickly proved how sensitive my smoke detectors are :ROFLMAO: All 14 of them going off simultaneously.

Now I have a new 20 watt diode laser, and the company, X-Tool sells a filter unit for $700.00 Their replacement filters are $169.00 per set. They are quite proud of this unit!

A quick search on Amazon shows me that there are several dozen air filters that all make claims about their ability to capture impurities ... HEPPA filters ... Dual / Triple and QUAD stage filters, etc. Most are AC powered, but some are battery powered.

Then they talk about replacement filters, and the red flags go up! I am reminded of the "FREE" Gillette razor, that requires very expensive disposable blades, or the "FREE" ink jet printer that requires a second mortgage to feed it with ink cartridges.

Can you suggest a filter that I can purchase and use, to run this laser in my home, or in a public space (an INDOOR craft show, for example) that offers a filtering system that I can CLEAN and REUSE, rather than simply purchasing replacement filters? I don't mind a high initial cost, if the long term savings can be realized. Also, this thing cannot be the size of a washing machine! I have to be able to tote it around to places, for on-the-fly laser work at craft shows, flea markets, etc.

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions.

Joe


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Depending on what you are etching on the laser, some materials can put off pretty noxious fumes. I vent my CO2 laser directly outside through an open window. There are air purifiers built for laser systems, typically for CO2 laser since they in enclosed cabinet. I would look into one of those. Here is a link for air purifiers meant for laser systems.

 

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my son in seattle set up a couple of merv 12 filters on a box fan for wildfire smoke in the house. a triangular piece of plywood top and bottom, box fan duct taped on one side, two merv 12 filters taped on the other sides. i'd try it before spending the big bucks on a commercial smoke extractor

fyi all of your smoke alarms go off when one is activated, cuz they're interconnected

amazon merv 12 filter

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
fyi all of your smoke alarms go off when one is activated, cuz they're interconnected
These are not connected. They are all battery operated and independent. I used a fan to blow the smoke away from my immediate work area IN THE HOUSE, and apparently the HVAC system picked it up and sent it to every room in the house, and that set off ALL of the alarms. The noise was mind numbing. My closest neighbor is 300 feet away, and she heard them go off. Thankfully, she called me FIRST, and I was able to head off a visit by the fire department.

Joe

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is a link for air purifiers meant for laser systems.

Thank you. Those units still use replacement filters, which is an ongoing expense. Doesn't anyone make a filter that you can just remove the various elements, clean them, and REUSE them?

Joe

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These are not connected. They are all battery operated and independent

This is not always the case. Some systems have to be hardwired into the house system.

So they are connected.

All homes in Qld, Australia have to be this way now and some other states are also bringing in this rule...


Why are my smoke detectors hard wired?

Hardwired smoke alarms can be interconnected. So if one detector fails, all the other alarms are triggered. In case of fire, the interconnection can save precious moments as the detector sounds the alarm simultaneously with all other alarms connected into it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I bought mine off-the-shelf at Lowe's, in two cases plus two detectors. They are battery operated. They do not communicate with each other. I mounted them to the ceiling of every room including the bathrooms, the laundry room, and in the garage. I replace the batteries every year.

The alarm in the FrankenBarn has three wired detectors that do work together, but it ALSO has a full set of battery operated, independent sensors. The house alarm has three detectors that are hard wired to the alarm panel, They are independent of the off-the-shelf units, but those three do work together.

I know I have a lot of smoke detectors, but as a child I have awakened to several fires set to the wooden interior stairways to the back doors of the apartments in the building we lived in, in Chicago. The rear doors were accessed by wooden stairways that circled up through brick shafts about 12x12 feet. There are two doors at each landing. We lived in a Jewish neighborhood, and the Nazi party would come in at night and set fire to the stairways. We would smell the smoke and run down with pitchers of water to put out the flames. The building had 63 apartments. Although the front doors to the main lobby were locked, the rear entrances were just heavy wooden swinging doors. So I don't want to experience THAT again. Smoke detectors did not exist back in the 60s.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
X-Tool sells a three stage Cotton/HEPA/Charcoal air filter for their laser machine for $800.00. I carefully watched their video with the cute Japanese girl selling the product. Then I went to Amazon, and found the exact same filter under a different name for $439.00
:lol:


I ordered the filter, and one additional set of the filter elements. I figure that by the time I exhaust two full sets, I will either move up to a bigger laser, or die. Either way, two sets will probably cover me for a year or two.

I would like it to be self-contained, via deep cycle batteries and a power inverter, but that may be asking too much. A 20 Watt laser, a laptop, and an air filter that kicks on only while cutting, LED work lights? A radio for tunes .... What say you?

When the machine arrives, I am going to design an enclosure for it that is portable. Wood? Or metal?
:roll:


Lots of work ahead!

Joe
 

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Wow, Joe. That sounds like a frightening experience.....
 

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Can you suggest a filter that I can purchase and use, to run this laser in my home, or in a public space (an INDOOR craft show, for example) that offers a filtering system that I can CLEAN and REUSE,
Hakko offers a fume/smoke extraction system that performs very well in my lazing activities. It also works for soldering applications. However, it's just as expensive. My research into this very matter a few years back indicated that a solution effective at extracting the smoke and fumes as well as meeting health standards isn't cheap. I either tried or observed some of the make shift solutions and they'll all failed in one aspect or another.

Here is the link to Hakko's site. What sold me was actually experiencing some of the homemade solutions and then filter systems like Hakkos or X-Tools. It's unfortunate but some of these hobbyist endeavours end up requiring expensive add-ons just to make them safe and usable.

Good luck... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ordered a three stage HEPA filter from amazon. Dang! It arrived today! It is a bit smaller than I had imagined, but I think it will work well when I build the enclosure for the laser.

I learned my first lesson today. Do not cut Luxury Vinyl Floor tile without ventilation. The air filter machine arrived this afternoon, AFTER I did the first experiment... INDOORS. Now my house smells like teenagers have been doing burnouts in my living room!
:lol:


I am going to place a new can of FeBreeze in the center of the HVAC intake, and just shoot a hole through it with a B.B. gun!
:lol:


Joe
 

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I would start with a vent leading to the outside. You could even get a bathroom fan in a pipe to drive the fumes outside. You can find a shutoff to keep outside air out, open to let the fumes out. You'd have to use some flex hose near the cutting parts to catch as much as possible. The heftier the exhaust fan, the more likely it would do the job. Outside, you might want to have the exhaust pipe nice and tall. Hope your neighbors aren't too close by.
 

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Rick
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My laser is vented outside , although it’s an 80watt co2 . I couldn’t imagine trying to filter the air
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
This filter is SUPPOSED to be able to capture 99.97% of the bad stuff that comes off of materials cut using lasers. The intent is to bring the laser and filter into a craft show (indoors?) and cut crafts on the fly, using the laser, but trapping the noxious exhaust from the cabinet. I am going to TRY it here in the house, or in the shop, to see if the filter works as advertised. If I am going to run the laser indoors at craft fairs etc., I need to capture the bad stuff in the air. This MAY require a more expensive filter unit.

Joe

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I was cutting plexi glass , and I really doubt there’s anything that could filter the off gassing , plus I believe I read it’s carbon dioxide being produced while cutting or engraving plexi

I could see a filter working fairly well with wood though no doubt
 
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