taking one frame at a time since 1999

Hi there,

Not a very much used part of the message board it seems here, but seems most appropriate for my question...

I finally have a great space to use as my own stop motion workshop/studio, hooray!
I have done some ball and socket armature making while I was at University and had access over a metal workshop with brazing and welding equipment and all that. I want to set up my new space so I can do silver soldering, perhaps even a little brazing sometimes...

My workshop will be in an attic. There is a window I can open, there are also two holes in a wall where simple vents are fitted now. I will be insulating this wall as it is just a bare brick wall but am thinking to use the holes and build some sort of extraction for fumes of silver soldering, and possibly also a little spraybooth... I've been looking online what diy methods people use for extraction systems and found al sorts of different solutions, some using bathroom fans, computer fans, those big fans you use to cool a room, etc... just not sure what will be the best to use.

Can anyone help me with this? I am looking probably at two extraction set ups, one for silver soldering, and one built in into a spraybooth... Wondering what are affordable options.

Or do you all have small torches and the fumes aren't much of a problem? I used to work with big oxy-acetylene torches, which were used for brazing as well and definitely needed extraction. I've also done a bit of silver soldering just with a fire brick on a pile of boxes inside a studio with not much ventilation... worked out ok but probably not good idea for long term use.

Would appreciate any thoughts, thanks!


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Hey Roos, it's great to see how you keep stepping up your stopmotion setup! 

"I have done some ball and socket armature making while I was at university.. " - SOME ball and socket armature making!?? Come on, those wings you built were amazing!!! 

Here's a really good article about setting up just the kind of ventilation system you would need. After reading it I got one of the Xytronic extractors and it does the job very well, though at first it takes a little getting used to, always having it so close up against your work. You also need to be careful not to accidentally aim the torch directly toward it, but after a little while it all becomes second nature. 

Lol :P It is a whole bird now: 

Thanks! I'm going to have a good read through that article. 

yeah it is pretty exciting, I finally have some space of my own again after moving about across the UK for a bit, and actually an attic space to turn into a workshop, just like in my film 'Moonbird'. :P

I'll get my film Moonbird online some time soon I think! It's been long enough with the festival submitting I think... Or for who happens to be in Bristol, UK, it will be on local TV in May! :)

This is the space, yay! :

So you use the xytronic for silver soldering? Just wondering when I see extractors people use for soldering, as it is different than silver soldering which is essentially more brazing than soldering, whether it will do enough for silver soldering. But I guess it's not that much more fumes.
May have to look into another equivalent UK model or get it shipped over.

If I were to build a spray booth, for spray painting props/other chemical thingies, would I use a similar extractor fan, or need something different for that?

Wow, the bird looks amazing!! 

What's the difference between silver soldering and brazing? I thought they were just different terms for the same thing. 

I think for a spray booth you would want a bigger and more powerful motor to move a bigger volume of air through it. You can buy a motor for an oven hood or a clothes dryer and build a hood around it, or maybe just buy an oven hood with motor included. Might be able to find one secondhand. When I moved into this house there was already a window in the basement with the glass removed and a piece of plywood in its place, screwed into the wooden window frame. There's a round hole cut through the plywood for the dryer hose to run out through. You could do something similar in your attic. Or maybe look up ready-made hobby spray booths and see how they're set up. 

Oh, I guess I should say - I'm not really knowledgeable bout spray booths, and what I said about using a motor from an oven hood  or a clothes dryer is just conjecture on my part. I'm not sure if you might need even a more powerful motor than that?  But at least it would definitely move the air out. 

Here's where we hope somebody who knows what they're talking about shows up! 

Here's a thread about spray booths on Hobby Fanatics:

I haven't read more than the first post yet, but it looks like it should have a lot of good info. 

I guess you could say silver soldering is a type of brazing, with a silver alloy. When I normally did brazing in the metal centre it was with a brass rod. I thought brazing was slightly higher temperatures, but I see silver soldering on wikipedia is under the article about brazing: So I guess, yeah it is brazing, but you can also braze with other materials. 

Meh.. I had a cooker with an extractor fan at some point which I had to leave behind in someones garden when I was moving all my stuff around constantly. Maybe somehow magically it is still there. :P Thought at the time it would not be useful. But yeah, an oven extractor sounds like it could work.. then build that into a box. Yeah, came across quite a few articles and video tutorials. Sometimes with comments of people screaming 'no! You're doing it all wrong, you'll still die of all the fumes!' ;) so I guess I'll do a bit of research. 
Thanks for that thread, bit of discussion is always good to get some different ideas.
Let's hope the spray booth experts turn up soon! ;)

Ok, well that makes sense! Originally I assumed brazing was done with brass, but then when I 'learned' about it (theoretical or 'book' learning can sometimes mess up actual common sense understanding) I came to understand it was done using silver solder, also known I believe as hard soldering. Good to know I was right way back when, when I thought brazing was done with brass!

Seem to be some mixed up terms. So brazing is done with brass, but also with other alloys. Anyway, silver soldering is also called silver brazing and a type of brazing, as far as I understand. :P

This looks like an interesting article about building a spray booth and discusses how to choose a type of fan, but makes it look all rather complicated! With all sorts of requirements and maths involved and warnings that certain fans could cause short circuit if the paint solvents deteriorate the varnish on the fan and what not.

Then other tutorials just seem to get any old fan, put it in a box, maybe with a filter and say it works great. Can't say if they've still been breathing in fumes, getting dirt blown into their work or had a short circuit few weeks later of course...

I'm sure you've seen this probably in many different threads on spraybooths, but some kinds of fans are made so the motor itself isn't in the airflow path. If you use a fan like that then solvents etc won't get to the motor. Not sure, but I *think* some if not all kitchen hood fans and clothes dryer blowers are made this way. At least I have an old dryer blower motor sitting here that's made like that, so I'm guessing it's pretty standard for them. It's also encased in a steel box - that's gotta count for some level of solvent protection too!  

Yeah I did read about that, not sure about the right search term to find out which fans are made like that. Will have a little look into kitchen hood and clothes dryer blower fans. :)
Now I've also learned that a difference between axial fans and centrifugal fans is that the first one is no good if you want to use ducting over a few meters. Now I don't really need it long as I have a hole in the wall. :P oh the world of exhaust fans... there is always something new to learn! ;) Now I'm learning about insulating walls, electric circuits and building exhaust fans, building work benches... and maybe I'll even get on with puppets and animation at some point! :P

These look all quite similar to the Xytronix extractor? So, they seem to be designed to work on its own with the smoke filtered so what is blown out of the back is going back in the room but not as harmful anymore... but I suppose it won't harm to still get some ducting attached to the back somehow like in that article...

Sorry Roos, I really haven't been online much at all lately, and I completely missed that you had responded here! 

As for those extractors,they all look like the right kind to me - as long as they're for soldering and say "fume extractor" then I think it will do the job. The thing I'd want to check on is the CFM or cubic feet per minute of air that it can handle. I would need to look back at Sven's article to see what he said about CFM. None of the ebay listings seem to include that information, so it requires some internet detective work - I typed in Hakkan FA-400 Fume Extractor into Google which led me to these pages:

So far it doesn't say what the CFM is, but there are 2 different kinds of extractors shown in the catalog. One is much more expensive and I'm assuming it's much more powerful as well as allowing you to run it to 2 different stations. It's a LOT more expensive though, and I doubt you need 2 stations.

From using my Xytronic I'm convinced the little desktop models are all you need for the really small brazing jobs like we do for making armatures. Though I do think I would keep plugging away at the detective work until you can find out how much CFM a unit produces and buy one of the stronger ones. 

And if you're going to be using it a lot then, as I said in a PM already, I would vent it outside. For just a few joints now and then I'd trust the filter. 

Next I would try searching using the name of an extractor and "CFM" - except that in Merry Olde England it might be CCM or CMM since you use the metric system - I'm not sure. 

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