DIY temporary filter ideas

You mean hydrogen chloride gas and other PVC-cutting by-products? Chlorine itself is pretty harmless unless you are exposed to an acute dose - and you will smell it long before it reaches that level :slight_smile:

I am more concerned about some of the by-products of wood and leather cutting, since you often can’t smell them and some are genuinely hazardous.

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The toxicity of using PVC in a laser cutter is only one aspect. The HCl gas that’s generated can combine with the H2O vapor by-product of combustion, and form a corrosive acid mist/vapor inside your lovely laser cutter.

You really don’t want to do that. :slight_smile:


What I meant was anything with “CL” as a primary element. You can call it Chlorine, Chloride, or infer it as part of Hydrogen Chloride. Any way you choose, I plan to avoid “CL” in all forms.

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i’ll point out for everyone else; avoid all halogenated materials unless you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it’s okay. no chloro-, fluoro-, bromo-, etc.


Indeed, I would certainly agree with that. Health effects aside, it’s not good for your laser!

In the context of filters, I’m generally more concerned about things like chromium from leather which don’t always have an obvious odour and which do have dangerous side effects (i.e. cancer)

I’m still unsure what I will do with my setup - probably vent to an outdoor filter similar to what you have proposed (although I’m more inclined to simply buy one than build). Ideally if I have negative pressure inside the vent until it’s outside that should prevent contamination of my living spaces, and filtering it outside will reduce contamination of the garden, neighbouring properties etc.


Well I’ve only done a bit of Googling on Chromium after reading your post, so I’ll preface this by saying I’m pulling this together on what little I’ve read, but…

Some articles I read indicated dilution reduction, which would basically be flushing the immediate area with lots of air. Not really filtration. OSHA compliance basically says Hexavalent Chromium should immediately be vented outside and not even captured.

Glowforge has mentioned that they have a few things “in the hopper” regarding keeping the fans running after jobs, letting people control settings, etc etc. I’d especially avoid Chromium items until Glowforge has an option to extend the fan runtime until long after the jobs are done.

personally i’m hoping for something like an “add 00:00:30 to fan time” or the equivalent, just so you can really fully exhaust / pull away some of the odor


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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I was just thinking about this and wondering whether you can do zero-power really slow engraves – add one of those to the end of each job.


Interesting concept. The UI will not go forward unless there is at least 1% power specified, but when we get the low power settings back that might be a really low number.


Ok, since I got such great technical information on my filter question here is a different idea. I do not have windows in the downstairs of my towne house that open, except for the small window over the sink that is already venting an air-conditioner, but I have a fireplace. Any ideas on how I use the fire place to vent or if I shouldn’t for some reason? And there is no place to put it upstairs.

theoretically this is fine if you run a chimney up through the fireplace - and of course, don’t use the fireplace. but you’ll want to get a professional in to install it. it might be against code, but it might also be okay if you specifically aren’t using the fireplace (because you’ve converted it into your laser vent stack).

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Yeah, most of what @jrnelson said – we don’t know what your intentions are regarding collaboratively using the fireplace and the Glowforge together. You’d want to have the exhaust above the damper for sure, though.

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yeah, the big issue is that you need to vent it all the way up and out of the chimney, and properly cap it. for a run like that, you’ll probably need to install a booster, but i can’t say for sure.

@nunzioc is the one who looked into this. Not sure how it is working out.

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We wouldn’t use it as a fire place. And it will only be until the filter arrives.

then it’s something you can’t really do. the only way to safely do it is to install a chimney inside of your fireplace that reaches to the roof, and probably boost it. otherwise it would just sink back down inside and fill your room.

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No fires just art

If they used something like 2" thick pink foam insulation board, removed the damper and made the foam a tight fit and then taped all seams with foil duct tape it would likely work (as a non-permanent option while waiting on the filter).

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if you say so. i’m going to bow out here. i think it’s a bad idea and more to the point, unsafe. but it is your laser and your chimney.

quick edit: i think it’s a doubly bad idea if your townhome is connected to other houses. it’s a potential fire risk.