Smoke in the shop

I just looked up from my work to see that my shop was filled with smoke. That is not unusual but I have been noticing a bit of smoke coming from the GF lately, even though I just gave it a good cleaning. Then it dawned on me, the back side of the vent fan has a grill where it connects to the hose and I have been cutting a lot of MDF. Low and behold, the grill only had about 20% flow because of all the… stuff… clogging it up. It might be a good idea to add vent cleaning to your regular cleaning schedule. I know I will.
Just had to share my fix to my problem. Back to work.


Yeah, someone else made the same discovery a while back. I plan to try vacuuming mine out regularly.

Good recommendation! :slightly_smiling_face:


Lots of makerspaces and other laser folk won’t allow MDF because it’s so dirty (it also makes a mess when cutting with other tools but at least you can see it to vacuum it up).


No smoke, but after reading discussions about cleaning that back vent, I decided I’d like to see what it’s condition was after about 6 months of use. I don’t consider myself a power user and lately have been working more with Lasertile than with wood, but I wanted a benchmark for future cleaning routines. My son-in-law helped me and I got it vacuumed out. It was not bad at all considering how much time had passed. I think I probably spend more time on designing that on actual laser time. Depending of course of what materials I use, I don’t think I’ll need to concern myself much about vent cleaning until another 6 months passes…or even a bit longer.

What is the best way to clean it? I have only had my machine for a couple weeks and it’s already 80% clogged.

I don’t know if there is a best way defined yet, but Jules did a comprehensive write up on her way: Caution: Dirty Pictures....or...How I Cleaned the Exhaust Fan 🤔

I’ve seen posts by others who just take off the exhaust hose and poke around the rear vent with pipe cleaners.

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