Strong smell while burning, still

Hi All,
I know there are many posts about this topic, but we are at our wits end with this venting issue. We have tried everything we can think of and there is still such a strong smell that it burns my eyes and throat. We tried the inline fan, tons of different weatherstripping, different types of hoses, moving the machine closer to the window, tons of HVAC tape, you name it. We are both so frustrated because the machine really can’t be used like this. Even a less than 2 minute cut starts smelling up the room. The GF fan seems to be working fine. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Here is our current setup.
Thanks so much!

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I don’t see the inline fan in this photo, where is it hiding?

We had to remove it because it wasn’t helping and it was leaking around it as well. It actually made things worse.

  1. put the fan back in but make sure it’s at the end of the run, ie closest to the window.
  2. I found HVAC tape to be leaky around curves and switched to packing tape burnished down very well. SEAL EVERYTHING INCLUDING ALL PARTS OF THE FAN. If there’s a hint of a seam, seal it up. Many people have reported using caulk instead of tape.
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Ah, great! Thanks so much for the advice. Much appreciated.

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I got this hose 4 inch diameter x 10 foot long Ultra Flex Clear Vue Heavy Duty PVC Dust Debris and Fume Collection Hose MADE IN USA! - - AmazonSmile and have not had any problems. I vent through my garage door through a hole I cut, and can even open the door without removing the hose.

I will definitely give that a try as well. Thanks so much for the link!

That looks like a sliding window, so you have to seal both the open part where the hose goes out, and between the sliding and fixed portions. That’s not easy to do well. One solution is to replace the sliding panel with a fixed panel that has an opening for the vent.
Doesn’t look like there is much air circulation outside, with the roof and wall or whatever right there. Any breeze might be pushing air back into the room. Use a good quality vent cover with proper backflow preventer.
Read up on other venting solutions in the forum to get a better idea of what setups are possible, and the amount of detail and effort required to seal things properly. Good luck!


Also looks like it is a below ground window. I could see the smoke sitting in the confined space adding to the problem.

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It is actually open. It is an egress window with a shallow window well. We also tried putting the hose above the well. It didn’t make any difference. It seems like it might be the hose so I ordered the hose that someone else suggested to see if that makes any difference.

We also sealed that side of the window where it slides open with a silicone flange type weatherstripping. There is no smell around that area. It is all right where the hose meets the wooden board in the window even though it is taped and weather sealed to the hilt.

I’m not sure what kind of tape HVAC tape is, but if it doesn’t contain aluminum it might not be air tight. (If it does, ignore this.)

To seal it air tight, the only thing I found that works is silicon caulk or aluminum tape. Aluminum tape is expensive, but it seals completely air tight. (And most inline fan connections and ports are not air tight.)

You can attach a port through the hole in the board and then fasten the end of the hose to the port, and seal the hose with the wire clamp around the port first. I can’t see if you have it clamped to anything, but the clamp is important - it seals out most of the air.

I prefer a worm clamp to the wire one that comes with the Glowforge, mainly because we have to use a tape to completely seal it off sometimes. Just be careful tightening it down at the Glowforge end, you don’t want to crack the case flange with too much pressure.

This is a picture of my setup …I have a caulked port with a quick connect setup going through the sheet of acrylic that we use instead of a pane of glass in the window (you could do this with your board and then take it out when not needed):

Venting Setup Pic

They have a lot of very good venting options (ports, quick-connects and clamps) at any Rockler’s or online. (The quick connect is not necessary, but I switch it back and forth with the filter.)

Just get that outside port well sealed though, and you likely will cut way down the smoke coming in.
And try aluminum tape to seal around the flange on the Glowforge…you need to be able to remove the hose occasionally at that end to check the fan.


Thanks so much for the advice. We actually had a port and that type of clamp on there but it was still leaking.

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Thanks so much for all the input. We went with the pvc hose, silicone caulk and the extender for the back of the machine that had been suggested. It saved the day! Finally, after who knows how much money and multiple different set ups, it’s finally working. I was so excited to actually use the machine for something other than testing the smell yesterday!

Thanks again for all of your help. You guys are the best!
Here’s the latest setup


Excellent! Glad you found a solution.

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Thanks again!

Thanks again! That PVC hose was the clincher to fixing our problem I think.

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