Welding - Phase1

Proposal Type:
around £110 - Small

Garlicbread / Richard - Team ShinyMetal

A simple exterior extraction for the welding / grinding area.
more details here - Welding area – roadblocks and solutions | summer 2022 - #16 by garlicbread

The idea is to put it basic extraction to vent trace gasses such as Argon or paint fumes of someone has been painting in there directly to the outside.
This won’t be the only extraction we need but can be used as an initial first step (other steps in the link above)

What do you want to buy and why?

Initial benifits will be for venting paint fumes from that area.
but we can also use it as a part of the welding setup as well

Proposed Purchase:
Details above

Proposed Installation:
Me and my father will come in on a few monday evenings to fit it

Will there be an ongoing consumables cost?

Funding type:
Fully funded by Hackspace

Health & Safety
By using flexible pipe I hope to avoid any issues surrounding pipes dropping down in visual arts.
Although we can use one of the rigid pieces for the last part of the run the same way it’s been done for the laser cutters

Small Proposal < £150 - 2 Board Members and 5 Members

Supporting Board Members:
x Josephxtian

Supporting Members: (delete number as appropriate)

  1. garlicbread
  2. tonygoacher
  3. KWelton
  4. swelsh
  5. alanionita
1 Like




board +1

@DominiqueTink normally needs a poke :smiley:

I will note however, that i agree with Mike that we have lots of other stuff we probably need to sort before setting up welding.
I’m in agreement with this proposal though as that room needs extraction setting up regardless.

How often are people using this room for painting? As when I’ve seen people using spray paint it’s been outside.

In regards to welding, since talks have started there was movement but it came to a holt - not to say people don’t want it to happen. But given our lease will be up and we are looking to relocate, would this be time and money spent to just pull it out in a matter of time?
These are my only thoughts and concerns on the matter.

If the room is used enough to warrant the extraction of course let’s do it.

Just to summarise my ideas thoughts so far
In an ideal world we need two levels of extraction for welding
Phase one which is to vent the trace / shield gasses to the outside (that’s what this is for)
Phase two which is to suck up and filter any metal particles / smoke in the air close to the part while it’s being welded.

My current idea is to skip phase two for now (because it involves a portable filter that’s very expensive)
and instead ask that peeps to use a P3 or N95 face mask in combination with the welding mask.
you can wear both (I’ve tried) and I think it would get the ball rolling enough to get going

As far as the space move, it’s a flexible bit of pipe and a fan the same as what we have setup for the laser cutter so it wouldn’t be an issue to move and would be something we need if we move anyway.

If welding then becomes more popular or in demand we can then look at these two as optional extras:

  1. adding a 16A or 32A socket to the wall (one of those blue round ones) for bigger welders or to prevent the use of extension cables
  2. getting the portable darlek style filter so that a P3 / N95 mask isn’t needed

The current white Mig welder we have in the area at the moment uses a normal 13A plug, and it’s a fairly newish welder.
I think we also already have a pair of gloves and a welding mask
So all that leaves is a P3 / N95 mask that the end user can get themselves on a per person basis (around 30 quid from screwfix)
So my point is there’s not a lot to do to get things up and running other than clearing a bit of an area after putting this up and maybe a risk assesment form.


I’m interested in trialing this.

I’m a new member so will I need a welding sign off?

Will get the mask.

We don’t have a process yet in place.
But as a next step I’m going to look at clearing an area in that room then and drilling holes in the wall / getting the fan etc.

Thanks for the update and information @garlicbread

If you and your father are happy to spend the time building this out (maybe you’ll have more hands with others who are interested in using the welding room)
Than I’m more than happy to give my +1

Obviously training and risk assessments will be needed prior to usage - as you will know.
Let me know if there’s anything more I can do or help with :smiling_face:

I have a few concerns about this approach.

  1. Asking members to wear PPE when welding for the harmful fumes is only recommended for short durations. Point 3 on the HSE webpage: Welding fume: protect your workers - Control the risk - HSE

    When you provide RPE for your workers:

  2. Other users of the hackspace wouldn’t be protected by this.

  3. I’m not confident that fan is powerful enough for a 25m ducting run, not sure why you only specified 10m? I’ve quoted it being 25m multiple times on here when writing about welding and that the biggest issue I’ve found is the distance.

    The fan might have sufficient flow rate for room, but those calculations don’t consider pressure/flow rate drop on long ducting runs as they’re intended for situations where the ducting is <2m

    Flexi ducting is even worse for reducing flow rate compared to rigid spiral ducting. Ducting size also had an impact and while we have multiple lengths of ducting, they’re a various sizes which would have to be factored.

  4. I can’t find any sources that say you can/cannot mixing welding and spray paint fumes extraction, but I would strongly advise against it. Paint fumes are not just flammable, but if allowed to accumulate due to insufficient extraction can be explosive. Keeping the two separate should be a requirement of both systems.

use an FFP3 disposable mask or half-mask with P3 filter (PDF) , for work of up to an hour

I feel an hour would be enough just to get things started and for people to practice at least.
We could put a rule in place of an hour on / hour off to let the above fan clear the area out.

If more is needed, then the two options would be ether


But those options would come later on if there’s more of a demand for it (Phase 2)
We’re currently facing a chicken and the egg situation where it’s difficult to judge demand before it’s started
what I’m aiming for here is very light weight use to start.

Other users of the hackspace wouldn’t be protected by this.

If we adopt the hour on / hour off rule above I believe this should mitigate it enough in so far as giving the fan enough time to clear the area out.
We also have both welding curtains and a double door sealing off the area.

I’m not confident that fan is powerful enough for a 25m ducting run, not sure why you only specified 10m? I’ve quoted it being 25m multiple times on here when writing about welding and that the biggest issue I’ve found is the distance.

If you look at the laser cutter fan’s they have a solid pipe on one side that leads to the outside and flexible pipe on the other side.
My idea was to do the same thing with a solid piece (we already have) running from the outside to the fan) and the 10m flexible running from the welding area to the fan (that’s what I measured)

For the fan power we’re not trying to use it to ventilate everything all at once, this is where we got stuck last time with looking for big enough / special purpose fans.
The last plan was for it to be used just to vent argon or shield gasses (not the actual fumes directly via a fume hood).
So it this extraction will just be a vent on the wall, not attached to any of welding hoods pipes we have.
It will vent the fumes eventually in the room but they’ll have time to cool down before they reach the fan, hence the need for a face mask.

It’s also important to consider that this is something at a very small scale to start with (the small white Mig)

I can’t find any sources that say you can/cannot mixing welding and spray paint fumes extraction, but I would strongly advise against it.

Agreed, I think one way to mitigate that would be to put up a sign saying don’t weld if something has paint drying

@garlicbread when you need more hands let me know!

Apart from work and a few house renovations I’m free and super happy to help.

+1 for me also. Don’t know what I’m doing, but excited to do it

There is no way the duty cycle of the welder we have can support an hour of continuous welding. I’d be surprised if it’s any more than 60%.

@Marcus6275 my assumption was that the room wouldn’t be intended as a painting room, but people have been using it for that regardless and so we just have to do our best to accomodate that rather than impossibly try and police it. I would presume no one is suggesting painting and welding should happen at the same time, this could be policed by the welding person saying ‘oi, i’m welding over here’.

On this basis simple room air extraction should be sufficient as a very first call to protect the fumes leaking through to other rooms. With more focused welding extraction being decided on as the rest of the plan unfolds?

Noted on your point about the fan not being strong enough though. @garlicbread sounds like this needs investigating.

Realistically i don’t think we should be adding welding to our repetoir until we have a commited team of at least 5 members working to make it happen. I have been extremely disappointed watching the new Laser cutter sit doing nothing for 8 months having been promised by the laser team that it wouldn’t happen. That team of 5, should also not be made up of the exact same dedicated volunteers who seemingly make up all the teams in the space.

None-the-less, i support the idea of air extraction in that room, which is all this proposal is proposing.

Noted on your point about the fan not being strong enough though. @garlicbread sounds like this needs investigating.

If the idea was to not use a P3 mask (to capture the metal particles / fumes in the air) and to use that soley as the only extraction then yes it wouldn’t be enough.
But we kinda abandoned that plan because it ran into other issues such as having to also deal with hot air for the fan and air volume over long distances.
So as a workaround the next idea was to split the extraction into 2 stages
the first of which is what’s been proposed above to suck out the shield gas’s such as the argon
and the second to have a 2nd portable unit to suck up any actual fumes to prevent someone from breathing them in.

Since the portable unit is quite expensive, my idea’s above was to just get the room extraction working first for argon or paint fumes.
Then compensate for the lack of stage 2 by using a P3 mask in the short term to cover any fumes.
Then if we gain further interest, we can get one of the portable units later on so that a P3 mask isn’t needed any more.
Also limiting how long we can weld for to allow the stage 1 extraction to gradually clear the room over time (say an hour or so) this should also help mitigate the issues.
As tony has said there’s no way you’re going to be welding for an hour continuosly with that small thing we have at the moment.

Other ideas I had was to construct some sort of digital sign which would indicate if someone was welding or painting and also give a readout on the air quality, although that’s a future project.

Currently I’m sorting the white bench out, but I’m going to look at this next after that’s done.
For the blue laser cutter the last thing I saw done, was Bob having a look at it in terms of the firmware btw, not sure how far along that is.

1 Like

Following this discussion, and a bit of research on my own part, i’m inclined to say this isn’t ready to be a proposal yet, and i withdraw my support. It sounds like the fan isn’t powerful enough for the length of run, and the idea itself is only half-baked.

If welding is ever going to get off the ground, we will need a team forming of at the very least 5 members, and these members can’t be the same 6 members who run every other subgroup.

Let’s put this on hold, regroup your comments back into the main welding chat, and develop a team, some aims, and some goals in coordination with all the other stakeholders.

I’ve moved this chat out of the purchase proposal category and put a timer on it, to lock in a week.

Part of the problem with having a fan that can do everything is finding one that can fit the criteria.
This is why the original idea was to split the extraction into two parts
one for the trace gasses and the second for the fumes, with the fume extraction being a portable unit

As I keep explaining over and over again, the goal of the above fan isn’t to provide complete extraction for all welding fumes in realtime.
To do this you would need to calculate the volume of air and if the fan could handle the hot air involved.

Instead the idea was to handle the fumes initially via personal PPE i.e. a face mask of P3 rating or higher
then have the above fan slowly clear out the overall area of trace gasses and any colder dispersed fumes over a longer time period, while the end user was wearing a mask or had left the room.
Using an air quality monitor to monitor the status of the area.
Then if there was enough interest move from P3 face masks to a portable unit to handle the fume capture as a later proposal.
This way we could build up to the more expensive extractor and judge what interest there would be before hand.

Unfortunatley It’s pretty clear that each time I try to explain this it seems to be ignored so there isn’t much I can do.
As far as a team is concerned we already have the metal working team so I don’t understand the need for another one.

Since this has now been blocked by the board there isn’t much I can do to push this forward.
If someone wants to move forward with this all I can suggest is perhaps putting they’re own purchase proposal for something like the more expensive extractor directly and the above fan in combination.

I won’t be doing this myself however as I do feel as if there is direct oposition to any form of welding by certain members, also I can’t afford to splash out on the 2K filter myself then reclaim the money back.

This is kind of a shame as I thought we could have gotten away with using a plasma cutter at least but it doesn’t look as if that will be possible ether.
Personally I’ve pretty much lost all interest in this now, so I’ll leave it up to someone else if they want to take it forwards.