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"Kevin's work is always inspiring to me, as a fellow sculptor. I admire Kevin's attention to detail and the imagination that flows through his works. I've become a Kevin Caron groupie. I can't get enough, and I can't wait to see his next design."
--Chuck Girard, Girard Custom Creations, Phoenix, Arizona

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Do Fume Extractors Really Work?

Kevin is going to fire up his AHP AlphaMIG 250 to do some stick welding to test a new tool: a fume extractor.

You know that crud that obscures your welding helmet faceshield after stick welding or MIG welding? Well, that's actually stuff you're breathing. Kevin has had six sinus surgeries. When the biopsy came back on the last one, the doctor asked him what he was snorting. That's from the welding.

Kevin tried a number of different ways to breathe cleaner air, from the white cotton dust mask to a respirator with the cartridges on it (it was hard to fit it in the helmet).

So bought a fume extractor. There are some options: big ones that mount on the ceiling and suck up the air in the whole shop, and portable ones that can be positioned where you are welding and let it do all the work there. He bought the portable fume extractor.

Now the biggest question is: How well does it work?

Kevin has some 1/8" plate clamped to his worktable, and some 7018 1/8" diameter rod. Using the AHP AlphaMIG 250, he runs a bead with the fume extractor's hood right over the top of it. It is easy to see the smoke being sucked into the fume extractor.

Next he moves the piece of metal farther away, and the fume extractor still clearly pulls in the smoke and particles inside it. Kevin moves the metal two more times, with the extractor finally not having much of an effect because of its distance from the welding.

Kevin says he could even see the fumes being drawn upward as he was welding. The fume extractor has a pretty good suction rate.

Kevin also says his nose has been a lot happier since he began using it. If you are doing a lot of stick welding or MIG welding, he recommends you consider a fume extractor for your own heatlh and safety.

He's going back to work, but you might want to stay around for another moment to see Kevin get ready for lunch - DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

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