Studio Ventilation for Lampwork

This page is intended to show the pros and cons of various ventilation schemes, and detail our own setup.   Each workspace will be a bit different.  Work habits, climate concerns, and individual sensitivity vary.

Type of ventilation



” I opened the window”
*Dirt cheap to set up.
*Does not do squat!
Work outdoors
Set up a work bench in the open air, or under cover with open walls.
*Plenty of fresh air!
*Sucks when the wind blows or it is too cold.
Cross Flow
A fan is mounted in a window opening blowing out, and another window or door is open to let fresh air in.
*If your torch is near the fan, potentially good ventilation.
*Simple to set up.
*Requires a lot of air moving to be effective. A problem in cold climates.
*Noise of fan.
*Torch flame may blow around.
Local Exhaust Hood
Hood over torch with ducted fan to outside, and a fresh air inlet provided. The sensible approach to a year round work station.
*Excellent exhaust of hot gasses.
*Fan noise and airflow can be minimal.
*Heavier than air components not easily exhausted.
*General room air not fully exhausted.
*Requires some thought to installation.

This is a Dayton 265 CFM fan like the one we started with making soft glass beads. This is not a large blower and only good for one station with a modest flame. It is a BLOWER though and unlike a fan the CFM rating is very real in a ducted hood setup. Most fans will never produce their rated CFM in an exhaust situation. Of course you must also have fresh air coming in unrestricted to get proper ventilation. We run it with a variable speed control. The square outlet is about 4″x4″ in size. The round inlet is adapted to our 6″ducting running to the torches. We have vent hoods fashioned from sheet metal available in 3’ x 4’ flat sheets at home improvement centers. If you do a little folding and cutting with paper, you can figure out a simple design. Cut a 4” hole where the 6” duct will attach at the top, and then cut 1” notches all around the circle. You can then bend the tabs created up into the 6” metal flexible duct to attach. I think the fan motor should not be too close to the torch. The further from the hot torch, the less possibility of building up heat in the motor that may shorten the life of the fan. For this reason, and to lower the sound, I chose to mount the fan in the attic space, where it blows out through a gable end wall vent. The sound is not all that much in any case, but it will be influenced by how you mount it. Try to mount the fan securely to solid wood that will not vibrate, or transfer vibrations.

We have a single speed fan, connected to a variable speed motor control designed for it. This is an important point – you must not use a “light dimmer” or any other speed control that is not designed for the type of motor in the fan. I think we spent about as much on the speed control as the fan! Well not quite that much, but this is not the place to skimp, it will affect the life, performance, and noise of your fan motor. Here is a link to the Grainger online catalog  You can use the product search feature to look up

” 265 CFM Dayton Blower “

and speed control,

” Fan Motor Speed Control “

The rest of the setup is regular 6″ sheet metal ducting. We used a flexible section to make it easier to position the “hood”. A simple 6” to 8” sheet metal adapter can work for a vent “hood” on a small minor torch if positioned just right. You want the torch flame pointed right up the duct, and as close as possible without being in the way. Some wire attached to the ceiling can support the hood over the torch, and make it fairly easy to adjust. It would be better to have a solid metal bracket mounted on the wall that would give support, and to mount lights from on either side as well .