Extractor fan cleaning
Given that I have to clean my extractor fan every six months I'm surprised that I can't find a post about it. There is a grill over the front of the extractor fan which clogs surprisingly quickly when cutting wood but this time round, cleaning the grill didn't seem to improve the extraction so I had to dig a little deeper.
Inside the extractor fan is a large impeller blade, this sucks are in to the middle of the fan and flings it out to the edges, it rotates around the edge of the fan and then out the hole at the bottom. The smoke contains vaporised wood particles which is surprisingly sticky, this coats every surface inside the laser and eventually reduces the efficiency of the fan.
The impeller blade is held in with a single bolt in the middle. The motor shaft and corresponding hole in the impeller are 'keyed' so that they turn together. Do not lose this key when you take the blade out. With the blade removed it is a lot easier to clean up the blade and areas of the housing that are normally under the blade. I just ran a wire brush over everything until it looked clean enough. I hoovered the dust out at regular intervals.
As you can see once the whole thing has been cleaned it looks a lot nicer but more importantly it works a lot better. All that is left to do is close the fan back up and reconnect it all to the laser again. Next time I'm in the machine I'll get a picture of the external grill to show how quickly that clogs.