DIY wooden Lung

DIY wooden Lung

LungHere’s how to make a wooden lung from a 1952 Popular Mechanics: “Could a life have been saved in your community if a mechanical respirator had been at hand for immediate use? Often just a matter of minutes means the difference between life or death for a little child stricken with polio, or a victim of drowning or a paralyzing accident. Here’s a chance for every community to be ready at little expense for such emergencies. Members of clubs and civic organizations can do a great service by making one of these respirators and placing it in competent hands. Save a life — maybe your own.” Thanks Charlie! Link.

6 thoughts on “DIY wooden Lung

  1. ratcheer says:

    This reminds me – a few months ago there was a call for a DIY respirator, such as could be used during a bird-flu epidemic for example. Where there any takers?

    Re this “wodden” lung, how is this different – in terms of end result – than a respirator? I know that if, say, my daughter was sick and needed help breathing, I’d rather tend to her outside a wooden (or iron) box.

  2. JoeyBob says:

    This is a negative pressure ventilator. It creates a vacumn “outside” the chest, as opposed to “inside”, as in normal breathing.
    Conventional ventilators use positive pressure to force air into the lungs, using several algorithms to control rate and pressure.
    While negative pressure ventilators are still in use for very specific uses, you hardly ever see one in practice.
    One of the concerns you noted, the patient is inside, is a big reason that I don’t like them. Modern ones have windows so that you can see inside, but to limited effect.
    This style of ventilator would be of no use in a flu outbreak, in as much as flu usually floods the lungs with fluids, and you have no way to remove the fluids.
    A conventional ventilator requires a tube to be placed in the lungs, through which you can suction out excess fluids.

  3. dreamer698 says:

    I am working on a DIY ventilator. I already have a prototype functioning. You can see a video of it at my blog at This ventilator is made from only commonly available components such as solenoid valves, zip lock bags, tuck tape, magnetic switches from security systems,and is controlled by a PLC. It can not use any custom or specialized medical components, as it is expected that these items would not be available during the crisis arising from an avian flu pandemic.

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