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- This topic has 11 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 9 months ago by Ed.
I have a couple machines in my 1 car garage, which is approximately 10′ wide and 20′ long. The garage is an echo chamber- concrete floor, block walls, and even the ceiling is a concrete slab. I’m looking for ways to reduce the sound pressure level in there. Any ideas? No one is complaining. I intend to continue to use ear protection, but I am thinking that if it wasn’t such an echo chamber, it would be better. The two largest noise sources are a small dust collector, which is next to a wall (mid length along the wall) and a lunchbox planer, which is operated in the midst of the floor, a little off the long midline and about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way away from the door. Space is at a premium.
The issue is all the hard surfaces. We’ve had similar problems at work, and a third party advised the following.
The fix is to disrupt the flow of sound. It doesn’t need to be sound proofing, just disruptive so it doesn’t travel / echo.
It’s possible to get acoustic dampening pads you stick to the ceiling / walls. You don’t need to cover the walls / ceiling, just have enough pads to be disruptive.19 May 2021 at 11:08 am #713834
Any chance to put a cowling or cover around the dust collector? I put mine inside a cabinet, this allowed me to get to it to empty it, but I could keep the doors closed to reduce the noise. Or to put some shallow shelving up on the walls? Increased storage space, and the shelf contents also serve to interfere with the sound. Or nail some old curtains on one or two sides (maybe not a good idea if you are renting the garage (or if you have curious visitors who will try to see what you have hidden behind them )).
Colin, Czech Rep.
Thanks for the ideas. Are there improvised materials that would work vs. buying foam?
I don’t know if an enclosure around the dust collector would be possible, partly because of the manufacturers requirement for stay-clear distance. I think I’ll focus on deadening the room first.21 May 2021 at 10:58 am #714091
There seem to be a few videos on youtube for diy sound absorbing panels. This was the first one that came up.
The fella seems to have a similar problem to yours, but without the need to park a car there I think.
Colin, Czech Rep.21 May 2021 at 8:13 pm #714151
That video is really quite good.
The ‘rockwool’, or similar, he’s using is super fire-resistant, and a good sound absorber. I’ve used it for heat insulation and you are supposed to mask up while installing it and it did irritate my skin if I touched it (its similar to fiberglass but the fibers are curly and tangled up so they don’t get around as much). A package of 8 bats is something like $60.
The clapping he does is the quick rt60 echo test. You clap once and listen to how long the clap sound reverberates. 1 second would be a normal indoor room. A concrete parking garage might get 3 seconds.
And the example that the little patch of stuff covering what 5%? of the room did nothing, but covering maybe 33% of the ceiling made a big difference is very much in line with what I have read.
Living in earthquake country I might make the frames a lot lighter, or seal the insulation into bags of some sort and avoid any hard stuff overhead. I would want to seal it so it doesn’t fill up with sawdust… and because it is just ugly.
22 May 2021 at 1:50 am #714190
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by jeff Fisher.
If you are in earthquake country that system looks like a homocidal nightmare.
I have two suggestions.
The commercial office building industry has used suspended ceilings for at least 70 years that offer a nearly infinite variety of looks and sound deadening, including systems that are code rated for seismic events. They basically have clips that hold any panels in the ceiling in place when the place shakes. Lights are hung separately. The fine details on how to install them are a bit tricky, but there are plenty of tutorials from companies like Armstrong on how to do it.
Just google seismic suspended ceilings or athe like and you’ll be reading for a week. Same with all the sound absorption options.
There are residential grade ceilings that are lighter gauge and weight, but you don’t save much money and the commercial stuff is easier to keep straight. If the room is less than 12’ wide you don’t even have to join the main bars., and you can use diffuser panels where the lights are. ( use led lights). Suspended ceilings go up really quick if you know what you are doing, but if that’s daunting, look for suspended ceiling installers, aka drop ceiling installers. They might be able to do the install for about the price of materials. ( more for small jobs)
If that seems like too much, you can buy lightweight sounds absorbing sheets of recycled cotton that you can just glue to a ceiling that are pretty good at sound absorption. If one did fall from the ceiling, it would be like somebody dropping a quilt on you, but the mastic holds well.
As they come, they are a rather blah grey color, so not something for a living space, but might be ok for a shop. For a little more money, you can get an off white version of the batts. Alternatively you can use a spray adhesive to affix a lightweight fabric directly to the batts. I’d do that before I put them up.
They come in 2×4 sheets about 2”thick., and they are fire rated – No formaldehyde’s. Best of all, you don’t breath mineral wool putting them up.
Check local suspended ceiling suppliers. Some carry the stuff. you will save shipping.
22 May 2021 at 6:43 pm #714269
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Larry Geib.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Larry Geib.
Would panelling with a thin layer of insulation inside, be an alternative?
London, UK; Boston, MA
Thank you for the additional ideas. The ceiling is low-about 7 feet. I might install foam panels if I can find white so that lighting is not affected too much.
Sven-Olof, I’ve thought about insulating to improve the temperature in the winter, but held off partly because of space. I don’t want to lose 4″ to framing plus sheathing. I’ve thought about polyiso but haven’t to my satisfaction determined whether it is suitable in this location and whether it needs a suitable fire resistant sheathing like gypsum board. In any case, these things would yield a highly reflective surface for sound, so I’d be back where I started.
If the sculpted foams are effective at reducing reflection (I don’t care what transmits outside the garage), that might be the thing to try, if I can find white.23 May 2021 at 6:58 pm #714376
You need a cover that is transparent to sound waves, like a cloth, but that still keeps the mineral wool locked in so you don’t breathe it.
Since you are considering installing some insulation, you could think of something like putting 2×2 framing with mineral wool between and then staple white curtain panels on the framing. This should have the insulating effect you want and make it sound dampening too.24 May 2021 at 9:33 am #714437
To cover the insulation, there exist perforated drywall/plasterboard.
example: look for usgboral.com/en_ph/products/wall/technical-plasterboards/echostop-perforated-plasterboard.html
Another option is acoustic perforated hardboard
example: look for tablex.us/commercial-and-residential-benefits-of-perforated-hardboard-sound-proofing/
note I don’t insert a complete link, otherwise the comment might not be visible for many days (I would get “your comment is awaiting moderation”)
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