I’ve been trying to find ways to minimize the level of noise from mallet blows while chiseling. It might seem a little strange to want to do so, but I want to reduce the disturbance I may cause to others around me. My work area is very small and fairly close to other peoples’ ears. I think in the long run I’m better off making an effort to reduce noise where I can.
Does anyone have experience with these Sorbothane mallets?
They seem to be similar to shot-filled dead blow hammers.
My understanding is that wood mallets are the loudest, then urethane tipped, then rubber. At least I’ve noticed this for myself.
Another thing I do is to lay the work piece atop a piece of shelf liner to help dampen things.
Does anyone else have any ideas or mallet recommendations? Thanks.
Although I don’t have the problem of having to worry about disturbing my neighbors as my house in in the middle of 20 acres, I can certainly understand and appreciate your caring about what your neighbors hear. You can pick up a dead-blow hammer at most auto parts stores at a reasonable price. Grab one and see how it works. I have a couple in my shop and will give them a shot this afternoon myself to see how it works..
Hi Sandy, thanks for your reply. I have a 3 lb dead blow mallet that I got from Harbor Freight long ago. At 3 pounds though, I think it’s too heavy for this type of work 🙂 I’ll have to go to the store and try out their lighter ones. Overall though, it feels like a dead blow is probably the best choice, if only marginally. But what do you think about them?
I was planning on buying a Wood Is Good polyurethane round mallet. Lots of folks like those. But I found one in a local store and decided it wasn’t all that different front a urethane tipped hammer like the ones we use. The shape and the balance felt good, but it was pretty hard.
I’m tempted to order a 12oz Sorbothane mallet to see what it’s like. Also found a USA-made wooden-handled dead blow with a raw hide head. The cadillac of dead blow mallets:
Juan I have a similar need to reduce noise as much as possible as my shop time tends to be when the rest of the family is sleeping. What I do is find an alternate method. For mortices, for example, I bore the mortice out with an auger and then pare with a chisel. I know it’s not the traditional technique and it probably takes a little longer, but it’s a lot quieter. I would be interested if you find a quieter mallet that works well though. Soundproofing is probably going to be my only long term solution short of a separate shop building.
I haven’t been able to find the “super quite” mallet yet, my hammer of choice is the Thor Hammer Paul use’s. I have ( 4 ) Wooden Mallets and all though they do a good job they are not as quite as the Thor Hammer IMO.
This is again IMO a situation where you will not receive 100% quite free hammering, chiseling etc. if so I haven’t found it.
Reducing noise from hand tool work, mostly from gouges and chisels, is essential to me since I’m practicing mostly inside an apartment with shared walls and I’m currently actively exploring the best solution. Do you all think the mallet striking the chisel handle is really the noise producer? My theory is that it’s everything else that makes the most noise: the wood being stricken hitting the bench top, the workbench possibly vibrating the floor (wood floor in my case) and thirdly, the echoing of those two.
I’m going to try the shelf liner on the bench top as previously mentioned, but I think a very thick, dense bench top with a very heavy bench may do the trick. I’m currently working on a portable benchtop/vise I made, which includes a sort of cavity for the vise, all of which I think is very noisy.
Beyond that I imagine lining the immediately surrounding walls with something to absorb the sound waves would help too.
LinoG, I’m in the same situation as you are concerning noise. For low frequency vibrations, what your neighbours will hear is effectively the vibration going through the chisel, the piece, the bench, the floor, all the way to the building structure. I think increasing the mass of your bench may help, and introducing some shock dampening lining or pads to the system may work too.
Lining the walls of the room will absorb the sound waves too.
That’s all theoretical, as I still have to test it on my side. I’m curious as to what other members here have to say on that subject.
As a musician and apartment dweller, I think the best bet would be line the walls. Maybe heavy drapes on the walls. That would reduce the general noise. I don’t think you can do much about the vibrations or thuds from pounding. Just follow general apartment guidelines, don’t do it at strange hours and so forth. Noise from other apartments is just a fact of being in an apartment.
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