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Thread: Sound Proofing and insulating a workshop

  1. #1

    Cool Sound Proofing and insulating a workshop

    G'Day Folks

    I'm in the process of converting a concrete slab, brick wall, tin skillion roof 2 car garage into a woodshop.
    We have already done some substantial work to this end, (construction of a 10 sm, mezzanine platform for timber storage, construction of working height perimeter benches on 2 walls, framing for an office/storeroom).
    My major concern now, is how best to insulate and possibly soundproof the building (only if necessary with the latter).
    I am a carpenter by trade, and so think i'm pretty useful at construction, (some of the time anyway, that is i know enough to avoid some trouble, sometimes).
    I have also read a few forums threads on this and other forums about soundproofing in particular, and been encouraged and engaged by the inventiveness, of some people in attempting to address these dual problems.
    However like most folks my wallet has rat traps set on them by my good wife, so getting a professional job done is not an option.
    If anybody has any suggestions that i might be able to have a crack at, especially those that might serve the dual purpose of insulation and soundproofing, it would be greatly appreciated.


    Pete Murphy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I'm in the dark about insulating brick walls, short of building a sheetrock or other type of wall over them with insulation in between the inner and outer walls. Pretty much any thermal insulation you add will also help deaden the sound. You can get real involved with soundproofing things, but it can also get pretty expensive, too. Are you primarily looking for thermal insulation or sound insulation?

    My shop is a double car garage, frame and stucco exterior, with sheetrock on the walls and ceiling. I don't know if the walls are insulated, since it was this way when we bought it. I know the ceiling is not. My un-insulated metal double wide overhead door is the prime heating and cooling thief, and that's also where most of the noise gets out.

    But despite the metal garage door, my immediate neighbors have repeatedly told me that they can't hear any of my shop noises when they are inside their houses, and if they're in their yards, it's so faint it's likely to be drowned out by their own TV or stereo, or other city noises. (We live at the end of a cul-de-sac, and a couple of these neighbors wouldn't hesitate to complain about something like that. They're not shy about making their feelings known about the local goings-on.) I try to limit the real noisy stuff like running the planer or router table to no later than 9:00 PM or so, but I'll go all night long with the DC, the air compressor, the pneumatic sander all running at the same time, and the boom box blasting out tunes trying to keep up. Yet the neighbors insist they don't hear anything. And I do ask periodically to make sure.

    My point in saying all this is unless you specifically know of a noise issue you need to address, I'd just seek out the most economical thermal insulation approach and not worry too much about the sound.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Strap with 2 x 3's and spray foam.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Or maybe strap your brick walls with "Z" furring and use rigid foam panels.

    and, Welcome !!!
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    I think you jumped to soon building the benches, insulation should come first.

    Out of curiosity how did you decide what you needed for benches?
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean

    I have posted, in more detail, in other threads about my shop and sound.

    1 Nearest neighbor to shop 32 feet as I remember. Whatever is in other posts is correct. However 32 is right on or very close.

    2 No insulation above or in wall closest to neighbor.

    3 No insulation on the two eight-foot wide car doors or the wall where a 3rd car door would normally be.

    4 I have a one-man shop (unless Glenn is here). So my maximum machinery run at any one time is the Dust Collector and one machine. The DC, thickness planer and TS are my biggest noise makers.

    5 The neighbors say that they cannot hear my equipment when they are in the house. If they are out on the patio they say that they can hear it. However, it is so faint, that it is absolutely no problem. Noisy cars or motorcycles on the street or barking dogs (I don't have any) are a problem.

    6 I very rarely run noisy machinery before 9:00 am or after 9:00 pm. I would not hesitate to do so if I really needed to do so.


    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    If you look at >> this page << that is what I did to the wall between my two daughters bedrooms, and it worked VERY well indeed.

    There is also a product called QuietRock that I have heard works well.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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