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Cornhole Boards - Quiet, Silent

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Project by JD13 posted 07-14-2018 12:04 AM 632 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made a set of cornhole boards for work (used our logo and colors, hence the look). You can find posts all over the internet by the millions for cornhole boards, so normally I wouldn’t waste my time even posting these. But since these actually reside within the office space where we work, meet, and are on the phone, they must be as quiet as possible. Before making them, I read all the boards I could find on the topic and didn’t find much – and what I did find from all those guys – include cross beams, insulate, use heavier top – 3/4” instead of just 1/2”, screw instead of nail, use construction adhesive instead of glue – didn’t work. Basically, everyone was getting at making them heavier. It took me nearly 60 hours of researching, building, experimenting, and finishing. And in the end, none of it worked. But we are using sand-filled bags instead of corn or plastic pellets, so with what I have done, it’s good enough. When I did all the stuff I mentioned and took one to work to test it before painting and finishing, it failed miserably with corn-filled bags. But by then, it was too late except for painting, stickers, and poly. But I put my brain to it and some research on sound and got a few of our engineers to look at the problem and here’s what it comes down to as simply as I can put it: a cornhole board is a really big guitar and corn or pellet-filled bags are noisy even if you throw them on carpeted floors. For the boards, no matter what you do, all the sound will go through the bottom, bounce around a zillion times until it’s focused and amplified, then come out the sound hole: GUITAR. The best way to silence a guitar, therefore, is to cover the hole. Unfortunately, that’s the entire point of cornhole and you can’t have a game without the hole, so it’s not an option. However, in keeping with that thought, if I made them again and really needed silence, the best option would be to take a big block of sturdy but not too heavy foam and cut a solid block at the right angle and size, and then affix a 1/2” wood top to it, then drill the 6” hole somehow all the way through the top and foam and out the bottom. Boom. Silence. There would be no space between the surface of the board and the floor and all the material would be solid foam sitting directly on the ground and no sound would get amplified to come out the hole and the guitar effect would be eliminated. I believe that’s as good as you can get. I tried to put a skirt around the sides, but the noise actually got LOUDER – because it amplified the sound MORE coming out the sound hole. So then I used old paint tarp and made a skirt around the sound hole and it quieted down a lot, but still not really enough for our office. The final puzzle piece was using sand-filled bags instead. Really, all the rock wool insulation I used under the board and the old canvas paint tarp holding in place (stapled like upholstery) made no difference because when a bag hits right in front of the hole on the crossbeam, the sounds travels down to the ground, amplifies, and comes out the hole – still a guitar. Basically, even setting it on carpet or foam isn’t enough in an office space and the canvas doesn’t really block enough sound. Not sure how to make them as I said – out of one big block of foam – but that’s the real solution while keeping them portable – along with sand-filled bags. Good luck.

-- JD from Elk Grove





7 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12242 posts in 2465 days


#1 posted 07-14-2018 02:12 AM

I’ve played a lot of corn hole but have never seen a set of boards with a bottom.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

31994 posts in 2952 days


#2 posted 07-14-2018 02:11 PM

These are great looking boards and have a wonderful finish and are beautifully done. Congratulations!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View awsum55's profile

awsum55

237 posts in 594 days


#3 posted 07-14-2018 04:26 PM

If you made a cylinder out of thick paper to put in the hole, you could use “Great Stuff” sprayed into the bottom to completely fill the void outside the hole. What ever spills out can be trimmed flush with the bottom of the boards. I think that should accomplish what you are looking for. Line the inside with plastic wrap first so you can remove the foam if it doesn’t work or if you make a mistake. Once you know it will work you can glue the foam in permanently.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10142 posts in 3118 days


#4 posted 07-14-2018 11:46 PM

Very Nice Work & Well Done!

-- If it wasn't for Electricity, We'd all be Watching Television by Candlelight!

View JD13's profile

JD13

23 posts in 1476 days


#5 posted 07-22-2018 07:30 PM

Woodknack – neither have I. But I’ve also never seen a set in an office right next to folks who actually working and on the conference calls all day long. That was the challenge in building these. In bars, on lawns, and wherever, no one ever worries that much about sound. I’ve seen a few posts where guys say they want to play late into the night without disturbing the neighbors who have open windows, but they set them on a carpet or grass instead of the driveway and problem solved. That just wasn’t good enough. We got the OK to play as long as we didn’t disturb folks who were working and the challenge began. And the internet was wrong about how to do it – and following that advice I failed too. Finally figured it out, which wasn’t what I did, hence the post here. Hopefully if any else has this particular challenge, I can help them avoid the pitfalls we hit and succeed faster.

-- JD from Elk Grove

View JD13's profile

JD13

23 posts in 1476 days


#6 posted 07-22-2018 07:33 PM

awsum55 – that was our exact thought too (AFTER we discovered these didn’t work), only we were going to use 6” pvc pipe for the tube. Ours are done and “quiet enough” for now using sand-filled bags, but if I had to do it again, that’s how I’d go – build the top platform and sides to use as a mold, attach the PVC tube, and start spraying foam.

-- JD from Elk Grove

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12242 posts in 2465 days


#7 posted 07-22-2018 07:51 PM

I may have misunderstood something, you kept mentioning a bottom and I was under the impression you built enclosed boxes with big open areas, which would make them louder. If you build them again, I would try a torsion box built from mdf and fill the interior with spray foam. Seal the top and bottom against the interior web with silicone to prevent air movement. That should significantly deaden the top. Since, as you already know, it’s the top vibrating and the entire platform vibrating against the floor that makes it so loud. Even better if you can either secure them to the floor or insulate them from the floor so vibrations don’t travel.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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