Possible to muffle planer noise?

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Forum topic by leftcoaster posted 01-02-2016 03:47 PM 892 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View leftcoaster's profile


209 posts in 841 days

01-02-2016 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: planer noise outdoors

I’m a beginning woodworker and am shopping for a bench top planer. I have never used a planer before. The more expensive, quieter models are not in the budget and so I’m looking for ways to get a handle on the noise level.

I do not have a garage other shop space, which has me setting up outside (in Northern California, so pretty OK most of the year). I live in a densely populated area with a small backyard, and I’m concerned about disturbing my neighbors.

My intended usage is very infrequent—I have just a couple of projects in mind, though with success that could grow. I’m limited to weekends and holidays.

Given all of this, I would like to know if anyone has ever constructed a partial enclosure to muffle noise. Obviously the in and out feeds have to be kept clear, along with the dust collector port. I’m wondering if any kind of “cap” (picture a carwash structure sized for the planer, perhaps fashioned from solid insulation) would have any impact? I’d have to turn the machine off and lift the cap to make adjustments, so it’d be quite a hassle and not worth it for tiny gains.

Another thought is some kind of tent, though that would constrain my board length a lot.

Thanks for your insights.

7 replies so far

View Karamba's profile


116 posts in 901 days

#1 posted 01-02-2016 04:03 PM

Buy yourself a nice hand plane. While not as fast as a power planer it is way much more versatile.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1057 posts in 2814 days

#2 posted 01-02-2016 04:05 PM

The direct drive motor is a howling banshee and there’s not much you can do to contain it for sound waves and still be able to run a board. I work in an open garage, and make a good deal of noise pretty often on the weekends. I often have small gifts etc. that I give them, always jump in to help with anything then need to get done, or at least make sure to offer, and most importantly know the rules/regs/laws for your area and also know which of you neighbors if any have babies and always respect their bedtimes… LOL let sleeping babies sleep.

In 15 years I’ve only ever had one pissed off neighbor yell at me and I was only painting a project in the shop, took a hell of a chewing from her and then walked across the street and let my neighbor know that his benchtop TS that he was using to finish his floor install pissed off the neighbor and he should make any more cuts inside the house and not on the front porch…

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2039 days

#3 posted 01-02-2016 04:07 PM

ear plugs or muffs. you could build a box as you said and line it with memory foam it works!

View clin's profile


827 posts in 961 days

#4 posted 01-02-2016 05:12 PM

I don’t know about sound proofing a planer, but a lot of neighbor irritation comes from a sense that they are being put upon without having been asked.

I would consider talking to the immediate neighbors and explaining what you will being doing and to give them your phone # and let them know to call you if it ever is a problem. Obviously ask them about any special things to consider about time of day. It’s not that you are asking for their permission, just showing that you will work with them if it is a problem. Just showing some consideration will likely get you some more tolerance.

And of course you do have to be reasonable about it. It’s a neighborhood, you do not have the right to make it sound like an industrial park all day, every Saturday and Sunday. But an hour Saturday afternoon, once a month or so, is just typical weekend warrior activity.

Of course don’t make noise too earlier or late in the day is common sense for anything.

-- Clin

View jumbojack's profile


1674 posts in 2589 days

#5 posted 01-02-2016 05:26 PM

Your planer won’t make much more racket than a lawnmower or a leaf blower. That said keep in mind the time of day you run your loud equipment. I know most of my neighbors and their habits. The planer is only run from late morning to early afternoon, they are horrible noisy. The rest of my stuff between 9am and 7pm. I have never had a complaint. Neighbors often stop by to see what is going on in my shop. I have even put out seating as some like to chat for a while.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 01-02-2016 05:48 PM

I always run my planer with the garage door closed. With the door closed, it’s not that loud outside.

-- Gerry,

View leftcoaster's profile


209 posts in 841 days

#7 posted 01-02-2016 08:12 PM

It looks like the spiral cutters on the cutech planer could help bring the noise level down a lot. Anyone own one?

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