Sound Proofing and insulating a workshop

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Forum topic by woodsy11 posted 10-02-2011 10:34 AM 2256 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1863 days

10-02-2011 10:34 AM

G’Day Folks

Greetings from Melbourne AUSTRALIA

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.



-- Woodsy11,Victoria, AUSTRALIA,

6 replies so far

View Tootles's profile


780 posts in 1925 days

#1 posted 10-02-2011 01:14 PM

Oh I’m going to watch this. I’m in Adelaide with my workshop in a tin shed so I’m trying to work out how to do this too.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2273 days

#2 posted 10-02-2011 03:09 PM

Four walls are brick?

Is there a ceiling, or at least ceiling joists?



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View JimDaddyO's profile


427 posts in 2502 days

#3 posted 10-02-2011 03:09 PM

I have been doing some study on recording studio design. The best way to isolate a room (soundproof is a bit of a misnomer) is to use a MSM structure (mass/spring/mass). A description would be: a double layer of 5/8” drywall on a studded frame (the drywall, no matter how many layers, is called a “leaf”) which is “mass”, another seperately studded wall with another double layer, built so both sets of studs are in the cavity, filled with celulose insulation (the spring). A step further would to use backer rod and caulking on all the joint seams. Ideal would be a “room within a room” scenario. If you go into a room that is stripped to the studs, and frame a room within that (ceiling included) so that none of the studs touch each other (from the outer room to the inner room), insulate the space between the 2 sets of studs, do the double drywall thing inside the room you just built (you can apply green glue [which isn’t actually glue] between the layers of drywall….$$$) you should obtain reasonable isolation. Of course you have to do the same with windows and doors…some of the doors (you have to do the same here, so to get in or out you pass through 2 doors) I have seen are over 400 lbs. Also, anything that comes through the wall (HVAC ducts, wiring, etc.) has to be sealed too. Many turns in the ducts will help isolation, also acoustic lining in the ducts. Typically, a well isolated room will sound like crap for recording purposes, so then treating the room is the next step, but that is kind of beyond the scope of the question. If you look at a wall (or ceiling or floor) as a big drum head, the point is to “tune” it as a big resonator that will vibrate at a frequency well below the threshold of hearing, and thereby stopping (another misnomer, sound cannot be stopped, only converted to another form of energy) audible sounds. The important thing is that about the only thing that will work is an MSM system, there ought to be at least 8” between leaves. More mass and more spring space means more isolation ( to a point, if you put 4’ between leaves, it starts acting like a whole new room). Keep to 2 leaves for optimum isolation, 3, 4, or 5 leaves will make the wall less effective. I have just been looking into this for about a year and still have a lot to learn. Acoustics is a whole science in itself. I have been studying up at an excellent resource with a forum for questions about studio design.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3135 days

#4 posted 10-02-2011 03:37 PM

How far from surrounding buildings is the shed? My garage is about 7 metres from the house and Jenn and the kids aren’t disturbed by my late night antics. The garage has 2X4 (they still don’t use ISO measures for construction materials and probably won’t until the Americans get on board with the rest of the world;-) with the standard pink rockwool insulation. The roof is standard truss with a plywood skin and then shingled.

If I have the doors open the neighbours can hear the machines, but since I don’t open the doors at night (too many bugs are drawn to the lights) this isn’t a serious problem. I have at least two neighbours whom work shift work but one is on the far side of the house so no sound problem there the other is across the street on a bit of an angle so far enough away that sound is also no problem.

I think the noisiest pice of hardware is either the planer or the jointer which of course isn’t run that long of often once I am into a project.



-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Bluepine38's profile


3337 posts in 2508 days

#5 posted 10-02-2011 07:01 PM

Do not know what the temperature variations are in your area, here we go from -20 degrees to +90
degrees centigrade, so 2 X 4 framing with batt type insulation pays for itself in energy savings. This gives
soundproofing as well as getting the wife happy on the penny pinching. The metal roof could cause a
moisture problem if it is exposed and condensation occurs. There are too many unanswered variables to
give an easy answer.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 1893 days

#6 posted 10-02-2011 08:58 PM

I would think that the least expensive and most effective way might be to put up some furring strips on the walls and ceiling(for a dead air space) and then install rigid foam insulation. Possibly an inch or two on the walls and two to four inches on the ceiling. Finally covering the walls with plywood or OSB the 42 to 48 inches and pegboard for the remainder. Most of the pegboard that I have used has come from store renovations,and the cost has been-other than time-zero.Also check with local lumber yards for damaged stock.Sometimes you can get good deals.
Hope this might give you some ideas.

-- "certified sawdust maker"

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