HF - Cheap Soundproofing Material

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Forum topic by tengallonhat posted 08-22-2013 04:44 PM 3191 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 1933 days

08-22-2013 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am in the process of moving from a Shop-Vac to a central dust collector setup (modded 2hp HF DC). In either case, I can’t stand the added noise. So I am researching building boxes/closets for both the vac and the DC. I’ve been searching high and low for affordable sound-proofing materials.

I noticed these Anti-Fatigue mats on sale at HF

On sale – they are $7 for ~ 17.5 sq. ft of this rubber. That’s less than $.50 /sq. ft. It is comparable in cost to drywall sheets at Home Depot.

My current plan is to build a plywood or MDF box (possibly double walled with a staggered stud frame) and then attach some MLV type material to the inner wall. In order to seperate the MLV from the inner wall I was going to use rubber furniture bumpers to create an isolation gap.

Kind of a poor man’s version of the soundproofing clips available commercially.

I was wondering what people thought of this approach. Green glue looks great but seems prohibitively expensive.

I could use drywall as the 2nd or 3rd wall, or I could go with this rubber. Any thoughts on what would be a superior soundproofing material?

12 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3149 days

#1 posted 08-22-2013 05:16 PM

A 3/4” plywood box with foam rubber lining is pretty effective.
same box with rock wool insulation is about as good.
outer box, rock wool, inner box, rubber lining.
ultimate: plywood box, cement board with sealed joints, rock wool, inner box, rubber lining.
The inner box is primarily just to mount the foam rubber lining on and to contain the rock wool.

I have dampened some very loud equipment with just a simple rigid solid plywood box with a dampening foam rubber liner. I’m talking a 50 db improvement.

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 1933 days

#2 posted 08-22-2013 05:22 PM

Crank, that’s encouraging. What type of dampening foam rubber did you end up using? Do you have any examples of your boxes? I would love to see how you built them.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3149 days

#3 posted 08-22-2013 05:57 PM

I did those several years ago in a foundry where I spent most of my career.
We set a goal to reduce the background noise in the foundry to the point where the workers would not have to wear ear plugs. The average background noise level was just over 92 db when we started, and under 70 db when we finished. Some of the noise sources could not be addressed, like the Arc furnaces, but noise is additive so the ones we could address we really went after so the overall effect was great.

One example we did that would be similar (noise wise) to the small shop dust collector was a combustion blower for a large heat treating furnace. The blower was about the size of a small desk. The box we built was just a simple rectangular box, about 42” x 42” x 60” long. Sheets of plywood held together with 1-1/2” square cleats in the corner seams. The cleats were actually ripped 2×4s and we framed the bottom with a 2×4 rim to help it hold its shape. All the inside joints were sealed with silicone caulk. The foam lining was 2” open cell foam pad like you put on chair seats. In our case, since this was the fan that provided combustion air for 22 one million BTU burners we had to run an air intake duct up to the roof and attached it to the side of the box.

Sorry I don’t have pictures of this setup, but I don’t work for this company any more. The Obama economy and war on mining and coal and fossil fuels in general put an end to my 33 year career, change I can believe in.

View ZacD's profile


34 posts in 1937 days

#4 posted 08-22-2013 06:08 PM

I don’t know how permanent you are in your location but if you are really looking for a low cost, super low noise solution, build a box from cement-bonded wood fiber / Durisol. Gives you something to do with all that sawdust you pick up if nothing else.

View ChrisK's profile


2004 posts in 3259 days

#5 posted 08-22-2013 06:57 PM

I saw some sound proof sheet rock at Lowe’s yesterday. Heavy as all get out, $46 a sheet.

-- Chris K

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 1980 days

#6 posted 08-22-2013 07:47 PM

Denim Insulation (can get it online from HD) works well, as does fiberglass insulation. The mattress pads at wallmart are open cell foam (egg crate style). Denim is nice because you don’t have to deal with fiberglass.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2250 days

#7 posted 08-22-2013 10:46 PM

Sounds like you’ve done a bit of research already.. :) hehe.. but what I have to add is in this case isolation will be as if not more important than soundproofing. A lot of affordable materials will cut those high frequencies, so the clips, stud plan, etc. will be quite good. Just make sure all six sides, including the floor, is isolated from the shop and each other.

-- Who is John Galt?

View tengallonhat's profile


79 posts in 1933 days

#8 posted 08-22-2013 11:47 PM

Thanks for the info. Any suggestions how to isolate each wall from the others? I haven’t seen anywhere how rondo that at the corners.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2288 days

#9 posted 08-23-2013 01:42 AM

Even scrap carpet can work well… This is often free at carpet stores who employ installers.

Leave folded humps of carpet as you staple it to the inside. The soft pile and folded baffles are incredibly absorbent of noise.

Barry (who has insulated lots of band rehearsal rooms…)

View BJODay's profile


527 posts in 2121 days

#10 posted 08-23-2013 02:31 AM

Use something that is designed to muffle sound while still being fire/heat resistive. The owner of the Station night club in Rhode Island used foam to soundproof his club with disastrous results.

If you enclose a dust collector in an insulated closed space it could build up too much heat.


View Dark_Lightning's profile


3290 posts in 3287 days

#11 posted 08-23-2013 02:47 AM

I have an old central heating/cooling system in my current house that was so loud when running that the television had to be cranked WAY up during the show, and then back down when it turned off. Using my experience in antenna anechoic chamber design and technology, I stacked and glued acoustic ceiling tiles (five layers) and cut them into 45-degree wedges. I placed 3 layers of the tiles on the floor below the intake of the furnace, and then placed the wedges on top of them. This made a total of about 6 inches of material. I put at least one layer of acoustic tiles all the way around the inside of the intake, and one layer on the door to the cabinet. It is still noisy, but we (the rest of my family- I watch maybe 2 hours of TV a month, mostly while walking through the family room) don’t have to change the volume setting on the television any more.

Barry’s folded humps of carpet represent the same idea- the sound rattles around down into the folds (wedges) and is absorbed. These are inexpensive methods. If you look around online you can find some real attenuation and absorption but it will cost you.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2545 days

#12 posted 08-24-2013 12:52 PM

Post some pictures of your big is it ? how much room you got to work with? what state are you in .


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