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Soundproofing workshop

Discussion in 'Building' started by leaf17, 28 Aug 2021.

  1. leaf17

    leaf17

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    Hi guys,

    Hoping for some advice on how I can retro-soundproof my wood workshop. I say soundproof, but what I really mean is limit the sound to a level where my neighbours don't complain!

    As you can see on the images below, it's a very simple timber-frame shed. It was built to a cost and I never had any intention of soundproofing/insulating.

    The floor is laminate on underlayment on 25mm ply. The roof is bitumen sheets followed by 50mm of polystyrene insulation (this was just to stop condensation) with an 11mm chipboard ceiling. The walls are bog standard stud walls clad with feather edge. I didn't bother adding a vapour barrier but there is a damp proof membrane sandwiched between the studs and cladding to stop the studs rotting. I've also lined the inside of walls with 6mm ply which isn't on the photos. I believe that it's the walls and doors that are to blame for most of the sound loss.

    So, my question to y'all, is how can I seriously limit the noise of my table saw/mitre saw etc. without spending a fortune? Obviously if I'd realised noise was going to be an issue I'd have approached the build differently, probably adding a skin of chipboard to the walls a vapour barrier and some PIR/rockwool which I imagine would absorb sound quite well. Too late to do it properly so I'm trying to work out the next best thing.

    Very limited knowledge on this stuff but I guess that taking the ply lining down and simply stuffing the cavity with 50mm rockwool is out of the question as it'd be sat up against the exterior cladding. The studs are 63mm deep so that's the room I've got to play with, short of adding battens to the inside to increase the cavity (which is rather not do to conserve space).

    Thanks very much,
    Jack

    20210116_133410.jpg 20210124_155118.jpg
     
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    featheredge is not weathertight so rain will blow in through the gaps and damp will lurk in the cavities.

    breathable membrane on the frame followed by battens to give a space from the cladding would have made the building more durable and allowed you to include insulation in the walls. If you add it now from the inside, the studwork will still be outside the weather barrier. If you pull off the cladding, you will doubtless crack or break some of it.

    noise muffling is mostly down to the weight of the barrier, and the absence of gaps.

    dense mineral wool will muffle it better than loft insulation, and a continuous layer of chipboard, or plasterboard which is fire resistant, as a lining.

    You might also add some kind of partial enclosure around your noisy machines.

    have you put the gutters on yet?
     
  4. leaf17

    leaf17

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    Hi John,

    Can you think of a way of using mineral wool other than removing the cladding and starting from scratch? It's all finished so trying to avoid major adjustments as it'd take a lot of time and cost.

    Thanks,
    Jack
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    either remove the outside, or remove the inside.
     
  6. leaf17

    leaf17

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    If I were to remove the ply lining inside I couldn't just butt up the mineral wool against the inside of the feather edge though could I? How would you suggest I get round that?

    Cheers
     
  7. catlad

    catlad

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    If you remove the feather edge you can fill the studs with accoustic rockwool slabs and then ply over the studs you would then need to add batons over the studs to re attach you feather edge cladding!
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Best way.

    Though I would add membrane or felt to protect the ply.
     
  9. leaf17

    leaf17

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    Thanks guys, appreciate the suggestions.

    Can you think of a less costly & less time-consuming approach that may not be as 'proper' but will still do a decent job of soundproofing? The workshop is 2.4 x 4.8metres so it'd take a long old time to remove/refix all the feather edge and with wood prices as they are, the ply skin alone would be a few hundred quid.

    Cheers
     
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  11. jacko555

    jacko555

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    Use a handsaw? Seriously though, how much of an issue is the noise?

    Unless you are running a business from your shed cutting for 40 hours a week, how much wood are you cutting and when, to the point it becomes a noise dispute?

    Can you do it at reasonable hours? Are you making the noise on weekends or weekdays or evenings?

    If they're now sensitive to saw noise, I'm unsure that a well insulated shed will make much difference, if your doing it for long or antisocial hours. They'll still hear it and be upset.
     
  12. leaf17

    leaf17

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    It's a very good question. My neighbours posted on the local community group about someone making noise with a circular saw. Pretty pathetic as they know it's me and have never once mentioned anything to me! Anyway, regardless how they dealt with it, I'm conscious of the noise now and don't want to upset multiple neighbours as that could put and end to my workshop.

    Some weeks I won't make any noise, others I'll have a project so will be using my mitre saw (which I think is main culprit). I work office hours so it's weekday nights (never late) and weekends.

    The point you make about not being sure it'll solve the issue is a good one. The last thing I want to do is go to this effort/cost and find my neighbours are still miffed.

    Hopefully one day we'll live in the middle of nowhere and I'll be able to make as much noise as I want :)
     
  13. jacko555

    jacko555

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    That sucks.

    Passive aggressive neighbours. Although, years ago when my little one needed naps and was sensitive to noise - I suddenly got very sensitive to noise in case it woke her... Would notice when people mowed their lawns in the evenings on a week day, or the Sunday/Bank Holiday dawn chorus of circular saws. So I do understand their point of view, even if it's not reasonable.

    If you never read the community group you'd never know it was an issue? They don't have the decency to speak direct to you or its not that much of an issue.

    My suggestion would be try to limit the weekday evenings noise, and do what you want on a weekend. If you see them, mention you use the saw and if it ever becomes an issue, invite then to knock and ask you to stop. I bet they won't.

    I used to have to ration any noisy work to weekends (same problem, office hours) and it's frustrating to wait to do what you need.

    I wouldn't bother with changing the shed either.
     
  14. leaf17

    leaf17

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    Thanks Jacko555, really helpful to have somebody else's balanced take on things.

    Rather than shell out several hundred quid for a solution that may not be totally effective I think I'll take your advice.
     
  15. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Line the inside.
     
  16. scbk

    scbk

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    I wonder if it's worth looking at the saw itself, could you get a quieter one? Maybe a smaller motor or cordless for the less social hours?
    Although I do find with people working from home they're annoyed about daytime noise interrupting their work, then evening noise interrupting their leisure time, you can't win.



    Fortunately for me I live somewhere where I can make as much noise as I want :whistle:
     
  17. IT Minion

    IT Minion

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    Preventing any noise leaking out would mean sealing all the air gaps, which seems unhealthy for a workshop.

    Adding mass to the walls to reduce the amount they allow through might help a bit, but would some form of exposed foam help absorb some of the sound before it bounces out of the workshop? It won't block most of it, but it might take the edge off. Which might be a long winded way of saying
     
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