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Cornhole Boards - Quiet, Silent

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Project by JD13 posted 07-14-2018 12:04 AM 3556 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Updated 1/11/19: we pulled out the insulation and filled the boards with concrete and put a 3/4” backer board underneath. We used green glue between the framing and the bottom backer board to help dampen vibration. They are about 1/2” higher than regulation, but they are SUPER quiet now! Unfortunately, they weigh about 240 lbs EACH. For real, not kidding. But finally “quiet enough” to use daily in the office without complaints. But on the positive, I don’t worry about anyone stealing them, since you’d need a forklift. :-D

Background: In Summer 2018, I 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. It took me nearly 60 hours of researching, building, experimenting, and finishing. And in the end, none of it worked either. We initially filled them with rock wool insulation held in place by canvas. And by using sand-filled bags instead of corn or plastic pellets, with what I had done, it was initially good enough. But the boards got a LOT of use and with meetings and actual work, they are still too loud and we were still getting complaints. As the insulation settled, the boards seemed to get louder as time went by. A cornhole board is a really big guitar and corn or pellet-filled bags are noisy even if you throw them on carpeted floors (when they land flat like a pancake). For the boards, no matter what you do, all the sound and VIBRATION will go through the bottom, bounce around a zillion times until it’s focused and amplified, then come out the sound hole: GUITAR. But since you can’t cover the hole as that’s the point of cornhole, you need to dampen the sound AND VIBRATION. If we were to start over, 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. The final puzzle piece was using sand-filled bags instead that are a combination of 15 or so ounces of sand and a little under an ounce of tiny foam pellets that you get at craft stores for kids to mix with slime to make a strange toy. Basically, even setting it on carpet or foam isn’t enough in an office space and the canvas doesn’t really block enough sound. Well, if I couldn’t make them as I said – out of one big block of foam with just a thin wooden top – along with sand-filled bags, then I’d follow the advice of sound proofing pro’s here: https://www.tmsoundproofing.com/How-to-Soundproof.html#floors. I’d put that gasket tape between the top and frame and use the green glue to sandwich an extra layer of 1/2” drywall under them. They have good advice, so check that out as well.

-- JD from Elk Grove





7 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12870 posts in 2831 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

32086 posts in 3317 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

612 posts in 959 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 Richard's profile

Richard

11291 posts in 3484 days


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

Very Nice Work & Well Done!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View JD13's profile

JD13

23 posts in 1842 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 1842 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

12870 posts in 2831 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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