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Forum topic by pete4242 posted 06-13-2016 01:03 PM 975 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pete4242's profile


23 posts in 2033 days

06-13-2016 01:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: workshop shed noise reduction


I have moved last week to a new house with a space outside that I will dedicate a part for an outdoor workshop. I am living in a quiet neighbourhood and noise is a concern.
I considered the option to buy a shed (DURAMAX 6×8) but it does not block the sound. Found some suggestion online, the way to block/reduce the noise is to build a “shed within the shed” leaving a void in between the inside and outside surfaces (similar to the double glass windows), with minimal contact between the two. The cost of the DURAMAX is above my budget to start with (~$800 here) and I still have to build “another shed” inside the shed.

So my target now is to build it myself and keep the budget minimal. I read as well that aluminium foil also do block the sound from escaping. I am planning to build the walls leaving an inside void between the plywood sheets of about an inch and glue foil on one of them (the side inside the gap). Hope I explained it well.

I will not be building it this month for sure, still very busy settling down but I want to start putting the build plan together. That is not the first time I approach the noise subject here on this forum, it worked not-bad for me when I built the table saw. It is going to be the largest project I did so far woodworking and I better get it right, so I need every advice I can get. Please share any thought that can put me in the right direction.

I will be using 2×4s for the structure and 3/4 commercial plywood sheets for the walls & ceiling/floor.

- pete

12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117689 posts in 4028 days

#1 posted 06-13-2016 01:25 PM

Hi Pete
Just normal R-19 insulation will help,open spaces just work for rigid materials in a 2×4 wall I don’t see any benefit to the open space concept. I do know a guy who’s kids had a band and to cut the sound down stapled egg cartons to the wall (just the part the eggs are held in)in his garage,he said it made a big difference. It took lots of egg cartons :))

View smithcreek's profile


17 posts in 1184 days

#2 posted 06-13-2016 03:07 PM

I have seen egg crate mattress padding used, cant vouch for it but it seems like it would absorb a lot of vibration. this is the route I am planning, I cant build it for what they will do it for, I priced the material ( common framing with lumber ) and the cost per sq ft was much higher plus I would have to do all the work, with this all I have to provide is a foundation if I want one, which I do. a friend of mine has two of them and loves em. I never heard of DuraMax, i’ll check that out.

View AZWoody's profile


1456 posts in 1675 days

#3 posted 06-13-2016 03:27 PM

In sound proofing, the room in a room construction is the norm for studios and other places that need to isolate noise.
Insulation helps, but also you need to make sure that studs offset as well as they are will transfer vibration. The open space is what kills the vibration and does not allow it to pass to the outside.

You can do some searching on diy sound absorption for home recording and you will find other materials that will help deaden the sound a bit. You will find that the egg crate padding isn’t dense enough to do any real work.

View johnstoneb's profile


3123 posts in 2624 days

#4 posted 06-13-2016 03:49 PM

For sound deadening you need either a material that absorbs vibrations or a way to increase the distance the sound has to travel. fiberglas insulation does both of those to some degree. The open space with materials that deaden vibration on both sides also do that. aluminum foil only works if you use it as a hat.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View clin's profile


1051 posts in 1447 days

#5 posted 06-13-2016 04:38 PM

First off, I give you credit for recognizing that you have some responsibility NOT to impose excessive noise on your neighbors.

The single most important thing in containing noise is sealing the space so there are no air gaps. That at least eliminates direct sound. From then on it’s all about the sound inside, vibrating the insides of the structure, and those vibrations transferring to the outside.

That where the room in a room construction comes into play that you mentioned. That allows the inside to vibrate, but with minimal contact to the outside structure, the sound is contained.

Another thing that makes a big difference is mass. The more massive the materials (think heavy or dense) the less they can vibrate for a given sound pressure. This is why acoustic musical instruments, like a guitar, are made with thin wood. So things like doubling up sheet rock will help.

There’s a lot of info online about this. And don’t confuse sound proofing (what you want) with sound treatment. Sound treatment is meant to make a room sound better for use as a studio or media center. That has nothing to do with sound proofing.

I happen to think that building a true sound proof structure is over kill. Unless your neighbors are really close and you plan to be planing wood at midnight on a regular basis. I think if you built a solid structure with 2×6 framing, fulling insulated, sheet rocked, NO widows, and put on really thick doors, that would be enough. And by thick doors I mean doors built like the walls. With of course great care to weather strip to seal the doors.

No matter what, there’s no way you can build anything that is solid enough for $800.

Whatever you do, you might try to make a plan for the fully sound proof construction, but take it on in steps. Be prepared to make a room in a room, but just build the outside first. Maybe that will be good enough. But if it isn’t, you are prepared to improve on it.

-- Clin

View brtech's profile


1066 posts in 3374 days

#6 posted 06-13-2016 05:11 PM

Noise suppression is something that has been a concern for a very long time, and yet the basics are poorly understood. You can absorb sound, you can dampen it, you can reflect sound away from where you want it, and of course, you can avoid creating sound. These days, there is another option available for the hearer of the sound: active cancellation (Bose headphones)

Sound travels in air. It’s not the gap itself that helps, it’s two rigid materials with a gap in between. The gap acts as a spring, dampening the movement of the rigid material. Drywall with an air gap can help high frequency sound, but drywall with fiberglass is even better. Wood has less mass per cubic inch, so it’s less effective. There is a special glue (“green glue”) which improves the elasticity of the connection of the drywall to the stud to improve damping. A double studded wall, with fiberglass between the studs and an air gap between the two walls, using green glue, is a very good solution.

What usually dooms most efforts at controlling sound is openings. Sounds will get out of any opening. Air vents, doors, windows, etc are the problems when trying to control sound.

View stefang's profile


16711 posts in 3785 days

#7 posted 06-13-2016 07:55 PM

4” thick insulation would do the job nicely and also help retain the heat in winter and help keep it cool in summer. Gypsum wall panels also help deaden sound quite a lot.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View pete4242's profile


23 posts in 2033 days

#8 posted 06-13-2016 07:56 PM

Thanks for all the comments. A great forum and a great community. The more I read about this subject the more I get indecisive, but the most common solution I came across is the one mentioned by Brtech, drywall and green glue.
I like the strategy by Clin to do it by steps, maybe there’s no need to overcomplicate it.
I think I will be using drywall which has more mass than plywood, I just never considered this option for this type of build.
In the case of going with double wall, drywall outside & inside with gap in the middle would be fine? would substituting completely the plywood with fibreglass drywall be a better bet for me or a combination? – pete

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5216 posts in 4412 days

#9 posted 06-13-2016 09:13 PM

Have you investigated the permissible db levels for your neighborhood?
Seems that ya might be chasin’ a ghost unless ya know the rules.
I have a db app on my cell phone. Use it on occasion to dbl. check my output.
Gotta start with basics.

-- [email protected]

View pete4242's profile


23 posts in 2033 days

#10 posted 06-14-2016 10:35 AM

Have you investigated the permissible db levels for your neighborhood?

There is no such permissible db level scale here in Dubai. In fact, before moving in, I told the landlord manager that I have the intention of setting up a workshop in the backyard, without even mentioning I will be using power tools and he was like no no noooo… then he agreed on a storage shed only. In fact, that is why I am concerned with the noise.
I want to build something that suit the purpose and does not cost much and look like a storage shed from the outside:))). If I was not able to get the noise under control, the whole workshop idea will vanish in the air. I always read very interesting blogs and posts here on Lumberjocks and that is why I started this thread. A lot of people want to share their knowledge and experiences, I already got a lot of valuable information and tips, still want to find to best material to use for this project. I guess trial and error will have its share in this project.
The contributors in this thread put me in the right direction, researched the topic a lot. I guess I will be going with the fiberglass drywall (no plywood) with staggered stud walls.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 2748 days

#11 posted 06-14-2016 10:55 AM

As you will be investing a LOT of money in a space you technically won’t own (can’t you take the shed with you next time you move?) I’d suggest investing in quieter tools instead – Festool is expensive but their stuff is fairly quiet. Or go the hand tool route when you can.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4164 days

#12 posted 06-15-2016 02:51 PM

In considering what to build you may want to look at your house and realize that much of the noise in your home is not transmitted to the outside without special construction consideration for ‘noise proofing’. I think if you build as some have discussed above (sheet rock/2X6/plywood), as you would a house, you should have sufficient sound-proofing. In Dubai you may really want to insulate for both the thermal and noise management characteristics of insulation.

...or maybe just play your stereo really really loud whilst in the shop so the neighbours just think its your music :-)

-- "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

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