Sunday, August 06, 2006

Silencing the Air Compressor

I've got a little pancake compressor for blowing a little bit of paint using my Harbor Freight airbrush, for pulling rivets using my Harbor Freight "Pop" rivet pullers (also good for dimpling using the pop rivet dimple dies), and for driving AN rivets using my 3X rivet gun.

It try to hold to a self-imposed limit of 10 PM for power tool use. Although this is NOT an oil-less compressor (those are even noisier), it's pretty loud, 83 dB at 6 feet, too loud to use even before 10 PM in a residential neighborhood in a shop with NO sound attenuation.

Dan Checkoway inspired me to do something about the noise, but my research shows that plywood doesn't do much to STOP noise, it tends to reverberate it like the back of a guitar. You need something stiffer, heavier. Mass helps in this application. Soundboard, Homosote, or MDF are good. Fine grain particle board from abandoned IKEA shelves is what I found in my neighborhood for free.

This cool soundproofing site has both information and materials to do the job.

Here is the result so far:

Air compresser and the nesting boxes that enclose it

Even though I haven't installed the foam yet, and I'm only using two nesting boxes instead of 3, I've already cut the noise from 83 dB to 72dB at 6 feet. Tune in for the results with the foam installed.



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