If you use your garage as a home workshop, things can get noisy at times. This is generally acceptable, but if your child is sleeping and you’d like to use a miter saw, or you want to run your CNC router while others are watching TV, a little noise reduction can be quite helpful. Here’s one option to help keep things quiet, based on panels meant for home theater use.
As good as those instructions are, I’ve made a few modifications that I think improve on the design. I put my panel up in my garage near the door to help muffle the sound entering the house. It could work equally well for keeping noise out of a home office, or even in a home theater as it was originally intended.
Construct the Frame
Cut the furring strips into two 48″ lengths, and two 25 1/2″ lengths. Apply glue to one side of each 48″ strip, and place a 25 1/2″ strip on top, with the long pieces aligned with the 25 1/2″ edge. Attach each strip with a nail to avoid having to clamp the assembly. Do the same on the other side to complete the frame.
I used a Square to make sure the frame was constructed with what were at least close to right angles.
Attach Drop “Cloth” Backing
In order to keep the insulating material in place, I attached the thickest plastic drop cloth I could find at the hardware store to the back. For this step, duct tape was used to keep it in place, but it was stapled later when the cloth covering was put on. If you happen to put a hole in it, you can always patch it up with a piece of duct tape; it will be hidden while in use.
Once the frame is constructed and properly-backed, the insulation should easily drop in, while touching the wooden (or plastic covered) edges. Spray the sides of the insulation with adhesive, then maneuver it into place. Let the adhesive dry.
Use gloves and a respirator to minimize your exposure to the insulating material while working with it.
Cover with Cloth
Place your selected cloth over the side of your frame not covered with plastic. Fold over as neatly as possible and staple tightly. You can trim the excess material, or use duct tape to keep it from flopping around.
Attach to Wall
Attach picture hanging hardware as shown in the first two pictures, then hang the insulation panel. Be sure to use hardware on the wall that can support the weight of this panel.
After installation and testing with a sound level meter, there seems to be a small amount of noise reduction, but not as significant as one might hope. Regardless, this type of design has been used successfully with home theater setups, and with a more “refined” fabric than the burlap I’ve used here, would work well indoors.
One should also note that, although similar designs have been used successfully elsewhere, one should minimize exposure to fiberglass, especially during the build and installation phases. I haven’t noticed any problems with it when it’s simply hanging in my garage, but the material could possibly escape from the fabric covering, especially from cloth with a loose weave like the one that I’ve used here.
If you have any reservations, there are plenty of “buy” options, and as with any project here, proceed at your own risk!