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I Forge Iron

Building a shop in town


Ken Lutes

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I will be going back to town in about a year and trying to decide how to build my shop so to help contain the noise somewhat so not to xxxx people off right off the bat. I already figure I will give up the coal forge and go to a gas forge . I will have natural gas available. Any input on that will be appreciated. Probably will miss my brick forge. Oh we'll moving on. I will do some things to deaden the anvil ring itself. Anyone have any thoughts on setting the anvil on a sand bed? Not sure about this? But my main concern is the walls. I will be building my house and insulating it with blown in wet cellulose. It dries before drywalling it. It is a great insulation and fairly good at softening sound. I thought I would use 2-6 in the shop and use the same insulation. Then I remembered at work we built 8 inch concrete walls and filled with sand to help contain noise levels. Worked pretty good. Plus no fire concerns. Ay thoughts on this subject would be appreciated.

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My father used to move houses.  He told me about one they couldn't jack. The two story walls were filled with sand! You will need to do a very good foundation. Off topic question for you. Do you have a brother named Kevin Lutes here in the Dallas area working in aviation? I used to work with him.

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Magnets and chains don't seem to redden the ring, but to change the harmonics. A wooden pad, and bedding in silicon works well for me.
I've seen 2x4 walls, using 2x6 top and botom plates, staggering the 2x4's to limit the sound transition threw the structure. Adobe and earth bags work well (2 foot thick earthen walls).
To be honest, of you don't get a big power hammer, and you respect your neighbors sleep time, you'll be les offensive than the kids with the base liked up in their cars.

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I use a wooden pad on top of my stand. I laminated 2x lumber and screwed that in an agle iron frame for my field anvil. The silicon goes between the wood and the anvil. I would think a rubber mat or a silpad baking wheat would work to. Some of the threads on stands recommend filling the legs with sand and oil to further reduce noise.
Sound is vibration, anything you can do to absorb and prevent vibration will deaden the ring.post-4450-0-61281200-1378227782_thumb.jp

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This is a 153# Trenton I built a new stand for last month. It used to sit on a pine round and rang like a darned bell! I've always wanted to try out one of those three legged stands I've seen around and figured what the heck? This anvil isn't mine, it belongs to a county fairgrounds where I smith (in fact just finished a four day run there, did pretty good too). Using scraps around my shop at home I put this together with the legs filled with rammed decomposed granite and added a 5/8" piece of plywood under it. Not in this pic is where I added a thin piece of rubber on the plywood, that didn't work to well. Had lots of burn holes. To sum it up though, this anvil was a pleasure to use this past weekend. In fact I had to give it up to another smith (Bernhard Heer) when he saw it on Saturday and Sunday.post-35726-0-41895900-1378246677_thumb.j

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A magnet placed on the horn and heel will kill a great percentage of the ring by absorbing the vibrations.  I shot a video to demonstrate just that.

 

However, setting the anvil on a bed of caulk, no chain/magnet/whatever, really kills the ring and you don't have anything interfering with your work.  I didn't believe it until I saw it, but it works better than anything I've ever seen before.

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To kill sound in places like concert halls and recording studios they do several things. One they often separate the two sides of a wall. The wall board attaches to only one side of a stud, and the 2nd side is attached to a different set of studs so vibrations don't transfer between them. The 2nd thing they do is use simple mass to deaden sound. The sand filled walls mentioned above probably work on that principle. In commercial sound proofed rooms for recording studios it's not uncommon to use double layers of 5/8" thick drywall for mass and frequently they use either lead sheeting or leaded drywall for the same purpose. Just a simple double layer of 1/2" drywall is something like 10 times as effective in killing sound as the fiberglass insulation that gets touted all the time as "sound proofing" on home shows. If you are going to insulate, the poly spray foam is a better choice than fiberglass. #1 you get almost 2 times the R value depending on the mix you go with and the density of the foam as well as the fact it fills all voids and cracks greatly reduces sound.

 

One interesting thing with sound. If you have a small opening, then sound radiates out from that point and in many cases can be louder than it the sound was unimpeded. It's a common issue when they put up these "sound walls" along highways. The people who live right next to the walls have the sound cut. However now the sound radiates out from the top of the wall. This frequently allows the sound to travel farther and causes more noise issues that never existed before. Previously the sound stayed down at ground level and got soaked up by trees homes etc. Now since the sound is above all this stuff, it carries significantly farther and thus is louder over a greater area.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there, I started a thread about building a straw bale shop awhile back, and it deals with many of the same issues and concerns you are having. A couple of people much smarter than myself gave beautifully exhaustive responses (thanks again, Alan!) in regards to all my issues of audibility. Search for "straw bale" it should come up. Take care, Matt 

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You're right to be concerned with the walls. That's where the buck, or sound stop's in this case. The higher the STC (sound transmission class) rating of your walls then less your neighbors will hear.

 

Essentially you'll turn your shop into a theatre by using a wall system that deadens and reduces sound in a fairly broad decible range.

 

Start here http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/  and read everything under the section Sound proofing 101

 

Then go here and read more http://soundisolationstore.com/research/

 

This will give you a fairly good start on understanding how to build a wall system that isolates sound.

 

Check this out as well http://www.soundisolationcompany.com/education/soundproofing-101/best-wall-soundproofing

 

I don't reccomend single wall on any exterior bldng. That obviously does nothing. A staggered stud wall or double stud wall is what you'll be looking at. They are not difficult to construct and if you use the homes garage you can build this feature into an existing building. I.E my home I bought had a 3 car garage with 2x4 walls, 16O.C. so I just put 2x4's between the 16" studs (after furring out the bottom and top plates) and then I had a beautiful 2x6 wall system with 2x4 staggered studs every 8" (8" O.C).

 

In a theatre you'd use two layers of drywall and probably resillient channel if you wanted to go all out. For smithing/workshop purposes don't do that. Instead use one to two layers of plywood on your interior with green glue between the two and Green Glue sealent around all the edges. Stagger your joints of course. Doing two layers of drywall gives you no structural support and you still really can't hang things on the wall and they still will get dented really easy so drywall in a shop is always a bad idea. The green glue between the layers actually helps quite a bit, especially in a staggered stud scenario. Of course the real holy grail is decoupling the wall completely in a double wall system. But you do give up a lot of space in that system, that's why I didn't do it in 24' x 30' shop. Most experts say fiberglass in the void..... meh.. that's OK if you don't need much R value (i.e california or florida). Up here in Oregon I'm putting 5" of Closed Cell foam. Bad part of that is the foam acts like one big volume and somewhat decreases the benefit of the staggered studs, but not considerably. Therefore a lot of truists would say do 3" of foam and 3" of fiberglass. Makes it hard for sound to travel through a void like that because sound doesn't do well skipping across different densities/mediums.

 

8" concrete walls filled with sand would also do great (though pricey $$). That offers a lot of mass which helps considerably. You can even build a single stud wall in front of it as your first line of defense.

 

If you have more questions I'm always here to help. If you don't get my attention just PM me.

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