Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 94 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This thread is about the building of a small practice 'room' in my attic.

I live in a 1950s town house which is build well enough, except for the fact that they soundproofing is not of a very high standard. I am a witness when someone three houses down the block is drilling a hole in a concrete ceiling, or when the neighbours are frollicking in their bedroom.

Needless to say, playing a saxophone (especially practicing toptones, and scales) or learning to play the trumpet, is not always amusing to listen to for someone else but me.

So I decided to build myself a small practice room in my attic. It only needs to house one person, and it does not need to be 100% soundproof since its not a recording studio. Just enough to be able to play at any length of time at any part of day without elicitting howling noises from the woman next door (I'm not kidding).

The attic roof is slanting, which limits the height of the box, as I shall call it for short, and it needs to have 10 cm clearing from the walls all around, for soundproofing reasons. I also need to leave room in the attic for other 'lounging' activities, as well as a bed for friends to stay over, and a desk.

Taking all this into account, I decided on the layout below (picture not to scale).

The long side is 2.15m, the short side on the left (where the door will come) 0.95 m wide and the side on the right (which will come under the slanting roof) is 1.15 m wide. The right hand side starts slanting in at 1.50 m, and the highest part will be 1.98 m.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Baseframe

Last week I started on the baseframe.

It is constructed from 44 x 75 mm pinewood beams. At the corners where the beams meet, I employed lap joints which are held together by heavy metal braces. I don't use glue or nails because I want to be able to take the whole thing apart in case I want to make modifications or if I ever move house.
The lap joints are partly made on my tablesaw. But because I don't have dado blades, I have to do part of the work manually, i.e.: use the table saw to cut the edges of the joints to the right depth, then use a chisel to cut away the wood.

At each corner, metal brackets will hold the corner posts vertically in place. Initially I thought about attaching them with nails, but later I decided on screws (I prefer a good screw over a nail anytime <gr> ). The screws make the metal brackets about 5 mm high, so to compensate for that, and to ensure that the corner posts are actually resting on the baseframe and not on the screw heads, I employed a router to recess the brackets into the wood.




A central beam provides additional stiffness as well as supported for floor panels. This one is held in place by a half lap joint and a 60 mm long screw. The stiffness is required because the baseframe will not be placed level on the floor: it will be supported by a couple of vibration insulators. More about those in a later episode.




The little wood block on the left provides additional support for the doorframe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Baseframe

This is the completed baseframe, looking from the part where the door is, to where the slanting roof is:




There is a little extra space on the far left, this fits nicely between the chimney and the wall, to create some extra space. The whole thing is not exactly spacious so I want to use as much real estate as possible :D

The two diagonal beams near the front are supports for the doorframe. They are firmly glued to the baseframe with construction glue, held in place by just one screw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Doorframe

This is the unfinished doorframe.

It is made of the same 44 x 75 mm beams as the baseframe, and held in position by two metal brackets at the bottom, diagonal braces at the rear and eventually by a couple of horizontal 'stringers' linking the corner posts to the other vertical posts that will be made along the long sides.

The booklet I read about making a sound-proofed room mentioned that the door should be as small as practicable. So I partitioned the front side: the left and bigger part will be the doorway. The one on the right will form part of one of the soundproofed boxes that form the ventilation system.

I could not use the metal corner brackets for the central vertical posts, but by glueing it to the one on the right using a little crossbar it should stay in position. The central post is resting on a little wood block that I glued on, since it is 31 mm wider than its support beam (75-44 mm). This little wood block can be seen in one of the earlier pictures.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Because my attic is quite small, and I'm making part of this thing up as I go, I have to go out regularly to buy more hardware for my little project.

So, today I bought four couple of sheets of triplex (122 cm x 60 cm x 4 mm) and four multiplex panels (122 cm x 70 cm x 12 mm). The triplex will be screwed to the underside of the support frame, and the multiplex will be placed on top of it, to function as the floor I'll be standing on. The original plan was to use underlayment, but the stuff sold at the DIY was so warped that I thought better of buying it. I just hope that the 12 mm multiplex, supported by the central beam of the baseframe, will not bend too much under my weight.

The purpose of the double layers of panelling is twofold: it provides extra sound proofing, and if needed I can fill the space between the two with insulation material (like Rockwool) for extra soundproofing.

I didn't get around to building today. If it's not too hot in the attic I'll start with the floorpanels tomorrow.

Note to self: look out for small airco unit to prevent heatstroke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you :)
I'll try to keep the images smallish, so members with a POTS line can enjoy it too.

This thread will show how multifaceted undertaking saxophone playing could be
Who would have thought that undertaking saxophone playing would involve safety goggles and a straight edge...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
This is very interesting stuff. I'm anticipating that I may have some problems with my neighbours when my instrument of torture arrives, so I'm looking forward to hearing how your project develops.

Best regards,

Frank
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
480 Posts
looks good thus far...

before you get too far along, you might want to consider putting some kind of layer underneath the floor joists... i.e. rubber mat, something like that.
Keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,393 Posts
This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing and make sure to keep us updated with progress!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
rim shot said:
looks good thus far...

before you get too far along, you might want to consider putting some kind of layer underneath the floor joists... i.e. rubber mat, something like that.
Keep us posted.
I have ordered neoprene mountings (from this company, via a local dealer) to counter contact sounds, they should arrive here next week. Before that, there is little I can do because I have to be able to put the baseframe on its side to fit the mountings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Interesting project for the weekend - I thought I heard some screwing and pounding coming from the East. But then it may have been your neighbors.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
480 Posts
I have ordered neoprene mountings (from this company, via a local dealer) to counter contact sounds, they should arrive here next week. Before that, there is little I can do because I have to be able to put the baseframe on its side to fit the mountings.
they look good... what do those things cost?
how many will you need?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
rim shot said:
they look good... what do those things cost?
how many will you need?
They are not so expensive, actually. There's a whole range (they are the 'RD' type of mountings), and you pick the type you need based on the load it is to bear (Newtons).

Prices start at EUR 11,-, and I think mine were EUR 13,- That's excluding VAT and shipping. I bought seven (although five might have been enough *shrug*), for a total of EUR 135,- including VAT and P&P.

I guess the amount you need depends on the type of construction you're making (think stability), and the load that your floor can bear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Underside

The underside is attached to the baseframe now. I used 4 mm triplex because it's cheap and it does not have to bear any load apart from maybe some insulation material.




There are four sheets of triplex. At the sides where the sheets meet each other, I removed a strip of material about 4 mm wide, 2 mm deep along the entire length of the sheet. That way each side is overlapping its neighbour, adding a little to the soundproofing and preventing any Rockwool particles from slowly 'leaking' out over time.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
electricity

I'm not quite sure yet where the electrical conduits for light and inside wall outlets are going to be, but in preparation I drilled two 17mm holes through the beams in the area where the whole thing will be closest to an existing wall outlet:




Top left one can see how a metal corner support has been let in into the wood to cater for the height of (support + screws).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
mountings

The mountings arrived by post, yesterday. They feel very sturdy and smell rubbery :D

Each comes with a 3 cm long bolt which can be screwed into the top. Since the bolt is too short to go through the baseframe beams (which are 75 mm), and it's not metric thread so I cannot buy longer bolts either (easily), I am going to screw them upside down underneath the baseframe, with two bolts per mounting.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Have you thought about ventilation/air conditioning? Blowing a sax inside a small box in an attic is going to make it hot and stuffy.
 
1 - 20 of 94 Posts
Top