Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Dead Blow Hammer - How Quiet Are These Things?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    505

    Dead Blow Hammer - How Quiet Are These Things?

    Hi guys.

    Another question!

    As I stated in my previous post, I'm looking to start back up my expensive and frustrating apartment woodworking experience.

    But this time, I'm looking to tackle aggressively the noise problem.

    The most difficult part of this process in the past was reverberations from saws (which I can fix I think) and the incredibly loud noise that results from hitting a chisel with a hammer.

    Not being able to hit a chisel with a hammer at all makes for an incredibly frustrating woodworking experience.

    Thus, I'm looking for every way on earth to make this possible, and way way quieter.

    I've heard that Dead Blow Hammers are very quiet. Is this the case? Would this help, and if so, in what way?
    We have to contend with both the schock of the impact, which travels through the bench and to the floor, and walls, and also the shock of the hammer hitting the chisel, which can be loud as well. Also the bench top acting as a potential sound board if it is too thin?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Valrico, FL
    Posts
    58
    Luke,
    You remind me of the deaf man who wanted to start a rock band...it won't work.
    Why not choose something that will? How about wood carving?

  3. #3
    Not quiet enough. Time to find another hobby, find a shop space or move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
    Posts
    505
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jardin View Post
    Luke,
    You remind me of the deaf man who wanted to start a rock band...it won't work.
    Why not choose something that will? How about wood carving?

    Thanks! There's a lot of truth to that, and I tend to embrace the whole "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade" approach.

    But, I think my goal is somewhat realistic -- I'm not looking to make furniture. And I can accomplish a lot without actually hitting a chisel, or needing to rip large boards. Small projects, predimensioned wood, and, indeed, maybe carving are what I'm after.

    I'm sure there will be, even when carving, times where I want to hit a chisel with a mallet. It gives you much more control. Granted, the hits can be much lighter, and there's no need to chop straight down, which is much louder.

    I am thinking that the dead blow hammer spreads the impact over a longer time frame, making cushioned pads under a chopping block, or under the feet of the bench, potentially effective at dispersing the energy enough to prevent it being transferred into the floor enough to present a problem.

    I am in a much better position this time in that I am now on the first floor, so the only vibrations that would transfer to the top floor neighbors are ones which travel through the floor and up the walls. The wooden floor is not so solid and appears to perhaps be raised up/hollowish so this can happen I think, but it's much better than previous apartments that I've been in.

    I've been doing this a while, and in many different apartments, so I think I have a sense of what is doable, and to what degree.
    Last edited by Luke Dupont; 10-15-2021 at 8:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    6,080
    I have a number of dead blow hammers in the mechanic shop, and a number of Wood is Good urethane mallets for hitting woodworking chisels. I'd skip over the dead blow hammer, and go right to a Wood is Good. With a sharp chisel, you don't have to hit it that hard. I actually use the 12 oz. one the most, anyway. They give the chisel more of a push, than an impact.

    The Dead Blow hammer will not have as good a feel on the chisel, and there is no rebound, so you have to put all the effort it takes to pick it back up for the next blow.

    There is not much difference in the sound of the two.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    10,073
    One...foam floor pads under the feet of the bench, to isolate it from the floor. 2, play music as you work....and time the mallet blows to the drums.
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,319
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jardin View Post
    Luke,
    You remind me of the deaf man who wanted to start a rock band...it won't work.
    Why not choose something that will? How about wood carving?
    Wood carving can involve quite a bit of hammering with a mallet! Then there are rotary carvers, reciprocal carvers...

    Chip carving, OTOH, is about the quietest hobby I know besides reading.

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,270
    As I noted in your other thread, I have used the wood is good mallet quite a bit. It is useful for taking the edge off the noise and used to use in the garage to limit sound coming into the house. But it was still playing the drums, to stretch the analogy above. Might be manageabe though, whereas a gennou or even wood mallet really does need a separate shop space.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  9. #9
    Try a 16 oz. rubber mallet. About as quiet as you can get.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,047
    Blog Entries
    1
    I am thinking that the dead blow hammer spreads the impact over a longer time frame, making cushioned pads under a chopping block, or under the feet of the bench, potentially effective at dispersing the energy enough to prevent it being transferred into the floor enough to present a problem.
    The dead blow mallet isn't designed to cancel noise. It is designed to not bounce, i.e. be dead when it delivers its blow. Not sure if it is the same these days but the old ones had a hollow chamber inside about half full of lead pellets. When the mallet was being swung down the shot was virtually weightless. When the mallet face met its impact point the lead pellets would continue forward inside of the mallet to the back of the mallet's face causing more force to the work before it could bounce back.

    This makes me wonder if an electronic noise cancelation scheme might be your answer. Kind of like noise cancelling headphones with big speakers.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    24,047
    Blog Entries
    1
    Another thought would be to get to know your neighbors and schedule your loudest work for when they are not home.

    They also might be forgiving of your noise if you made them a few items.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    2,821
    Isolating your bench from the floor will probably accomplish the most in terms of not bugging the neighbors. You probably have a direct path from your work surface to their ceiling, creating a direct conduction amplifier for your blows. Something like dense foam platforms under the feet could do a lot to break that direct conduction route.

    Also, talk to them, find out if there's a time when they aren't home (or when it's not the baby's nap time) when it's OK for you to make more noise.

    A gift of a small handmade piece might also do a lot to smooth relations-- fill it with chocolate chip cookies if necessary!

  13. #13
    What kind of chisel work are you doing? Chopping out dovetails and mortises? I find that's pretty loud regardless, but I live in a duplex so out of curtesy to them, and my tinnitus, I found what makes the least amount of noise. Whatever you are working on, the tighter it is clamped to the bench the quieter it is, this makes the biggest difference IMO, so clamp it at a couple spots if you need. Also the bigger your bench is, I assume would dissipate the sound more, so if you're also working on building a bench, thicken it up where you can, to the point of being able to move it. Or make it big, get rid of your dining room table, and eat dinner at it.

    I use both a round "carvers mallet" I made from maple, and I use the Crucible Tools lump hammer once in a while. It's a hammer with a two pound head I use in a similar way to a deadblow, choking up on the handle and essentially assisting gravity just a little with each hit (which is why I'm fine with using a metal hammer on my wooden chisels). Using that lump hammer in combination with a light cut each time is a lot quieter than the mallet. I believe this is because there isn't a ton of speed in each hit, it's the inertia of that heavy hammer that does the work. And the noise level is mostly the impact of whatever you're hitting the chisel with so using a deadblow, not swinging it like crazy, and always using sharp chisels, I think you'd get by. Especially since no one lives below you.

  14. #14
    Quiet is subjective. How many dB do you want to tolerate with?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Dupont View Post

    The most difficult part of this process in the past was reverberations from saws
    If Japanese saws make too much noise you may have to take up needlework.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •