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Thread: Shop noise and neighbors in neighborhoods where homes are close together

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    A woodworker friend of mine solved this question in a different way. He says many retirement communities have amenities like tennis courts, swimming pools, and such. He found that many have woodworking shops. He chose one of them, and is very happy with it. The shop is big, and fully equipped with big stationery tools. He does have a hand-tool bench at home, but all the noise and sawdust are in the community shop.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    It is a hit or miss situation. Neighbors you have now could be gone next month. Check your local ordenances and HOA rules for quiet times. The best was to go about this would be to take the sound reduction suggestions above in advance. Learn your close neighbors routines so you don't disturb the daily nap or favorite team broadcast. You can also make a useful item like a tray and give it to one of the neighbors as a gift and say thank you for letting you make a little noise every once in a while. If the neighbor is cutting his grass with a noisy mower, run your planer at that time. If they have a fire place make up bundles of cut offs for fire starter.

    I wish you luck in this change of location.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA '71
    Go Navy!

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Tracy, CA
    I know this post is late, I was out for all last week.

    "soundproofing" is actually extremely hard to do in a garage. I would look more at "sound absorbing". You can do a lot of "soundproofing", but sound still gets out. The goal would be to get your tools and machinery to be as quiet as possible. Don't buy a Dewalt 735 planer (or any lunchbox planer). Look for full size planer/jointers with helical heads. Place foam on the inside of machinery with motors:

    Look at dust collection that is quiet (Harvey G700 is great, but so is a well engineered Clearvue Cyclone if you have the budget for $6-8k).

    If you have a metal garage door, you can try looking at the garage door insulation kits like the Owens Corning R-8 Faced Fiberlgass or Cellofoam. However, it would be much better to buy a bunch of 1" Owens 703, cut it to size and wrap in fabric before sticking into the garage door sections:

    Routers, unfortunately, are going to be very loud. It's best to get your garage to have as much "sound absorption" as possible and then run the routers with the garage door closed. You can start sticking acoustic panels across the walls if you really want. You can also run the routers as the slowest speed possible to reduce the noise (but it also reduces the cutting speed).

    I think with all this, the sound won't be that offensive for the neighbors.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Since I live in an older neighborhood (built in the mid-80's) we have decent sized lots. So no homes like 10 feet apart. However I never run loud machines after 9:00PM out of respect for them. Walls and ceiling are insulated well so not much noise gets out anyway. If I'm working after 9 I only use the quieter machines (bandsaw, sander, hand tools).
    That's the beauty of living in an older neighborhood; I don't like the newer homes where the set backs are minuscule with no place for a detached shop.

  5. #20
    OP here: Thanks, everyone, for your replies. Overall, I found them encouraging with respect to the viability of a shop in such a setting. Additional inputs welcome and appreciated.

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