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Old 07-29-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


I'm trying to make a noisy portable air compressor in the garage a lot more quiet. I still need air flow to it of course. I tried building a wood box that sits over it, which helps a little. Any (cheap and easy) ideas on material I could put inside to absorb the sound? I need the bottom sides open for air flow, and unfortunately the current wood box just barely fits over it so there's not a lot of room.

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:01 PM   #2
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


Let it be. You start enclosing it in a box, it will overheat, then you will be without one.

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Old 07-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


Add a shed style roof and platform outside and put it outside.
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


from what i understand, it's the air intake that makes 90% of the racket.

see if you can duct that up and away somewhere, or, find a lawn implement muffler and put that on the intake side.

some of the higher end shop compressors i've looked at come with an intake box/filter/noise cancellation thingy from the factory.

you for sure dont want to enclose it, unless you've got mega air movement through it, otherwise it'll cook itself to death in no time.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


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Originally Posted by Chokingdogs View Post
you for sure dont want to enclose it, unless you've got mega air movement through it, otherwise it'll cook itself to death in no time.
Yikes! how easy is it to overheat?
I was hoping for at least a partial enclosure, and some foam blocks that would absorb some of the racket?
I think one can hear it from 2-3 houses away even with the garage closed, and in the garage it's rather noisy.
Anyway, two of you mentioned overheating and death. Is overheating pretty easy to have happen?
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


Let me guess....it's one of those little oil less jobs? For all the time and money your spending....you could have bought a 'real' air compressor that runs off 240Vac, puts out magnitudes more air at a fraction of the noise....

I had one of those old 'oil less' jobs....with it outside in a shed....it was still loud....and I got complaints from the neighbor behind me (the neighborhood a-hole). I put in a new 'used' 240vac compressor....SO MUCH better...and quieter. Now I can't hear it if I'm in the house.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


ddawg, I know the Bosch 6gal Pancake Oiless I have is loud, but not where you would be deaf two doors down. Sound about as loud as a gas trimmer.

As for the Op foam blocks will do nothing. The noise you are hearing, is the piston movement vibrating through the metal casing.

You could try using isolation Rubber o-rings to see of that may quiet it.

What is the make & model of the unit you have?
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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Let me guess....it's one of those little oil less jobs? For all the time and money your spending....you could have bought a 'real' air compressor that runs off 240Vac, puts out magnitudes more air at a fraction of the noise....

I had one of those old 'oil less' jobs....with it outside in a shed....it was still loud....and I got complaints from the neighbor behind me (the neighborhood a-hole). I put in a new 'used' 240vac compressor....SO MUCH better...and quieter. Now I can't hear it if I'm in the house.
Nope, it does use oil (I've got a gallon of compressor oil but had to add a little once with it looked a little low). But it is 110 volt.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:14 PM   #9
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ddawg, I know the Bosch 6gal Pancake Oiless I have is loud, but not where you would be deaf two doors down. Sound about as loud as a gas trimmer.

As for the Op foam blocks will do nothing. The noise you are hearing, is the piston movement vibrating through the metal casing.

You could try using isolation Rubber o-rings to see of that may quiet it.

What is the make & model of the unit you have?
It an 2HP 8 gallon compressor. It's originally from (grimace) Harbor Freight, but I got it for free from work. I know that a lot of Harbor Freight stuff isn't very good (I've learned my lesson on other tools from them) so I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I have it, but it works fine and gets the job done. I'd just like to make it quiet.

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Old 07-30-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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soundproofing suggestions for air compressor


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Originally Posted by novicejr View Post
It an 2HP 8 gallon compressor. It's from Harbor Freight. I know that most of their stuff isn't very good (I've learned my lesson on other tools from them) so I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I have it, but it works fine. I'd just like to make it quiet.
being an oiled compressor helps some, in terms of heat sensitivity, but being a HF compressor adds its own set of issues....LOL

try messing around with the intake side, like i mentioned above. if you have some spare PVC and old rubber radiator/heater hoses laying around, just cobble something together and see if that helps the noise factor. chances are though, you wont get it super quiet, but you should be able to get it down to a more sane level.

also, w/o knowing the specs on it, i'm going to guess an 8 gallon compressor isnt going to be much good for anything beyond light painting, nailers, pumping up tires, etc. if youre planning on using it to run a DA sander....

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