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keys
04-24-2003, 05:34 PM
I'm in the early planning stages of my first garage machine. Would like to start with one of John K's designs (morph or 7th). Unfortunately, I'm an urban kind of guy which means I need to take my neighbors (many of whom I like) into consideration. I've got a garage in the basement of my apartment building, but the space is too big for general sound proofing. Any thoughts on design issues I should consider to minimize noise production?

Specifically:
Just how noisy are these little machines?
What is the source of the most noise, the router motor or the actual cutting?
Are some router motors quieter than others (Dremmel, Porter-Cable, RotoZip, other)?
Does cutting slow keep it quiet?
Can the router motor be put in a sound insulating box?
Would it be conceivable to put the whole machine into a sound insulating box?
Should I just give up the CNC idea and spend my time on something quiet like learning to play the bagpipes?

chuckknigh
04-24-2003, 09:54 PM
Just how noisy are these little machines?
What is the source of the most noise, the router motor or the actual cutting?
Are some router motors quieter than others (Dremmel, Porter-Cable, RotoZip, other)?
Does cutting slow keep it quiet?
Can the router motor be put in a sound insulating box?
Would it be conceivable to put the whole machine into a sound insulating box?
Should I just give up the CNC idea and spend my time on something quiet like learning to play the bagpipes?

I'll try to answer your questions from my limited knowledge.

How noisy the machine is, will vary depending on the exact components and the precise construction. Having said this, though, this is what I'd expect...

Usually stepper motors are fairly quiet -- think of the noise your floppy and hard drives make...they use stepper motors.

The motor for the mill will likely be the single noisiest part. Do you do woodworking in your basement, now? How do you deal with the noise and your neighbors?

I'd probably not worry about it *too* much, unless your machine is a true "rattle-trap."

As to the precise source of the noise, my experience has been that when using a handheld router, the motor is the noisiest part. The actual cutting is not particularly noisy unless you manage to set up a vibration, somehow.

As to sound insulation, in the early days of computing they used to make soundproof enclosures for the incredibly noisy impact line printers. Basically they were an MDF box lined with the convoluted foam we now use for mattress pads. While they didn't make it silent, they muffled the noise quite efectively. I'm sure something similar could be used for this purpose -- make sure of ventilation, though, so the motor doesn't get hot.

-- Chuck Knight

Laff Riot
04-25-2003, 12:17 AM
What are you intending to cut?

Different materials - different noise levels...

balsaman
04-25-2003, 12:26 AM
The router is by far the noisiest part, motor, then cutting.

BUT, I live in the city, my nieghbours don't hear it unless they are outside. My machine is in the garage.

Eric

cbcnc
04-25-2003, 01:05 AM
Keys,

Balsaman is right the router is the noisiest.
Cutting aluminum would be noisy too.
I think that I would look into a spindle and collet driven by a seperate motor.
At least that way the overall noise would be lower.

Chris

WOODKNACK
04-25-2003, 01:34 AM
What if you were to make a cabinet that was sound proof?? Maybe a insulated box with some small windows in it. Hmmm, Just an Idea..
WHOOOPPS didnt read your whole post! That is what I would do if I was concerned with the noise.

Laff Riot
04-25-2003, 09:09 AM
heh... I remember my soundproof cabinet.

lasted through exactly one "oh crap" moment.
if your making a soundproof cabinet go for something with a flap that can be ripped up real quick.

WOODKNACK
04-25-2003, 09:39 AM
Good point! Or have an ESTOP on the onside.

keys
04-25-2003, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the replys all. Knowing that the motor itself is the loudest thing is really going to help. I most likely will try to get it off the gantry and into a sound "proof" box rather than put the whole thing into a box (for now). Also good to know that these aren't outrageously noisy.

And for the materials question, I'm not going to be doing any metal. Just MDF, soft woods and maybe some plastics.

coherent
04-25-2003, 02:08 PM
Gee, I would think that unless your're going to cut at 2am and your garage wall ajoins your neighbors bedroom, you'd be ok with small laminate router or dremel setup. I'd equate it to the level of noise your blender makes when you whip a batch of margaritas, but without the crunching hopefully. Actually, your best bet is to show it to your neighbor right off, and while he's checkin it out, cut him a address or name sign out of a inexpensive piece of cedar fence plank. Then, when he hears the machine he'll come runnin to see what you're makin!
-Marc

keys
04-25-2003, 02:47 PM
"cut him a address or name sign out of a inexpensive piece of cedar fence plank. Then, when he hears the machine he'll come runnin to see what you're makin!"

LOL! Thanks Marc! I literally had no idea how loud these things are, so this (including the blender analogy) has been realy helpful.