My DIY sound-dampening & dust-reducing enclosure (XL)

I got a lot of inspiration for my own enclosure through browsing forums like this, so I wanted to share what I came up with in case it helps with your own design. It is always a work in progress of course but let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

(more images below)

*I don’t have a dedicated workshop but have about half of a garage that I utilize for projects.
*I needed something that would be easily moveable should I want to rearrange anything.
*I have kids who are outside all the time and I live in a residential area so I needed something that was very quiet.
*Since the garage is also used for toys, camping, bikes, etc. I needed it to be reasonably dust-free.
*I wanted a functional, budget-conscious option.

My Plan:
*Since plywood is currently $20-30 a sheet and doesn’t really provide much sound attenuation I knew I wanted to use drywall in some manner (only about $8 a sheet) and it provides much better sound absorption.
*Additionally, from adding cellulose insulation to my attic a few years ago, I knew it was fairly cheap (about $8 a bale) and provides excellent sound damping.
*So I opted for a design that reflects a standard interior wall with 2x4 studs, drywall on each side, and the wall cavity filled with cellulose insulation.
*To prevent the cellulose from settling down to the bottom of the cavity, I just made some cardboard baffles every few feet to keep the cellulose in place.

*I used recycled 2x4s from an old bedframe and leftover wood I had in the garage
*8 sheets of drywall
*2 bales of cellulose insulation
*Two sheets of 24"x24" 1/4 thick polycarbonate for the windows:
*Eight 25-lb magnet door catches to keep the doors shut
*I already had the door handles lying around
*Eight 3" hingles that I found in the Ace Hardware clearance bin for 99-cents each
*Plywood for the Shapeoko shelf base (already had laying around)
*2.5" flex hose (10’ length) for dust collection:
*Cheap off-brand cyclone dust separator:
*LED lights (I already had extras from my microgreens set-up) but they are affordable, easily linkable and simple to use:
*4" heavy-duty casters:
*Random left-over paint in the basement from years of home rennovations

Shapeoko Add-ons:
*Plug and go feed hold button from Tedshobbyshop ($36.50): Emergency Feed/Hold Button for the Shapeoko 3 xl xxl CNC | Etsy
*Bitsetter, probe holder, and magnet upgrade from Tedshobbyshot ($42): BitProbeSetter V1/V2Case for Carbide/Shapeoko3 BitZero | Etsy
*Dog River Touch Probe ($60):
*Myers Woodshop cam clamps file (to cut out my own): Myers Woodshop Custom Cam Clamps For CNC - Myers Woodshop
*Myers Woodshop L-clamps file (to cut out my own): How To Clamp Material To Your Wasteboard (Including The New L Shaped Clamp Bracket File) - Myers Woodshop
*Myers Woodshop Wasteboard file & video: Myers Woodshop Custom Wasteboard For The Shapeoko 3 CNC - Myers Woodshop


Pending Changes:
*I want to add some weather stripping to close up the door gaps to further dampen the sound (although it already has excellent attenuation.)
*I have a smaller shop vac that I plan to swap out. The one that is in-use now gets too hot and is honestly louder than the Shapeoko. I will also shorten the shop vac hose in the final set-up.


Interested to see how you can improve the shop vac situation. My soundproofing attempt is very similar, plus an exhaust duct to help with heat (which of course comes with a sound tradeoff). Besides some poor speed/feed situations the shop vac is usually the loudest part. I’ve heard of a few that claim to be much quieter but they’re pretty expensive and it’s hard to tell if they’re “quieter enough” to be worth it.

Yeah, so far my jobs have been shorter so the heat build-up hasn’t been too much of an issue. The smaller 4.0 HP vac is a touch quieter and still seems to provide plenty of suction to keep the dust at bay. I can see adding a little exhaust fan if heat becomes an issue.

I’m sure you’ve read about people using router speed controls (about $25) to dial back the voltage on the shop vacs to quiet them down a bit. It seems like a good solution and from what I’ve read it shouldn’t cause any damage to the shop vac. I may try that if the noise gets too tedious, but right now I don’t feel like putting any more money into sound attenuation. Spending over $200 for a fancy Fien shop vac to slightly reduce sound is low on my priority list at this point!

I did some strips of foam I had laying around to the door gaps and that helped a little. Although the more I try to seal it up the more heat will be an issue. It is a tricky balance.

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