Will Ballast Dampen Scroll Saw's Vibration?
Issue: Issue 288
Posted Date: 11/15/2011
Thank you for the answers that you provided [about what color to paint a shop floor in eZine 287 Q&A]. I have already applied two coats of Glidden Latex Light Gray floor paint to the floor and it looks great. The eZine Q&A were very interesting, and I noticed the picture of Chris Marshall pouring concrete mix into the wooden roll-around platform that he has one of his power machines mounted on, and it brings up another question. Is the purpose of the concrete mix just to add weight or does it deaden sound? The reason that I ask is because I constructed a wooden frame and plywood-covered platform on rollers to mount my scroll saw on, and when I power up the scroll saw, the platform actually amplifies the vibration on the scroll saw to the point that I have just about decided to junk the platform. If concrete mix deadens the vibration sound for your equipment platform, perhaps it will also work for my equipment platform. - Ralph Kimbrel
Chris Marshall: In the photo you are referring to, Ralph, I am adding sand (that's all it is, not concrete mix) to the base of the Planer Cart in order to add mass and prevent it from rolling around. We didn't do it for sound dampening — planers are pretty loud, no matter what. In terms of your rolling scroll saw platform, you could glue and screw down a second layer of plywood to the top help dampen the amplification you are experiencing. As is, it may not be stiff enough with one layer to resist vibration. I'm assuming you have the machine bolted or clamped down to that stand. If not, do so and see what happens. When I use my scroll saw, which is mounted to a piece of MDF, I clamp the MDF panel down to my workbench. The saw runs both smoothly and quietly — but the bench is also heavy and very stiff. You need a platform with a solid undercarriage, a dense top and enough overall mass to resist the effects of the machine's normal operating vibrations.
Tim Inman: I think you'll find that the added mass of concrete ballast will deaden the sound tremendously. It will also help stabilize the tool to make it safer. My tools on wheels do tend to be a little "tippy." The lower center of gravity provided by a heavy weight at the bottom of the machine helps stop this. Also, a sheet of plywood can act like a sound amplifying diaphragm (soundboard?). Putting concrete against it will help stop this phenomenon.