After teaching high school woodworking for 30 years, I took a break for five years. I missed woodworking, so I found a bench for rent in a fully equipped shop nearby with 24/7 access. I was asked to leave because I was there, 24/7. Then I built a shop in my cramped, damp basement. It worked for a few months. Last week during an energy audit and system check, it was found that the CO2 level in our furnace was abnormally high. It turned out the sawdust was interfering with the burner, so there goes the basement shop! Now I plan on going to the yard. How and what should I use to make the shop as quiet as possible so I won’t disturb my neighbors? I plan on using 2 x 6s for the walls with a gambrel roof. The shop will measure 16 x 20 ft. with one window and one door. Any suggestions? – Brian McCluskey
Chris Marshall: Six years ago when I had my shop built, it was framed with 2x6s, too. We filled the stud bays with conventional R-19 fiberglass batts, and there’s loose cellulose insulation blown in between the ceiling joists. The interior walls are sheathed with 1/2-in. drywall. This combination has proved to offer good sound dampening as well as ample insulation to heat and cool the building effectively. I’ve heard of people sheathing the walls with two layers of drywall to muffle the sound even more, but that happens mostly for shops that are adjacent to living spaces. For a freestanding shop like you are planning to build, that seems like overkill to me.
I’m sure other “Weekly” readers will have some suggestions for you as well, Brian. Good luck building your new shop!