I'm making a door for a sound booth out of pine 2x4's and drywall that's
going to be about 44 1/2" wide, about 78" tall, 4 1/2" deep. The depth
includes 3 1/2" for the 2x4's and 1/2" drywall on each side.
Along with the frame of the door will be a couple of internal support
members and R-13 insulation. So, it's going to be fairly hefty. My seat of
the pants guess is it will weigh around around 80 - 100 lbs. give or take.
In selecting hinges, should a 3-pack of 3.5" hinges from Home Depot do the
Thanks for all shared wisdom.
Can you elaborate on this point? My plan is to use other doors in the house
as a model, with the outer hinges a few inches in from the top and bottom
and the center hinge equidistant between them.
The only thing holding the door square and plumb is the drywall. You
should have a diagonal from the top of the hinge side to the opposite
loiwer corner. The other question is warping across the surface. Even
a light hollow core door will have a lot wider rails and stles than
your 2x4s on edge. Gluing the drywall in will make a stiffer box
If I'm following what you're saying, either you misunderstood my description
or I didn't describe it well enough.
The 2x4's are all going to be joined along their widest part oriented front
to back- making the depth (thickness front to back) of the frame without
the drywall 3 1/2", 4 1/2" after adding drywall on both sides, which is the
same thickness as the rest of the booth - i.e., this will be like a section
of the front wall of the booth, except it will be on hinges.
To further elaborate, I'll have two 12-3" screws at each point where the
frame members join. A 44 1/2" piece across the top and bottom, with three
78" pieces between them vertically - one on each side and one in the center.
The drywall will be screwed into the edges of all of these. For added
rigidity and support I figured I'd add at least one diagonal member with the
ends cut at 45 deg. to put on the inside of the frame at the upper right
corner on the same side as the hinges.
In reality, I'll probably shorten all these dimensions by about 1/8" just to
allow a small gap all around, with stops mounted on the inside frame of the
box. I plan to hold the door closed with magnets mounted flush at strategic
points on either the outer edge of the door or the stops along with a strip
of metal mounted on the opposite side from the magnets.
I'll be picking the straightest pieces of lumber on and around the door area
and shaving off just a tad with a table saw to make it as close to a
perfectly mated area as possible. All the cuts on the 2x4's have been made
with a miter saw and are all accurate to probably within half the width of
mechanical pencil lead diameter of each other.
Thought I'd add I'm pre-drilling the holes with a drill press (using a
homemade guide on the ends of the 2x4's) with a bit that's about the same
size as the inner shaft of the screws (not the screw planes themselves) to
avoid splitting the wood.
The hinges will be fine for a door of that weight and size as long as
they're mortised into both the door and frame.
Why do you want to use drywall for the door? I realize that you're
looking for sound deadening properties, but I don't know about the
durability of drywall on a door. What are you going to use for the
Exactly that, sound deadening properties to match the rest of the booth.
This will be basically a "room within a room". If all goes as planned, the
drywall shouldn't be taking any of the structural stress of the door. The
plan is to make the frame very rigid and for the drywall to act strictly as
a sound barrier along with the insulation laid inside.
To keep the door closed I'll use flush-mounted magnets and strips of sheet
steel, which will be epoxied into an exposed area on the inside of the door
frame and a stop edge mounted on the inside frame of the booth. Figured I'd
use a router to cut the slots for both items, or maybe a boring bit if I use
round magnets. All I need it to do is keep the door shut, no need for it to
lock. I want to be able to push/pull it open easily when entering/exiting.
Sounds like a cool project but I do not know about the drywall. You
will be mounting steel strips to the inside of the door, getting them
flush mounted and having them look nice will be a task. I am sure the
dges of your drywall will get damaged over time. Are you using drywall
on the edges also, mainly the edge opposite the hinged edge? How you
planning on creating a smooth transition between the drywall and 2x4
Your design is going to be more of a problem than I think you realize.
There are all sorts of problems with it:
- door swing clearance on a 4.5" thick door. What sort of gap is
required and how does that affect the sound transmission?
- regardless of what 2x4s you use, they're not furniture woods, and
always have a bit of twist or warping in them. At almost 4' wide even
a little twist will leave a gap, and even a little gap lets through a
_lot_ of sound. My acoustics professor would tell us that acoustically
speaking an 1/8" gap at a door is essentially the same as leaving the
- the more I think about it, the less confident I am about my earlier
advice about the hinges with a door that size. It's the width of the
door that is the biggest factor, not the weight. I think I'd go with
two pair of hinges to be on the safe side.
- drywall on a door is not a good idea. The surface is not hard enough
to stand up to the abuse a door takes. If you want to tiptoe through
the door every time you use it, it might be okay, but people push doors
open with their hips when their hands are full and the facing paper
will tear. I don't think it will be too long before the door looks old
before it's time.
I'm not sure how critical your soundproofing requirements are, but a
standard arrangement is to have two doors with one hung on either side
of the wall. The separation is at least as important as the doors
Why don't you tell us what the application is and what the room will be
used for? The door is an oddball size, as is your intended
construction. Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way.
I wondered about that. Looking at a door that's about 1 3/8" thick, watching
the gap between the door and frame, focusing on the corner which butts up
against the frame (which is the part that matters) the approximately 2/16"
gap actually seems to be overkill. If I take a wooden mixing stick that's
just a gnat's hair narrower than the gap and open the door, there's no
contact with the stick. Cearly the geometry is such that this edge never
gets any closer to the door frame while it's being opened.
I think I just have to make sure the placement of the hinges creates a
similar geometry on the sound booth door. Should be simple enough to work
out using an overhead view paper model of the structures involved. Shortened
of course, it doesn't actually have to be as wide as the door is. That inner
edge of the door is either going to get closer or it isn't, doesn't matter
how much of its length I look at. The drywall on the inside won't be an
issue since it will already be cut back a bit to accomodate the magnets.
Anyway, as far as sound transmission, I can use gasketing in the gap that
the door will have to brush against or and/or an exterior flap that fits
flush against the exterior when the door is shut, plus the flush-fit
interior door stop will act as a sound barrier.
Hopefully "machining" the edges with the table saw to get them very
flat/square and making all the end cuts as exact/identical as possible with
the miter saw will reduce this significantly.
The drywall shouldn't take any abuse. I should have mentioned that it's
likely only going to be me that will be using this sound booth. I'll have
handles installed inside/out. I don't run a commercial studio. Just a
hobbyist fooling around.
Well, my "second door" is the existing door of the room, which is itself
already inside a house. Ultimately, I just want to cut down on the low
frequency noise that comes in. It's actually not bad now, but I want to make
it better. Some sound booth schemes call for more elaborate measures, more
drywall, bigger gap, "floating" floor, but I believe they're going on the
assumption that you've got a studio that's in the middle of a city - so even
if an ambulance goes by outside or someone fires up a jackhammer, it won't
be heard within the studio. I'm in a quiet suburban area, and what low freq
noise I get is mostly from distant traffic.
Keep in mind, when I talk about "noise", for the most part it's nothing you
could hear with just your unaided ears, unless a plane goes by overhead or
something. If you sat in the room now in the dead of night, you'd consider
it absolutely silent. But when the mic preamp is cranked to record acoustic
guitar, there is low freq rumble that registers on the VU meters of the
recording software and can be heard on the monitors when A/B comparing it to
no input from the mics. I'd be happy if I could subtract another 10 - 15db
or so from the noise floor, which I think is possible (hopefully). Of
course, I'll be treating the interior of this booth as well to deal with
sound reflection within the booth itself.
There's one window in the room, for which I made a "plug" out of acoustic
paneling, lumber and foam. That alone cut down the noise so much (probably
by over half), it gave me the idea that this booth would for all intents and
purposes given my surroundings, give me a totally silent area so that the
only noise would be the electrical noise of the signal chain - mics, preamp
and system (no system is completely noise free). The computer I use is in a
separate room and is essentially a non-issue given the way it's situated.
I decided I wanted it big for a couple of reasons - It will give me elbow
room for moving mic booms, guitar, music stand etc. in/out without banging
things and I'll be able to mount the outer edge stop using the 2x4 that will
already be supporting the other sheets of drywall that will comprise the
rest of that wall.
As per my previous post, my primary reason for the booth is blocking out or
at least significantly reducing a small amount of low frequency rumble
that's getting in. You're always going to treat the interior of your
recording area regardless of its size to deal with reflections between
parallel surfaces. This shouldn't be too complex since all I'll be dealing
with will be acoustic 6-string, possibly trumpet and vocals. (One at at
Noise getting out isn't a consideration given my circumstances, not trying
to isolate for example, a drum set from other recording rooms etc.
Exterior doors, solid core are always 4 inch hinges and 3 of them per door.
I suggest that you find the local used door store and get a couple 3 solid
core doors and screw them together instead of the drywall, which will not
last very long.
Seems an odd design for a sound deadening door. Drop the insulation.
Get a regular door and glue the sound insulating cones on it. I have
been in sound chambers at work and this is how they do it. Of course if
you are carrying on a ruckus you could damage the cones... from what I
hear thermal insulation is not very good at sound insulation at all.
Your door is so light it should not be a problem.
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
If you make the door bigger than the doorway,
you can set it up so that it closes up against the wall,
compressing foam/felt/rubber gaskets as it does so.
That way you don't have to worry about fit.
If you want the door to open more than 90 degrees,
you'll have to use offset hinges like these:
Mounted to a 2x4 screwed to the face of the wall.
Were I doing this, I'd make the door out of 1/4" ply,
with sheetrock glued to the inside of the
plywood sheet. Either use different thicknesses of
sheetrock, or do something to change the weight or
stiffness of ONE of the two panels, so they don't
ring each other. I'm told that a layer of
asphalt roll-roofing works well for that.
How are you handling ventilation? It'd sort of
suck to have a totally soundproof room that you
have to leave the door open on, else you suffocate.
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