Apartment Studio Ideas?

Hi all, I have another odd question for you all. I currently live in
a top floor apartment, neighbors below and to either side. With the
weather getting colder, and the studio space I rent being unheated,
I’m considering moving my jewelry equipment to my balcony (about
80sf). I have a “practical” concern that I was hopping someone here
may know something about.

My problem is the noise from forming and banging on metal. I’m doing
pretty small scale silver: making beads, rings, body jewelry, etc.
So I don’t do a lot of heavy pounding, but what I do I’m still
afraid will make more noise than might be acceptable. So my question
is does anyone know a way to deaden the sound from hammering. My
options I have are using a heavy rubber pad, and/or putting sound
material on the walls…any comments?

I also welcome any comments about anything related to this. I have
planned for adequate ventilation, lighting, fire protection, etc. I
just need to make sure my neighbors aren’t bothered with my
hammering (only being done during sane hours…I like my sleep too)

Thanks in advance,

Doug, I am not clear why this is an advantage. Is your balcony

Anyway, perhaps you could build a sound-wall that could be set up
around your pounding station. Home Depot sells Styrofoam sheets in
4x8 sheets in thickness of 1-3 inches. It is used in house
construction, so it is surprisingly inexpensive. One side is
covered with plastic and the other side is covered with aluminum so
only the edges need protection. With a roll of duct tape you might
be able to make a foldable, storable, moveable barrier to deflect
sound away from a sensitive neighbor.

I used this stuff to add 4 inches of insulation to our freezer and
found it to work easily. Use a big wood hand saw at a low angle to
get straight cuts and use a trash can as a sawhorse to collect the
otherwise messy styrodust.

With a little black paint and stenciled bamboo sprigs, maybe you
could even make it not look too industrial. Sort of a Chinese room
divider if you know what I mean. It could double as a screen to
hide the equipment when you have guests.


HI! Doug, FIRST THINGS FIRST! have any of the neighbors said
anything to you? Are they able to talk with you about anything or do
they feel comfortable. Perhaps you can survey before putting out all
kinds of $$$$ and time on just a thought.

I’m here if you need to sound off!!!

Nancy G.

Hi Doug, This is how I have my anvil set up- it is MUCH quieter now
than it was when it was on a stump. Maybe you can do something like
this on a smaller scale. I built a box and filled it with scrap wood
(from my never ending studio renovations) and sand. Then I placed a
piece of wood slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the box
on top of the sand. Place the anvil on this piece of wood. Adjust
the height of the anvil by adding or removing sand. The ideal height
for me is - standing next to the anvil, making fist with my arm
straight down- my knuckles touch the top of the anvil. To further
dampen sound- get an inner tube (empty) stretch it around the top of
the horn of the anvil down to the side of the box, staple or nail it
(stretched taught) to the side of the box. This is Alan Perry’s tip-
it really deadens the sound. HTH, Kate Wolf in unseasonably warm
Portland, Maine (come on snow!!!) http://www.katewolfdesigns.com

Hi, this isn’t Carol, this is Hans Durstling who’s visiting. I have a
somewhat similar situation in my home based workshop in Moncton
Canada, although it’s a bit different in an amusing sort of way. My
neighbor works the late shift, and my neighbour’s wife (this is
actually the truth! S) is afraid to be home alone late at nights.
So she actually likes to hear me hammering and forming metal. It
reassures her that someone is around.

That being said, I do try to deaden the sound as much as possible,
and what I’ve found to work well is a thick felt pad (the kind they
use for work boot insoles) underneath the bench block. It goes a
long way to uncoupling hammer taps from the sounding board of the
work bench.

Hammering is about the only thing that really is noisy; and
neighbor’s wife notwithstanding I do try to not use the anvil after

Hans Durstling
(normally) Moncton, Canada
presently c/o -
Carol J. Bova

Doug…If you’re working with pretty small stuff, you might think
about getting a sandbag, placing your bench block on it and
hammering your workpiece on that. It deadens the ringing of metal
on metal pretty well Dee

Hi Doug, It’s only a little thought, but what if you made your
immediate neighbours a nice little silver piece each? This may soften
any potential conflict. Something as simple as a page-clip-style book
mark or a pierced monogram for a purse would ensure their tolerance.
It seems to me that you are already remarkably considerate. Kind
regards, Rex

One can quiet things like stumps on a ‘sand table’, that is you make
a sand box just bigger than the bottom of the stump, put a couple of
inches of sand in it and it is stable and quiet. This is how a Hippie
commune of hologram makers came up with a vibration free system for
holography in the 70’s, thus beating out multi-million dollar systems
by large companies usch as GE. We have our silversmithing room
directly over the administration offices in our concrete building. We
made a platform with drop down sides (sort of like an upside down
version of the sandbox frame described above). This rides on tires
and seems to dampen the sound a bit… best Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain
Metals info download web site: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/tree.cgi
Book and Video descriptions:
Gallery page at: http://www.ganoksin.com/brain/gallery.htm

Doug, The styrofoam sounds like it might work. But another idea
would be to use moving pad blankets. They act like sound blankets
that we use while reccording audio on location. They are used to
block sound coming through windows and doors and walls. And also to
keep the sound from bouncing around like crazy in a room.

Could be hung on wires or a pole system that could be taken down.