New Air Compressor and Sound Abatement Enclosure

   Posted by: kdavis

Finally found a nice 60 gallon air compressor (Husky 3.2HP 60 Gallon from Home Depot, made by Campbell Hausfeld) for a decent price, so Kenzie and I got up way early on Saturday morning and made a 6 hour round trip up to Great Falls and back to pick it up.

The guy had been using it for a couple of months, so it’s basically a new unit. I changed the oil, cleaned the filters, hooked it into the Rapid Air system and fired it up. WOW, that thing is LOUD! Bummer. But, it seems unless you drop about $3k on a 2-stage very low rpm commercial air compressor, this is just the nature of the best. I had set my expectations too high.

Never fear, though, it’s nothing a few hours and some scrap lumber and carpet can’t fix!

Having already built a sound abatement enclosure for my generator, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to build for the compressor, so I went to work.

My major failure in my plan was that I neglected to account for the tank itself, and it’s ability to act as a giant speaker. Although I had enclosed the head unit of the compressor, which is the source of the noise, the tank itself actually transmitted that noise even with the head enclosed.

So…back to the drawing board and a full enclosure was built.

Here’s the summary of the final product. I am very happy with it, and glad it won’t make me pee myself every time the compressor kicks on.

I would call this a major victory.

Noise Reduction = SUBSTANTIAL

Cost – $0.00 (if you had to buy all new lumber, I’d figure 3-4 8′ 2×4’s and 2 sheets of 1/2″ 4×8 OSB, plus some 3″ and 1″ wood screws.)

Time – 3 hours (including rework, if i had done it right in the first time, it would have taken 2 or less.)

I finished up the rest of the enclosure last night, and tested it out. I’ll put all three videos in here just for easy comparison, but man, what a difference.

Knowing what I know now, the best way to build this out is to frame from ground to a couple of feet above the compressor head. If you’ve got the ceiling room for it, the easiest way would be to just use all 8′ pieces. Mine is in the corner, so it limits the back lumber.

All wood surfaces are lined with old carpet (which you can get free, check craigslist, or just call your local store, and go pick some up at the next install). I put in a trap door so I can still get to my drain. The floor is also sitting on a big piece of carpet and then additional pieces under each foot. The only surface not covered are the 2 wall surfaces.

The top has a hole cut out for the 110v kiosk fan, and I have holes for my Rapid Air piping. The fan runs all the time, but I’ll probably just unplug it unless I’m going to be doing a lot of work and the compressor will be kicking on and off. For a basic refill, it’s totally unnecessary.


Video: – Video camera is the same, with some variance in the distance.

No Enclosure:

Head Only Enclosure:

Full Enclosure: