Dealing with chop/cold saw noise

We will be getting an Evolution Rage 4 for general box tubing cutting but I am concerned with how to deal with the noise. Our shop is pretty small and the Rage 4 is over 100 dB under load. My initial thought was to make a hinged wooden enclosure, lined with sound dampening foam. The operator will be wearing ear protection but it is impractical to have everyone in the shop doing the same every time a cut is made. Teams with chop saws or cold saws, how do you deal with the noise?

Often times in the USC shop, we’d move the saw just outside for the extra working space and the comfort of everyone else working. Getting close in on the saw creates its own challenges (especially with long workpieces), but is there anything that can be rearranged in the shop? Shelving or cabinets you already have may get you a lot of the way there, or at least be a useful mount for additional sound deadening.

We set up our chop saw outside daily.

Consider setting it up outside. During the winter on 3467 we would move the miter saw outside for the safety of everyone in the shop.

We simply have everyone in the shop keep hearing protection with them when chop-saw usage is a possibility. Electric epro works great in these cases. We have 4x of these. We can comfortably talk to each other at a normal volume and have instant-on hearing protection if there is a loud noise.

Jealous of your build season weather :stuck_out_tongue:

It rained like 12 days this season… pretty hard.

A chop saw is incredibly noisy cutting Aluminum; a cold saw with the slower cutting speed is not very objectionable at all.

A chop saw is likely faster cutting material; but having both available in our shop I use the cold saw 90% of the time. I find that a cold saw also produces a cleaner cut.

On 449, we have hearing protection for whoever is using the saw, and we alert everyone else in the room by shouting “Chop Saw!” before the saw is used, so that they can cover their ears if they wish.

We can’t really move the thing outside.

It’s consistently 20 below (or colder) for us so setting up outside isn’t an option for everyone.

Well, it ain’t called a COLD saw for nothing.

Meanwhile my big issue was that it was simply too hot all build season to be outside.

Our shop has got a little awning over the door, perfect for taking the chop saw out in the rain.

There are a variety of ways, both fixed and portable that you can dampen the noise of your saw. To start, most standard office partitions (cubical walls) are designed to act as sound dampeners and might be a good semi-portable option for closing off the area around the saw when in use and blocking most of the noise (if your lucky, your school might even have a few in a storage room somewhere that you might be able to get a hold of). Additionally, there’s tons of different kinds of sound dampening panels and foam that could be attached to the walls or ceiling around the Saw to further help with reducing sound.

I have a 3D Printer I keep in my bedroom at home which can make it difficult to sleep (due to the noise) when it’s running an overnight print. I built an enclosure for it using foamboard and some acoustic foam and it has probably reduced the noise from the printer by a good 10db or so and cost less than $20 to build (granted this is a larger-scale problem, but it’s still relatively inexpensive if you don’t mind a DIY project).

My local college’s vocational shop has always had their chopsaw & bench grinders outside, underneath an extension of the shop roof.

Same. We also banish the table saw out there. Along with anything else that’s easily movable and needs to be NOT in the way.

I’ve seen a number of wood shops with plywood boxes around the mitre saw. It’s mostly for dust but helps dampen the noise a bit.

We keep our shop saw, belt sander, and table saw along with a couple table under an awning outdoors. All the more noisy/not needed on a highly regular basis stuff stays outside.

To be fair, you guys in California are kind-of the outliers as far as days without inclement weather goes.

New Jersey (OPs state) gets about twice the annual precipitation (consisting of both rain and snow) that you guys do and have to deal with temperatures that ranges on average between 24°F and 84°F.

One does not simply store machinery outdoors in the North-East, even an awning will only help you so much. :rolleyes:

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Going outside isn’t the best option for us because our shop is at a college and we would be cutting near the entrance to the building. Although, we might do this during build season when we have a large quantity of pieces to cut. I think we are going to try out an MDF box lined with acoustic foam, along with some kind of hanging mats around the cutting area. Rearranging a few things might reduce noise a bit too.

Just a tip, accoustic foam isn’t actually that great at adsorbing sound. It’s more meant to deaden reverb of specific frequencies caused by sound reflecting off walls in a recording studio and will get gunky with chips real quick. What you want is mass for the sound waves to hit and dissipate into. I’d build a thick plywood box and line it with rigid mineral wool insulation. This stuff is far cheaper and better at adsorbing sound. It’s often used in music studios to make large adsorption panels. I’d also consider making a curtain out of mass loaded vinyl to go behind the operator of the saw, that should make a big difference.

Here’s an article that should help Soundproofing vs Sound Absorbing – Explaining the Difference | ASI