Soundproof enclosure and general questions


I purchased the 1000mm x 1000mm about a week ago and am currently waiting on the X-controller. In the meantime, I’ve been researching and designing different solutions for a soundproof enclosure. I share a condo with a roommate and obviously neighbors, so I need to cut down the noise and vibrations as much as possible. I’ll also be relocating within the next six months so I was hoping to find a design that doesn’t weigh as much as a cow and can be dismantled with relative ease.

It seems like the only effective solution to the noise problem is the “room within a room” design. Thus far I’ve come across two ideas that might serve my purpose, but the end product for each design was achieved in different ways. So I’m curious what other people have to say about this fact.

My initial idea was based around @tjshape’s build on the Shapeoko forum.

It’s essentially a massive 2x4 frame skinned internally/externally with 1/2" soundboard and 1/4" drywall. It uses Denim R13 insulation for a dead space filler and green glue sealant/compound to stifle any leaks. I’m sure a lot of people have already seen @tjshape’s proof of concept video, but I’m going to share it again because I am truly astonished by how well it works.

The obvious downside to this, especially for a 1000mm machine is that the damn thing ends up being the size of a dumpster. I’m scared to even guesstimate how much it’s going to weigh. Unfortunately, due to space restraints, I would have to mount the door hinges on the X-axis instead of the Z-axis. So I’m not 100% certain that I’ll even be able to lift it. Lastly, due to all of the sealant/compound, I’m not sure that it could be disassembled and relocated without destroying its structural integrity. But this could certainly be due to design flaws on my part.

I also came across a different enclosure by Protocorner on Youtube that operates using the same principle but at a fraction of the price/weight.

His design is basically just a 1/2" plywood outer shell, “Mineral Wull insulation” (not sure what that is), and a 1/2" drywall inner shell covered in carpet with a baffle box over the intake. I doubt it’s anywhere near as efficient as @tjshape’s design but it nonetheless cut down the noise significantly on his video. And best of all… it’s modular.

Does anyone here have experience with an enclosure utilizing this type of construction? It would be so much easier to build and transport, which makes me question whether or not it is too good to be true.

I also have some general questions for anyone kind enough to answer.

  1. I am planning to leave about 3" of clearance between all four sides of the X-Carve and the inner skin of the enclosure. Is that enough room for the drag chains as well as anything else that I might be forgetting about?

  2. How do you make adjustments to the X-carve after it’s been placed in the enclosure, especially the rear? Any tricks for this?

  3. How do you get the X-carve into the enclosure without throwing off any adjustments that you made prior? Any tricks for this?

  4. Im planning to leave about 2’ between the internal top skin of the enclosure and the tallest point of the gantry. Is that enough space to facilitate full X and Y travel without the dust collection hose (mounted dead-center) getting tangled up on the gantry?

  5. Dust collectors - Any opinions on the following?

    Grizzly G1163P - 1 HP, 537 CFM Light Duty Dust Collector - Polar Bear Series
    POWERTEC DC5370 Wall Dust Collector with 2.5 Micron Filter Bag

  6. This question is entirely relative but I’m curious nonetheless. Would I be better off using a cheap Shopvac in a sound enclosure until I have enough space to install a large dust collection system. Has anyone here purchased a 1 HP system and experienced buyer’s remorse?

  7. I’ve also purchased a JTECH 3.8W laser with a cheap Chinese vacuum pump. My plan is to vent the exhaust directly through a homemade enclosure in a window. Is it legal to do that? Or do I need to build a filtration system?

If you’ve gotten this far… thank you for taking the time to read all of this. I’m extremely gun-shy concerning what to do at this point. So any advice, or even outright criticism would be deeply appreciated!

Thanks again.

Yes I have. I did the majority of my research on this forum and the Shapeko forum. I’m just curious if anyone has any new insights. And I would REALLY like to know if anyone has used the Protocorner design for their enclosure.

I needed to build a soundproof enclosure for my modified X-Carve as I run it inside the house in the unfinished basement. I use a small shop vac for dust collection and that coupled with the router while it’s cutting could hit around 98dB from about 8’ away, which was much too loud for inside the house. With the enclosure closed, cutting MDF and vacuum off, it hovers around 58dB. With the vacuum on while cutting MDF, it hovers around 63dB. So it was totally worth it for me since I run it inside (although quite expensive). I did buy a lot of acoustic foam to line the inside of the enclosure too but I never ended up installing it.

Although my design probably won’t work for you since the completed enclosure is a tank (the doors on each side weigh 97lbs each) and quite large, you may be able to take something from it/strip it down and find something that works for you. Here are a few images of the enclosure and I can send you more photos (or the Sketchup file) if you could benefit from it.

As for your questions, here is what I had to do for my setup:

  1. I only have about 2" on each side of the X-Carve and I have no issues with the drag chain or the motors being too close to the sides. I made sure to leave extra room as the 269 oz/in motors are an extra ~1" or so longer than the stock motors and I’ll eventually upgrade the motors + controller (just something to keep in mind when building yours).

  2. It would be tricky to do adjustments in a smaller enclosure. I would recommend adding a small access door to the back or something of that nature as it will make your life a heck of a lot easier.

  3. My enclosure is made up of modular panels butted up against one another, so I actually built the enclosure around it (I have to be able to dis-assemble it like this or I would never be able to get it out of the basement should I move). However, with a small enclosure with only a front door, I would just get a friend to help ease it in. When I built the table for mine and had my roommate help me hoist it up, everything stayed square and I don’t remember having to re-tweak anything (surprisingly). Just be gentle with it and you’ll probably be OK.

  4. I only have 18" between the top of the DeWalt and the inside roof. I really wish that I had made mine quite a bit taller as I get a lot of “droop” in the hose when it is cutting in the center. It doesn’t get tangled ever but it does add more pressure/twist at certain points in the cutting cycle. If I ever start doing some 3D carves it might become a problem but for now it’s a non-issue. But seeing that my machine is 1800mm long and can still get by with only 18" of clearance, I would think that a 1000x1000mm would have no issues with 24" of clearance.

  5. I don’t have a dust collector setup (hopefully in the future I will), so I can’t really comment on this.

  6. I originally was going to build a separate enclosure for my larger shop vac until I came across a good deal on Kijiji for a small WD4070 model from Home Depot. I stripped it down and it just barely fit in my enclosure, so I essentially kill two birds with one stone here (router noise + vac noise). If you use a shop vac, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a dust deputy/cyclone system for it. My system is outside of the enclosure and I probably lose a lot of suction routing it this way but it still gets the job done. If you do find a shop vac that fits inside of your enclosure, you will need to route the exhaust out of the enclosure as it will heat up the air. After an hour of cutting, mine got up to 45°C. I routed it out of the enclosure and it never goes above 30°C now. A dust collector is obviously the best system but a shop vac + dust deputy combo will still work even though shop vacs aren’t necessarily designed to run for long periods of time (or so I’ve read).

  7. I’m not the guy for this question, as I have no idea haha

So maybe a combination of OSB -> Green Glue -> Drywall -> acoustic foam would suffice, saving weight by excluding the 2x2 frame and outside panel? Not sure how well that would work. Anyways, let me know if you have any questions or want the design files.

Sorry for the long reply and hopefully I haven’t broken any forum rules in that post. First contribution to the forum, so I’m a total rookie. :wink:

I’ve just finished building my enclosure. I’m planning to move house in a few months so it had to come apart. I made a torsion box base from 2x4" and 18mm plywood. I then made a back and two sides which are a basic frame filled with sheep wool ( i get these home delivery food boxes and the cold stuff comes wrapped in sheep wool bags so I’ve got tons of the stuff at 0 cost) these were then skinned with 6mm MDF inside and out.
The doors are just 18mm MDF with double glazed acrilyic windows.

I was going to do a lift up front but i don’t have the head room in my current workshop.

My box is 700mm tall to give clearance for the machine with the Z axis at its highest and room for the dust collection. I did some testing, back ground noise with everything off is 48dB in my shop, with the doors open and the machine cutting it jumps to around 90db+ with the doors shut its down to 67/69dB so its a big improvement. Its by no means silent but its workable and with the shop doors closed it a background noise.


I ahve a suggestion acoustic enclosure. It is made up of high performance acoustical fencing that is used to reduce airborne noise energy in many industrial and architectural applications. With velcro, each two pieces can be tightly collected.

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The soundproof enclosure is really working properly but I want to say about the noise barrier material which is working very effectively to reduce all of the sounds. I feel very comfortable to use this material in my house.