DIY Bass trap idea
Old 13th May 2009
  #1
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Thread Starter
DIY Bass trap idea

This may be kind of odd, yet I don't have much money, so this may be it.
I'm thinking instead of using some type of expensive and problematic frame, why not just use duct tape all around with maybe some down the middle, etc for bracing? Anyone try this? I'm seriously considering it, don't know if the tape would mess with the treatment properties.

Anyone?

Mck
Old 13th May 2009
  #2
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I doubt it would interfere any more than a wood frame (assuming you are talking about just going around the outside)

But with rigid fiberglass, I don't see any benefit structurally to wrapping it in tape.

Also
1) I think it will look terrible
2) Wood frames can be extremely inexpensive (a few dollars) and still look nice
3) I've never heard of them as problematic
Old 13th May 2009
  #3
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Thread Starter
Re: Bass trap idea.

I know, it sounded crazy to me. If I did this the trap would then be placed in a Ready Bag or wrapped in dyed muslin. My wife would insist upon it. I live in an apartment, have one tool( a unused brand new ripsaw), so building anything could be problematic. Thank you for at least entertaining the idea with a thoughtful answer. Dumb questions sometimes take me places.
Old 13th May 2009
  #4
jwl
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It depends on which absorbent material you use. If you use 705, it will hold its shape pretty well on its own. But this is the most expensive material you can use, so if you have that in your budget then you can probably just pay for some nicer frames, or just build premade traps.

Rockwool is a bit floppier. Ultratouch Cotton is much floppier. Both of these need something rigid to keep them from sagging.
Old 13th May 2009
  #5
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Thread Starter
Duct tape framing

I'm actually waiting on 10 panels of Knauff 3 LB insulation. Still not sure about the need, some people just stick the stuff in a Ready Bag. Don't really want to cut and saw stuff in my apartment.
Old 13th May 2009
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinetic View Post
Don't really want to cut and saw stuff in my apartment.
While I wouldn't do it everyday in my house, I think you can get away with making a few traps (assuming you don't have an easy place to do it outside)

Just lay down something on the floor, wear a mask/gloves.

As long as you don't pick up the insulation and run around your house violently shaking it, the fibers will stay contained.
Old 13th May 2009
  #7
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Just have the folks at wherever you buy your lumber from cut the wood for you. Most places charge nothing to a small courtesy fee to do it and the tolerance should be good enough for a frame. Use some angle iron brackets to hold the pieces of wood together and a staple gun to attach the fabric.

Did it that way on the frames I made and they turned out fine.
Old 13th May 2009
  #8
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Re

Thank you to all for your interest and replies. I'm definitely going to look into doing some frames. What is the difference between using frames and one of the Ready Bags? Structural integrity? Also I'm paying 1.30 per sq ft for Knauff 3 LB 2 X 4 non FRK and 1.60 for FRK. Am I getting ripped too much?
The stuff is so hard to find to begin with....

Mck
Old 13th May 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinetic View Post
Thank you to all for your interest and replies. I'm definitely going to look into doing some frames. What is the difference between using frames and one of the Ready Bags? Structural integrity? Also I'm paying 1.30 per sq ft for Knauff 3 LB 2 X 4 non FRK and 1.60 for FRK. Am I getting ripped too much?
The stuff is so hard to find to begin with....

Mck
that's right around what i payed for it. The problem that i was running into was that, at least in sacramento, no suppliers stocked it or knew what the hell it was, so paying for shipping from online suppliers raises the price A LOT!

there are two things to think about when deciding between using ready bags and frames - how you are mounting them, and the sound absorption efficiency of the panel. Any wood on on the panel reflects the sound back out, and renders that surface area of the panel as basically useless, at least in the case of broadband absorption panels. That being said, at least in my experience with them, panels and bass traps are way easier to mount with the frames.

i just used the knauf stuff to build some panels, and its pretty sturdy stuff, you could definitely throw it in a bag a put it up as wall panels. For bass traps however, i think framing might be more viable, long-lasting solution
Old 13th May 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinetic View Post
Thank you to all for your interest and replies. I'm definitely going to look into doing some frames. What is the difference between using frames and one of the Ready Bags? Structural integrity?
Big time structural integrity...if you put a piece of 703 in a bag, then try to hang it from the ceiling, it's going to sag. No way around it. If you use a frame, then that's not an issue with any of the insulation materials. By the way, there is a way to incorporate a rigid internal frame and not render the sides of the panel useless.

Frank
Old 13th May 2009
  #11
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whataboutnoah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
Big time structural integrity...if you put a piece of 703 in a bag, then try to hang it from the ceiling, it's going to sag. No way around it. If you use a frame, then that's not an issue with any of the insulation materials. By the way, there is a way to incorporate a rigid internal frame and not render the sides of the panel useless.

Frank
do you just sandwich the frame inbetween two panels? or maybe route slots out of the fiberglass for spaces to put wood, and then mount another panel on the back?

that sounds interesting, do tell
Old 14th May 2009
  #12
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Thread Starter
Re

So is there anymore information on how you can frame them without losing so much usable area? Cutting a hole in the sides perhaps? Can't see too many other ways, unless you made the fram out of something other than wood.

Mck
Old 14th May 2009
  #13
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There are some types of L type frames made of perforated steel, 3/4" wide each flap, used to protect the edges of plastered brickwalls. They are cheap and sturdy. Perhaps they could be used to make a frame to hold the slabs. But I can't see any easy way of putting them together to form a frame.
Old 14th May 2009
  #14
mds
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I have a few ready bags, and their quite sturdy. I haven't hung them from the ceiling, so maybe they'd sag there, but in regular wall use they're great. They come with hard corners to keep the shape pretty square. Buying the insulation locally saves so much money.
Old 14th May 2009
  #15
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i just built some, and framed the back of the panel, not the sides, with just 1-3/4" light wood that home depot cut for me. they sound fantastic, i know i'm losing a bit or surface area, but the front and sides are completely exposed.

the point i came to was that i was wasting too much time trying to figure the absolute best way to build them.

I say try whatever crazy idea you have, just make sure to post some pictures afterwards


mds, what are those ready bags made out of, where'd you get them?
Old 15th May 2009
  #16
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Thread Starter
Re

So I have looked at a few videos and most recommend basically creating a frame laying the insulation on it, and wrapping the whole thing up. This is either too easy or I'm confused. Is there a better way? I know having as much surface area as possible is advisable, guess with the simple method this would hold true, yet I see pictures of a very professional build where the whole thing is basically encased in wood--only the face is exposed. Hmmm.

Use plywood backing or not? FRK or not? Some question there. I have a small space, almost a cube after all...something about this makes FRK a bad idea?

Thanks again to all..
Old 15th May 2009
  #17
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Rev. Robb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
Big time structural integrity...if you put a piece of 703 in a bag, then try to hang it from the ceiling, it's going to sag. No way around it. If you use a frame, then that's not an issue with any of the insulation materials. By the way, there is a way to incorporate a rigid internal frame and not render the sides of the panel useless.

Frank
Not to discredit you in any way but I have 5 Ready Traps, the ones in bags, hanging from the ceiling and none of them sag. They have been hanging for several years.
Old 15th May 2009
  #18
jwl
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Whether or not a material sags really depends on the material you put into the bag. 705 will sag less than 703, which in turn sags less than rockwool. Acoustic cotton sags quite a lot.

Also, how they are mounted obviously affect things. If you can support them in several spots they won't be as prone to sagging.
Old 15th May 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Robb View Post
Not to discredit you in any way but I have 5 Ready Traps, the ones in bags, hanging from the ceiling and none of them sag. They have been hanging for several years.
No offense taken, of course. James actually added the right amount of detail, so thanks James!

Frank
Old 15th May 2009
  #20
mds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Robb View Post
Not to discredit you in any way but I have 5 Ready Traps, the ones in bags, hanging from the ceiling and none of them sag. They have been hanging for several years.
How did you hang them from the ceiling? I've been contemplating this for awhile...haha
Old 17th May 2009
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaSi_SiDi View Post
There are some types of L type frames made of perforated steel, 3/4" wide each flap, used to protect the edges of plastered brickwalls. They are cheap and sturdy. Perhaps they could be used to make a frame to hold the slabs. But I can't see any easy way of putting them together to form a frame.
The answer...
Steven P. Helm: DIY Bass Traps
Old 17th May 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Robb View Post
Not to discredit you in any way but I have 5 Ready Traps, the ones in bags, hanging from the ceiling and none of them sag. They have been hanging for several years.
Similar experience here. I've had three 2 inch 703 panels, each in a Ready bag hanging from my ceiling above the listening position for about 18 months now - no sag on any of them - at least nothing that is noticeable to the eye.
Old 24th May 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwl View Post
Whether or not a material sags really depends on the material you put into the bag. 705 will sag less than 703, which in turn sags less than rockwool. Acoustic cotton sags quite a lot.
Rockwool comes in all sorts of densities from flimsy cotton wad type stuff to extremely dense vibration insulation used below tram tracks. It's less itchy than glass fiber.

I use a product called "acoustic plates" and they're plenty rigid enough. They also have two different facings, a paper like (with black, off white or white colour) on one side and fibreglass facing on the other side. Both facings are strong enough to retain the fibers without additional wrapping.

Have done some traps that are exactly as the OP describes it - simply duct taped the sides, leaving the front/back facings as is. Can't get any simpler than that! The sides can also be sealed by painting them with thick paint. It's an option that can be orded in manufacturing. The penultimate simple traps are to get some fabric and wrap it up, using tape to seal it. No sewing, no frame, just rockwool, fabric and tape. The ones I have with "frames" is equally simple - I just kept the cardboard frame the rockwool ships in.. To avoid excessive deadening of the room.

Here's some pics:

With cardboard and plastic and everything left in place as it's shipped from the store, fabric added for visual comfort(basstrap):


Without cardboard and plastic(broadband):



Where was that picture again...? Ahh! Here's the ceiling hangers:

Picture taken a long time ago, the traps are too few and not in their final position. There's aprox 100 kilos of rockwool up there now.


Cheers,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 26th May 2009
  #24
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Thread Starter
Re

Hey that rocks! For a minute there I thought my idea was subject to some level of scorn. The traps that are on my wall are of the wrapped simple frame variety, and they would definitely benefit from something more. For first time doings, not too bad. Anyway, thank you for some level of redemption, even though I obviously wasn't the first. The power of duct tape knows very little bounds it seems.

Mck
Old 26th May 2009
  #25
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Hi!

Anything goes, as long as it's effective at eating energy transmitted through the air. Seems some people put way too much effort into nice wrapping when what's really needed is LOTS of trapping.. 10 ugly traps in the studio are better than a naked lady on roof. Or however the saying goes..

Seriously though, I don't see much difference between the ones I made with fabric and more elaborate efforts. The corners are sharp, the tape is on the rear where no one sees it.. What more can one ask for? Oh, perhaps some prints on the cloth, ala the GIK solution, would be nice.. And some rounded shapes - square is overused! And so on.. But for the basic relief from acoustic nightmares, simple does it.
Old 26th May 2009
  #26
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You inspired me to do a thread on making some traps that you would be able to do just fine! Really just a couple of tools, Easy, and simple, plus looks great and not ghetto at all!

Don't do the duct tape thing man please! That is ghetto as hell and you will not be happy. But.....it will still sound just as good

Anyway here ya go enjoy
Easy 1hr Trap and Cloud
Old 31st May 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mds View Post
How did you hang them from the ceiling? I've been contemplating this for awhile...haha
Use 2 (small) of these. You can get them at any hardware store. Make sure you hit the stud for superior support. Then use air-conditioning zip ties to connect the trap to the hook.

Brass Round End Screw Hooks - Mutual Screw & Fasteners Supply - Mutual Screw & Supply

Like this:
DIY Bass trap idea-photo2.jpg

DIY Bass trap idea-photo3.jpg

And I use these to hang the traps on the wall. One per trap. Just like hanging a picture.
DIY Bass trap idea-photo1.jpg
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