Compressor Cabinet

Sands, 2003

compressor cabinet under construction

I bought a six horsepower compressor because I needed the cubic feet per minute of a powerful unit to drive my bead blast cabinet. I knew it was going to be noisy because of the power but decided to do what I could to quiet it down.

My first sound deadening effort was to surround the compressor with a 2 x 4 wood framework and then hang carpet on the wood frame. This worked but used up valuable space in the garage.

Lying awake, I designed a cabinet that would allow me to locate the compressor in the side yard and enclose it to deaden the sound so as not to bother the neighbors. I discussed sound deadening techniques with my father, a physicist and designer.

In the mean time, I visited a friend to help with an arcade game that was malfunctioning. He won the game in an eBay auction however it was in Switzerland. The seller had it crated and shipped. The crate was a masterpiece and my friend did not want to just break it down for firewood. So he offered it to me. I had no idea what to do with it either. He dropped it off at the house.

I took one look at it and realized it was almost identical to my design for a compressor cabinet! It was large enough, had a shelf and was extremely well built. It had babbitts at the joins, it had a shelf for the head unit of the game, was lined with foam, and was inch thick wood. Perfect!

I added a intake baffle system on the left side where the incoming cooling air goes back and forth and prevents the sound from exiting that way. I did the same for the exhaust cooling air but located the baffles in the roof section. A door, a cooling fan, and some foam weather stripping completed the cabinet.

It is quiet, but I look forward to having property and being able to locate it miles from the house.