Author Topic: Noise levels in my workshop  (Read 1238 times)

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Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 503
    • In The Woodshop
Noise levels in my workshop
« on: November 17, 2020, 01:16 AM »
I have added a Powered Tools and Machinery section to my website.

In this section I plan to add articles about the power tools and machines that I use in my workshop, with the modifications I have made over the years, along with the techniques which I hope others will find helpful in using them to dimension and create joinery.

The first article is just a baseline for the level of noise for the machines and power tools I have.

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Powered%20Tools%20and%20Machinery/NoiseLevelsInMyWorkshop.html

Regards from Perth

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 209
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2020, 04:24 AM »
Very nice Derek. Thanks for this.


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Offline demographic

  • Posts: 617
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2020, 02:48 PM »
Must admit, I've never got the idea of hearing protection with built in radio, just replacing one sound with another in my opinion.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6849
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2020, 02:59 PM »
I don't like hearing protection with a radio either. It is only a distraction and those are dangerous power tools you work with. Not that critical with a sander, but when I run something with very sharp teeth, I want to know how it sounds.

It is always good to be aware of the noise a tool makes. Too many people I know don't bother with the hearing protection when using their tools. Then, when you're 55, you find you've lost 50% of your hearing and it only gets worse from there.   

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4054
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2020, 03:38 PM »
I'm with Alex on this.  Listen to your tools, not the radio.  It will only distract you from what's really important and will help keep you safe. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline CeeJay

  • Posts: 209
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2020, 05:27 PM »
Agree. My wife asked ‘how about these great Bluetooth ear defenders for you for Xmas?’  Nice idea babe but need to be concentrating on the large pieces of high speed rotating steel.


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Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 279
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2020, 11:37 AM »
As much as I like listening to music while working in the shop I agree with Alex  and Sparktrician on listen to your tools, not the music.
Especially since the sound of a tool is one of the biggest warnings you'll get when something is going wrong.

I have a stereo playing in my shop and get to enjoy when the tools are off.  When any tool is powered on I have at least my custom Westone ear defenders.  I say 'at least' because when I turn on something really loud like the planer I double up on hearing protection and throw on muffs too.

I stress hearing protection with my kids - I want them to get that from an early age.  I spent younger years not too worried and had loud concerts and other damage done.
In contrast, my dad is a contractor and has been for years.  I've picked on him about wearing hearing protection with any tool, but he'll run things like sanders without it.  Doesn't take long for even that level to do damage.

Offline PaulMarcel

  • Posts: 1522
    • Voilà, my blog
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2020, 06:25 PM »
I use the Senszgard ZENs and love them. I can have a conversation with my neighbor with them on and it bugs him thinking I can't hear him! haha! It kills the really loud noises so I can easily listen to my music (from a Bluetooth speaker) but also listen to my tools with the really loud noises muted. While I haven't tried a noise-canceling headset yet, I do think I would want to hear the tools or, moreso, the stock complaining that it's binding. Guys who use "gun hearing protection" where they hear nothing is kinda beyond me, but they are usually pretty proud of it.
Visit my blog for Festool adventures
IG: @PaulMarcel328 - basically stories, mix of circus, woodworking, maybe gym stuffs... it's not an extension of my blog, /tedtalk

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2192
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2020, 07:32 PM »
When I turn on my shop lights, the radio (and my favorite station) sharing the same switch comes on at the same time. In the winter, I also turn on the fan heater to keep the room to around 18 C or so. I rely on these to protect me:

In order of preference:

a) 31 NRR Sensgard so I can hear the radio/phone ring, etc.- https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/apparel-and-safety-gear/hearing-protection/53610-sensgard-nrr-31-hearing-protectors?item=22R0802

b) 28 dB NRR 3M corded ear plugs because they're placed everywhere (about a dozen of them; no excuse not to wear one) - https://www.grainger.ca/en/product/p/CBT318-3000?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlu-58KyN7QIVFR6tBh0VHQtEEAQYBCABEgIme_D_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&ef_id=EAIaIQobChMIlu-58KyN7QIVFR6tBh0VHQtEEAQYBCABEgIme_D_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!3645!3!303439924283!!!g!544135771639!&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PPC

I clean the 3M plugs, about half a dozen a time -- with soap/warm running water/this for reuse -- https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/home/personal-care/nail-brushes/10259-the-worlds-kindest-nail-brush

c) 31 dB NRR Moldable plugs which block out most sound (unlike the Sensgard), my go-to plugs for routing or in a prolonged session of tablesawing - https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/apparel-and-safety-gear/hearing-protection/76327-custom-ear-plug-kit?item=22R7270

d) 25 dB NRR ear muff -- used with either b) or c) together and used only when operating the thickness planer. In the winter, the muff is warmed up first because it's uncomfortable to the ears

e) 25 dB NRR ear muff with built-in radio for lawn mowing only (again too cold to use in the shop during winter).


« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 07:48 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4910
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2020, 09:09 PM »
I’ve worn out three generations of 3M Worktunes. I listen to WNYC-FM which is almost entirely people talking so there is plenty of opportunity for changes in machine sounds to get my attention.

The plastic ear covers are cold in the winter. I just rub the muffs briskly up and down my thigh a few times and that warms them up.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2192
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2020, 09:27 PM »
Snip.

The plastic ear covers are cold in the winter. I just rub the muffs briskly up and down my thigh a few times and that warms them up.

My shop in the winter is usually colder than a regular refrigerator (under 4C). To warm my earmuff, if it is after a night in sub zero temp., I hold it up close to a radiant heater for about 5 to 10 seconds. [tongue] As I said, I use the ear muff only when I thicknessplane, something I try to avoid to do between Dec. and March.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2921
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2020, 09:48 PM »
My Apple Watch has a DB meter built into it along with an alert that taps my wrist and shows DB readout on the face.  I do wear ear protection but find the Watch is a great reminder of just how loud some of the tools and techniques are.


Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4054
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2020, 01:49 PM »
I use the Senszgard ZENs and love them. I can have a conversation with my neighbor with them on and it bugs him thinking I can't hear him! haha! It kills the really loud noises so I can easily listen to my music (from a Bluetooth speaker) but also listen to my tools with the really loud noises muted. While I haven't tried a noise-canceling headset yet, I do think I would want to hear the tools or, moreso, the stock complaining that it's binding. Guys who use "gun hearing protection" where they hear nothing is kinda beyond me, but they are usually pretty proud of it.


They really don't totally kill any sound.  It's reduced quite significantly, but I can still hear the tool noises that I need to be aware of.  In the case of the planer, I use both innies and outies.  The innies protect my eardrums from direct noise, and the outies protect against referred noise, i.e., that transmitted via bone conduction.  It's not that different from using innies at the shotgun range, but innies and outies on the pistol and rifle ranges where impact noise is far more significant, especially if they're indoor ranges. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3745
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2020, 04:23 PM »
I use 3-M ear muffs. While growing upon a farm, and continued working in construction, I never wore any hearing protection. Around 39 for the 11th time, I changed my trade to landscaping. Those mowers, blowers, trimmers and etc's made a lot more noise than farm machinery and backhoes.
 
I was now hiring some high school workers  (those kids were the best crew I ever had worked with). Read up on hearing protection and realized the importance. I bought ear muffs for my entire crew. I spoke to the entire crew about the importance. I talked with each of their parents. By that time, I was beginning to hear strange noises most of the time and began to realize that maybe i should have been wearing hearing protection many years ago. I made it one of the rues, that "if you work with me, you will wear hearing protection." 

Soon, the kids found out about earmuffs with radio transmitters. I was slow to pick up on that, but sooner or later, I realized and I extended the rule to include ".....NO RADIO"

Today, I hear crickets and katydids 24/7. I have just invested in hearing aids. I have not figured out how to quiet the crickets and katydids. But I can hear better. If I had worn hearing protection for the first 50 years of my working life, i might now be able to hear, at least, my dearly beloved when she talks to me. When she yells at me, I just remove the plugs.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2020, 07:46 PM »
First, before anyone catches on @Tinker  , you left a typo in that response.  It should say first 39 years.

I did try the senz hearing protection Paul mentioned, but never felt confident it was saving my ears.  They are inexpensive enough that it’s worth a shot, but I traded them for conventional over the ear muffs.  I have 2 different ones, usually opting for the 27db set over the 31db’s, but it depends which tool we are taking about and exactly what I’m doing. 

The radio thing...it’s not an all or nothing for me.  There are mundane activities where I have no problems using a set with audio.  Usually it’s outdoor power equipment, but sanding, HVLP guns (depends what is being sprayed), even the track saw on sheet goods or a router doing slight round overs.  But the router is more often than not something I want to hear, so again it really depends on what I’m doing.  That said, the Bluetooth set I bought still haven’t been opened.  It’s been 2 years now, so clearly having music ported to my ears isn’t the highest priority.   [tongue]

Thanks Neil for that tidbit about the Apple Watch, I never knew.  And count me among those that could sometimes use a little tap when a tool gets a bit too loud.

And thanks Derek for taking the time to post those results.  The only thing I would add is the sound goes way up when the machine cuts wood or is under load.  It seems like you measuring the no load/no work sound.  The bandsaw and grinder were the two that jumped out at me because I may use hearing protection, but you’re right, just sitting there running, they an unassumingly quiet.  The handplane was a little surprising.  I assume you measured that under load?   [tongue]
-Raj

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 503
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Noise levels in my workshop
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2020, 02:04 AM »
Hi Raj

Yes, noise levels go up under load. The levels recorded here are the lowest levels possible! Only the hand plane was under load - otherwise it would have been silent! :)

There is also another factor, which is the "tone" of the sound emitted. Some are more irritating than others, and the lesser irritating sounds may encourage one to put up with some tools for longer, and vice versa.

Regards from Perth

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.