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I am going to attempt to create my own door assembly (frame, door, etc) for my soundproofing project and am looking for very dense, heavy wood. The first wood that comes to mind is oak, but I suspect that will be incredibly expensive. However, if that's really the only wood that would do the job then I guess I'd be willing to pay for it. I prefer types of wood that are typically readily available through retailers like Lowe's, Home Depot, and the like.

Note that is a separate inquiry from door sweeps and other add-ons. This is solely about the door and frame itself.

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    I would think about making a hollow core door, and filing the inside with some type of sound proofing/absorbing material. Have a look at DYNIL from DYNAMAT. – Tester101 Feb 13 '12 at 16:32
  • I guess I should have said that I am planning on buying a prehung door that I want to enforce around the frame. Am hoping to find a heavy wood that will serve good purpose in damping sound. I suppose making a door wouldn't be too tough, but I don't want it to look like some crude dorm job. – oscilatingcretin Feb 13 '12 at 18:18
  • Buy a hollow core door, and modify it with sound absorbing material. Guts of a hollow core door – Tester101 Feb 13 '12 at 19:02
  • I am beginning to like the idea of making my own door. It doesn't appear to be difficult at all and would be of much higher quality than any retail door I could buy without spending hundreds. I am thinking I might even be able to use Green Glue and/or MLV (which appears to be sorta of what that DYNIL stuff is). I will toss up the idea for a few days and might come back to have you leave your idea as an answer so I can mark it. – oscilatingcretin Feb 13 '12 at 20:06
  • Oak is a fairly inexpensive and common hardwood. There are denser woods, but most are considerably rarer & more expensive. Depends on what's locally available to you, and if you have any sawmills handy you will get a much better deal (and may find a more locally suitable dense species that's less well known but not expensive) than you'll ever find at any color of big-box home improvement store. You might also consider veneered high-density fiberboard (i.e. NOT "medium density" aka MDF) assuming you want a wood look, or a laminate surface if wood look is not a factor. – Ecnerwal Jul 27 at 19:47
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I would do a hollow door like @Tester101 suggested, but instead of using Dynamat (which is expensive) I would use foam.

In high school, they would collect egg cartons so they could sound proof the audio rooms. You could use egg cartons as well or a cellular foam board.

Sound is produced by vibration. Thats why sub woofers aren't directional.

Using foam, the cellular structure breaks up the sound waves.

Wikipedia actually has a good write up on this.

Wikipedia Soundproofing

So, on the cheap - 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch plywood to make the door and inside, fill it with a not so dense (ie: a foam where you can see the cells) foam board.

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    You'll need a thin material that can be installed between structural elements and the skin material of the door, to prevent vibration transfer through solid portions of the door. While Dynamat may be expensive (and not the only option here, lets keep that in mind), it will prevent vibration transfer far better than egg cartons. – Tester101 Feb 13 '12 at 17:54
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    I suspect the egg cartons were an attempt to absorb sound in the room, the same as acoustic damping tiles do. The idea here is to improve the sound in the room by preventing echoes and other artifacts. Carpet, drapes, furniture, etc all help damp sound as well. This is in contrast to sound insulation where you are trying to prevent sound transmission to/from other rooms (generally you do a bit of both). – gregmac Feb 13 '12 at 19:10
  • From what I've been reading over the past several months before taking on this project, egg cartons are a no-go in actually preventing sound transmission. I think gregmac's right about it originally being an accoustical thing, but it probably eventually got out as an actual soundproofing method. – oscilatingcretin Feb 13 '12 at 20:03
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You would better off sandwiching an MLV (mass loaded vinyl) in a manner that allowed it to actually hang limply in an air-gap. I.e. a sandwich. 1" of oak 3/4" air-gap with the MLV and 3/4" of oak would probably do more than the same thickness of solid oak.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 27 at 20:22

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