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DIY build - garage studio ALMOST DONE! 
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GABmiral
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Location: Riverside, CA
It's happening. Building the GRIMESPACE Sound Lab...

Last month, I posted a question asking what was needed to do a rehearsal / recording space in the garage. Got some great feedback from a bunch of you about it, and read some stuff on Gearslutz, John Sayers' forum, and other sites. The amount of information out there is insane, and much of it is overwhelmingly against even trying to do a rehearsal space at home without putting in major engineering and $$$.

After talking with my dad, who never let an engineering problem get in his way, we decided to give it a go. He recently retired and wants to help out with relocating my music stuff from the house so that my oldest son can take the room, as well as give us a place to jam. I say us - right now it's me and friends, but hopefully it'll be my two sons who at least seem interested in learning to play. We're hoping they'll get a band going of their own, and then they can rent from me :D .

After researching a bit and posting the question here on GAB, I came up with a few base requirements and guidelines to design from
  • We're keeping this as reasonable as possible - designing for sound mitigation using the room-in-a-room concept, but not expecting to make something that could double as a 24/7 operation. Jamming with a drummer and bass player with someone doing vocals will probably be the majority of higher-volume work. Might have the occasional 4- or 5-piece trying to relive our college metal days on a Saturday afternoon, but that's about the extent of it.
  • Will be setting up a computer recording workstation. Will be learning to do some recording, but have no aspirations to be Abbey Road.
  • The room is going to be finished - the room will be part of the house, and isn't going to be all function without form. I don't have the worlds greatest equipment, but my stuff is good, and I plan to build some guitars going forward. That and memorabilia / signed stuff will be displayed, so it's about as much a man-cave (along with my shop out back) as I'm gonna ever need.
  • Cooling and heating will be addressed by either self-contained unit or some form of tie-in to the house system. Noise abatement in the supply / return system will need to be addressed.
  • Complete electrical subsystem will be installed with a master shutoff for the entire room.
  • Remote fire sensor to be installed.
    [...]
  • The size will be constrained to a little more than half the usable garage area, to allow for storage shelving on the floor, and the ceiling will support other bulky items.

The garage already had a smaller roll-up door (12' instead of 16'), and a partition wall running front to back, which forms a wide corridor for the laundry and pantry-type storage. My wife was not going to give up any of her space, so that, combined with our storage needs, dictates the size of the space. We decided to create a 6" air space between the outer walls, which had already been insulated and drywalled, and the new studio walls. We also had a corner brace up in the joist area that was going to keep the height below the 7-1/2' mark. We couldn't remove it, as it was structural, but a call to my uncle (I have a lot of contractors in my family) confirmed that we could cut it out and replace it with a 16 gauge piece of structural strap material. Doing so gained another 1-1/2 inches, which was worth it.

In the end, we've come up with a space that's a little over 13' by 11'. Not perfect, and still more square than acoustics say we should have, but it'll have to work. Here's a couple of illustrations.

This space planning drawing is just to see how much crap I can load in. Not sure if the riser is something I'll want to commit to, but I'm guessing it may help with the thuds, since we're not doing a raised / decoupled floor. The riser would be made from 1x2 or 1x4 with schloads of rockwool stuffing, plywood or mdf, and carpet. The cylinder in the corner was representing a portable A/C unit, if it was going to have to be installed in the regular space. The garage is pretty much drawn to scale, with the laundry corridor (we call it the 'mud room') on the lower area, and the storage unit with the rolltop door on the left.

Image

We decided to go with staggered studs as the primary means of decoupling the walls and reducing sound transmission. We are using a mix of 5/8" and 1/2" drywall (will probably be doubled on the inside), and will be insulating with two layers - standard R13 on the outer stud frames and Rockwool on the inner side. We won't be doing any major decoupling with the ceiling or floors - they'll just have to be ok. However, we'll be loading the ceiling joist bays with plenty of rockwool and capping the top with OSB / fiberboard to allow for storage.

We went from design to full build about 3 weeks ago. In the next day, I'll post up some progress pics. We have 3 walls now standing, with electrical roughed-in, along with some of the thermal insulation, which we'll be combining with rockwool. This fairly accurate illustration shows the framing we've done to date, with the 4th wall outlined, which we'll be putting in (hopefully) this weekend. A/C will be a portable unit in the bumped-out area. We're going to install a doorframe that'll support two doors (hinges will be on opposite sides of the doorframe to allow for equipment flow in & out of the room).

Image

So, what'cha think? I'd love to hear any thoughts / suggestions to make this a success. It's at the point where it's happening regardless, but I'm really anxious to give it a real run-through to see if I can rock out for real, hopefully by the beginning of August. :rawk:

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  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Last edited by G-SPACE on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:00 pm
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Looks good man! I can't wait to see pics of the finished product!

Needs fake palmtrees in the corners, though. :D

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:29 am
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Looks like ya got a plan, good luck with everything and keep us posted with some photos.

But this cracked me up:

"•Everything built to code as much as possible". :facepalm:

Good luck, work safe and have fun.

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Turret boards:
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Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:41 am
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GABmiral
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Jay wrote:
Looks good man! I can't wait to see pics of the finished product!

Needs fake palmtrees in the corners, though. :D


Thanks dude. Glad to see someone saw this thread. Was starting to give up hope :)

...and no palmtrees will be killed in the making of this studio, fake or not ;)

Casey4s wrote:
Looks like ya got a plan, good luck with everything and keep us posted with some photos.

...

Good luck, work safe and have fun.


Pics will be going up soon. Just finished connecting all the walls and got the ceiling joists up in place this weekend! Thanks for your interest :thu:

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Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Last edited by G-SPACE on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:44 am
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GABmiral
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They say pics are worth a thousand words, so here we go...

This is the space were the studio will go. Exterior walls are already filled with thermal insulation and drywalled. Obviously a bit more cleanup needed to be done:

Image

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The studio wall will stop just before the tracks for the garage door, and will form a storage area.

Image

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This pic and the one above show the laundry area where the section of wall will be removed, and a new sealed entry for the studio will be built

Image

The T-Bar on this ceiling is right at the 7' mark, which is a bit lower than we're hoping for in the new room - there are rafters in the existing garage space that are set right at at 8', and we're going to be building beneath that. The existing rafters are visible here, which limit how far we'll be building the new studio.

Image

As of the start of this project, the roofing is scheduled to be replaced in 2 weeks with a layer of OSB and then standard asphalt shingles. We're installing new ventilation at the rooftop, using a solar powered fan, which should be quiet and help cool the main garage space somewhat. Not sure if we'll address the uninsulated rafter area of the garage - either for thermal or sound protection. This will be considered after we get the studio up and running with A/C.

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:10 am
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Sledge hammers and sawzalls at work here :evil:

Image

Image

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Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:15 am
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Framing the first wall - note the double / staggered studs for decoupling

Image

Can't help sneaking in one of the kids occasionally

Image

Thermal insulation on the outside...

Image

...squared, braced, and drywalled. We're sheeting the outside before lifting it into place so we don't have to move it out from the wall, do the drywall work, then move it back. Could have been done using either method - we chose the former :)

Image

Image

Ready for lifting into place

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Using one of man's first 'machines' to push the heavy SOB into place

Image

Ta da

Image

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Last edited by G-SPACE on Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:44 am
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WoW! great progress, man that is looking terrific :thu:

At least the kid had a more productive tool than a crowbar in his hand, I can see who is doing the real work here. :lol:

_________________
DIY Links:

MOD 102 Amp Kit & video:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... lifier-kit

DIY Box Joint Jig & Videos:
http://s238.photobucket.com/user/Casey4 ... t=6&page=1

Chassis:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... er-chassis

Turret boards:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... nstruction

Tolex:
http://guitarkitbuilder.com/how-apply-t ... r-cabinet/


Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:40 pm
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that's pretty awesome!! Keep the updates coming!


Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:42 pm
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:snax:

pretty cool

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Loop wrote:
Also, I hate to bring this to light considering there are some feelings in this thread, but you misspelled "disappointed".


Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:43 pm
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Casey4s wrote:
WoW! great progress, man that is looking terrific :thu:

At least the kid had a more productive tool than a crowbar in his hand, I can see who is doing the real work here. :lol:

You got that one right :hi5:
Marc G wrote:
that's pretty awesome!! Keep the updates coming!

That update is miles behind... gots lotta mo' headed yer way :D
Mike LX-R wrote:
:snax:

pretty cool

Glad to see ya'll here - was worried nobody was interested. This thread seemed to be sinking faster than the Titanic :party:

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Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:03 pm
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Very cool!!

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:34 pm
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Hopefully, you'll forgive a little diversion here. If not, please proceed to the next post, which should be up shortly.

We have a little tradition in my family. Whenever I'm doing work on the house on something that'll be covered up (ie: floors, etc.), I let the kids draw / paint things. It's kind of a time capsule that will be really awesome to see someday in the future when the work is being redone - either by me or possibly my kids. If nothing else, it's cool knowing that these walls are covered in their artwork, and can't be (unless some disaster happens) erased or lost.

So, since the exterior walls won't be seen anymore - at least for the forseeable future - I let them have at it while my dad and I sat and pondered the next bit of construction.

Image

Image

Image

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Probably should have let them go at it with paint, but oh well, it's not like they haven't done it before...

Image

...and, since I'm sharing, this is the room I made before we had it recarpeted :D

Image

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:58 pm
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Back to business...

Wall #2. Framing:

Image

Thermal insulation, getting ready for bracing:

Image

Sheeted & fire-taped:

Image

Here's a few action shots. Keep in mind, this is a near- 14' wall, build up with 2x6's and double studs, with 5/8" drywall and some steel bracing & a couple rolls of insulation thrown in for fun (not to mention nails & staples :)). It was friggin' heavy enuff for me, that's fer sure...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:08 pm
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Are you putting it straight onto the concrete floor? We built our frame on top of 2" polystyrene sheets.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:17 pm
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skybluegary wrote:
Are you putting it straight onto the concrete floor? We built our frame on top of 2" polystyrene sheets.

Yeah - anchoring straight down to concrete. During my research, I read some things about doing as you state, but we decided to forego that option. When we were designing the room, we did some pros / cons about certain sound mitigation options, and this one simply landed in the 'no' category, along with floating the entire floor, hat channels, whisper clips, green glue, and the myriad other things that can be done at steadily increasing cost, with uncertain bang-for-buck benefit.

I'm sure this option has merits, but we decided to focus our mitigation efforts on the decoupling of the walls and probably increasing the sheetrock density (may be double-sheeting the inside), as well as installing rockwool throughout the entire structure. I'm going to be very diligent in sealing the crap out of the bottom plates and the rest of the framing, drywall gaps, and any other possible source of leakage. If we do our job right, the only potential source of air leakage will be in the A/C ducting, which will be running through a 'muffler' box (still to-be-determined).

I'd love to hear your thoughts as to how much help the poly foundation was to the overall build. What other mitigation options did you put in, and were they more, as, or less important than the subfloor?

Thanks!

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:48 pm
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On to wall 3!

This one is different, in that it includes the doorway to the studio. Very important, as it obviously is a huge potential source of air leakage.

In order to maximize strength and minimize the possible gaps, I decided to construct the doorway like a 'hatch'. The 2x6 bottom plate that runs the length of the wall will remain uncut in the doorway, and will form a solid threshold. We will install an exterior solid-core door on the inside first and make special efforts to seal it as perfectly as possible. We will allow for a second door to be installed on the outside (from the laundry side), if the first is allowing too much sound transmission.

Unfortunately, we were running short on time and I kept forgetting to get pics during the construction. It's very similar to the other walls, and we left the drywall off this time, as we will have access to both sides of this wall. Here's what I have:

Perimeter framing (and my kid's own framing project :))

Image

The only shot I have of the completed frame before standing it up. This was between weekends.

Image

And, the completed item, with insulation and bracing installed.

Image

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:01 pm
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Looks good man! That's impressive work! I bet those walls were plenty heavy hefting up with just 2 people. :lol:

Oh, what size is that novara frame? Just wondering.... :whistle:

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:07 pm
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Holy shit, that's a lot of work but looking amazing so far!
Can't wait for the final touches.

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Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:20 pm
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ovid9 wrote:
Looks good man! That's impressive work! I bet those walls were plenty heavy hefting up with just 2 people. :lol:

Oh, what size is that novara frame? Just wondering.... :whistle:

Ha! I thought one of you might pick up on that. Too bad my Serotta was out of view :)

Not sure what size - it's my wife's bike. Hasn't seen miles since she found out she was pregnant back in '02. Gotta get back to that...

And yes, those walls were really stout!

JCDenton6 wrote:
Holy shit, that's a lot of work but looking amazing so far!
Can't wait for the final touches.

Thanks! I can't wait, either!

Will be posting more shortly.

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Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:20 pm
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After two busy weekends, here's where we're at

Image

...and we started laying out the final wall at the start of this past (3rd) weekend.

Image

This wall will include the niche for the portable A/C unit we decided to go with. We're building the opening big enough to allow the unit to tuck almost completely inside and allow it to be swiveled to direct the air flow in any direction. We hadn't gotten it yet, so we weren't certain of the actual depth, so we're just worrying about the wall at this point.

Image

Similar story - thermal insulation on the outside, followed by squaring the wall and securing everything with diagonal bracing

Image

...and up it went

Image

Image

_________________
Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:38 pm
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maybe I missed it - but is the ceiling going to be the same construction as the walls?


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:47 pm
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mamberg wrote:
maybe I missed it - but is the ceiling going to be the same construction as the walls?

Unfortunately, ceiling clearance isn't allowing for that - I'm already going to be at 7-1/2 feet max height - maybe less, depending on how we do the drywall. We're going to rely on rockwool & thermal insulation + paying a lot of attention to sealing all joints as best we can. I realize I'm relying on a lot of hope for that - perhaps I can cover the whole top in Audimute sheets or something if I'm really getting a lot of sound leakage through the ceiling?

...we'll see

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Co-founder of the Jet Setters 2.0 (Jet ★ City Lounge Redux)

Gear
  • CEOwLP (Sig T), Carvin DC135, Squier strat
  • DSL100H, 1960AX, Mark III, homebrew 2x12 (C90 / EVM12L Thiele), '73 Fender Pro Reverb, POD HD500X (Church rig), JCA50H
  • PLX GABion, Crybaby, Small Clone, DL8, MXR108, Algal clone, Pharaoh (thanks Greg :bow:)

DIY

Help out MISTER NOBODY: https://www.gofundme.com/34f76sf4


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:57 pm
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Hall of Fame Member

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:07 pm
Posts: 520
Location: North Port, Florida
You do some great looking work, are you in the construction trade?

It looks like you are going to be installing your gear any day now :thu:

_________________
DIY Links:

MOD 102 Amp Kit & video:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... lifier-kit

DIY Box Joint Jig & Videos:
http://s238.photobucket.com/user/Casey4 ... t=6&page=1

Chassis:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... er-chassis

Turret boards:
http://www.guitarkitbuilder.com/content ... nstruction

Tolex:
http://guitarkitbuilder.com/how-apply-t ... r-cabinet/


Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:58 pm
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clipless

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:06 am
Posts: 17736
Location: 20 miles outside of Philly
GRIMESPACE wrote:
mamberg wrote:
maybe I missed it - but is the ceiling going to be the same construction as the walls?

Unfortunately, ceiling clearance isn't allowing for that - I'm already going to be at 7-1/2 feet max height - maybe less, depending on how we do the drywall. We're going to rely on rockwool & thermal insulation + paying a lot of attention to sealing all joints as best we can. I realize I'm relying on a lot of hope for that - perhaps I can cover the whole top in Audimute sheets or something if I'm really getting a lot of sound leakage through the ceiling?

...we'll see


so you are going to put a ceiling on it though? right?
maybe you could insulate and sheetrock the bottom of the floor above first?


Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:08 pm
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