Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

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Soundman2020
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#1

Postby Soundman2020 » Tue, 2019-Oct-01, 00:05

Site-built back-to-back studio door pair, for high isolation.


A quick photo-sequence on how to build your own isolation doors for your studio, with windows in them, and still get good isolation.

This is a companion article to the site built window for high isolation, and uses a simple but very effective design that I have developed for such doors.

These photos come from a client in Australia, who teaches drums in his studio. His neighbor's front door is just a few meters away from the door to his studio, so he needed to get very good isolation. The door design I did for him is not complicated, and very robust, and he also came up with some good ideas of how to implement it in practice. Theoretical isolation is 55 dB, and isolation is good down to about 30 Hz. (MSM resonance at 15 Hz, predicted). In practice, it's darn good!

First we started out with an ordinary solid-core door slab (44mm - aprox 1 3/4"). Here's the base blank slab, with the location of the window marked, ready for cutting.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--101---Door-Blank-marked--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Window hole cut out:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--102+-Door-Blank-cut--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Another view of the door blank with the window hole cut out:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--103---Partly-completed-Door-standing-up--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Installing the drop-down threshold seal, at the bottom of the door. The shape is routed into the base layer of the door:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--104---Dropdown-seal-Installed--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


The drop down seal with all three layers of the door in place, glued and screwed together. The base layer is 44mm thick solid wood, and the other two layers are 19mm each, solid wood. Total thickness: 82mm (+/- 3 1/4"). Surface density of complete door: over 62 kg/m2. Each door weighs about 100 kg (220 pounds).
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--105---Dropdown-seal-closeup-All-layers--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Another view of the layers clamped together while the glue cures.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--106+-All-layers--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Now for the frames that the doors sit in. Since there are two doors back-to-back, one in each leaf, he decided to do both frames at once, to keep them lined up properly, as well as plumb and level. So he nailed temporary bracing across them, with blocking between them to keep the separation correct, as well as adding the fabric that covers the gap, and taping it all in place. The temporary blocking and bracing also keeps the fabric taught, so it can't sag:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--107---Frames-Braced-And-taped-on-Floor--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Then he presented the pair of frames into the rough framing opening, before sliding them in and doing the alignment:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--108---Frames-Presented-to-rough-opening--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Here are the frames completely in place, shimmed and squared, perfectly plumb and level, and you can also see the temporary thin door that he hung on one frame, so he could close up the room and lock it:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--109---Frames-shimmed-And-squared-1--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Here's the frames nailed and screwed in place, with the temporary bracing and blocking removed, showing the neat finish on the fabric from this method.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--110---Frames-shimmed-And-squared-2--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


The second set of jambs is now in place here, to create the triple-seals. The nail holes have been plugged and sanded here, and the varnish is about to be retouched:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--111---Frames-In-And-sanded--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


The inner-door is hung, all three jambs are in place on the frame, but the rubber seals have not been installed yet. You can see the triple jambs where the seals will go, built up from individual layers of wood on the base framing, similar to the way the door itself is built. Also note the heavy duty hinges. Six of them: Three up top, two down below, and one in the middle.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--112+-Inner-Door-hung--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg
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Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--112+-Inner-Door-hung--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg
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Inner door detail of upper hinges, with rubber seals in place.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--113---Inner-Door-top-hinges--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Inner door in place, viewed form the outside:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--114---Inner-Door-From-outside--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Both doors in place, seals in place, both open:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--115+-Both-open-seals-And-gap--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Both doors completed, seen from outside:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--116+-Finished-Entry-Door-From-outside--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Both doors completed, seen from inside room:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--117---Finished-Entry-Door-From-Inside--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


View from outside, with both doors open:
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--118+-Both-open-From-outside--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


Detail of the door closer and the seals on the inner door. Note the three complete full-perimeter seals all around the door. Necessary for high isolation.
Soundman--Site-Built-Isolation-Door--119---Door-closer-And-gap-Detail--BRAUS--Soundman2020--recording-studio-Design.jpg


A word about those automatic door closers: you need them! These doors are heavy (100 kg / 220 pounds each!), and trying to close them by hand would slam them into the frames and jambs every time, even if you try not to, eventually causing things to move, break the seal, or fail. A door closer does the job of closing them slowly and gently, then applies pressure to keep the seals properly compressed, without needing a latch.

So, that's one way to do a pair of doors into your studio. In this case, the studio owner can play two sets of drums at once inside the room, and the neighbor just a few meters away can't hear anything.

- Stuart -



JayPee
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Re: Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#2

Postby JayPee » Wed, 2019-Oct-30, 15:24

Great! No pic from the lock door?



Purelythemusic
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Re: Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#3

Postby Purelythemusic » Mon, 2019-Nov-18, 17:09

Yep definitely borrowing this design! Lovely job!


- Success in music is being able to make music whatever your situation -

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howiedrum
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#4

Postby howiedrum » Fri, 2020-Mar-27, 20:37

What do you think these doors cost to build? I need four and I got a bid for $3000 or $750 per door plus materials.



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Marius
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#5

Postby Marius » Wed, 2020-Apr-15, 21:44

It seems to me it would be easier to build the door like this.
1. Start with an ordinary solid-core door (no window – keep it simple)
2. Install the drop-down threshold seal, at the bottom of the door
3. Make the door frame and put it in place
4. Hang the door with several heavy-duty hinges
5. Build the jamb for the door and put in seals
6. Add a layer of mass to the hung door that is “recessed” to create the 'vault' like interlock design.
7. Build the jamb for that layer and put in seals
8. Add another layer of mass to the hung door assembly that is recessed even further to create the 'vault' like interlock design.
9. Build the jamb for that layer and put in seals

This way you are not having to lift and hang a HEAVY door. Will this work?



Jag94
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#6

Postby Jag94 » Thu, 2020-Aug-06, 17:38

A buddy of mine has some left over MLV from his project. Could I use that to sandwich in between the door and a second piece of wood to add mass?



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Starlight
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#7

Postby Starlight » Thu, 2020-Aug-06, 18:14

Using MLV as a sanwich in a door would be a good if you need to add mass to the door while not adding much thickness and you don't have any need for the MLV where it might be better employed, eg. being a limp mass or being wrapped around something where plasterboard/drywall would be difficult or impractical.



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shybird
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#8

Postby shybird » Wed, 2020-Aug-19, 13:07

WOW. What a door... :ahh: thanks again Stuart. Super helpful to have this walkthrough!



Purelythemusic
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#9

Postby Purelythemusic » Wed, 2021-Dec-01, 12:20

Marius wrote:Source of the post It seems to me it would be easier to build the door like this.
1. Start with an ordinary solid-core door (no window – keep it simple)
2. Install the drop-down threshold seal, at the bottom of the door
3. Make the door frame and put it in place
4. Hang the door with several heavy-duty hinges
5. Build the jamb for the door and put in seals
6. Add a layer of mass to the hung door that is “recessed” to create the 'vault' like interlock design.
7. Build the jamb for that layer and put in seals
8. Add another layer of mass to the hung door assembly that is recessed even further to create the 'vault' like interlock design.
9. Build the jamb for that layer and put in seals

This way you are not having to lift and hang a HEAVY door. Will this work?



This is kind of how I build my outside door...

We predrilled holes through OSB, then sheet steel so it would locate onto the door blank...many holes... then Hung the door blank, used adhesive on the steel and lifted that on, adhesive on the OSB and lifted that on and the screws ensured it pulled in tight and located the steel, then built out the door jamb with door stop (20mm Sapele), then any subsequent layer can go on top... we did it this way as I wanted to use flood seals on the outside door...so we wern't sure of the compressed gap.


- Success in music is being able to make music whatever your situation -

Purelythemusic
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#10

Postby Purelythemusic » Wed, 2021-Dec-01, 13:21

Hi All,

After some extensive (in my view) research, I have been purchasing at a good price self adhesive batwing seals and drop seals from www.firesealsdirect.co.uk

I almost purchased in 3 or more different locations before finally finding these guys who were selling the same products by name. Thought I might save someone else in the UK time on this!


- Success in music is being able to make music whatever your situation -

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endorka
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Site-built door pair, for high isolation.

#11

Postby endorka » Wed, 2021-Dec-01, 20:22

I bought those same things from the same place too. They work well, I also have them on several non studio doors in our house. The Lorient drop seals are excellent, particularly the heavy duty ones.

The batwing seals work well, although they leak a bit in the control room door. I can tell because some air is sucked through the perimeter when I have the ventilation on :lol: I think the suction is pulling the door away from the seal a bit. This is likely made worse because the door is just a single panel, not bank vault style with several layers of seal. Also because it is a single door, if it was a double door the outer door would be sucked against the seal, presumably lessening the pull on the inner one.

When budget permits I'll upgrade the door to bank vault style and get some of the trunk rubber seals Rod Gervais recommends. Until then the batwing seal is good enough, and far better than just the frame. You can quite clearly hear the difference the seal makes if the door does not properly close against it, then you push it right into the seal.

Cheers,
Jennifer




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