Air Compressor Sound Enclosure

by Cian Perez

Finished building my Air Compressor Sound Enclosure in August 2004.

This enclosure SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the amount of noise emitted by my 11-gallon oilless compressor.

Prior to having this enclosure, the compressor was loud enough to scare me and my wife when it triggered off in my basement.

Man was it LOUD! "Turn that thing off!!!"

Now when it goes off, she'll simply ask "That's your compressor, right?"

and hardly audible with the TV on.


> 1/2" OSB walls

> 2x frame construction with pressure treated lumber for ground contacting surfaces

> 65cfm coooling fan equating to 4 complete air exchanges every 60 seconds

> 14/3 electrical supply with 25' extension

> Sound deadening pathways for both input and output air

> Installed rubber doorsweep to minimize sound path underneath door



A 4x8 sheet of ply sure does shrink down a 12' wide workspace.

Side panel with 2x4s to add rigidity and PTL for the bottom ground contacting member.

Sizing her up.

Attaching the back. Construction was wood screws and glue.

The top-most section of the back was removed to facilitate the cut-out for the exit pathway.

Here's the top section reattached with the initial layout of the 2x2 stock for the exit pathway.

Padding the exit pathway to minimize sound travel.

Discovered that attaching the exit-pathway assembly was rather tricky.

Had to rig up some supports to hold it in place while I screwed into it from the inside.

Exit-pathway viewed from the interior.

Exit-pathway viewed from the exterior.

4-1/2" cooling fan motor rated at 65cfm and runs on 115v and is good for 20,000 hours of continuous operation.

Fabricated the input pathways with 3/4" ply. (Ran out of 2x2 stock)

Padding the input air pathway to minimize sound travel..

Cutout for the electrical box.

Cooling fan installed.

The fan is oriented so that it draws outside air into the cabinet through the input airway,

forcing the air to leave via the exit airway (verified by feel).

I figure the restrictive airways counter the volume occupied by the compressor itself,

allowing the 65cfm fan to fully exchange the air within the 2'x2'x4' container 4 times every minute.

Door assembly.

Utilized 3/4" ply to reinforce the 1/2" OSB.

Standard gate hardware.

Rear view.

The upper protrusion is the exit-pathway and the lower protrusion is the input-pathway.

The enclosure in its final destination with the compressor installed.

While the compressor was running, I've opened up the cabinet and can feel the warmth on the compressor head itself,

but the cabinet's interior air was surprisingly the same cool temperature as the ambient basement air outside of it.

This is in contrast to when I placed the compressor within a large cardboard wardrobe moving box in an earlier attempt to minimize the noise,

and the temp inside the box became so unbearably hot, that I feared I would soon damage the motor/piston assembly.

So, yeah, the sound suppressing characteristics and cooling features definitely work.

I'm currently just running a hose through a form-fitted hole in the cabinet's side to wherever I need it.

Eventually, I'll have 3/4" copper pipe plumbed from the compressor to the opposite end of the basement where the shop will be located.

I may add drywall to the exterior and possibly sound deadening material on the interior walls if I get bored one day, but it works so well at the moment.


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