Part I: Building Your Own Sound Panels

Building your own sound panels is an easy and cost effective way to customize your studio or rehearsal space. The process is very simple and straightforward, as long as you have the right tools and materials. 

Here is a process that will allow you to build a total of 8 2’ x 4’ sound panels.

MATERIALS

These can be found at your local hardware store:

  • 1 pack of Roxull Safe’n’Sound Rock Wool. 
    • Each package contains 8 2’ x 4’ pieces. This insulation will most likely need to be ordered. 
  • 12 8' strips of 1”x 4" furring strips.  
    • Choosing these properly is by far the most important step. Make sure to get the straightest ones possible. The process of selecting them can take quite a while, as I easily looked through 200-300 strips just to find 12 perfectly straight pieces. 
    • Also, it’s a good idea to bring a pocket knife with you to the lumber yard as you’ll most likely have to cut the binding straps that hold these bundles together. 
    • Note that it takes 3 8’ strips to build 2 sound panels.
  • 8 packs of Corner Brackets, each containing 4 brackets and screws.
  • 1 box of 1 1/2" wood screws

FABRIC

This can be found at your local fabric store:

  • 15 yards of Muslin Fabric for back.
  • 15 yards of any high quality fabric of your choosing for the front.  

TOOLS

  • Staple gun and 2 boxes of staples (you will use a lot of staples) 
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver (preferably a powered screwdriver)
  • Pliers 
  • Hammer

BUILDING THE FRAME

I built my sound panels in groups of two at a time. The reason why will become clear in a moment.  

1)  Taking the first 8’ furring strip, cut two pieces to be 46 1/4" in length. These two pieces will make up the sides for 1 panel. Now do the same with a 2nd furring strip. These will make up the sides for a 2nd panel.

2)  With the 3rd 8’ furring strip, cut 4 pieces to be 24 1/4" in length. These pieces will make up the top and bottom for both panels.

3)  Now, working on 1 panel at a time, on a flat surface, lay the sides parallel to each other 24” apart. Taking the top and bottom pieces, lay them flush against the sides at the top and bottom of the frame. 

4)  At this point in the process, I would staple the top and bottom to the sides using one staple for each. I ended up removing these staples after I fastened on the corner brackets, but this helps hold everything in place during this next assembly stage.

5)  Using a pencil, mark the outer holes for the corner brackets that will attach the bottom and top pieces to the sides. These are the points you will use to drill starter holes for your brackets. 

6)  Now, using a small drill bit, drill those starter holes.  

7)  Finally, with your electric screwdriver, place the braces against the frame, and attach them with their included screws.

* Now that your frame is one complete piece, using a pair of pliers, go back and remove the 4 staples from step 4. 

You’ll notice that the frame isn’t quite sturdy yet. We’re going to make it sturdy by drilling screws into each side of the top and bottom braces.    

8)  Standing your frame up, drill initial holes into both sides of the top and bottom strips where they overlay the sides.  

9)  Using an electric  screwdriver, screw in the 1 1/2" wood screws.  

Now you have a very sturdy frame for your sound panel and are ready to attach the insulation and fabric. 

ATTACHING THE INSULATION AND FABRIC

For the next series of directions, refer to the photo below:

1)  Laying your frame down on a flat surface, stretch the muslin fabric over one side of your frame, starting along the top. Then, using your staple gun, staple along the top center, top right, and top left of the frame. Pulling the muslin tight from top to bottom, staple the muslin along the bottom of the frame. Now pull it tight along the sides and staple. 

At this point, you should have the muslin fabric tight and stapled securely along the back of the frame.  Continue pulling the fabric tight and stapling around the frame until you are satisfied.

2)  Cut away all excess fabric.

3)  Flip the frame over and insert the rock wool insulation.  It should lay in there nice and tight.

4)  Finally, taking the fabric you chose for the front, wrap the front and sides, all the while pulling the fabric tight, and staple to the back of the frame.  Folding the corners takes a few minutes to get a nice, smooth fold, but the process is the same as wrapping a present. Just make sure, above all else, to pull the fabric very tight, wrap it around the entire frame, and staple it securely to the back.  

5)  Finish each panel by going around the back of the frame with a hammer to make sure that your staples are as far into the wood as possible. 

That’s all there is to it!!  

Click here for Part II of this series, Hanging Your Own Sound Panels.

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