bass traps

Ok, so I’ve been really lazy in doing my show and tell side of things but there you go.
A friend and I bought a pallet of insulation material (Gutex Thermoflex) along with a whole bunch of wood pre cut to the lengths we required as we were going to be building the bass traps together. In total we were building 42, 22 for me and 20 for him. During this time my house was somewhat chaotic with stuff everywhere, it’s times like that that I really miss having a garage or the likes.

I then set about calculating and drawing out the holes on a template that I planned to drill through the wood. This was a little more difficult than it sounds because I wanted the holes perfectly spaced, even at the joins.

In total there are 19 holes on the long piece and 9 on the short piece.

I started building a prototype to make sure everything would work out. At this point in time I was running off a cordless drill and it soon became apparent that this was NOT going to cut it.

So I bought a new power drill, 550 watt, which I thought would be ok for the job. Unfortunately the big holes (100mm) just require too much torque and the new drill wasn’t going to cut it either.

And here is the almost completed frame….

And the completed frame, stain and all. I initially bought a pretty hardcore outdoor stain that was far too thick and difficult to work with. It also took about 24hrs to dry so I needed to find an alternative.

The completed frame with the insulation material fitted.

So thanks to good ole’ IKEA, they had just the stain I wanted and at a very good price, a nice and thin liquid with a fast drying time. Here are some of the drilled pieces of wood awaiting sanding with the tins of stain at the bottom.

I had already decided I was going to stain the frames black and white as my whole room is black and white as is the material I chose to cover them in.

Keep in mind, to get to the stained stage there was a hell of a lot of drilling and sanding which almost drove me insane!! After the staining I then countersunk holes on the lengths of wood where the screws would go through to keep the frames together. Unfortunately at that time of year in Berlin (summer) it was either very hot or raining which meant some of my wood warped slightly. Kind of pissed me off but what can you do?

Once the frames were assembled it was a simple matter of getting the material in and stapled tight to the frames.

I wanted the material flush with the front panel so I bought some long thin strips of wood and staple gunned through it into the frame to give a nice edge that is invisible from the outside.

As you can see, nice and flush with the front…

After that part it was a downhill run, I just had to fit the insulation into the frames which was a snug fit as I’d deliberately undersized the frames by 5mm.

After stapling the fabric into the top sides I then decided to just sew the back up, it seemed like the easiest solution at the time and worked out really well.

And that’s it. A finished product. I had a real deadline Ina’s 30th was coming up and I’d promised the apartment would be in order by the time that came around. So all in all it probably took me about a month and a half to get them all done, it was really a lot more work than I’d bargained on but definitely worth it in the end.

4 Responses to “bass traps”


  • Looks like you ended up with a quality job, what was the application and how did they work out for you? Am about to buy a flat here in Vancouver and can envision the need to soundproof it so I don’t piss my neighbours off too much…

  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks for taking a look! This was more for acoustic control of the frequency response of the room rather than sound-proofing.

    Although I managed to get my room to a pretty flat frequency response at the time, it did little or nothing for my neighbours ability to hear (or rather not hear) what I was getting up to in the studio. In an ideal world, that would have been the first thing I would have done by layering dry wall along the walls first. Density and thickness of material is the only real thing that helps in that scenario 🙂

    Best,
    Jordan

  • Hi Jordan,

    Really nice work. I’m in the process of planning my own absorbers and I’m trying to find cheaper alternatives to Basotect. I’ve read that Gutex smells pretty bad, what was your experience? And, would you mind explaining exactly what you did with those strips of wood in the fabric stapling part?

    Thanks,
    Ronny

    • Hey Ronny,

      Gutex smells fine….not really like much of anything.

      The strips of wood are actually what’s holding the fabric on to the frame from the insidef. I used them so the fabric is flush to the frame, but no visible sign of staples etc. can be seen from the outside – does that make any sense?

      Best,
      Jordan

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