This blog documents my studio build started back in 2009. I'm keeping this live for reference as it may help others who are thinking of taking on such a project.
Another reasonably productive weekend consisting mostly of adding room treatments..
Despite the fact that the ceiling height has reduced greatly from the original roof height including 300mm of mineral wool above the inner room, I had decided to add another 100mm to the majority of the ceiling area inside. I was always going to add some sort of ceiling cloud to the room and it seemed to make sense to make it one big cloud as I have plenty of mineral wool left.
I had some lengths of 50mm square timber but this was going to be a little bit too chunky for the framing required so I rigged up my circular saw bench and set some guides to split these lengths in half. It's a bit of a Heath Robinson setup (see photo) but it's actually extremely safe and works a dream. So I started with 6 lengths of 50x50mm and end up with 12 lengths of 50x22mm - plenty enough for my needs.
I set about attaching 1800mm lengths pitched 1200mm about the centre of the room and 600mm either side, though as you'll read later I intend to add a central support too - more later. Anyway, I initially screwed these into the perpendicular joists above the plasterboard. I then cut some spacer blocks at 56mm long and screwed these into the top battens 1 at each end and one centrally. Screwing another baten below these gave me a frame-work 100mm below the ceiling. All that was left was to add some angled pieces at each end and insert two cross members to allow for some downlights to be positioned(see photos.)
That was pretty much it for Saturday and though I wasn't sure if I'd have any time on Sunday (Mother's day) I did have a bit of time...
OK, I had an hour or so in the afternoon to do a little bit more work and thought I would attempt to fill the framing with mineral wool. I wasn't entirely sure how I would go about it but in the end I settled on cutting some 18x52mm tongues in the edges of the mineral wool slabs and pushing them up between the framing. I'd better add that I tried to bend a 1200x600mm slab into position first and it didn't go well - it has a certain degree of flex but beyond that point it just breaks! Oh well, lesson learnt and in fact locating one end between the battens then squashing the other up works fantastically well.
I'll come back to my earlier point about the central support now. I did try to place a 1200x600mm slab in the central 1200mm pitch battens using this method, and although the insertion works well, once in position it tends to sag down in the middle - not the case at all with 600mm pitched battens. This is when I realised I needed to add the central framing battens. I was not left with enough time to add these so I was resigned to finish filling as much between the 600mm battens and clear up for the weekend.
Anyway - all-in-all - apart from the slight setback pretty pleased and it's good to know I have a very effective method for inserting the slabs in place without the need to secure in any way before covering with the black fabric. You might also be wondering how high is the ceiling after this - well... believe it or not I can still just about walk underneath the ceiling cloud at the lowest point - though once my gear is in place I'll never get that close to the front wall anyway.
Couple more photos:
>> Room Treatments <<
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Following on from my earlier point about the material I have been using to cover the absorbers (mineral wall chunks) I got to thinking about conducting some tests. I did a little reading and decided to see how well it performed as speaker cloth. Not a particularly scientific experiment but I rigged up a microphone in front of one of my small Behringer MS40 monitors and set Wavelab up to record. I played back a track through the monitor and recorded the output at various distances (30, 40 & 50cm) with the fabric and the same without.
The results seemed encouraging as I couldn't even hear any perceivable difference with or without the cloth. I didn't get a chance to fully analyse the results but the waveforms were pretty well identical. Anyway, I'll probably conduct the test in a bit more scientific manner later on but for now I feel a little bit happier in my use of material.
As we were out all day Sunday, I only had Saturday to work on the studio. I set myself a target to get the front ceiling-wall absorber chunk finished.
I finished the last angled upright to meet the corner chunk - a slightly awkward shaped piece that required a bit of planing and adjusting to fit. I did the same as the left hand piece with a combination of no-nails, staples and screws to secure it into position. All matched in pretty well to meet with the front wall corner chunks.
I then set about filling the framing with mineral wool. To keep the stuff from falling to the ground before covering I attached a temporary thin batten mid-way up horizontally. This allowed me to insert the triangular profiles easily into position.
All good and filled pretty quickly and I was only a little bit itchy afterwards!
I then cut a 2.8 x 1 metre piece of the weed control fabric to cover the chunk (look at my earlier post regarding this material - though I'm not 100% sure of suitability for this job it certainly has the required properties and it can easily be replaced if not at a later date.)
It's a little tricky to attach especially as I had to fix the bottom edge first up to the batten to ensure the triangles stayed in place before the batten was removed. I hemmed all the edges before stapling them to the framing. I have to say that my stapler is not the best in the world and I end up with a lot of wasted staples (note: next time buy a better stapler.) As long as it lasts for this job I won't bother replacing at the moment. Anyway, all in all happy with the result and although the photos do show a few waves in the material these will be reduced once I get it fully tensioned and secured. Though they are not even noticeable in the low light I'll have in the finished room - camera flash shows up all manner of irregularities.
>> Room Treatments <<
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More next weekend...
Only a small amount of work completed this weekend. I had other commitments so time was a bit limited.
Anyway, I did a bit of work on the framing for the front wall to ceiling corner chunk a triangular section of mineral wool about 80 x 30 cm. This is directly behind where the monitors will live. I'll most likely add something on the wall below later on but for now this will be all until I can test the room properly.
I firstly attached 4 vertical batons between the wall and ceiling and added two angled pieces to meet the corner chunks.
Photos to follow...
The mission this weekend was to get door number one finished - or at least latching and sealing as intended - more about that later....
Now, I wasn't entirely sure what I would use for the latch plate to allow the compression latch to engage into. After a bit of thought I opted to try a simple method that would not limit further options if this failed.
Anyway, before all this I had to attach the compression latch to the door. The assembly about five parts that effectively clamp two handles either side of the door with a simple steel protrusion with a rounded profile that acts as a cam (you'll see what I mean from the picture later.) This requires a 17.5mm hole drilled through the door for the latch barrel to fit. Unfortunately, I didn't even have an 18mm diameter drill so I first drilled a hole as close as I could get which was 16mm. I then started filing the hole bigger though this was hard work and was taking a bit of time. I then had a brain wave...the latch barrel is square is section with pretty sharp edges to it so I effectively used this as a large drill, rotating it in the hole first from one side of the door and then from the other until they met in the middle. This proved successful a gave a good close fit for the barrel to rotate in.
I had to build up the door thickness around the latch as the final layer of plasterboard is still not in situ, and besides I didn't want the latch to be squashed between the plasterboard which might crumble in time. Simple really: add another small piece of MDF in the area and have the latch protrude through this. Only problem this resulted in the door being too thick for the latch barrel and there was only a few threads of the locking nut engaged in the thread at the end. I couldn't find another piece of material suitable at the 12.5mm required so I routed out a rebate for the MDF piece to sit into. All good and another problem overcome and the latch was inserted and assembled on the door.
I then had the job of cutting the door jams to suit and I used the off-cut MDF used for the door itself. This was fairly easy and I had them cut to a good tight fit to aid positioning. In terms of positioning of the jams I first had them just touching the door seals with the door just closed and subsequently when screwing them in place I inset them inwards by 2mm to allow them to compress the silicone seals by the same amount when fully closed. All good I was able, with a bit of effort, close the door fully flush - so far so good!
So for the latch plate. I had at my disposal some 3mm steel rectangular pieces of steel which have an open ended slot centrally (again see the photos for this). Although 3mm was probably OK I decided to stack two together bringing it to 6mm. I drilled four 5mm diameter holes in the corners and countersunk these to accommodate my 4.5 x 60mm wood screws. These need to be rebated into the door jam in the correct position to allow the latch to engage and then compress the silicone door seals. So I pulled the door leaving just about 5mm left to go before fully closed and flush with the wall, which is about the distance the latch cam has between the start and its peak. Whilst held here I turned the handle so as to make a mark into the door jam. Here was my mark for the inner edge of the latch plate. I then routed out the 6mm rebate and squared the corners with the chisel. The latch itself protrudes about 3mm from the door frame so I also had to rout a 12 diameter vertical slot in-line with the slot in the plate to allow the latch to throw completely.
OK now the moment of truth... I attached the latch plates using the 60mm screws then tried the door. Upon closing the door tightens at about 5cm from closure because the seal on the hinge edge starts to compress first. With a small amount of pressure on the door I'm able to get the door closed though it needed a fair amount more pressure to engage the latch. Having looked at the latch plates I realised the sharp edge of the slot were not helping and the addition of a lead in here would further ease closure. I took the plates off and filed a curved lead in and reattached. Much better!! Now just before it really tightens up the latch engaged and with a smooth action rotates into the latch plate. All good. I may take a look at the hinge jam and perhaps try to alleviate the tightening - we'll see.
>> Door Construction <<
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