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Noise levels in my workshop

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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I have added a Powered Tools and Machinery section to my website.

In this section I plan to add articles about the power tools and machines that I use in my workshop, with the modifications I have made over the years, along with the techniques which I hope others will find helpful in using them to dimension and create joinery.

The first article is just a baseline for the level of noise for the machines and power tools I have.

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/Powered Tools and Machinery/NoiseLevelsInMyWorkshop.html

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

SammyQ

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Just read through it Derek; nicely done.

Sympathy from a fellow tinnitus sufferer. I'm not surprised by the circular saw at No1, given the motor type.
The Peltors are very good kit. I've used them on firing ranges, indoor and out, and they make a whopping difference, especially to the percussive exhaust of nail guns.

Sam
 

Argus

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Very interesting, however, having grappled with sound evaluation both at sites and in calibrated test environments for CE mark testing of Cooling equipment, I can say with some veracity that it's a convoluted and complex area. We used to pay laboratories to come up with answers and none of 'em agreed!

Your app is probably measuring sound power, likely to be weighted for human hearing.

Sound is composed of two componments, pressure and power. One thing to note from your pictures is the potentially reverberant environment, brick/concrete/metal machines which will contribute to the power of the sound. which may not register without a specialised microphone to catch it.

If some parts of the spectrum is troublesome, have you experimented with damping the potential of sound-power with some surface softening?
 

mindthatwhatouch

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Be interesting to see how the noise levels change when cutting/planing timber. Lovely work and website BTW.
 

Sandyn

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I now require two hearing aids. My hearing is down about 50dB above a few thousand Hz. I inherited it from my mum, but also years of working with really loud equipment. I also enjoyed really loud music, not just hearing it, but feeling it.....70's rock!!
Deafness/partial deafness is amazingly isolating. When I worked, I worked with a lot of people who spoke really softly. Meetings were a nightmare, but you learn to rely on lipreading, but there was a lot of rubbish talked about, so missing it wasn't such a problem. I made sure I heard what I needed to hear.
Damage is cumulative, so even moderately loud noise can cause damage over a long period of time. I would recommend using ear protection with any power tools. I enjoy listening to music when working, I use Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, but can still use ear defenders. It allows me to listen to music, but still hear background noise. They are brilliant for cycling! I also suffer tinnitus, but I can chose to ignore it. Interestingly a Novocaine injection kills it dead.
 

Ollie78

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I have otosclerosis in one ear (the stapid bone is calcified) so inner ear is ok and outer ear is ok. They just communicate badly with each other. The Aftershokz headphones are amazing for me because they bypass my deafness. A hearing aid using the same technology is £3000.
Bose make a device which uses clever technology to enhance conversation and reduce background noise called hearphones, but they look like they are not sold in the UK.
I think the router is the loudest machine, or most annoying noise at least.

Ollie
 
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craigs

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I use IEM's or decent noise cancelling headphones, I dont see why I should compromise sound quality in the name of safety :)
 

craigs

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In Ear Monitors, i use SHURE SE825's

Oh, the Noise Cancelling I use are Sony WH1000, if i want to use something over-ear
 
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Jelly

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Does anyone use 'in ear' defenders? Any good? Any reviews please?
Wouldn't that just be ear-plugs?

I found that the disposible foam type to be effective if inserted correctly when I worked in noisy industrial environments.

But they're not generally available with the same level of protection as the bigger ear defenders (Peltor Optime III and the like) so when dealing with very high levels of damaging noise (110-127dB inside Sound Cabs) I'd always use ear defenders instead (or as well) as per the SOP's for those areas.

The re-usable silicone rubber ear plugs used to cause me pain and issues with ear wax buildup, and were more prone to working loose, but it's likely your ear canals are different to mine.
 

pe2dave

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More reasonable? review and in a woodwork shop.
Wouldn't that just be ear-plugs?

I found that the disposible foam type to be effective if inserted correctly when I worked in noisy industrial environments.

But they're not generally available with the same level of protection as the bigger ear defenders (Peltor Optime III and the like) so when dealing with very high levels of damaging noise (110-127dB inside Sound Cabs) I'd always use ear defenders instead (or as well) as per the SOP's for those areas.

The re-usable silicone rubber ear plugs used to cause me pain and issues with ear wax buildup, and were more prone to working loose, but it's likely your ear canals are different to mine.
Fair points.
I dislike the foam inserts (personal choice).
Unsure of having 'loose' items around the workshop (hygiene?)
I agree about 'high' levels of noise - over ear much better protection.

It's the 'in between' levels that I feel present risk?
 

Davey44

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Yes, I'd like to be able to have/use some kind of ear/sound protection since I have considerable hearing loss and although I have had one hearing aid prescribed and used until it dropped apart, I didn't get on with it very well. It seemed to increase the volume of loud noises and diminish the soft/quieter ones.

I work in two different working environments. The first is in my own personal workshop, the second is in a Men's Shed in south Birmingham. My own workshop is obviously a single use situation, in that I can only use one tool at a time, but often have a compressor and extractor running at the same time. In such cases I wouldn't hear anyone shout to me, much less speak to me.

The 'shed' has a big elderly extractor, new compressor, large bandsaw, bench mounted sander, several hand-held sanders, a sander thicknesser, and air tools, plus the usual banging that accompanies wood-working. We have ear defenders available, but few users choose to avail themselves of them.

It would be good if there was a cost-effective way of managing the noise level in the shed, especially as when/if the lockdown is lifted, we will be inviting more of the membership back, which may well increase the noise level significantly.

Any thoughts on any of the issues raised would be very welcome.
 

Boozer

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Hi, I'm a health and safety practioner and to briefly give you some advice on what type of hearing protection is best you would need to know what type of noise are you trying to protect yourself from. Ear defenders may be provide more protection over the ear plugs but this depends on the spec, as each product may be more effective at different frequency. Knowing what noise frequency is being generated by your equipment would be the key to make best choice for you.
 

NickM

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Yes, I'd like to be able to have/use some kind of ear/sound protection since I have considerable hearing loss and although I have had one hearing aid prescribed and used until it dropped apart, I didn't get on with it very well. It seemed to increase the volume of loud noises and diminish the soft/quieter ones.

I work in two different working environments. The first is in my own personal workshop, the second is in a Men's Shed in south Birmingham. My own workshop is obviously a single use situation, in that I can only use one tool at a time, but often have a compressor and extractor running at the same time. In such cases I wouldn't hear anyone shout to me, much less speak to me.

The 'shed' has a big elderly extractor, new compressor, large bandsaw, bench mounted sander, several hand-held sanders, a sander thicknesser, and air tools, plus the usual banging that accompanies wood-working. We have ear defenders available, but few users choose to avail themselves of them.

It would be good if there was a cost-effective way of managing the noise level in the shed, especially as when/if the lockdown is lifted, we will be inviting more of the membership back, which may well increase the noise level significantly.

Any thoughts on any of the issues raised would be very welcome.
I do a lot of rifle shooting and the electronic ear defenders are good (something like the Peltor SportTac). They allow you to have a normal conversation with someone and hear general noise, but they cut down the loud noises. In an environment like a men's shed where you want to protect your hearing and still be able to talk to people, they might fit the bill. Of course, nobody is ever going to enjoy wearing muffs for hours on end, but they might be worth looking at. They other benefit they have is that if you crank the volume up you can earwig on people's conversations from quite some distance!
 

HappyHacker

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Yes, I'd like to be able to have/use some kind of ear/sound protection since I have considerable hearing loss and although I have had one hearing aid prescribed and used until it dropped apart, I didn't get on with it very well. It seemed to increase the volume of loud noises and diminish the soft/quieter ones.
I had a pair of expensive hearing aids about 15 years ago which were fine in a quiet environment but I had the same problem as you that it amplified loud noises to the point quite noises were drowned out. I eventually gave up wearing them. This summer I was fitted with a pair of NHS hearing aids and they are excellent. The volume is adjustable with a little switch on top. I can wear my over the ear defenders with them switch on without problems or I can turn them down/off. I have been very impressed with them, far better than the expensive ones of a few years ago.

I think I would struggle trying to hear a conversation over a loud compressor or a screaming router though but not due to over amplification of the loud noise..
 

Davey44

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I had a pair of expensive hearing aids about 15 years ago which were fine in a quiet environment but I had the same problem as you that it amplified loud noises to the point quite noises were drowned out. I eventually gave up wearing them. This summer I was fitted with a pair of NHS hearing aids and they are excellent. The volume is adjustable with a little switch on top. I can wear my over the ear defenders with them switch on without problems or I can turn them down/off. I have been very impressed with them, far better than the expensive ones of a few years ago.

I think I would struggle trying to hear a conversation over a loud compressor or a screaming router though but not due to over amplification of the loud noise..
That's good to know - about your new NHS aids. My single unit was through the NHS and was only any good when everything was quiet, then it would give me sufficient additional hearing capacity to make wearing it worthwhile. However, when our family was all gathered (all 10 of them), each raising their voices to be heard over each other's conversations, I could have cried! The pain, yes literally, the pain in my head that it created was horrendous.

No matter how I've tried, I was unable to find any overall benefit from wearing it. Now that it has finally disassembled itself, I must book another appointment for a retest in the hope that they can offer something to help me hear through screaming Tinnitus in my left ear and a loss of both high and very low frequencies in both ears.

Maybe an ear trumpet? Then it would have a dual use. First it would ampilfy my hearing in my right ear and I could use it to bash my recalcitrant kids and their offspring when they shout and scream!

Ha, guess I'll continue to lip-read and say yes and no, hoping that one in five responses is correct!
 
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