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"Helping You Sound Your Best"

A HOW TO GUIDE FOR FABRICATING FABRIC COVERED ACOUSTIC ABSORBER PANELS 

 

 

 

 

This "how to"  is an attempt to provide ideas for a cost effective acoustic treatment for project studios and smaller music rooms. This type of panel can also be used in choir rooms in churches. These panels can be assembled rather quickly without glue.

 

 

PREP: The most difficult part of the whole project is getting the fiberglass batting. Some local building supply companies can order the Owens Corning 703 panels.  It is difficult to describe to a clerk since it is fiberglass,  but is it not traditional expanded batting type insulation.  Here is a link to the manufacturer's cut sheet.  

OWENS CORNING

The example in the pictures is the model 703 fiberglass boards.  The 703 model is 1" and works well for smaller rooms. It is also made 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3", 3.5" and 4" thick.  These panels were reused from a previous treatment that became dated and required a face lift. The panels were 2' wide and 4' high.

 

The lumber is all 1"x3" pine furring strips.  By providing some air space behind the fiberglass boards enhances the effectiveness of the absorption characteristics.

 

The panel shown is 30" wide and 48" high.  The center rear support is to keep the fabric from causing the side two bow.

 

The fabric we chose is a deep pile corduroy.  Many different fabrics are usable with the exception of vinyl, plastic or rubberized yard goods.  If you can breath through the fabric it will work for this acoustic absorber.  

 

 

 

STEP ONE:  Determine the size of the panel, measure and cut the 1x3s and form a box or frame.  We assembled all the frames with 1.5" brad nails. (Pneumatic tools are wonderful.)

Adding the 2.5" squares in the corners provide adequate structural support, along with the center rear support.

 

 

 

 

STEP TWO:  Measure the fiberglass boards and trim to size with a sharp utility knife.

 

 

 

 

STEP THREE:  Measure the fabric and trim to size.  The fabric will wrap around to the back side of the wooden frame.  A heavy duty staple gun is used to attach the fabric to the frame.

Our usual approach is to attach the long sides first, keeping the lines of the corduroy square with the wooden frame.  When attaching the second long edge it is important to add a little tension to keep a tight fit.  Once the sides are secured, the shorter ends can be stapled. Again we add some tension to keep the fabric tight.

 

 

 

 

STEP FOUR: The corners are then wrapped around to either the sides or the top and bottom.   In this application the sides of the panels would be visible so we stapled the corners to the top and bottom.

 

Rear view  before fabric

Front view  before fabric

Corner detail

Frame and fabric before stapling

Corner detail

Finished panel

In the music studio - brown corduroy and peanut butter tinted paint on the walls.