Picking out wood
This is the appropriate forum I just hope the right people see it.
Working on making a DIY vibration damping platform out of a nice piece of high grade wood. This is for a tube pre-amp to sit on. I will use vibrapod cones for isolation feet.
I need help picking the wood for the platform. What has superior damping properties? Does denseness = vibration damping?
I will probably buy the chunk of wood on-line as the home improvement stores don't really carry much in wood variety for something like this.
I'm thinking something about 14" x 17" and atleast 1" thick.
Get a nice butcher block. Or laminate a few pieces of baltic birch together...at least 2 or 3 18mm boards. Then veneer and/or stain and lacquer to your personal preference.
So baltic birch is good at abating vibration? I thought since it was layered and light weight it might not be so good? But then, that's why I started the thread, I don't know.
How about a bamboo butcher block?
I'd say plywood is lightweight with fewer wood layers and full of voids while baltic birch is heavier with multiple layers of wood and resin glue with no voids making it dense and harder. Baltic birch is commonly used to make turntable plinths. ;)
BB also looks good from the side just sanded and finished with clear.
I guess the answer depends on your perspective. I use Mapleshade maple plinths for my speakers, and my rack is solid maple. There rationale makes sense, and works for me.
"MAPLE COMPONENT MOUNTING
Mounting your gear—amp, CD player, music server, turntable, etc.—on a really good platform transforms the sound. Surprisingly, maple platforms are much warmer, clearer, punchier and more detailed than granite, slate, glass (the worst), myrtle or exotic hardwoods, or any of the hi-tech damped composites—based on 20 years of my painstaking, head-to head listening experiments. Adding brass footers to drain vibration out of your gear into the maple doubles the good effect.
Maple’s superiority over all other woods is old news to every violin and piano maker since Stradivarius and Steinway. Instrument makers taught me to NEVER use commercial, kiln dried wood. As my listening confirmed, the kiln’s high heat seriously deadens the maple’s good sound. Butcher block is another step worse.
Because finding air-dried 2" to 4" thick maple at ordinary lumber yards is impossible, I turned to a local Amish sawmill—the best thing I ever did. They find us logs of very special maple indeed: 75 to 100 year old Maryland old growth maple that sounds distinctly better than Canadian rock maple. Even better, these old trees yield gorgeous wood: lovely nutcolored Ambrosia contrasts, subtly shimmering curl and tiger stripes, all far from the boring whiteness of young lumber yard maple.
After our rough cut maple air dries for three years, our Amish craftsmen, Ben and his son Crist, meticulously plane, bevel, shape and sand our platforms. Ben takes particular pride in his gleaming lacquer finishes. They handsomely show off the dramatic character of our old growth Ambrosia maple. To learn more about our unique cottage industry, to better see our maple’s striking beauty, please click here."
Those pieces from Mapleshade look beautiful.
While I've read of the benefits of maple, I've heard Bamboo can be good under certain components. You might want to start with the least expensive option and then move up as necessary. Discount stores like TJ Maxx sell bamboo cutting boards for $10-20. Buy a couple of these and experiment, maybe glue two or more together.
You and I are on the exact same thought. I want it to be cost effective because I am experimenting at this point.
Originally Posted by drumminman
You need help PICKING out wood ?
I need help GETTING wood.
Lol, seriously, any hardwood would do, maple is the most common. Old cutting boards work great or if you know of any wood shops around they may have thicker pieces for a song and can cut to size for you. You'd be surprised at what they throw out. Same with granite, go by the dumpster at any shop, loaded with gorgeous pieces.
If you want dense, get Ironwood. It's so dense it doesn't float in water.
Personally, I don't think it makes a rat's a$$ difference whether the material is wood, metal, granite or even glass as long as it's dense/thick enough. The real issue is the coupling/decoupling of the component.
I think I'm going to take the easy way out and look for a finished Bamboo cutting board. This way it looks cool and I don't have to worry about finishing/staining a random piece I find.
Good to know Jesse, didn't know if I had to look for something really, really dense or not.
Brock, I bought one of these for my turntable:
Bamboo / Cork Laminate?
You got me thinking about cork flooring + cork underlayment AND why not laminate these materials with bamboo?
Sure enough, surfboarders are traveling down this wave:
Tesseract Loaded Board - http://www.loadedboards.com/boards/tesseract/
"Two layers of custom fiberglass/epoxy skins sandwich two vertically-laminated bamboo cores to create a stiff yet light and damp structure. Laminated to the bottom of the board is a layer of cork which provides vibration damping"
A Google for a cork-bamboo laminate did NOT turn up anything relevant, other than this:
The 1 1/2" bamboo countertop materials available here
could likely be DIY laminated to a thick cork underlayment.
At the time I was researching cork flooring, is was unobtainium via HD or any other flooring outlet in KS.
Just an idea to kick around.
Brock, if you want to take a few inexpensive stabs at this first, try going to Ross or Marshals and pick up some inexpensive wood cutting boards---I've seen some quite nice ones at Ross, that were like $7 bucks!
I had made vibration platforms in the past and usually the go to "wood" for uniformity and dampness is the same very wood we use in speaker cabinets... MDF. Yes, MDF or even HDF is not at all attractive but it gets the job done. You can actually get MDF veneered as well. However for this purpose, I'd imagine if it were heavy enough it would make the wood you choose negligible.