If you live in an apartment or simply share a common wall with your neighbor, then you got to learn how to hammer quietly.
Hammering is a noisy affair and can be quite irritating especially for the next-door person trying to have some good night’s sleep.
In this simple guide, I shall be detailing some of the different methods you should implement to hammer quietly.
Why You Should Hammer Quietly?
If you have an 8-5 full-time job, it’s obvious that the only time you have for your DIY jobs is either in the evenings or during the weekends.
Unfortunately, most people want to relax and quiet evenings after long days at work and so does your neighbor.
The weekends are people’s favorite time to escape from the hustles and bustles of the outside world.
You become the annoying neighbor when you cause unwanted noises during these times when everyone just wants to relax and enjoy their peace at home.
Ways on How to Hammer Quietly
Below are methods to help you learn how to hammer quietly.
1. Try a Soft-Faced Hammer
The first thing to do if you want to work quietly is to use quiet tools.
While there is no noiseless hammer in the market, soft-faced ones make less noise than hard-faced varieties.
With a soft-faced hammer, the force going to the nail is reduced, so there is lower impact noise. Other noises will make the hammering less noticeable.
A rubber mallet can come in handy in such a situation.
However, you must ensure that the head of your nail is broad enough; otherwise, the mallet could break.
2. Place A Rubber Mat Under Your Bench
You may not be lucky to have an outdoor space to work from.
However, in the house, you can minimize noise by trying to soundproof your space.
A rubber mat under your workbench will absorb some of the vibrations going through the bench.
The mat works similarly just like anti-vibration pads for air compressors hence significantly reducing the transmission of impact sounds.
If you live in a flat, this is one of the most effective ways to minimize the hammering noise that gets to your downstairs neighbors.
Check out rubber mats available on amazon and choose one that is large enough to cover the area under your bench.
Also, check on the mats’ effectiveness and go for one with great reviews.
3. Use A Bench Block
A bench block used together with a rubber mat will significantly reduce hammering noises.
You will mostly find these blocks with metalsmiths and silversmiths, but there is no reason why you also cannot use them while hammering.
A bench block is made of high-quality rubber. It designed to fit
Place the bench block between the nail head and the hammer as you strike.
Since the block is light and small in size, you can use it even when hammering on the wall.
Rubber is one of the most effective materials where sound dampening is concerned.
Thanks to its thick and elastic nature, vibrational energy is significantly minimized when it goes through the rubber.
4. Use Some Old Clothes
If you have no access to a bench block, you can use an old piece of cloth in its place. Just fold it up nicely and put it on the nail head.
The cloth will not be as effective as rubber, but it will somehow minimize the impact. To enhance its impact, use less force when hitting the nail.
With these two methods combined, you will enjoy a quieter hammering.
For nails on the wall that may not hold a big piece of cloth that well, put a sock or two over the nail head.
Did you know that you can as well soundproof a room with household items? Follow the link to read my detailed guide.
5. Use Less Force
If you have no access to a soft-faced hammer, why not try using less force. A sharp hit on the nail head may get the job done faster, but it is also very noisy.
By reducing the impacts, you will take the hammering noise a notch or two lower.
It may take more hits to drive the nail to the desired level with less force, but the noise difference makes it all worth it.
What are Best Alternatives to Hammering
In addition to the above solutions, there are a few alternatives to quiet hammering. These alternatives include:
Nails are much noisier compared to screws. If you can choose screws over nails, the better.
With the right screwing equipment, you can build an entire wardrobe or any other large furniture piece without your neighbors realizing that there is any construction work going on in your house.
If the wood you are using is soft enough, you will not even need a drill to push the screw in.
You don’t have to replace all nails with screws entirely. Nail a few points on the surface and use screws to hold the rest together.
Soundproof Your Space
If you hammer frequently, you should consider soundproofing your workspace. Soundproofing doesn’t have to be permanent, so you can still use his option if you live on a rental.
Use soundproofing blankets to cover any gaps on the walls, windows, and under the door. The initial cost may be a bit steep, but the method is highly effective, plus you can also put the blankets into other uses.
If you are going for an industrial look, add some soundproofing panels to the walls.
With good panels, you can convert that spare room into a workshop and never have to worry about your hammering disrupting others.
With proper soundproofing, you can hammer the entire night, and no one outside the room would ever know.
Consider using this method if you work with wood and nails most of the time.
Note Your Timing
Your timing can make all the difference where noisy hammering is concerned.
If you do not want to disrupt the entire neighborhood, avoid hammering at night or too early in the morning.
Chances are that no one will hear you hammer at midday because people are at work, kids are at school, and those at home are around noisy devices that swallow up the hammering noise.
Your neighbors will also be more forgiving if they know that the noise from your house will stop after a few minutes.
Instead of hammering for hours, break that job up and maybe only hammer for 30 minutes or any other duration you think is reasonable.
If you are only concerned about waking the kids or your partner, schedule your hammering for when they are not sleeping or not home at all.
Also, read my guide on how to break glass quietly.
Consider Your Space
If you are hammering from a small room, the noise will be amplified through echo.
You have to consider your space and move to a location where the noise is less likely to bounce on walls among other surfaces.
Where possible, do your hammering outside in a large open space.
Very little of that noise will get to the house, and you are less likely to disrupt your neighbors.
If you have to work from a room in your house, move your working station from the walls.
The echo will be lower if you hammer from the middle of the room than in the corner.
A great alternative to hammering is the use of screws.
However, it’s important to note that screws do take longer than hammering, but no noise is generated when using screws.
However, if you frequently use a hammer, then I would highly suggest you consider soundproofing your garage.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.