To date, I’ve published four lengthy posts about my desperate attempts to quiet the mysterious vibration that shakes me awake every morning. I lost count at twenty; the latest was making four 80+ pound concrete block legs to support the platform, which was a grid of wood on a frame of steel angle irons.
The real problem, I discovered, is ME. According to readings of the vibration taken by an acoustical engineer, I am 10 to 100 times more sensitive than “normal” folks. The vibrations exist, but at a level most people don’t feel. My sensitivity is most likely due to a medication I take (on top of my being a very sensitive person). That said, I still needed to find a way to sleep. So I continued on my iterative, trial-and-error journey to create a bed, or a system, that would allow me to sleep. Here are some recent successes.
The concrete blocks weren’t a total loss: I pushed them on their wax paper sliders so they lined up along the wall at the head of the bed, with the idea that heavy weight (usually in the form of furniture —think big old armoires—) would literally weigh down the floor to prevent some vibration. Which they did. Since this placed the bed about a foot away from the wall, I used the bean bag pellets from an earlier failed fix and a swath of linen to sew up a bolster with my trusty new Janome Heavy Duty Sewing Machine .
The pellet-filled bolster basically extended the bed and keep the pillows from falling behind it.
Next, I read up on the various resonances of metals and woods. Steel seriously conducts vibration. I took a couple of wrenches to the iron frame and dismantled it myself. I propped the wood frame on the plywood boxes Holton Rower had made for his failed bed shock-absorbers. The vibration that night was palpably softened.
A WOOD bed was what I needed, with enough support in the center to keep the side rails and center from resonating.
I ordered the inexpensive Nomad Hardwood Platform Bed Frame that looked like it was well supported with center rails. I put it together in less than an hour and was pleased at how well made it was. It even smelled woody in the best way possible.
That night the vibration was muted even more.
I remembered Holton Rower telling me he had stopped a vibration by inserting hockey pucks between a restaurant fan and his apartment wall. I ordered a twelve-pack of black pucks and tried them inserting them under the bed legs, first one layer, then another and another, testing the vibration each time. Three pucks under each leg had the effect of damping the vibration more (but four curiously made it vibrate).
Another night, I found that the bed seemed to vibrate more along the long head-to-foot spans of the bed, something that a couple of engineers had remarked on. So I made makeshift wooden legs to support the spans midway, using materials I had on hand.
Fortunately, the king-size linen sheet I bought on sale proved the perfect bed skirt to hide my various homely rigs.
I was pleased with the headway I made. The well-supported wood bed elevated on hockey pucks dampened the vibration considerably. But I still felt it.
Stay-tuned for two more fixes that came about via a random conversation with a thoughtful stranger.