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Old 08-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Hey guys,

I'm demoing one wall of a bedroom to open up closet doors in it. The walls are plaster/lath. What is the best way to do this without damaging the other walls where they meet?

I was planning on trying to score the corner really deep then see hpw it breaks off.

Any tips?

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:45 AM   #2
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


I score a line using a masonry chisel with a 3 inch blade and a large hammer or small maul. It usually breaks very cleanly requiring very little clean up of the edge. This works well on inside corners and also on flats of walls or ceilings. Outside corners need a delicate touch to keep from busting up the adjoining surface.

Also, it works best if you can score your cut line on the center of a stud, otherwise the springiness of the lathe makes it hard to keep a clean edge.

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #3
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Thanks, I don't have a mortar chisel but I do have a diamond angle grinder blade... I may try to score the corner with that.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Angle Grinder blade works....just try to make a enclosed wall with bags if you care about dust and a good vac.....
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


reciprocating saw with a steel blade also works - a little less dusty than an angle grinder. Be sure to cut shallow cuts, just enough to cut the mesh. Cutting too deep may result in cutting hidden wires, pipes, etc.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


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reciprocating saw with a steel blade also works - a little less dusty than an angle grinder. Be sure to cut shallow cuts, just enough to cut the mesh. Cutting too deep may result in cutting hidden wires, pipes, etc.
No mesh here! Shouldn't be any wires either
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Oh! cool...then regular const. blade will work great
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:56 AM   #8
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


I use a box cutter and score a few times to cut the plaster then pull it off remove lath after, using a powertool might shake the other walls to much ..
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:31 PM   #9
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


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I use a box cutter and score a few times to cut the plaster then pull it off remove lath after, using a powertool might shake the other walls to much ..
I think this is the approach I might try first. Luckily they are all inside corners and a few will be out of sight so I can test those first. I am definately removing plaster first, then lath. I think all at once would just make a mess.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #10
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


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I am definately removing plaster first, then lath. I think all at once would just make a mess.
Haha! It's a mess no matter how you do it. I just tore out 3/4 ton of plaster and a truck load of lathe for a new bathroom.

There's not really any way to avoid the dust, but it helps if you isolate the area using plastic sheeting and it also helps to put a fan in a window blowing out if possible.

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:16 PM   #11
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Amen to it will be a mess.

wire-mesh in the corners & wall to ceiling was very common in Jax,FL even if you have plaster Gyp lathe ( late 40's til ?) If you have wood lathe I would be very surprised if you don't have wire at those locations.

3" masons chisel / flat bar / snips / recip saw... this is what and why you save all your old blades. I think Bernie's tools in Jax can supply plaster blades {plaster will turn most blades into butter knives}(the box stores will go "whacha tawkin bout") Recip saw use can be risky...but maybe the the needed weapon if wire 5x5 is there and in good condition. Beat all the plaster away that you can.. snip what wire you can... cut with flat bar what you can...

taking out one wall will be slow going... might take you as long as demo one wall as all the plaster from a small to medium room.

good luck.. wear a mask and throw away clothes... good plasters would add a handful of ASB to increase the plaster working time.
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:35 PM   #12
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


Bob, I have already removed 2 corners and there was no mesh. That was corners inside of existing closets though so I may encounter on corners inside the room though. We shall see!
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


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good plasters would add a handful of ASB to increase the plaster working time.



Asbestos?

There is horse hair in them. I have even found some plant matter lol. I am wearing a respirator thought in case and attempting to keep the plaster in large chunks rather than smashing it to bits.

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Old 08-27-2010, 07:19 AM   #14
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


I've cut out quite a few plaster walls in my time. I have found that plaster of most any kind will eat up Sawz-all type blades very quickly. No luck at local big box store so I ordered the "Plaster blades". Cut like butter even through metal lath and last a long time. I do figure out my wall thickness, add a piece of wood to the shoe of the saw so the blade when retracted just does stick through the wall and cut. When I'm near and electrical outlet I kill the power to that one--and pray. I cut out sections from between studs and remove in maybe three pieces for ease of handling. Then all I have to do is clean off the studs. Sounds easy maybe but it's more work that this. David
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:29 AM   #15
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How to remove Plaster/Lath without damaging adjoining walls?


what about a circular saw? would that work?

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