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Old 06-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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How we cut holes in drywall


I had the whole house rewired. I did the cutting in the drywall. Wanted LEAST dust and a clean cut.

Cut long strips up 12 foot long and 6-12" wide for the electricians . Before we started my wife and I tried a few saws and methods. Finally found the very best for us.

We used a cheap reciprocating saw from Harbor Freight. I used this saw many times before and have several blades. Even bought a new one for the project. But ended up using a very old dull blade. Worked GREAT. As I cut, my wife held the vacuum next to my cutting.
The cuts were very thin (less dust) and very clean.

I marked the blade depth so I didn't go deep into the wall and hit pipes and wiring.
After the rewire was done and we screwed the cut drywall back in place, my wife insisted I get a drywall person to tape and finish the wall. I agreed that he could do the worst part downstairs and I would do the upstairs.

When the drywall person bid he gave me a great price because he said that it was the cleanest cuts he ever saw for a rewire job. He did an excellent job with the finish.

Tips: 1. Used a Franklin stud finder to find the studs. Found the nails by taking two cheap 2 inch bar shaped magnets and adding four powerful dime sized magnets as a stack on the bar. The magnet found and clinged to the nails.

2. When you get near a stud turn the blade from a angle to a blunt cut and bump into the stud and then lift the blade and go over it. With a blunt blade that I used it cut the drywall nicely and barely cut the stud.
If you test this method, please attach any lessons you learn to this post.
Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2014, 05:33 PM   #2
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How we cut holes in drywall


This is what I use:
I like your technique and will give it a try sometime!
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:01 PM   #3
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How we cut holes in drywall


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I had the whole house rewired. I did the cutting in the drywall. Wanted LEAST dust and a clean cut. Cut long strips up 12 foot long and 6-12" wide for the electricians . Before we started my wife and I tried a few saws and methods. Finally found the very best for us.
We used a cheap reciprocating saw from Harbor Freight. I used this saw many times before and have several blades. Even bought a new one for the project. But ended up using a very old dull blade. Worked GREAT. As I cut, my wife held the vacuum next to my cutting.
The cuts were very thin (less dust) and very clean.
I marked the blade depth so I didn't go deep into the wall and hit pipes and wiring.
After the rewire was done and we screwed the cut drywall back in place, my wife insisted I get a drywall person to tape and finish the wall. I agreed that he could do the worst part downstairs and I would do the upstairs. When the drywall person bid he gave me a great price because he said that it was the cleanest cuts he ever saw for a rewire job. He did an excellent job with the finish.
Tips: 1. Used a Franklin stud finder to find the studs. Found the nails by taking two cheap 2 inch bar shaped magnets and adding four powerful dime sized magnets as a stack on the bar. The magnet found and clinged to the nails.
2. When you get near a stud turn the blade from a angle to a blunt cut and bump into the stud and then lift the blade and go over it. With a blunt blade that I used it cut the drywall nicely and barely cut the stud.
If you test this method, please attach any lessons you learn to this post.
Thanks!
I hate to burst your bubble but i think this method has been used for decades,or at least by me
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:10 PM   #4
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How we cut holes in drywall


Me to, and never once took the time to mark the studs or find the nails.
You have so much control just holding it at an angle will work.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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How we cut holes in drywall


I actually like the vibrating tools for making clean drywall cuts. I use my Fein tool. Tilt the tool so the blade points slightly in the direction you want to go. Cuts clean, fast, and virtually no danger of cutting anything in the wall.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:43 AM   #6
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How we cut holes in drywall


Thanks Mike and Joe. I appreciate you response. Gymshu, Thanks for your kind response! Scott. What bubble? Did I look like I was in some type of bubble to you? Don't know what the heck you are talking about. Every method out there has been tried a thousand times. Just sharing MY experience. Sorry that was so far below you, Mr. Decades. I have been doing DIY work for decades too! When someone shares an experience don't try to prove how smart you are; how stupid they are. Scott I didn't post this for you who are no doubt a drywall cutting savant. I am posting this for people like me who haven't done a massive rewire like you have been doing for "decades". I posted this to relate my experience. I know it has been done, but so has the Rotozip spiral saw which creates a dust cloud. Also the Rotozip saw which I stupidly bought because they have a video showing it cutting drywall with minimal dust. That produced the worst dust cloud of all. Joe, The reason I marked the nails is to avoid them, if convenient. Plus if I cut a strip with a nail in it, I can deal with the nail before I start removing a 10 foot strip. Takes 2 minutes. I marked the studs so I can stop my cut in the middle of a stud at the end of each strip. That made screwing the strips back easy. Bottomline is this is what we did. That's all.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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How we cut holes in drywall


For drywall I avoid using any power tools and just go with a sharp knife or a poke saw. Far less dust, and not hard to cut at all. A knife makes a perfect cut and little to no dust but requires some muscle. If I need a big hole I'd use a meat saw.

Sadly, very few walls are so easy in my house as most are plaster and wood lath.


Obviously for someone making many many holes like doing an entire house a rotozip is probably best, but way too dusty for me if I can avoid it.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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Thanks cj133.
A correction: I meant vibrating saw, not reciprocating saw. You probably knew what I meant. I never would have used a sawzall type saw. They can be a beast. A vibrating saw gives maximum control, the least dust and a smooth cut. Plus it is very fast if you want or slow if you want.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:52 PM   #9
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How we cut holes in drywall


Bosch Mutitool with half moon blade. Like butter for this job. Sawsall OK but can be pretty dangerous re depth.

You are lucky to have such a helpful wife.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:03 AM   #10
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How we cut holes in drywall


Thanks jagans! I appreciate the input about the half moon blade. I have one but went with the regular inch blade which I can tilt at an angle and barely cut through the drywall better for avoiding pipes and wires. With the half moon, with that wide cutting surface. I know I would slip and cut something. I did nick two pipes because I forgot they were there. With the blade I use, I barely nicked them. With the half moon I, knowing me, would have a flooded room.
She is a helpful wife, but I prefer to work along. It is easy to take out frustration on someone standing near. Not good for her. And then ultimately not good for me. :-)
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:20 PM   #11
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Thanks jagans! I appreciate the input about the half moon blade. I have one but went with the regular inch blade which I can tilt at an angle and barely cut through the drywall better for avoiding pipes and wires. With the half moon, with that wide cutting surface. I know I would slip and cut something. I did nick two pipes because I forgot they were there. With the blade I use, I barely nicked them. With the half moon I, knowing me, would have a flooded room.
She is a helpful wife, but I prefer to work along. It is easy to take out frustration on someone standing near. Not good for her. And then ultimately not good for me. :-)
Due to the design of those tools, you can rotate that half moon blade on the protrusions that run in a circle to control the depth. I find it much easier controlling the depth with a round blade that cuts through the drywall like the bow of a boat, but whatever gets it done for you with the least aggravation, and mishaps, That is all that matters. I have done several houses, and I have learned the hard way to just figure where you really need outlets, and install them there, instead of trying to bring everything up to code. I also pull up through the walls when I am dealing with plaster on lath and Balloon construction.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:25 PM   #12
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How we cut holes in drywall


Just wanted to mention, for circles I use a circle cutter + knife or poke saw.

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Old 07-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #13
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Nothing wrong with illustrating how a couple can work together to get DIY projects done. My wife has held the shop vac many a time while I cut. Now I'm teaching my kids how to do it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:22 PM   #14
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Nothing wrong with illustrating how a couple can work together to get DIY projects done. My wife has held the shop vac many a time while I cut. Now I'm teaching my kids how to do it.

Agreed.
My wife is currently removing the rest of the wallpaper from a room.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:49 PM   #15
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How we cut holes in drywall


I find a beer bottle makes a perfect template for 1 1/2" DWS pipes




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