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tev9999 11-16-2012 08:43 PM

Notch 2x4 Behind Drywall - Best Tool?
I am installing in wall speakers for my rear surround sound. One is going in the wall above a closet door. My stud finder measurements indicated I had enough room, but once I got the hole cut, I found out I was a little short on the vertical.

The speakers mount much like an old work electrical box. There are six ears that swing 90 degrees when you start tightening the mounting screws, then grip the back of the drywall. While the housing fits into the opening, there is not enough room between the top of the door header and bottom of the top plate for the ears to swing and catch the drywall. In fact, there is no drywall left on the horizontal where all six ears catch.

I was able to clear enough wood in the top plate with a 1" spade bit for the ears to engage, but I can't angle the drill to hit the door header - at least not without cutting a hole in the ceiling. A 90 degree drill with a very short spade bit would work, but I don't have either and would not have any future use for either.

Is there a rotary Dremel attachment that might work? What about investing in a Dremel Multi-max type? I am doing a floating floor and will need to undercut some door jams too and that would seem to be handy.

Any advice is appreciated, especially if there is an obvious and easy way I am missing.

gregzoll 11-16-2012 09:00 PM

If it is a cripple, it is no problem, but personally I would move the speaker over so that you do not have to go through the hassle of notching. Now the proper way of doing it, is to remove the gypsum board, create the box for the speakers, put back up the gypsum board then do the speaker.

joecaption 11-16-2012 09:21 PM

Buy Rockwell Multi Crafter. It's got the power to do hundreds of differant jobs.

gregzoll 11-16-2012 09:25 PM

Joe, I went through two blades cutting through GypRock, with the one that we got from Harbor Freight. Got it for $20, compared to $60, due to returned item. The blade cost as much as the tool, but the tool still works, the blade was dull after one foot of cutting through the Gyprock.

joecaption 11-16-2012 09:34 PM

Wrong tool for Gyprock.
A rotozip with a tile blade or a diamond blade on a 4-1/2" grinder would have made it easy.
I did find a company on Amazon that sells ossilating saw blades for about $6.00 a piece and they work fine.

gregzoll 11-16-2012 09:39 PM

I did not want to use the rotozip, since I had the nice shiny multi cutter that was begging to be used. Besides, it was for our back door install. I do need to get a new bit for our rotozip, since that darn gyprock dulls them also. It is like cutting through concrete block, when it is over 70+ years old.

joecaption 11-16-2012 09:43 PM

I went through that learning curve on my own house.
A bimetal sawall balde only went a few inches. One with carbide grit was no better. Tile bit in the Roto Zip was to slow, the diamond blade worked best.

tev9999 11-17-2012 06:54 AM

Moving the speaker is not really an option. This is the largest stud cavity on the wall due to the door framing. It is just about 1" too short. Moving it would require a shift of 4-5 feet which would basically put it in the center of the room.

The oscillating multi-tool is probably my best bet. Too bad I didn't think about it before I cut eight outlet holes with the keyhole saw earlier.

oh'mike 11-17-2012 07:27 AM

If the wood is so close to the box----why use the wings at all? Can't you simply screw the box to the framing?

gregzoll 11-17-2012 09:57 AM

Again pictures help to show others the layout and what you are running into.

tev9999 11-17-2012 11:22 AM

Here is the speaker

I'll be mounting it horizontally. The distance between the header/top plate is only about 1/4" more than the inside bezel of the speaker, so it fits, but the six wings can't turn.

I picked up a Rockwell multi-tool. $75 at Costco looked like a good deal (21 piece set). With that along with a hammer and chisel I have been able to clear some pockets to get it to lock in.

Thanks for the help.

gregzoll 11-17-2012 12:04 PM

Need a picture of the wall space. You are going to have to rebuild the wall space so that the clips can be turned to hold against the gypsum board. Cutting the cripples or studs is just yelling hack job to make the speaker fit.

ktkelly 11-17-2012 01:15 PM

Easy way:

Remove the dog ears and screws from the speakers.

Place speaker in the hole.

Screw in at an angle to the surrounding wood framing.


Been there done that.

tev9999 11-18-2012 12:07 PM

I can't angle the screws without some major damage to the speaker housing, but I can put a furring strip in the back of the cavity. Removing the wings and using longer screws will allow me to grab the furring strips. Thanks for the idea.

gregzoll 11-18-2012 12:10 PM

Again, post a picture of the opening, along with the wall where these speakers are going. Even better, rebuild the opening to the proper dimensions, so that the speakers fit in there and allow the ears to grab the drywall.

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