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Old 04-03-2008, 05:27 PM   #16
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Plaster and sheetrock will dull the hell out of a holesaw quick.
That is true but good carbide grit holes saws for ceiling boxes 3 5/8" and 4 " on up to can light size are interestingly priced..... Oh crap now I'm sounding cheap....


Reminds me of how outrageous uni-bits are.....

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Old 04-03-2008, 05:36 PM   #17
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Maybe you could get me one as a janitor at the nursing home you are in...
Sorry, ya' gotta have atleast a High School Diploma for that, not a GED.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #18
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Sorry, ya' gotta have atleast a High School Diploma for that, not a GED.
Damn... only made it to 5th grade...


Then again, schools weren't invented yet when you were my age...





Well, I think I have been convinced to get a rotozip.

I guess I will use it more than I think. I just wrapped up doing some drywall in my bathroom project and it would have been handy!

220/221... she is only in charge of the finances... But I think I can "persuade" her later on...
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #19
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Keep in mind that a rotozip blows dust like a mofo. Rough consruction is fine but working in a home will make a huge mess. Good bits aren't cheap either.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:49 PM   #20
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


I may be in the minority here but any time I have to cut holes in lath and plaster I use a keyhole saw with a fine blade. Using a sawzall or some other type of reciprocating saw is just too aggressive. Same with the hole saw. It is better than the sawzall but still scares me. I have had it happen too many times the lath catches or pulls and then cracks the plaster till the next nailing point. Yea, it takes way more time to hand cut it but I feel it saves more time in the long run.
I always score the plaster first and try to remove it before cutting the lath
Chuck
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:54 PM   #21
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Originally Posted by CowboyAndy View Post

I know this is a remedial question, but are fan rated octagon boxes going to be the same size as an old work box?

4" holesaw....

Box for smokes....




Box for fan....


Same size...
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:30 AM   #22
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Originally Posted by Chazbe View Post
I may be in the minority here but any time I have to cut holes in lath and plaster I use a keyhole saw with a fine blade. Using a sawzall or some other type of reciprocating saw is just too aggressive. Same with the hole saw. It is better than the sawzall but still scares me. I have had it happen too many times the lath catches or pulls and then cracks the plaster till the next nailing point. Yea, it takes way more time to hand cut it but I feel it saves more time in the long run.
I always score the plaster first and try to remove it before cutting the lath
Chuck

In my house, this isn't a concern because the plaster and lath is getting covered with drywall anyways. The whole room gets gutted, except for the 2nd floor bedrooms so we dont lose all that insulation in the attic.


Has anyone ever bought tools off ebay? I was on there and found these:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Bosch-Rotozip-RZ...QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/ROTOZIP-SPIRAL-S...QQcmdZViewItem

the big box stores seem to sell the same thing for about $99.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:38 AM   #23
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Forget the second one it is junk and for hobby stuff. the bosch link is a good spiral but I've never used reconditioned roto's before in fact I've always used routers for drywall. Plaster and lathe is a differrent story.

Remember I come from a primarily industrial background so the other guys here have done more of this type work than I have so I would follow their lead on whether or not to use a roto zip or not. I know for a fact many like those for plaster and lathe but I do not know if they are any better than a carbide grit hole saw. I would imagine that the bit you use is the key to the roto zip's ability to cut those nuclear hardened wooden lathes. As you know the plaster is very unfriendly to a regular bi-metal hole saw if it grabs. So I think inphase77 is right on with the carbide grit hole saw. I think 221 also recommended those....so there is two fellows that have done a lot of this. I do know that the roto is used but I've never done plaster and lathe with one.. Seems you might be borderline on the bit length but I'm not sure.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:02 PM   #24
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Keep in mind that a rotozip blows dust like a mofo. Rough consruction is fine but working in a home will make a huge mess. Good bits aren't cheap either.
I cannot agree more about the dust.

Andy, my house sounds similar to yours in that everything is plaster over lath. As I gut the rooms, I've been slowly getting rid of it however and after I demolished the ceiling in my living room (and had to haul all that crap), I've learned my lesson. Next room, I'll repair any sags in the ceiling with plaster washers and then cover it with 1/4" sheetrock.

I had to cut a bunch of 4 inch holes in my upper floor ceiling for HVAC. I bought a 4-in. Ridgid hole cutter/mandrel and used it for this purpose. 20 holes later, I must admit that the teeth were pretty worn. On the other hand, the sacrificial $16 (I think that was what it cost anyway) was worth it for the perfect (and fast) holes it made. To minimize dust, I made this rather neat contraption that I'll share with you.

I found a Ziplok (i.e. Tupperware) bowl (about 8 in. in diameter) and cut a small hole in its bottom, about 1/4" larger than the part of the mandrel that you chuck into the drill. Then I cut another hole in its side, its diameter just slightly smaller than my 1-1/4" vacuum hose. Now, I put the saw in the bowl with the mandrel extending out of the bottom of the bowl and chucked it into my right angle drill. Then, I attached my 1-1/4" shop vac hose to the bowl with a 1/2" or so protruding into it. Since the hole is just smaller than the hose diameter, the corrugations force the hose to stay in place.

To drill the hole, start the vacuum and line up the mandrel bit with the ceiling mark and apply some pressure(the bowl will hang down, more so on one side so eyeballing the mark is no problemo). Now, push the bowl up to the ceiling and it will basically stick to the surface due to the suction of the vacuum. Start the drill and go to town. It's a beautiful thing to watch all the plaster dust swirl around inside the bowl before it's sucked up by the vac. As you drill, the drill chuck will tend to smush the bottom of the bowl but being as they are so pliable, it'll spring back into shape when you're done. My only other piece of advice is to use a fine-dust bag in the shop vacuum.

Happy hole cutting!
Jimmy
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #25
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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I cannot agree more about the dust.

Andy, my house sounds similar to yours in that everything is plaster over lath. As I gut the rooms, I've been slowly getting rid of it however and after I demolished the ceiling in my living room (and had to haul all that crap), I've learned my lesson. Next room, I'll repair any sags in the ceiling with plaster washers and then cover it with 1/4" sheetrock.

I had to cut a bunch of 4 inch holes in my upper floor ceiling for HVAC. I bought a 4-in. Ridgid hole cutter/mandrel and used it for this purpose. 20 holes later, I must admit that the teeth were pretty worn. On the other hand, the sacrificial $16 (I think that was what it cost anyway) was worth it for the perfect (and fast) holes it made. To minimize dust, I made this rather neat contraption that I'll share with you.

I found a Ziplok (i.e. Tupperware) bowl (about 8 in. in diameter) and cut a small hole in its bottom, about 1/4" larger than the part of the mandrel that you chuck into the drill. Then I cut another hole in its side, its diameter just slightly smaller than my 1-1/4" vacuum hose. Now, I put the saw in the bowl with the mandrel extending out of the bottom of the bowl and chucked it into my right angle drill. Then, I attached my 1-1/4" shop vac hose to the bowl with a 1/2" or so protruding into it. Since the hole is just smaller than the hose diameter, the corrugations force the hose to stay in place.

To drill the hole, start the vacuum and line up the mandrel bit with the ceiling mark and apply some pressure(the bowl will hang down, more so on one side so eyeballing the mark is no problemo). Now, push the bowl up to the ceiling and it will basically stick to the surface due to the suction of the vacuum. Start the drill and go to town. It's a beautiful thing to watch all the plaster dust swirl around inside the bowl before it's sucked up by the vac. As you drill, the drill chuck will tend to smush the bottom of the bowl but being as they are so pliable, it'll spring back into shape when you're done. My only other piece of advice is to use a fine-dust bag in the shop vacuum.

Happy hole cutting!
Jimmy
Im not as much concerned about dust, because 90% of the stuff I do is in gutted rooms. The only place as of now that I am going to have to deal with the dust is the living room, as I plan to open up part of the floor of the bedroom I am doing so I can wire a ceiling fan for the living room.

the living room is hardwood floor, which makes for pretty easy cleanup.

That is a good tip though. Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:03 AM   #26
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Cowboy Andy, I'm the typical DIY'er: usually have a tool that works, but isn't ideal for the project, and don't want to spend additional money for the ideal tool becuase it might not be used that much in the future. The same issue surfaced with my kitchen remodel job and the recessed lights. I used my sawzall. It worked, but was an ordeal. My electrician buddy (whose kind enough to check on what I'm doing and make sure I'm doing correctly what he and you guys tell me do to), couldn't believe I didn't have/use a hole saw. He lent me his for the other recessed lights. It was unbelievably quicker and easier, and it came out much better. My advice: buy or borrow a hole saw. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:30 AM   #27
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Originally Posted by atty_toconnor View Post
Cowboy Andy, I'm the typical DIY'er: usually have a tool that works, but isn't ideal for the project, and don't want to spend additional money for the ideal tool becuase it might not be used that much in the future. The same issue surfaced with my kitchen remodel job and the recessed lights. I used my sawzall. It worked, but was an ordeal. My electrician buddy (whose kind enough to check on what I'm doing and make sure I'm doing correctly what he and you guys tell me do to), couldn't believe I didn't have/use a hole saw. He lent me his for the other recessed lights. It was unbelievably quicker and easier, and it came out much better. My advice: buy or borrow a hole saw. You'll be glad you did.

Thanks for that advice...


I was leaning toward buying a rotozip, but I have been sitting right on the fence. I am going to wait until my brother in law gets home from college for the year and see what he has to say about his rotozip (no, I can't borrow it - he WILL NOT lend his tools!)
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:21 PM   #28
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Thanks for that advice...


I was leaning toward buying a rotozip, but I have been sitting right on the fence. I am going to wait until my brother in law gets home from college for the year and see what he has to say about his rotozip (no, I can't borrow it - he WILL NOT lend his tools!)
Yesterday I went to trim out my latest residential job. I found that the drywallers had used a roto zip and buzzed through the sides of many boxes and cut and nicked lots of my wires inside the boxes. I have a huge mess on my hands. I called the inspector who promptly red tagged the job. He is going to call the drywall company who will have to remove the drywall so I can pull new wires at the drywallers expense. I bet they will sell you that rotozip very cheap, as their screw up is going to cost them a few grand.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:23 PM   #29
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Best deal for cutting holes in ceilings is one of the Hole Pro adjustable hole cutters. They adjust to whatever size you need (and the last time I checked my supplier had more than a dozen different sizes of recessed light cans) and the shield catches all the dust. I use mine for sheetrock, plaster, and even hardwood ceilings. I cut 18 6-5/8" holes in a 5/8" tongue and groove ceiling last week in less than an hour. The model I use the most goes to 12" so it works great for exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom and even for the new in-ceiling speakers for home theater or wholehouse audio systems. I have used their 6" model that adjusts below 2" diameter for a lot of 3-7/8" to 4" holes of HVAC outlets with a small diameter high velocity system from Unico (SpacePak makes something similar). I had to make holes in the wood flooring and in the plaster ceiling. I used the high speed steel blades that come with the kit for the floor outlets and the tungsten carbide blades for the holes in the plaster ceiling. Phil
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:18 PM   #30
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


I use a 4 1/8 hole saw for both cut in plastic and metal octagonal and fan boxes. A 4 inch leaves a little trimming to be done with the plastic boxes where the tabs are, no problem with sheetrock, just push it in, a little tougher with lath and plaster.

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