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Old 07-08-2008, 06:02 PM   #31
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


I have used the Hole Pro model X-305 adjustable hole cutter on numerous projects with an old house I am remodeling. I put in light cans (4-5/8", 6-5/8") in plaster ceilings and the cutting action of the tool goes with the grain so their is no delamination of the plaster layers or cracking. It tool me far less time and no plaster dust in my eyes, ears, lungs, etc.

I put in another 16 light cans in a room with 5/8 tongue and groove wood ceiling and it took less than an hour and the cuts were perfect. What I like is that I can set the depth of the cut so I do not accidentally cut something hidden behind the wall. That would turn a relatively minor job into a major one.

I got the 12" model as I am putting in a wholehouse audio system with 6" and 8" in-ceiling speakers (6/7/8 to 11" cut-outs. It is in a basement I had sheetrocked and am making into a home theater. I cut the holes in the ceiling in less time than it would have taken to trace the holes for a rotozip or jab saw.

I helped my brother add a tankless water heater for his master bath and needed a 7-1/8" hole in his Hardi board siding. The tungsten carbide blades made short work of it. My brother who has been a carpenter for the past 30 years was happy not to be breathing in the silica dust as his lungs have taken a beating over the year. Now he wishes he had been more careful.

I have yet to find a dust mask or respirator that will work when I wear glasses and if I use goggles my glasses fog up (old person's disease) and the shield on the Hole Pro hole cutter eliminates both those problems.

I have pointed friends to the DIYnetwork Cool Tools video of the Hole Pro tool in action so they can see what it can do, even with plywood. I just wish I had bought one years ago.

Older and a wee bit wiser.

Phil

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Old 07-08-2008, 06:33 PM   #32
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


I'm a firm believer in buying the best tools you can afford. Actually, I've been know to buy the best tools that I can't afford. Lots of 'em.

I've used this thing to install a number of can lights because I can't justify buying a set of hole saws for cans and recessed ceiling boxes. I would never recommend buying one to anyone that could afford to buy a hole saw, but it will get the job done.

Greenlee makes this one, and I got it at Home Depot. It is the kind of too I would throw away as soon as I got a hole saw. It is an innacurate nasty contraption.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:03 PM   #33
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Do it the old fashion way and use a keyhole saw. It works great and very cheap.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:53 PM   #34
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Do it the old fashion way and use a keyhole saw. It works great and very cheap.
not for lath and plaster it won't


If i were you andy, id buy a rotozip, it'll cut through lath and plaster perfect and you can use it for many things. A 3 5/8 or 4 inch hole saw you will never use again unless you need to cut in electrical boxes. And a sawzall is an absolute terrible choice on lath and plaster


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Andy

As a side note if your thinking about getting into the electrical trade your going to have to have your own tools, the employers don't buy them for you.
You guys have to buy your own hole saws? We aren't even allowed to carry anything of our own other than hand tools. Nothing with a motor or electric, and no drill bits of any kind
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:17 PM   #35
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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I'm a firm believer in buying the best tools you can afford. Actually, I've been know to buy the best tools that I can't afford. Lots of 'em.
Shhh. Don't tell my wife! I do the same LOL!

Ok, my joint is plaster and lathe. Drywall saws and anything that pulls like a typical saw are no good. They will destroy the plaster because they grab the lathe boards. Rotozip type tools are good but they create a terrible amount of dust. Hole cutting saws are IMO the best but the plaster can dull the teeth pretty quickly. I think that it may have been the Stub-master that talked about cutting through the plaster with a hole saw running in reverse. Then when you get through (pull the plaster circle out), reverse the drill motor and finish in the forward direction. This will cut a really nice hole with minimal (or the least I should say) dust.

Do not use any type of push-pull saw. They will engage the lathe and break all of the plaster keys away. You'll have quite a mess on your hands!

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Old 07-09-2008, 05:20 AM   #36
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Sure a key hole saw will work. What do you think they used way back. It is hard work but you won't make mistakes but once.
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #37
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


I have used jab saws and roto zips and they work well OK for square outlet boxes but are marginal for round holes and the larger the hole or the more holes you need to cut the worse they perform. Try following a circle trace on a ceiling with dust going everywhere and then catching the cut plug.

I did a new home with over 200 light cans in sheetrock, plaster, and 5/8" tongue and groove and used a Hole Pro adjustable hole cutter for every single hole. I had all the holes cut in under 4 hours with clean edges and no damage to the surrounding area. And cleanup was not a concern as everything, dust, shavings, and the cut plugs went into a 5 gallon pail and then out to the dump box. Never needed the shop vac.

No way would I go back to a roto zip any more than I would go back to using a cord drill or a hand auger. I can cut the holes faster than I can trace the cutouts and there are no worries about accidently cutting into a wire, plumbing, or stud. With the economy as bad as it is (and getting worse every day) I need to get the job done as quickly as possible and move on to the next one.
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:15 AM   #38
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


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Originally Posted by Phillysun View Post
I did a new home with over 200 light cans in sheetrock, plaster, and 5/8" tongue and groove and used a Hole Pro adjustable hole cutter for every single hole. I had all the holes cut in under 4 hours with clean edges and no damage to the surrounding area. And cleanup was not a concern as everything, dust, shavings, and the cut plugs went into a 5 gallon pail and then out to the dump box. Never needed the shop vac.
You guys are going to talk me into getting one of these very soon.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:51 PM   #39
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


Just wanted to jump in and thank you guys for referencing the Hole Pro.. I never knew it existed, and I'm going to be doing cans and speakers in a bunch of rooms (in drywall, thank god) and that will probably be worth the $.

BigJimmy - I like that dust collector idea.. I wish I'd thought of that on some past installs. Sounds more fun than a face full of dust.

My 2c on the RotoZip is that they work great, so long as you set the depth of the bit to a hair over the thickness of the wall surface to avoid nicking wires/boxes. (Actually, I never used a RotoZip, but a Dremel with the "router" base attachment which is adjustable. Not sure about the RZ). I'd probably be more careful when using around plastic boxes though.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #40
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Hole saw advice for ceiling boxes


total DIY here - got a Roto-Zip and found it useful for a few minor jobs. Like any other tool, in the hands of a person with some experience, probably a good bet. For me, a few "mistakes" before I got the hang of it (if you're not careful especially in all the dust it can get away on you)

biggest concern was sinking a bit too far into the mat'l - like the post here about the drywaller's mistake - pretty easy to fly thru a bunch of wires

from the dust perspective (I also had to work on lathe and plaster) running the rotozip on the wall boxes was much easier than anything overhead (as you would probably guess) - rotozip flew thru those areas - overhead for me (klutz) was a bit of swearing

just my 2c from a DIY point of view....

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