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Old 05-05-2008, 04:14 PM   #1
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plaster issues


As I'm going through my house upgrading the electrical I'm cutting out the small metal boxes and replacing them with blue plastic old work boxes.
Once in a while the vibration from my recip saw will knock off too much plaster for the old work box to grab onto. My walls are 1/2" drywall with 1/2" plaster on top.
So, I thought this must happen every so often to you pros out there and I'm thinking you guys dont have the time to get into plaster work. Are there any old work boxes,(single gang), to remedy this situation? I can't seem to find anything at the home stores for this. Thanks

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Old 05-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #2
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plaster issues


So do I take it that the non jugmental answer to my question is no?

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Old 05-05-2008, 05:16 PM   #3
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Hey Joba,

You could at least try to pretend you're helpful and let me know what kind of blade/tool you recomend.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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plaster issues


OK,
Try a plain variable speed ole saber saw with about a 10 TPI blade.
Or if you have a tons of these to do, invest in a cut out tool.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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plaster issues


I can help with this . .a reciprocating saw creates nothing but more work . go to Homey Depot and buy a " Roto-Zip" . . .it is surgical . .rotary . . .a little more dusty than a sabre saw but when working with plaster . .it is the best tool . . .thats all yuo need

now as to why you'd be taking out metal boxes and puttting junk platic ones in is beyond me


if I can help email me imwithpug@gmail.com
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:20 PM   #6
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plaster issues


First, ditch the BS served by Joba. Nothing but a birdbrain. Keep in mind that he and his loser responses ARE NOT representative of the typical group that frequents this site in the name of helping others.

Secondly, ditch the recip saw! Waaay too agressive for what you're doing. Listen to Kingsmurf-the rotary bits are great for precision (and not disturbing the surface, esp. when it's plaster and lath) however they make a stink of a mess. If that's a concern when I'm cutting holes in my plaster walls, I grab the shop vac outfitted with a fine-particle duct bag. Almost dust free, my friend.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by BigJimmy; 05-06-2008 at 10:48 AM. Reason: removed questionable language
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:48 PM   #7
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The Rotozip is great for cutting plaster, but if I understand your problem correctly, you are cutting the metal boxes out and damaging the wall too much for a typical old work box to fit properly. You are most likely working next to a stud, so you can attach the old work box to the stud with screws through the side of the box or use a box designed just for that application such as a Smart Box (http://www.contractor-books.com/SmartBox.htm) or the equivalent from Arlington Industries.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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Thanks guys,

Yes, I have gotten a lot of helpful guidance from the good people on this site. I guess Joba doesn't realize that he's making liberals look good.
In response to your question smurf, I'm rewiring the whole house. The original metal boxes, (circa 1950) are pretty small with no place I can see to set a ground screw. Also it's nearly imposable to run romex up or down a wall and try to get it into the back of the box.
I think the rotary cutters are pretty expensive and I'm more than half done on this deal. Will the rotary cutter go through the metal brackets holding the box on the stud?
And you might be surprised, Except for just a couple of f---k ups I've done remarkably well with the recip but I am thankful for oversized plate covers.
Thanks again to all the fine folks who take the time to help others in need. You know who you are and, who you ARE NOT.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Yo HouseHelper,

Thanks a whole lot. Those boxes look like just the ticket! I hope I can find them here in Portland, OR
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:57 PM   #10
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If you can't find them locally, order form the link I posted. Fast turnaround and decent prices.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:34 AM   #11
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Handifoot...apologies...Roto-zips are NOT for metal..but thsay are in many bramd names and I bought one for 29 bucks at Harbor Freight

plaster...wood . . .plastics . . .etc great...metal...nope..thats just plain struggle....and brute force


if ya havent gotten that far...remember that if you have to put in an multiganger box . . .get it supported on both sides...sos one is sinking back into the wall


good luck..if we can help

imwithpug@gamail.com
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:56 AM   #12
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You guys rock! Thanks again.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:03 AM   #13
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Here's a tip that might help you:

The old work plastic box is usually bigger than the old metal box. Trace and cut the opening for it before you ever even touch the metal one. Makes it easier to get the blade in to cut the metal one out plus gives room for the metal one to flop around minimizing plaster damage.

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